Monday, November 17, 2014

These Are Some of My Favorite Things

Good words to read about a breakup, or just respecting yourself when you are in a relationship.

♥ Trying to consolidate to just e-books? Love this idea to get some of the books you already own in their electronic counterpart.

♥ Always looking for ways to be better at my job, and just not feeling like I am drowning. I have yet to carve out the time to give this a try

♥ New York wedding inspiration in a beautiful building.

♥ Love the option of a better-than-average wedding website option.

♥ I forgot about this blog, but have been catching up on owning a chateau, and wondering where I can buy one. 

♥ Mulling over my Quotes board on Pinterest, this one jumped out to me tonight.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

10 Years an ADPi

A few weeks ago, I sat down at my desk/work and was checking my personal emails before getting my day started. Sitting in my inbox was an email congratulating me on being initiated into the Alpha Delta Pi sisterhood ten years ago. As it would happen, my parents were also here visiting me, and my parents and sister were the major reason I made the decision to "Go Greek" when I headed to the University of Washington for college.

I grew up hearing stories of my parents "days in the house", and shenanigans with their friends, many of which they are still in contact with today. My sister also has maintained ties with her sorority sisters, and I knew from example that sorority life and sisterhood will be four memorable years, followed by a lifetime of meaningful friendships.

My choice to join ADPi, has and will be one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

Never mind that I loved living in a true house and having a cook and house boys to move furniture. Or the fact that we had dances, socials, sisterhoods, and fun events just about every week. It wasn't about being President, or having my own room, or receiving that wooden gavel which still means a lot to me.

What I took from ADPi was the opportunity to reveal and discover myself, to share some of the most formidable years of my life with women who supported me as more than just friends, but individuals who believed in the same life philosophies and treatment of others. I didn't develop my confidence from holding leadership positions, or learning how to talk to boys at grab-a-dates, or participating in a beauty competition in front of the entire Greek community. It was through unconditional love, support and mutual respect with the 100+ women I called sisters during those four years. Particularly, the women in my pledge class, who have remained some of my closest and dearest friends that I know will be with my through the rest of my life.

I was a tad emotional when I saw that email about 10 years an ADPi.

I paused for moment and through some uncertain feelings about my life right now- I remembered how insanely fortunate I am for what my sorority experience has given to me.

Ten years and counting for belonging to the best sisterhood and knowing some of the best women I could have ever asked for in life!




Saturday, November 15, 2014

Catch-up: Family Comes to DC

It is a lazy Saturday ( a much needed lazy one), and the accomplishments today have included: catching up on missed Top Chef episodes, making a "ghetto" latte with coffee from Copenhagen, showering, and eating a lunch of Mac N' Cheese. Luckily, we do have plans to meet-up with some friends tonight, but I am enjoying the art of nothingness for today.

Time continues to evaporate, and I find myself not even knowing how or where to start when I am presented with some down time. Most "down" time is spent watching TV--which is such a waste in so many ways, but often all my brain can comprehend after multiple busy weekends, and weeks of intense work.

After family visiting, a trip back west, a work trip up north and early morning weekends, I relished in a lack of an alarm, and taking my sweet time to get dressed and ready for the day.

To re-cap some of happenings from the last few weeks...I present mediocre iphone photos to capture the moments:

Birthday Dinner for Gramps at DGBG, complete with homemade sausages.
We did a weekend trip down to see Williamsburg and Monticello, and lucked out with some of the most fantastic fall weather.

A final day-trip was to Annapolis where we checked out the state house and waterfront.

A final evening in DC was topped off with a impromptu visit to Graffito (which ended up being the best meal of their trip!)



And possibly the first family selfie.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Relationship Like IKEA

Insight into our personality always comes at random times, a burst of introspective thought and you think "hmm, yes, I really am like that".

My latest revelation is that I don't like sharing special moments that I bonded with someone over. Which ties into my natural tendencies to keep my group of friends small, and that I am allllllll about loyalty (and trust) in relationships.

So back to being a non-sharer. I hate finding out that a particular behavior, phrase, facial expression, or joke is something that is shared between my person and another person in their life.

I feel cheated. I feel duped into thinking there was something special and unique to our relationship, only to find that instead of a one-of-a-kind relationship, we have a mass-produced-IKEA-expedit-bookcase esque type of relationship.

Sure it looks good, but it loses it's luster when you realize that IKEA has compromised your special bookcase, by selling it to hundreds of millions.

Call me jealous, or unreasonable, but whatever happened to protecting relationships?!? Or preserving some things just for a special person? I guess people are greedy and will mass produce something purely to be in every home...

 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Letters to DC: To the Man Who "Has a Wife & Child"

Dear Man "With a Wife & Child",

What happened at Barnes & Noble was...shocking. My head is still reeling from the incomprehensible absurdity of the interaction we shared over the the table that opened up in the Starbucks cafe. 

