Tag Archives: travel

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [sixty-three]


If we were having coffee, or tea, this afternoon we would talk about how excited I am to go down to Austin in a couple weeks for one of my very favorite person’s (who also happens to be my cousin), birthdays. She put up a Facebook invite and I declined, but then couldn’t resist looking at flights. Shockingly, I was able to find really cheap tickets, for getting out of BZN anyway. So I’m going on a weekend trip while TSME does whatever he does when I’m gone.
Bridal falls

If we were having coffee this afternoon I would tell you how proud I am of another bad-ass cousin of mine, Laura, who just published a major paper on her research on Neanderthals. And she did this one month after having a baby. Did I mention how bad ass my female cousins are? I swear, Weyrich women are gonna rule the world.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you how proud I am of the OAC for turning one year old this month. While I am not as involved with the organization as I was with AFH in the past, I truly love what they are doing and am helping them build as much as I can right now. They are going to do amazing things. Just watch.

Complements of a friends Instagram

If we were having coffee this afternoon, we would probably discuss women in architecture. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Whether it was naivety or not, I don’t think I realized how male dominate the field was and this article is great at quickly explaining some of the imbalances in architecture so much better than I can. Have I had the same experiences as most described here? Yes, from harassment to feeling that I would think about scheduling a “good” time to have a kid that would have the smallest impact on my career. It’s disheartening to realize that there is a good chance someone who is my equal but male is making 23% more than me. That’s well over $10,000 a year. That’s crazy. And while I realize life does not have to be fair. Most of these are simple things that really should be and are not that crazy to balance and make fair.

And one more heavyish read for you if you think your up for it. I like the last line and I feel the same way, I know I’m not perfect but I’m trying. “I’m really confident that I do less damage to people of color than I used to do,” she says. “That is what I can say to you. I do less damage than I used to.”

If we were having coffee this afternoon and it was getting later, I would say let’s go get one of my new favorite drinks: A Chocolate Manhattan. Just add orange liquor.




My New York Must List

A couple things have happened to prompt this post. Primarily, since leaving New York, I’ve had a few people who have been heading out there for a trip and have asked me what to see and do. For one person I filled a couple pages of her notebook. For another, I sent her a long email. I thought I might just edit that email into a post and then I can just forward it to whoever asks.

The second is the fact that The Sexy Master Electrician and I are heading to New York in early March on our way to a wedding in DC. I am super exited to revisit some of my favorite places and find some new ones. I just hope all my favorites are still there and still wonderful!

This list is all of the the spots and things I would tell anyone coming to visit me while I was in New York to see. Some of the less touristy stuff I would do with them, (most of the eating and drinking stuff) and I would always try to get them on a bike. Seeing a city by bike is probably my favorite way to do it.  Anyway, here we go in no particular order or importance…

Things to See: 

  • Go to Madison Square Park (Broadway and 23rd St) The Flat Iron Building is here. Several times a year there is Madison Square Eats on the west side of the park in the middle of the street triangular intersection. Several great food trucks and smaller restaurants set up around the perimeter for you pick and choose from. Enjoy some food, you can’t really go wrong- all of the trucks are fabulous.

    MS Eats

    MS Eats

  • Walk down Broadway from 23rd to Union Square (17th Street). Look up, there many beautiful buildings.
  • Check out the One World Trade Center aka the Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial (you might need tickets ahead). I want to check on the new museum that is finally open and hopefully the observation deck at the tower if it opens.

    Fountain at the World Trade Center Memorial

    Fountain at the World Trade Center Memorial

  • Unless you want to go into Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (which is really cool, save your self the time in line and money by taking the Staten Island Ferry over and back. Even better, catch a Staten Island Yankees’s game while you are there.

    So this isn't from the SI Ferry, but close enough

    So this isn’t from the SI Ferry, but close enough

  • If you are there in the summer see if you can go to Governor’s Island and wonder around. The park spaces are beautifully designed around and through the old base and they have a very interesting mix of art and performances through out the season.

    The view from Govenor's Island

    The view from Govenor’s Island

  • Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and hang out in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
    Taken while biking over the bridge

    Taken while biking over the bridge

    Kristen and Caitlin phone 046

    There are signs everywhere directing you to the park, Make sure you take the stairs on the Brooklyn side shortly after the wood planks end, instead of following the path all the way down. The stairs drop you in DUMBO, close to the water, the path goes much farther into Brooklyn.

