Sunday, May 31, 2009


Brooklyn was at the top of my list this trip, both for a walk across the bridge and a stop by the Brooklyn flea market.

Brooklyn bridge

Brooklyn Bridge


Brooklyn limestones

Check out some of the stuff I found:

Loads of vintage shoes

Brooklyn flea

If you can believe it, I wanted to buy one of these paintings and paint the frame white. I'm glad I didn't. Very vintage cool, but not the look I'm going for.

Brooklyn flea

This table re-painted and fitted with beautiful new cushions would have me completely in love.

Brooklyn flea

Lots of lovely tin mirrors and tiles.

Brooklyn flea

I like this Chinoiserie-ish screen.

Brooklyn flea

It was a half hour walk across the bridge, and I was thrilled to be doing it.

walking across the Brooklyn Bridge

I can't wait to explore Brooklyn more!

Food in New York

This trip to New York was more an adventure than past trips, because I played navigator for the first time! There is something that thrills me about finding my way in another city (heck, even my own sometimes!), although NYC had always intimidated me until last weekend. I'm happy to say that it no longer seems so overwhelming, and I loved walking miles through different neighborhoods, not only finding my way around but seeing which streets ran into which and discovering places to which I'd like to return.

Once we arrived in the city, my roommate and I were very hungry, a state I particularly love to be in, because it's a feeling I love to satisfy. We went straight to Union Square to fill our tummies with a very chocolatey lunch.

Union Square

Max Brenner's international restaurant
serves at least a little bit of chocolate in every meal, and there happened to be a lot in mine.

Max Brenner

I ordered the pancakes with dark chocolate truffle cream, caramelized bananas, and cocoa powder dusted over the top.

pancakes with cocoa powder, caramelized bananas, and choc sauces

Max Brenner

While waiting to meet a friend for dinner that evening, we searched the streets of Soho for some outdoor seating and a good appetizer. We found both at Mezzogiorno, ordering the calamari sauteed with tomato, avocado and red pepper. I'm not sure I've ever had calamari that wasn't fried, but I loved it just the same.

the calamari

I also enjoyed my fair share of yummy bread and breadsticks!

apps in Soho

By the time we trekked a long distance from Penn Station to Upper East (with a crowded walk through Times Square), we were hungry yet again.

Times Square

Meeting up with my good D.C. friend, we again found a place outdoors and inhaled our own pizzas while enjoying the evening breeze.

yummy pizza

I have no pictures to share of other meals, but we did find a great place in the West Village at which to . . you guessed it, enjoy the great weather with open air seating. I can't recall the name of the restaurant, but the grilled salmon sandwich was amazing!

As usual, NYC did not disappoint in the food department. It only made it very hard to choose which restaurants to try!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fun at the Fountain

Everyone knows that there are weirdos a plenty in New York City. I saw plastic flowers in hair, the ugliest outfits ever, and so many more oddities. The one I particularly enjoyed was this man below:

searching for coins

It was no surprise to see someone digging coins out of the fountain, but this man had no intention of holding onto them for himself. He wanted to hit the top of the fountain with them.

throwing coins and trying to hit top of fountain . . i think

We weren't the only ones laughing, but after watching for a few minutes, I decided I wanted to try myself. He happily obliged, handing me a coin and saying "Be my guest".

throwing coins, too!

So where weirdos and funky smells abound, fun can also be found! (Can you tell what I don't love about the city?) :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

I'd like to give a shout out to my parents today. They're celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary, college sweethearts growing old(er) together. Yay for love and commitment through thick and thin! I'm thankful to have parents who have honored their wedding vows and still love each other over three decades later.

NYC: The Bakery

It's nearly my bedtime, but there's a lot to tell about my weekend, so I'll begin with what is naturally easiest to talk about. Magnolia Bakery. No surprise there.

However, I didn't have my heart set on going. Rather, I had hoped to try a new cupcake shop, but got a bit turned around in the Village and ran out of time.

I certainly ordered a lot for a person who didn't have her heart set on going!

Magnolia Bakery

I went in with the intention of getting only one cupcake.

Magnolia Bakery

But there, on their baking trays, they looked so delicious that I ended up grabbing two. (We ate them late that night on the car ride home).

Magnolia cupcakes

It was the banana pudding that I had to eat immediately.

