Friday, February 27, 2009
We are right in the thick of moving right now, but I wanted to post a quick update. Today when we drove over to the house to pick up keys, I spotted some crocus blooming in our next-door neighbor, Betsy's, yard! Spring is coming!
Today I learned a few things about our house: we have 2 fig trees, 2 blueberry bushes, and asparagus. Exciting!
It's still a little weird to look out the windows and see our old house right next-door, but I suspect it will become normal over time. While I do miss elements of that house, there are some things about this house that I like better.
More next week when we are all moved in!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I have discovered Yelp and I LOVE it. It's clued me in to all these Baltimore restaurants I had no idea even existed. One of those restaurants in Famous Yakitori One, a newly opened yakitori place in Baltimore.
I wrote a review on Yelp, which you may read here if you are interested.
Everything was super delicious and it is a cute little place. We had a lot of fun sitting at the counter and watching the chefs prepare the yakitori. We plan to go there quite frequently, as it was insanely cheap and delicious. Next time I want to try the okonomiyaki. The bacon wrapped avocado was incredible.
Including tax and a tip that was over 20%, the entire meal cost us only $36!!!! We left with full bellies and smiles on our faces.
I apologize for the lame pictures. I took them with my iPhone.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
On the way home from DC we passed a Smith & Hawken, and since the one in B-more closed a while back (damn economy), I wanted to take a peek inside. It was an orchid wonderland in there! They had so many beautiful plants, however, they did not have the maiden fern I've been in the market for, so that was slightly disappointing. I really love the vertical succulent garden, but I know the cats would go to town on it. I did purchase an Ant Plant, a nifty little air plant. It is hanging on the wall right now, resting in a small shell. Here are some pictures I took in the store:
Friday, February 20, 2009
As I mentioned in my last post, we went to DC last night. I met up with Melissa, and Steph reconnected with Shanika, a friend from college. We had dinner separately, and then met up to go to a bar together.
Steph and Shanika had dinner at Jaleo, a Spanish tapas restaurant. They were both pleased with their meal, but I wasn't there, so I personally can't comment on the food.
Melissa and I went to Ceiba. The website describes this restaurant as Contemporary Latin American. OK, I can dig that. We each had a Hemingway Mojito, which was delicious. I loved the piece of sugar cane in the glass, as well as the little plastic bull attached to the side of the glass. Swanky. I had the Spanish Caesar Salad, which the waitress reccommended. I really wanted the Shrimp Ceviche, but I was ordering shrimp for dinner, and that seemed like shrimp overload. The caesar salad was tasty, but the only thing that I could tell that separated it from a normal caesar salad were the two slices of serrano ham that came on the bottom of the plate. Don't get me wrong, they were tasty pork slices indeed, but it seemed like an afterthought instead of a cohesive dish. For my main course I had the Grilled Sugarcane Skewered Shrimp. YUM! The shrimp were quite large, and were served with a side of delicious and fresh guacamole, as well as a pineapple salsa. For dessert, I had a pleasant, though not memorable piece of Tres Leches cake. I would certainly return and I would love to try some of the items on the regular menu -- we ordered from the Restaurant Week menu.
After dinner, the four of us met up and drove to Capital Hill to go to Phase 1, the oldest lesbian bar in DC. It was...strange. It kind of had a towny bar feel. I'm prefer a more upscale bar with a cocktail menu filled with strange and interesting libations. This was more of a Miller Lite type of place. However, they DID have karaoke, and you know how I loves me some karaoke. Melissa and I did a duet to "A Whole New World", fun indeed. Melissa, despite being straight, even knew a few of the people there. Why? Because she knows everyone -- such the social butterfly, she is.
We stayed at the Omni Shoreham, a historic hotel in Woodley Park. Again, this was another one of my 4-star Priceline steals. The room was spacious, comfortable, and overlooked Rock Creek Park. I was quite happy. In the morning, we woke up, had a leisurely room service breakfast (with organic eggs, meats, and veggies), and then packed up to head back home.
NEXT WEEK'S TRAVEL ADVENTURE: We go to Nashville! (I doubt we'll do much of anything interesting though -- we are going to move the rest of our stuff out of our house, as we have finally found a suitable renter for the property)
A little over two years ago, right before moving to Nashville, we had the pleasure of meeting Amos, Melissa's new boyfriend. We took to him immediately and he even survived my hazing. Haha. I adore Melissa (who I met while working at Starbucks in college) and so I wanted to be sure that any suitors knew they had to pass muster with me. Melissa is hilarious, witty, and pretty close to perfect, and therefore requires an exceptional gentleman. After we left the restaurant, I turned to Steph and said "I hope she marries him". Well, she is going to marry him! He proposed to her during a vacation to Mexico this past winter.
I went to DC last night to catch up with Melissa, enjoy a good meal during DC restaurant week, and just get out of Baltimore for a night.
I haven't seen my Melissy in a while, so we started yabbing immediately and I didn't even check out her ring. We were chatting away and all the sudden I was blinded by the light of her gorgeous and enormous BLING. Of course, I had to take a picture. It's not a great picture, but you get the idea. Diamonds and sapphires, OH MY! Of COURSE Amos has impeccable taste.
A week or so ago we spent the night in Philadelphia. We had a grand old time -- first we met up with Andrew & Chad at Yakitori Boy for $1 skewer night. We rented a karaoke room and sang our hearts out. After dinner, we went to More Than Just Ice Cream for dessert, where we met up with Amber & Tara. I had a piece of apple pie so large, it disgusted me. I had to put 2/3 of it in a to-go container before I could even think about eating it.