    DUMBO Arts Festival

    DUMBO Arts Festival

    My favorite part of the park is on the north side of the bridge, under the Manhattan bridge. Two old warehouses are right along the water that are gorgeous. Although, I know this is changing as a part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park development.

    My favorite Spot

    My favorite Spot- with odd color setting

    ET in the park

    ET in the park

    Get a hot chocolate or ice cream from Jacque Torres on Water Street, just behind the abandoned Empire Warehouse.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  • Take a cab ride down Park Avenue to 34 Street from some where in the 70’s. They should take you up and around Grand Central Station. It’s such a great perspective going around GCS. The ride down Park Ave is nice too, typically there is some really good art in the median gardens and do not forget to go inside Grand Central.
    Grand Central

    Grand Central

    Art along Park Avenue

    Art along Park Avenue

  • See if  there is an exhibit or even at the Park Avenue Armory. It’s a cool space and the exhibits are typically grand in scale.

    Swings Exhibit

    Swings Exhibit

  • See the Met, Guggenheim, and MoMA. The Met and MoMA are huge, I typically have to pick which exhibits I want to see and go to them, otherwise, it’s just too much. Go to the roof of the Met. Hopefully the latest installation is up for you to enjoy with an awesome view of central park. The Met rooftop and MoMA are my favorites if you don’t have time for all of them.

    Met Rooftop

    Met Rooftop

  • If you want to go to the top of the Empire State Building, do it during the day, if you want to go to the Top of the Rock, do it at night.
    View from the Top of the Rock

    View from the Top of the Rock

    A great view of the Empire  is from a rooftop bar in the La Quinta on 32nd Street. Opens at 5PM.

    Empire State from the Rooftop!

    Empire State from the Rooftop!

  • Go to the Storefront for Architecture and the Center for Architecture. Both are in great neighborhood to wander around in. THe CFA is a block away from Washington Square Park.
  • See Time Square, but don’t waste too much time there. Don’t eat anything there or around the Empire state building. There are much better places out of the tourist areas farther north or south.
  • Walk along the Hudson River Park. The view and parks are great.

    Pier I on the Hudson River

    Pier I on the Hudson River

  • Walk the Highline. I would stay start at the top (near 33rd St and 10th Ave, I think, they keep expanding it) End down in Chelsea and wander. Great buildings to see along the walk and down in Chelsea.



  • Take the Train to the new Atlantic Terminal and check out the Barclays Center and BAM.
    The Nets vs the Wizards

    The Nets vs the Wizards

    If you can catch a performance at BAM, I recommend it. One of my favorite venues. Wander around the Fort Greene neighborhood.

    Opera at BAM

    Opera at BAM

  • If you want to stick to Manhattan, see if there is a performance at Lincoln Center. The spaces are gorgeous and so are the performances.
  • Wander around Soho, but skip Broadway, get on the smaller side streets. The storefronts are amazing and so is the stuff they are selling.
  • In Brooklyn head out to Greenwood Cemetery. It’s huge, old and really cool. It’s also the highest point in Brooklyn. At that point, the statue Minerva is pointing out at the Statue of Liberty, who is facing her.

    Greenwood on the way to work one foggy morning

    Greenwood on the way to work one foggy morning

  • If you get on your bikes and have a day, check out Coney Island on your way to Rockaway Beach. Skip the beach at Coney Island and enjoy it at Rockaway.
    Kite surfers on the way to Rockaway

    Kite surfers on the way to Rockaway

    Rockaway Beach

    Rockaway Beach


  • Don’t forget to take the tram over to Roosevelt Island and check out the old buildings and the memorialRoosevelt Island (28)
  • Go to the 8th Ave and 14th Street subway station- just to check out the sculptures.8th ave

Favorite Foods

  • Pizza by the slice: Luigi’s in Park Slope. When I told the owner I was moving, he gave me a t-shirt. Curious to see if he remembers me when we go back.
  • Pizza resturant: Fornino in Williamsburg Brooklyn, but Patsy’s near Union Square is also really good and probably closer to where you will be.
  • Thai food on the cheap: National, Joya or Song. Same owner three different Brooklyn hoods, all amazing.
  • Sweet Revenge will pair your cupcake with a beer or wine.cupcake
  • Egg and cheese sandwich: Any deli (for the most part), so good no matter how you order it, seriously.
  • Also get a macaron. Many delicious places have them, but look for a place that specializes in them. Cafe M was one of my regular stops.
  • Favorite Cheese Shop: Murray’s Cheese Bar, they also do beer and wine pairings.cheese
  • Favorite sandwiches: SniceSpreads, No. 7 Sub or a wrap from Nanoosh
  • Favorite expensive dinner: Freemans
  • Favorite burger: Bonnie’s Grill in Park Slope
  • Favorite Chicken and Waffles: Melba’s or Amy Ruth’s