Magnolia banana pudding in the Village

Delicious! But I have to say that my roommate's pudding the week before tasted exactly the same and just as good. I do think it was the Magnolia recipe she used.

Magnolia Bakery

The cupcakes were good, but just as I've mentioned before, they are still probably my least favorite. Still, I'm glad I gave them a second chance. And the bakery is clearly adorable, and in itself, worth visiting, even without any treats.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Two Vacations in One Weekend!

So in addition to New York City, I also spent two days in the Outer Banks of North Carolina this weekend. The boss goes to Paris and L takes advantage by extending her vacation.

More to come!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Holiday Plans

Laura and The Big Apple

Since I’ve been feeling so worn out lately . . I’ve decided to spend the weekend in New York City. I was initially envisioning a relaxing weekend at home with the intention of reading, cleaning, and spending some time outdoors, but . . you know how I roll.

I’ve got some super fun stuff on the agenda, and my travel buddy has agreed to everything on my list - none of it what you might expect. But whether any of those plans happen or not, it will be great to be in the city on what looks to be a beautiful weekend!

Hope yours is lovely, too!


Georgetown in the background (out my living room window)

I attended the 2009 Georgetown med school graduation and watched two friends walk across the stage after four long, intense years of studying, sleep deprivation, and big decisions. Last year, I saw three of my friends graduate from the same school, and fortunately two of them stayed here for residency. This year, one will stay and the other (KC's boyfriend) will move halfway across the country for the next eight years. And recently, two other friends have announced they'll be leaving, too.

It's just another reminder that this city is very transient. You make friends and then they move. I've seen friends move to North Carolina for law school, Boston for a boyfriend, Chicago for business school, and San Diego to begin married life. Fortunately I still have some wonderful friends left here, but each time someone moves I wonder who's next.

And I haven't been thinking it would be me. And it may not be. But I had a conversation last week that has me wondering what my future could hold. I love it here, not sure I could love it more, but what if a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came along? I don't feel at liberty to say what this opportunity might be, but I can say that it is the last thing I would ever dream up for myself.

Excuse me while I go spend some serious time in prayer . . :)

(Fortunately I have a few months to pray!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Matthew 6:25

I got a little anxious today. So I had to shut my office door and pray about it. When I feel anxious, it’s because I’m afraid of failing and messing something up. It’s because I’m really relying on my own strength and capabilities, and I know I’m so far from perfect and left to my own devices, I would mess everything up! But the LORD is my strength. HE is in control, not me. And if He wants to bless me with something, He’ll do it, in spite of any error on my part. As long as I’m reliant upon His grace, trusting Him through the situation, I have nothing to worry about.

It is a command to not worry, not a suggestion. It’s a choice to release your all to Christ and believe He is who He is. I’m glad He has everything under control.

So glad.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lunch Break!

Can I be honest? I am so exhausted. These twelve hour days are killin' me lately. It wouldn't be so bad if they were a couple or a few per week, but I haven't worked less than an 11 hour day in over two months now. And I never take lunch breaks.

Except for this Tuesday. I had to run an errand, a very uncommon thing, and rather than cab it straight back to the office, I decided to go for a stroll through Georgetown. I was THRILLED about this, leisurely walking through the residential neighborhood admiring the quaint little homes and wishing I could live in one. And then I took my break from work one step further - I went to lunch! And not in the cafeteria!

In the mood for a little seafood, something not too heavy, I headed straight for Tackle Box. I've been to it's upscale sister restaurant right next door, but this I hadn't tried before. You probably wouldn't know it to read the blog, but I love a casual low-key atmosphere just as much as a little swank. It was the perfect lunch spot.

I ordered two fish tacos and two cornbread muffins. My only complaint was that the food was a little overpriced. Four bucks for two small muffins? Eight bucks for two small tacos? Then again, I didn't exactly leave hungry.

My conclusion upon completion of this errand run - I need to get out of the office more often!!

And Another One!

Ok, don't roll your eyes, but I went to another cupcake shop. They're popping up all over out here, and this weekend I proved that I'll travel many miles for a taste test. I love driving alone, and I wanted to get out of the apartment, so 30 minutes later I found myself in Fairfax at Cupcakes Actually.

After driving 30 minutes, I wasn't leaving with just one, you know, so I took home the vanilla bean, mint julep, red velvet, and actually dipped peanut butter. The cake wasn't as moist as I prefer, but I have to give them credit for dipping the tops of their frosted cupcakes in fudge. That is original. And that was probably my favorite cupcake. It tasted like a big peanut butter cup! The vanilla bean frosting was notably better than other vanilla frostings I've tried, too.

