Friday, September 22, 2006

Another Week Has Passed

It's hard to believe that it's almost October. Life just goes by faster and faster. Although I do a lot of things, I still wish that I could do more. There's so many places I haven't seen, so many foods I haven't tasted, so many books I haven't read. I could go on and on. But, I won't.

This weekend will hopefully be a little relaxed. I may actually go shopping tomorrow. I have a facial appt at 4pm and MTH wants to go to the DC United soccer game in the evening. Sunday will be grocery and "cook in day". Then, the week starts again. I do have some excitement for next week. On Wednesday, at work, we're having a "fun" day. We're heading to Boar's Head in Charlottesville where we'll take a cooking class and then eat what we've prepared. We get to have 2 glasses of wine with our meal. Then we head to the Jefferson Winery for a tour and tasting. When I get back to Richmond, I'll pick up HS (girlfriend of BL). We'll be heading to a place called Eamonn's, a Dublin Chipper. As the name implies, we'll be partaking of fried foods! Fish and chips to be exact. They also have fried Mars bars on the menu. I'll definitely post an update after that meal. The guy who opened this place also runs Restaurant Eve. I've told some of you about this place. It's the one with the tasting room and the bistro and is quite expensive but awesome. Two very different places! He's Irish so that explains the second place. The food at the first place definitely has some Irish influence here and there. The interesting part is that Eve is the name of his daughter and Eamonn is the name of his son.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay

I actually got a lot done this weekend even though I went crabbing yesterday afternoon. MTH got up at 6:45am yesterday to go for a 31 mile bike ride! I got up around 7:30am and straightened the first floor, washed all of my clothes, ran 3 miles, showered and packed for our trip to go crabbing. We left around noon to head for Annapolis. SM (MTH's friend) and JR (SM's girlfriend), called us and told us to meet them at Sandy Point State Park. We first tried crabbing from a pier but we had no bites. The reason we started on the pier is that the marina wouldn't rent us a boat because it was too windy. It didn't really seem that windy to us so we were confused. After 30 minutes of no bites, SM decided to go ask again about renting a boat. For some reason, they changed their mind. We headed out into the bay in our little dinghy. At our first stop, we brought in 3 crabs (none for me but 1 for MTH). At our second stop, we got several more of which 1 was by me. In the end, we had 10 crabs with only 1 coming from me. For some reason, I just wasn't very good at crabbing. Then, we headed back to SM and JR's place near the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Since we only had 10 crabs, we decided they would be our appetizer and then we'd go out to a seafood restaurant in Fells Point called John Steven Ltd. It was interesting cooking those things. JR and MTH just put them straight into boiling beer and Old Bay seasoning and covered them with a lid. They came out perfect. Then, the fun part - opening them up and finding the meat. We read on the internet that only about 15% of their weight is actual meat! Overall, it was a successful trip as we had a great starter of crab meat and then went to the restaurant for steamed shrimp, steamed scallops, steamed mussels, garlic bread and seafood quesadillas.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Girls' Weekends

I had a great time in Chicago last weekend. In the past, I stayed in the downtown area with the high rises. It's a great place to be and hang out but is definitely different from Lincoln Park where I stayed this time. My friend, AS, just moved there in early August. She finished business school in the spring. She's loving it so far. I met all the people who came to the weekend at some point during my career at my current job. 4 out of 5 of them I met in 1999. 4 out of 6 (including myself) are statisticians. It's amazing that we're all still friends and all still get together. We've been having these gatherings for 3 years now. There have been 4 in total. Two were at my place. The first one when we lived in the 625 square foot condo. The second one in our house so we had a little more room. The third one was in Boston. The only thing missing at this last one was MAK. She couldn't make it since she now lives in SF and travel is much more expensive. Usually the main items we focus on are: food, shopping and spa treatments. This time was no different. We had Chicago style pizza on Friday night. We went to the Urban Oasis on Saturday morning. And we hit the Magnificent Mile on Saturday afternoon. Saturday night we did something different. We went to the show put on by Second City. It was awesome. I definitely recommend that any time you're in Chicago, check it out! It's like being on the set of Saturday Night Live but much smaller with beer available throughout the show.

At the end of the weekend, we discussed where we'll meet next. We had two diametrically opposed ideas: Las Vegas or a yoga retreat. Hopefully, a year from now, I'll be updating you on that trip.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Things I Learned in Iceland

- Hot dogs (or pylsur as they are called in Icelandic) are not as ubiquitous as the guide books imply.

- Even the bathrooms in the national parks are clean!

- Buy beer and wine at the duty free.

- Renting an apartment instead of reserving a hotel is key.

- Just because an Icelandic word sounds like an English word doesn't the food it's describing is the same thing - beikon is not bacon (although it does taste good)

- Definitely rent a car to see the countryside.

- Put conditioner and a swimming cap over hair before going into the Blue Lagoon

- Definitely check out the black sand beach in Vik.

- Need to go back in order to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

Chicago Follow Up

MKN finally got up at 10:45am. We went together to get coffee and a bagel at the Einstein's conveniently located near the AS's apartment. When we got back, the rest of the girls were getting out of bed. Not sure how they could sleep that long but to each his own. I definitely was missing MAK at the moment as she usually beats me out of bed.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday Morning in Chicago - 10:20am Central Time

There's a cute cat named Chelsea who has decided to get up with me. Of course, her real reason for coming in the kitchen was to eat. She's actually quite hungry it seems. But, she did say hi to me before she started eating. A very polite cat :)

Ok, so I still haven't figured out how to get back in if I leave the apartment. I've decided I'm going to leave here by 10:45am Central time at the last because if I had gone to yoga, I would have been back here by 11:15am at the latest.

Probably will update again soon.

Sunday Morning in Chicago - 10:05am Central Time

There were no dish towels to be found so I used paper towels. It was a first in my life but it worked just fine and now I'm clean so I feel much better. On to my second task of the morning - figuring out how to get back into the apartment once I leave without waking anyone up. I'll check in again soon.

Sunday Morning in Chicago - 9:40am Central Time

I'm in Chicago right now for Girls' Weekend. Everyone else is asleep. I have no idea where the towels are so I can't even take a shower. I was supposed to go to yoga at 9am but when I got up at 8:30, it was raining. I've tried looking for the towels and am now thinking of using a dish towel as all I need to do is dry off - I'm not washing my hair since I washed it yesterday. So, if I'm able to figure that out, my next thing to figure out will be how to go get coffee and then get back into the apartment since I don't have a key. I'll keep you updated.