    Melba's after the Shamrock Run

    Melba’s after the Shamrock Run

  • Favorite Brunch: Kitchennette, in Brooklyn Giovanni’s
  • Favorite Doughnut: This is hard one but Doughnut Plant is amazing, one of my favorites was the Orange Blossom Cashew, but you can find many excellent options in many places.  #nycdonuttour
  • Favorite BBQ: Dinosuar BBQ MD Trip 035
  • Favorite Taco: Rockaway Taco, get the guac with plantain chipsColor Mob (11)Color Mob (13)
  • Favorite Pie: Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklynsandy 034
  • Favorite coffee shop: Southside in Brooklyn, Joe’s is good too in the cityjoes
  • Favorite hidden cocktails: the Mulberry project or PDT
  • Favorite brewery: Brooklyn Brewery. BBreweryGo on a Friday night and order pizza from Fornino’s (see above). Rocky Sullivan’s is connected to the 6 Point Brewery and has some awesome pizza with a rooftop deck down in Red Hook too!

    Rooftop flip cup at Rocky's

    Rooftop flip cup at Rocky’s

Survival Guides 

Whew! That’s all I have for right now. I’m sure I will add and change this as I remember things and visit old places and new ones!


Sunday Afternoon Coffee [On Thursday. On the Road]

IMG_1370Soooo maybe this is Thursday coffee. And it would be on the road somewhere between Bozeman and the northwestern corner of Iowa. Cause that is where I am headed for a wedding with The Sexy Electrician  for a wedding. Since I have barely been on my computer lately, (I can go days, all weekend and then some, without turning on my computer, it’s crazy), I figured I am going to be drinking a lot of coffee over the 14 hour drive, let’s do an update.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you I finally got a haircut last week and went with bangs. So far, I am a fan, let’s hope it stays that way. Last time I had bangs was almost seven years ago and the New York humidity did not play nice. Hopefully the lovely dry western air will continue to be nice.


If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that my parents came to visit a couple weekends ago. I took them on the Triple Tree hike. I thought it was 4.5 miles , but we started at the base parking lot, so it was 6 miles. They made it just fine and were not sore the next day, so I guess I didn’t kill them. We also went to sprint car season final race and had a blast. On Sunday we took it easy and drove up to Fairy Lake. We took my little car up one of the worst gravel roads I have ever seen. We could have easily high centered in on a huge rock or rut. We made it. It was beautiful.  For their final night, we went out to Norris Hot Springs to wind down and relax after I made them hike all over the mountain side.


Fairy Lake


Top of Triple Tree

IMG_2038And since Fairy Lake was so beautiful and TSE did not go with us, I drug him up there last weekend after it snowed the week before. (Yes, I said it snowed, it also snowed in August up there.) It was beautiful as always and there was some lovely snow hanging out around the lake. We took his truck, so it didn’t forever to get up there.

Fairy Lake seven days later

Fairy Lake seven days later

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that the TSE was trolling craigslist on Saturday. He came across this awesome old record holder. It looks like a dresser, but bottom three drawers tilt out to hold records. I admit I don’t have any records but I loved the thing. TSE emailed the guy and I went home. Less than an hour later he showed up with it. I was so excited! I love this thing.  I am going to update the finish and pulls. We will see how long that takes me to do…

IMG_2065If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I have been here for a year now, I can’t believe it. True, a year ago, I wasn’t sure I would be sticking around and ran down to Austin for a couple weeks to have some fun. But I ended up back here and I am so happy how everything is working out!

The reason I know it has been a year is because I crashed the birthday party of one of my now good friends, Dusty. We made sure he was just as snockered his year as he was last year. It was a pretty good Saturday night.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I finally made it to my first MSU football game of the season last weekend. We won, but barely in the end. It was a beautiful day and perfect for football. I am very excited for the season, even if we are not suppose to be that great.