Although small and only providing seating for four, the interior design was quite cute. For one thing, I loved the mosaic tiles.

And the silver cake stands . .

But most of all, the glass board . .

Now I have to make it clear that I did not go home and consume all four cupcakes. I cut each in half and shared the rest with my roommmates. I'm giving like that. That, or I'm perfectly aware that bathing suit season is just weeks away!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Greek Festival

Part of my Saturday was spent at the annual Greek Festival all by myself. I wanted to go that bad. Wouldn't you?

With food everywhere I looked, it was difficult deciding what to order, but with a line that seemed to never end, I had plenty of time to think about it. Souvlaki on a stick? Feta burger? Calamari? Lamb gyro? And would I order $3 fries with that? I decided on the chicken souvlaki pita with lettuce, tomato, onion, tzatziki sauce, and feta crumbles, but no fries. The sandwich, drowning in sauce and cheese, looked more artery-clogging than appetizing when served, but it was definitely delicious! I sat down next to a married couple and enjoyed my lunch while getting to know them a bit.

A few onlookers called this disgusting, but lambs roasting on spits make me hungry!

Every sandwich would be better in a pita.

Shaving the lamb

(Speaking of gyros, please pronounce this word correctly next time you go to order one! I was chatting with several people in line who insisted on calling it "JY-roh", when the actual pronunciation is closer to "YEAR-oh". Even the man behind the counter had given up on pronouncing his specialty correctly. It's like when people can't get your name right, so you just give up and pronounce it wrong yourself. Case in point: my friend pronounces her Spanish last name "VIL-uh-REEL" instead of "VEE-yuh-ray-ahl". Ok, end tangent! :)

I'm not usually one for pastries, but I couldn't leave without trying a couple. It was another decision that wasn't easy to make, but the man behind the counter ensured me that his mother's melomakarona cookies (honey-dipped spice cookies) were to die for, and I also chose a chocolate-drizzled rolled baklava treat.

You would've thought I might be satisfied after stuffing myself with so much Greek goodness, but I couldn't leave empty-handed. I grabbed a fresh bag of kettle corn, a festival favorite, for munching at home.

I was so full that I couldn't eat for the rest of the day, and I ended up at the gym TWO times to make up for my feasting. Worth it!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Let the Countdown Begin!

I just purchased a ticket back to Nebraska for ten whole days, which means that in only 46 days, I will be . .

Eating Grandma's goodies

Kissin' relatives

Watching fireworks on the beach

Riding the hot dog

Pontooning at sunset

And probably also getting some highlights, thanks to Cousin!

Among other fun and fantastic things!!

I'm a little excited.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Street Dancing

Anytime a new movie about dancing comes out in the theaters, I'm one of the first to go. "Step it Up", "Dance with Me", "Honey", you know the ones. So when I found out about a live street dancing show on Friday night, I invited my hip-hop loving roommate to check it out with me.

Although a bit muggy (what's new?), it was a nice evening to be outside, and the dance competition pre-show was more than a little entertaining!

See for yourself: (although this is nothing compared to other moves we saw)

Culture Shock Street Dance from LP on Vimeo.

In addition to dancing, the super-talented 23-year-old Washingtonian Christylez Bacon was there to show off his skills as a human beat box and guitarist. Unbelievable:

Culture Shock Street Dance from LP on Vimeo.

I always love this city, but on nights like this one, I want to give it a big hug and kiss.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Summer Concert Number One

This weekend is full of possibilities! There are a handful of things I'd like to do, yet if I end up doing none of them and instead sit on my couch reading and watching movies, I'll be just as content.

Last weekend was a busy one, and I spent all of Saturday tailgating with friends before the first country concert of the summer. We've all purchased MEGATICKETS that get us spots on the lawn at six outdoor concerts over the next four months. The tailgates may be almost as great as the concerts themselves . . except for the lack of port-a-potties given the plethora of trees available . . you know, in the woods! It wouldn't have been so awful had I not been sharing those woods with hundreds of other people, walking through mud in my sandals, and getting my dress caught in thorns. Other than that, the day was fantastic!

Good food, great friends, and dancing on the lawn to fun music.

Grilling out

Corn hole

And my favorite: throwing around the football