Thursday, October 28, 2010

Get Your Giveaway On

Ms. Alli Walker, longtime friend and fabulous blog writer, posted a lovely in-home date giveaway today. Check it out!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh, the Updates

I am shamefully behind on my blog updates. I admit it, but I have very, very good reasons (isn’t that how all excuses begin?).

The first and most exciting is that I started a new job last week! I’ve moved from a purely marketing communication role into project management for a specialized marketing company. As you can probably tell, I’m still trying to pick up the lingo, but I think it will keep me busy and engaged, which is a definitely plus for me. Boredom is toxic. If I’m not 100% engaged and challenged by what I’m doing, then I’m probably 100% useless. I fully expect this new venture to fulfill that need and the people and environment are both fantastic. Everyone is professional, yet friendly and they do a great job of making you feel welcome and appreciated. Key, very key.

Huzbo and I have also been exploring a bit, both in our city and outside it. We took the pug to Pugfest not last Saturday, but the one before (photos to come, of course) and have made an effort to find a couple of few new restaurants (mixed reviews, more to come).

We also just got back, meaning at midnight last night, from a whirlwind trip to DC. I had never before visit the District, but Stevo had been a couple of times before. We were also lucky enough to meet up with a few friends who have recently relocated. Knowing folks in whatever town you visit is generally the key to making a good trip into a great one and our friends definitely did not disappoint in this case. Mitchell and Alisha gave us the tour of the DuPont circle and even let us crash on their air mattress the first night. Since our flight got in super late, I couldn’t stomach an extra $150 for a hotel room. We relocated to the Omni Shoreham in Woodley Park for the next two nights and I must say that this famous hotel did not disappoint. It was quite fancy, especially considering that we “rolled the dice” on Priceline and got a FABULOUS rate. This is really the only way to go in DC, as hotels are generally waaaaay too expensive. Some people can’t handle not knowing the hotel their booking beforehand, but it’s really not an issue if you specify the area and star rating that you require. Seriously. 

View of the hotel from across the river.

Stock photo, but our room looked pretty much the same, minus the super fancy wine and fruit and cheese plate. We Pricelined it, we're obviously not ballers.

We did so, so much walking. I literally have a strained knee or something and even had to buy a more comfortable pair of boots at the Urban Outfitters in Georgetown. Before you condemn me for my impulse buy, you should know that I’ve been searching for a suitable pair of gray, low-heeled boots for sometime now. I found a pair of Frye’s that I loved, but couldn’t bear to pay the requisite $350. So when I spied the $68 price tag on these perfect boots, I snatched them up, fought my way through the throngs of Saturday afternoon Georgetown tourists/shoppers and happily parted with my $70ish bucks. So worth it.
Anyway, we hit up all of the usual monuments and even got to watch the Razorbacks get completely screwed out of the Auburn game at the official DC Arkansas Alumni bar. Disgusting, seriously, but the bar, Trusty’s on Capitol Hill, offered the perfect dive bar atmosphere that I much prefer over snooty places. A good time was had by all and I randomly met a guy that went to the same high school as me. Weird, but awesome.

Overall, it was a fantastic trip with perfect weather and great friends. Thank you Lisa for the wonderful recommendations – I think we hit like 70% of the spots that you suggested and thoroughly enjoyed them all. While I’m happy to check DC off of my travel to do list, I definitely wouldn’t mind a follow up trip sometime soon.

Pics to follow. I’m so behind, I know…

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Travel Extravaganza

If there’s anything you should know about me, it’s that I am always, ALWAYS up for a trip somewhere. And I’m always planning a trip somewhere. I don’t know what it is, but I was bitten with the travel bug early and just can’t seem to see enough of the world. I’m not discriminate, either. I can appreciate a random trip to Memphis for Rendevous’ barbeque just as much as an overseas trip to Paris. I love to learn and no matter where you go, there’s always something new to explore and learn about.

With this little bit of personal information, along with the fact that I’m a crazy list maker, it should be of no surprise that right after Steven and I got hitched, I forced him to sit down and make a list of Places We Want to Travel Before We Procreate. It just makes planning smoother when you have a list to go by, no?

Anyway, Germany was on the top of his list. Ever since I’ve known him, he’s wanted to go. I even bought a guidebook to Munich for his 25th birthday, the first one that I was around for. The two top cities on my list were Washington D.C. (I know, it’s despicable that I’ve never been) and Prague. So, in my very extreme bout of summer restlessness, I decided that we must visit these places and soon. I’m still surprised at myself for not just booking a ticket for the following weekend (ok, I can be a tad impulsive at times). But, I was able to hold off until….next weekend!

You heard it right. We are beginning our mini-travel extravaganza with my very first trip to D.C. next Thursday and I am super stoked. Thanks to a couple of friends either from or now living in the area, we have a very ambitious to do list, but I’m most excited about the Natural History Museum and the Holocaust Museum. I cannot wait to see all of the amazing memorials, statues, buildings, etc. I’m just really afraid that I’ll fall in love and never want to leave. But would that really be so bad?

Don’t be worried about Steven, folks. We’re following up our D.C. trip with one to Munich, Prague and Salzburg in November, over the week of Thanksgiving week. Though it’s sort of like a belated honeymoon, the romance will be kept to a minimum, considering my sister is meeting and travelling with us and we’re staying in 10-bed hostels. I don’t think our companions would appreciate a lot of kissy face.

Either way, I’m so freaking excited about the food, the beer and seeing the sights in Prague. I’ve been to Munich and Salzburg before as part of a much longer backpacking trip, but didn’t get to really explore since we were only in Munich for a couple of days and just passed through Salzburg on a day trip. Huzbo was a little bummed that we couldn’t make if for Oktoberfest, but we’ll definitely get to enjoy the Christmas fairs and whatnot. And come on, you can ALWAYS get tasty beer and brats in Munich. But between you and me, I’m way more excited about Czech beer.

So what’s the point of travelling if you don’t have a camera? Ok, there might be sort of a point to it, but a camera is nonetheless essential. Sadly, my little point and shoot Lumix has died and until Monday we were without camera, which is a definite issue if you’re planning to visit super photo-worthy cities. After tons of research and debate, we settled on a camera that we thought would serve our travel needs now and our family-building needs later (assuming that any piece of technology will last more than 3 years these days). We picked the Sony Cybershot H55 with a ginormo for a point and click 10x zoom. We also got a 16 gig memory card which is admittedly too big, but nonetheless impressive to photo-challenged me. I’m excited. I was sold when I played with the sweep panorama in the store. You can take 360 panoramic pictures. At first I didn’t think we would ever need it, but how could you not want to take a 360 picture of Paris from Sacre Couer (Paris is next on Steven’s list)? I know you guys can’t even handle the anticipation of my fantastic photos. I’ll be sure to share.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 14.1 MP Digital Camera (Silver)
Isn't it cute? It's not super small, but still compact enough to comfortably travel with. We ordered it at because it's like $30 cheaper than anywhere else, even Walmart stores, and because Huzbo gets an employee discount (a baller 10%). It is scheduled to come in tomorrow, just in time for documenting Friday's home improvement projects and Pugfest Saturday.