If we were having coffee today, I would show you this crazy tattoo. Maybe it’s what I should get. Though I am not sure what the point of the fish is for me…

IMG_2089If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that TSE’s cousin got a new puppy and it is an adorable, fit-in-your-pocket-for-life little one. I love it. We went over for dinner last week to meet him. His name is Rooster, Roo for short. You will be seeing more of him around here.


He fits in one hand!

66 Hours in New Orleans

Steffanie, Rachael and Me

Steffanie, Rachael and Me

By the end of a long weekend, I was seriously contemplating looking for a job in New Orleans. It was such a fun city with some great energy and so beautiful. Seriously. Even though we were there in the middle of August, we hit a perfect weekend that wasn’t killer hot or humid, so we were able to do a lot of walking around and not be running from ACed space to ACed space. I would love to go back again, and will probably keep thinking about the moving, but I think in the end, all the tourist, might drive me nuts and my Nemesis in the form of weather. Either way, I am so glad that my cousin Rachael invited me down for the weekend!

Beautiful houses, streets and furniture

Beautiful houses, streets and furniture

I arrived from New York 10 minutes ahead of Rachael and her two friends from Austin Friday night. Their flight ended up being delayed, so we didn’t get to go to the show that Steffanie really wanted to see that evening. But once we dropped off our stuff at the adorable Airbnb apartment, Steven, a friend of Rob’s, picked us up and gave us a tour via car all over the French District. He dropped us off at the end of Bourbon Street and we went in to the mess of the masses. The first step is to find a massive drink to carry around. You can have an alcoholic beverage outside as long as it in not in glass and most bars let you wander in with your random drink. We started with slushy drinks, mine was a mudslide, Rachael had a white russian, and Steffianie, something fruity. The clown glasses were ridiculous and the drinks were insanely sweet. Rachael and I should have split one, because I don’t think either of us drank even a quarter of it.

We wondered down Bourbon Street, stopped in Bourbon Cowboy with a mechanical bull, naturally, only girls were riding. There were cowboys inside, but we learned quickly that they are not real cowboys. I’m sorry but Indiana does not produce them, no matter what you think and if you can’t jitterbug, then just take the hat off.  Anyway we kept wandering down the street. stopped in another place to try a hand grenade. Once again, a way-to-sweet slushy drink in a large cup. At least we shared this one and still didn’t finish it. We caught some terrible karaoke at Cat’s Meow and then Steven caught up with his roommate. They took us to The Dungeon. It’s just off Bourbon Street, down a narrow ally that only one person at a time can walk through. It opens into a small courtyard and the bar itself is a two story creation where you are not allowed to take pictures. There are jail cells, chains hanging from the walls, and instruments of torture. Very interesting. After that we went back to Frenchman Street for some dancing at Blue Nile, Steven’s favorite bar, which was just around the corner from where we were staying before calling it a night.
A Friday Night on Bourbon Street

A Friday Night on Bourbon Street

The next morning we woke kind of early and headed to Cafe Du Monde for begnietes and coffee. The line was long so Rob and Steffanie went to get bloody marys for the wait, which went pretty quick in the end. The Drinks were really spicy and garlicy. They tasted great, but my body was not ready for that kind of drink yet, I didn’t feel sick, but I didn’t want that either. I was ready for the coffee and begnietes though. Delicious. We headed down to Canal Street along the Mississippi River after breakfast to catch a trolley to the Garden District. We wandered into the National Park’s Visitor Center on the way. The courtyard was beautiful. The ride took about 30 minutes and went around theRobert E. Lee Monument on the way.
Nola CDM
The houses and neighborhood in general was so beautiful. Lovely houses with huge porches and big trees overhanging everything. We wondered in to cemetery, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, and ran into one of the ground keepers, at least I assume that was his actual job. He overheard Rob ask a question and proceeded to take us on a private tour. All of the graves are above ground, and kept by the families. If after 100 years, no one has claimed the plot and it has completely disintegrated, the city will sell it to a new family. It was very interesting learning about the different ways the bodies are stacked and one of the tombs was open for us to see inside. It was also the home of the cast iron tomb that Anne Rice was inspired by in her novel, Interview with a Vampire. They had shot multiple movies in the cemetery and our little guide was very interesting, he should be a character in a movie.
Nola Cemetery
We kept moving down the street to Magazine Street, where we stopped at Croquette for a light lunch/snack. Delicious. Rachael and I split some yummy gnoche with pancetta, corn and some other veggies. We did some shopping along the street, saw some adorable stuff and managed to walk away only buying some macaroons and more coffee before going back to Bourbon Street to get oysters at Acme Oysters. I tried the grilled oysters, it was okay. I am not a big seafood fan in general unless we are talking shellfish like lobster and shrimp. The other three slurped them down. Rachael and I split a shrimp poboy sandwich, gumbo and hush puppies for dinner. It was all really good, but my roommate’s gumbo is much spicier, and I like it more. I also expected some sort of sauce to be on the sandwich and there wasn’t. It was still good, but kind of dry. After that we stopped at Bourbon O for a fancy drink, I had the Scarlet Ohara, and also split one of there street ready drinks that was by far the best we had, alligator included, but not edible.
From Magazine Street back to Bourbon street