We stayed at the Loews Philadelphia -- I've taken to naming my own price on Priceline lately and I get fabulous deals to stay at 4-star hotels. The Loews cost us only $75 for the night. To give you an idea how cheap that is, the valet parking was $38. The location can not be beat. The hotel is directly across from the Reading Terminal Market, in fact, our room overlooked the market. The room was updated and cozy, with a lot of windows. The bed was one of the most comfortable hotel beds ever, in my opinion. I would definitely return for that kind of price. If I'm going to spend a lot of money, I still prefer the Sofitel in Rittenhouse Square.
A short, but fabulous trip. I really want to try to spend more time in Philadelphia. I am starting to enjoy the city a lot more.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I downloaded the Remote app for my iPhone and now I can control my music library on my iMac and MacBook. I took this screenshot on my iPhone of me choosing music to listen to. This is one of my current song favorites -- I thought it was about love, but Steph and Alex informed me that it is really about Jesus. They were both like "Um, why are you listening to this Jesus song?". Oh well.
-- Post From My iPhone
-- Post From My iPhone
For Nicole's birthday, we went to the Helmand for dinner. The Helmand is a Baltimore institution. It has been awarded the best "date" restaurant for every year since I can remember. It's an Afghani restaurant with really interesting and tasty food. We went out with Alex, Jocalyn, Julie, and of course, Nicole. In this photo, Jocalyn (left) and Nicole (right) do their impression of CRAB MAN (don't ask)!
I made Bul Go Gi for dinner last week. I got some marinated short ribs and ribeye from H-Mart when we were there, as well as some various pickled things to serve as side dishes. This dinner took about 5 minutes to make, so I'd say it was definitely a winner.
H-Mart is one of my favorite grocery stores because the produce is really cheap, they have strange things that I can take pictures of, and you can find pretty much any Asian cooking ingredient you could ever want or need.
Where else can you find banana flowers and bamboo shoots? The purple things are the banana flowers and the green things are the bamboo shoots.
Chad & Andrew make yummy bouillabaisse for dinner, at my request.
We played Foodie Fight. I love this picture of Erin & Matt -- they look so cute.
We sang karaoke on the Wii. This photo is Matt doing his awesome rendition of "Paint it Black".
This concludes the birthday related posts, FINALLY!
Yeah, so I know my birthday was over two weeks ago, but I never finished my blog posts from that time.
This was a good time. Google has a feature where you can use video chat within e-mail. I don't use it, mostly because when I am at home and fooling around on the computer, I don't want anyone to see me! I generally haven't showered and am wearing pajamas. Also, it's too similar to talking on the phone and I'm not really a phone person. Oh man, I am so anti-social sometimes.
Anyway, we had a video chat with Kathy and Rich (Andrew's parents) during dinner. They are currently in Japan, where Rich is teaching a class for Temple. Erin & Matt are visiting them now and next month Andrew & Chad are flying there for a visit as well.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Check out this amazing air freshener that Erin and Matt got for me! I haven't opened it, because I'm keeping it as more of a memorabilia item, but if it truly smells like Jesus Heaven, then it must smell like these birthday cupcakes that Chad made for me...
Vegan almond cupcakes with apricot filling and an apricot glaze. YUM.
It has to be said that Chad & Andrew are probably the best hosts a girl could ask for. One time, in the span of the two days that I was visiting, Chad knit me an iPod cosy. They make the best food and are just as happy sitting around chatting as driving me around town. They accommodate my cravings for chicken cheesesteak. They give me extra pillows because they know I am a freak and require 3 pillows all for myself (two for sleeping, one for holding). Also, they give the best gifts.
For Christmas, they got me this Sigg bottle, pictured on the left. I've wanted one for a long time, but the only place I know to get them is Whole Foods and I'm never in the mood to spend an extra $20 when I've just spent $150 on a piddly amount of groceries. I also had a difficult time figuring out which design I wanted. Of course, being the best friends ever, they solved both problems for me by buying me my very own Sigg bottle.
Andrew knows I have a thing for Nescafe. HMart is the only place I know of where you can buy it. He went to HMart in the morning and got me a Nescafe so I could have one when I woke up. Isn't he the sweetest?
He also went to the Korean bakery in the morning and purchased an assortment of pastries to go with our breakfast. Mmm, so delicious. It was a carb attack, let me tell you.
Last weekend we went to Philadelphia to visit Andrew and Chad, as is my now yearly birthday tradition. We drove up on Friday night and met them at Loop, a delectable yarn shoppe in Center City. It was quite crowded as they were having an event featuring fabrics at their sister shoppe, Spool. The feature fabrics were designed by Jay Carroll, who won the first season of Project Runway. Andrew and I met him and had him sign an autograph for us -- he was seriously weird in that typical gay, NYC hipster sort of way. The first photo is a quilt designed using his fabrics. Chad and Andrew were lovely enough to give us gift certificates to Loop and Spool as part of our Christmas presents, so we spent a nice chunk of change buying yarn and fabric.
After our shopping frenzy, we went over to Pumpkin for dinner. It's a very small BYOB. I brought a very nice Star Lane Sauvignon Blanc over to the restaurant. I loved this meal -- I was very impressed with the restaurant and would certainly return. I had parsnip soup as an appetizer, which was creamy, earthy, and restorative. As my entree, I ordered a duck breast over oyster mushrooms. The duck, organic, sourced from Long Island, and vegetarian fed, was probably the best piece seared breast of duck I've ever eaten. It was cooked perfectly. For dessert, I had an apple and pear crostada. I loves me a nice fruit pie -- nom nom nom.
It was a perfect Friday evening with two of our favorite people. I miss the days when we could just drive down the street to see Chad and Andrew. We always have such a great time with them.