From Magazine Street back to Bourbon street

We stopped back at our apartment before heading out on Frenchman Street for the night because we heard the best original music was there. First we went over to the Frenchman Art Market. We all ended up with a piece of jewelry and I am still kicking myself for not picking up one of the sketchy prints I saw, I tried to pick it up Sunday night, but they were not out. After that we started our music tour at Three Muses where we met the owner of The Spotted Cat. The group playing there was by far our favorite. The band was a only drums, keyboard, stand up base and a trumpet. They were so good. Sunday night we were back in there at the end of the night and the trumptter was playing again and he played the keyboard, sometimes at the same time. So good. We went to Maison next, which was a complete switch. There was a big Russian band playing complete with a belly dancer. I need to work on my ab muscles. They were really fun. Everyone was jumping around and having a great time. Our last stop on Frenchman for the night was for some late night food at 13. Definitely drunk food, not so great if your not.
Nola Frenchman
Sunday morning we got up early to head over to Cochon Butcher before catching our bus for our swamp boat tour. The bacon, oh the bacon! So good. I could have gone there for all our meals I think. Seriously. We had some time to kill so we wandered around the Warehouse District for a bit, found a great coffee shop to get us through the morning and afternoon after the late nights. I really liked the area, but the waterfront wasn’t as fun as other areas. The convention center and aquarium where in the way. Anyway our bus picked us up and once it gather the other passengers we were on our way to the swamp.
Nola Sunday
We booked our tour through the Louisiana Tour Company. We thought about doing an air boat tour, but a normal swamp tour was cheaper and seemed more interesting. The guide was great, really informative about the areas development, the swamp in general and the swamp creatures. We saw several alligators, all of who like marshmallows and speak French. Who knew?  We got to hold alligator and crocodile heads to see the difference, we did not see any crocodiles. Then at the end he pulled out a baby alligator and everyone held it. How could you chicken out when the 4 year old walked right up to start it off? Steffanie was not such a fan of the idea, but she did it and her reaction was great. I had some pretty good faces too, I am not such a fan either. Alligators aside, it was a really beautiful area and tour. Our guide is even forever immortalized in a Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog. They came down to do some research for the movie and he gave them a tour. They based the firefly character after him. I am going to have to watch it to see.
Nola Swamp
After we were dropped off, we made our way back to the French Quarter, picked up some pralines along the way and wandered through the large farmers market. New Orleans has a huge Vietnamese population, which none of us knew, until Steffanie, who is half Vietnamese, was looking at a sign on the trolley and realize they also written in Vietnamese. Once we realized this, we sought out some good food at the market and had some really taste Bing Ma sandwiches to get us through to dinner.
The great thing about traveling or being with Rachael, is that she is an awesome hair stylist, so I ended up with some pretty sweet (and big) hair for the weekend. We were going out for seafood recommended by our Aunt Lori, who grew up in New Orleans, and decided our last night we should dress up. We headed to Deanie’s just off Bourbon for a seafood smorgusborg. Seriously. We had grilled shrimp to start and split a half seafood platter and Crabmeat Au Gratin between the four of us. There was way to much food, but it was so good. We finished the night on Bourbon Street, which was really quiet after seeing it on Friday and Saturday nights and one last piece of music at the Spotted Cat.
Nola SunEve
After three nights of 3 am or later getting up the next morning was tough, but we made it up and went to breakfast at Cake Cafe. As expected, it was delicious. Then again, can you really have a bad biscuits and gravy? The cupcakes were even better. We split a red velvet and wedding cake ones. Don’t judge, cupcakes for breakfast is perfectly normal of vacation and they are known for them. After that Rachael and I wandered down Royal Street stopping in the little shops and looking at art pieces. I found a few pieces that I could fit in my over stuffed bags and we ran back to the apartment to catch a cab back to airport for our afternoon flights.
Nola Cake
It was such a fun trip, I hope I get to do it again and explore the many areas that we did not get to see. Everyone was so nice. Plus I don’t think I can get enough of all the colorful homes with their massive porches and plants everywhere. Thank you Rob, Steffanie and Rachael for inviting me along!

Sunday Afternoon Virtual Coffee Date | Sixteen

photo (3)If we were having coffee this afternoon I would tell you how crazy the last two weeks have been since I left New York and it doesn’t look like its going to change anytime soon.  I arrived in Wisconsin and stayed with my brother for six days. After that, I went to Yankton to see my grandma and hang out for Labor Day weekend. I got to see my uncles band play at Ribfest and hang out with some old friends. Next stop was home for less than 24 hours before heading to Denver, where I currently am now, crashing on an old in person coffee date’s couch for a week. (We are actually out at a coffee shop right now working on random things.) Next stop is Bozeman, before heading home to help out with silage for a couple weeks then down to Austin at the end of the month for Austin City Limits then back up to Wisconsin and Minneapolis, I think.  It’s all still a bit undecided…

His mouth opens and his ears wiggle

His mouth opens and his ears wiggle

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you about the five day cleanse I made my brother do with me. After all the terrible delicious food that I had to have again before leaving New York, and enjoyed in New Orleans and Martha’s Vineyard, I felt I need to detox a bit. I mostly used  this Dr. Oz one and kind of made it more veggie centered. We stuck to the smoothies the first day, love the apple one, and made it for breakfast the rest of the week. Then we had big salads for one meal and lean meat and a whole grain like quinoa for the other. If we needed a snack, we had some cheese or nuts as suggested. It worked pretty well, I felt much better and was not eating like a crazy person after.  I was also able to bike every day since Fancy bike was sent to him and he had it put together by the time I got there. It was nice to do an 8 mile run nonstop. So nice.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I was able to attend the Newell Labor Day Rodeo, the small annual event that takes place in the town were I went to school. I caught up with a couple high school friends and saw my sisters for a bit before they headed back to school.  The rodeo was the same as always. The best part was the bull riding at usual, and the mutton busting was pretty funny too. The funniest was the sheep tepeeing. The objective is for you and a partner to catch a sheep and put him in a tepee.  There are a couple rules: your sheep must stay in the tepee until you cross the finish and you must run back the the finish, at the other end of the arena, holding hands with your partner. I took the video below, which is pretty funny, but in the next heat a guy tried to get two sheep in one go and end up being clothes lined by them. Pretty good stuff in a small town.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I am enjoying Denver. I am warming up to it more and more. The friends I am staying with are half way between Denver and Boulder. They are far too nice to let me crash with them. I made brunch this morning, Almond and Raspberry Pancakes, I will share the recipe later, but given the delicious fish tacos and other meals they have made me, I am still in debt.  I’ve had a meeting or interview every day so far, done some hiking, and am slowly getting used to the very fast driving down here. It makes me a bit nervous. My friends boxer is also making me want a dog, but judging by how poorly it is going back in South Dakota with Princess Chunk and my parents pets, I don’t think she will allow it. Sigh.

Nap time with Bozeman

Nap time with Bozeman

If were having coffee this afternoon we would talk about the show I saw. We went to see Jason Isbell at the Bluebird earlier this week. The venue is pretty sweet, but it was way to hot. Katie and I both had to step outside a couple times because we felt faint. The band was really good. He has some seriously dedicated fans who were going crazy. I hadn’t heard of him, but since my friends were going, I figured it would be a good time, who doesn’t like live music, and it was like going to a show in New York at the Webster Hall, just a bit smaller.

IMG_5152If we were having coffee this afternoon you would probably ask me if I miss New York. I’m not sure, there are definitely certain things, like my favorite coffee shop, WI had nothing where I was, but Katie and I have found a pretty good spot near her home to hang out in.  having good friends to doing things with definitely makes it a bit less noticeable. I was going crazy at my brothers. Otherwise, I wish I could have been in New York for my friends birthday parties that happened this weekend, but I am running around so much right now, that I don’t think I will really miss it until I actually stop running and have a home… we’ll see.

Weekend Trip: Washington D.C. [Logistics]

The past weekend was the start of my weekend trips to all the places I want to go before I potentially leave the northeast.  I have a feeling I will never get through all of them cause the list keeps growing.  I’ve been meaning to go back down to Washington D.C. since I moved here.  I spent a week there about 11 years ago for the National History Day competition- don’t judge.  We spent a week in the city and stayed in dorms at the University of Maryland.  We went to all the monuments, road  public transportation for the first time, saw some pandas, and met with our state Senators and Representative.  I wanted to take a trip back to revisit some of the sites and experience the city as an adult.  I wanted to see and experience neighborhoods, something we really didn’t do, or at least I did not appreciate last time.

When I first visited DC, it was really the first big city I had ever spent time in and it didn’t feel like a big, unending Rapid City.  We tool a lot of family trips all over the country, bit the avoided the cities most of the time and stuck to camping and national parks mostly. What I remember was that Washington D.C seemed massive. The buildings were monolithic and grand.  The streets were so wide.  There were people everywhere and I was certain I was going get left behind or lost on the metro.  I remember the things that had a lasting impact on me like the Holocaust Museum, the Vietnam War Memorial and Iwagima Memorial as more if a feeling than actual visual memories.  As for visual memories, I remember are silly things, like Jarred trying to catch a black squirrel.

This time around, I was astounded by how small DC felt.  The buildings are still monumental and have such great detail, but they are not as tall I remember.  The city felt very open and small in scale, not large and over bearing.  The White House is tiny.  The metro is so easy to navigate and clean, there was no fear of getting lost.  I don’t know if this is because of my time in New York, and from all the traveling I have done or if it’s just because I’ve grown up, relatively speaking.  This time around Melissa, Christian, and I planned the trip ourselves instead of someone just leading us around.  Okay, let’s be honest, Melissa did most of the planning, maybe that was the difference between now and 11 years ago.

The Amazing Trio takes DC.

It was an awesome little weekend trip and this post is part one.  I decided to break it down into the logistics of our trip and then the fun stuff we did.  As I said,  Melissa did most of the planning.  We picked a weekend and decided to take part of Friday off so we could enjoy the weekend down there and to come back Sunday evening.  The great thing about New York, is all the cheap buses that head all over the place.  We were able to get tickets for around $20 on Bolt bus down and Megabus back.  This is about all I planned, looking up the bus schedule.  Melissa found us a sweet apartment in the Southwest quadrant on Airbnb that had a view of the river and the Washington Monument.

The view from our weekend apartment.

For transportation, we wanted to rent bikes through the bike share program, Capital Bikeshare.  They have bike docks all over the city were you can pick up a bike and then drop it off at the next destination.  We went all over for $7 a day as long as each trip was under 30 minutes, which was really easy to do.  Melissa downloaded a great app on her iPhone that told us where all the dock were, how many bikes were at each dock and if there was space for us to park our bikes.  For the most part, we had good luck and were able to park where we wanted.  They saved us from certain exhaustion, or at least me.  I don’t think I would have survived all of Saturday on foot.  I don’t think we could have done it all on foot to begin with.  You’ll understand when you get to part two;)  It started to pour Saturday evening and we were back on the Metro.  Like I mentioned before, it was so clean, so easy to read and seemed so much simpler than the New York subway.  Although now, I would also that the New York subway system is really easy too.

Our Saturday rides.

Isn't it so clean and lovely?

Melissa made this amazing google map with the location of our apartment, the monuments and other sites that we wanted to visit, the neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, and bike docks near all of these.  We definitely used this, but since we decided to do our touring by neighborhoods, we didn’t always have places on the map for food and drink.  Enter the great Scoutmob app and the Washington Post Going Out App I downloaded on the bus ride down.  Scoutmob has deals for restaurants with 50% deals and can list them based on what is closest to you.  The Going Out guide list restaurants that are searchable, all the museum and monument information, a Metro map that when you click on a station, it tells you when the next trains are arriving, and events going on around the city.  It came in handy a few times and I would recommend it if you are going to Washington D.C.

That’s all I got for the how we did DC.  Stay tuned for the what!