Now, I am sure I have no idea how stressful your day had been. Perhaps your kid screamed all morning, or your wife was mad at you for not remembering something you should have, and perhaps (just perhaps) you were trying to make up for it by securing a table in the Starbucks cafe so your child could enjoy a milk box, and your wife and you could sit and chat while the fruits of your loin made you two realize how in love you two are. 

However, the statement "have some mercy! I have a wife and child" said in your entitled voice, as you leaped in front of me to steal the table we had patiently been waiting for, was uncalled for, and frankly absurd.

There were approximately, 20 other tables, and in fact-- one opened up not more than 5 minutes after you rudely took the table that we had kindly been offered by the individual who was leaving. Your child was not screaming, or even acting like they wanted to sit down (plus they had a stroller they could have sat in that was blocking an entire isle of books) and your wife ended up not even sitting down with your to enjoy a over complicated coffee order. (You both seemed like the type to order a Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato)

Regardless, the next time you think having a "wife & child" make your more important than a kind, patient, couple who just wanted to order a coffee and browse their travel books, and patiently followed the social norms of waiting for a table in a crowded store) you may want to think about what makes you more worthy of that table. 

I hope that your wife reminded you of why she was probably mad at you (that undesirable selfish, self-important attitude may be a clue), your kid screamed the entire way home and threw their milk box on you, and that the next time I encounter you in a Starbucks I can get over my shock to kindly remind you that we had been waiting ahead of you, and social norms say that we were in the right to take that table.

Happy Reading to You and Yours MWW&C!

Yours Truly,

Andrea


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It Used to be so Different

When I first moved to DC I didn't have a job, hardly a friend, a very meager amount of cash flow (read: none), and firm desires to have a perfectly kept and pulled together apartment.

We sat in lawn chairs, utilized a desk as our dining room table, had mismatched bedding, and a very 1980's apartment complete with a sun room to fill. It was like an elevated version of living in the sorority (except at the house, my meals were cooked for me). We made do. We utilized what we had to get by. I also cleaned. I cleaned all the time. Practically every Tuesday and Thursday when I wasn't working. I made those IKEA purchased shine and sparkle. 

Fast forward six years (yes...SIX years...ugh) and I now have conversations about if we should cancel the cleaning service this week since our building is still working on repairing the air conditioning situation in our kitchen. I mean....a cleaning service?! when the heck did that happen, is all I can think to myself. "When did I get so busy and tired that I have to rely on someone else to cleaning my bathroom sink?!?".

Granted, the real reality is I inherited the cleaning service. When you move in with someone and you move into their space, you acquire things that had been set-up before you came along- for me, namely- the cleaning service. Regardless, it is this strange reminder that life has gotten so...busy...and important. Two of my least favorite "DC" words: Busy & Important. But the reality is- without a cleaning services, we would have some serious issues keeping things clean. Between my new(ish) more demanding job, and the BFs work schedule, it just wouldn't happen. We aren't dirty, but we certainly struggle to find a lot of time, and cleaning sinks just isn't either one of our favorite activities. 

I feel like an impostor having people who come clean for us. I mean...I'm not even married. I don't even have kids! Or a dog! I am too young, too "poor", too "resourceful" to pay someone to clean for me. 

But I'm not. Not anymore. 

Those days of part-time work, where I was practically begging to be hired full-time, and lazy weekends, and very limited income and where I really didn't do much of consequence outside of writing this blog and using my limited craft supplies to make really amazing birthday cards- have vanished. 

Life was slower. Those first two years in DC- seemed slow. I could remember each month passing and thinking, "I've been in DC X number of months". Now, August (the month of my DCversary), passes by and I maybe pause for a split second to feel the panic rise in my throat- but then I go back to answering a pile of emails, or figuring out how to get my laundry done before the next trip we have coming up. Life is just going so fast. 

I yearn for those slow weeks. I long for the time and freedom to have time to make plans to move, to end this time in DC. I wish for a few moments of uninterrupted thought to create a game plan. To figure out the "what next" part. But like the conversations around if we should cancel the cleaning service- it all is rushed, and sometimes you just have to make a decision. 

Getting older certainly isn't a picnic is it? But at least there is a cleaning service. 

I guess this is my ode to being here in DC for six very long years.



Monday, September 8, 2014

Royal Bump Watch: Part Deux

Happy Monday!!

Happy Royal Family Announcement Monday!

We have another Royal Baby on the way, a little nugget that will be an adorable playmate for Price George! After visiting Buckingham Palace during our trip, I am practically royal at this point since I breathed the same air that touched the walls of the Royal Family's residence. I mean...you can refer to me as Princess Andrea. My new spot in the Royal Family has made me hyper aware to royal announcements, and as my alarm went off for the billionth time this morning (has anyone else mastered how to not snooze for 45+ minutes every morning?!?), I quickly checked my phone for major life updates and saw a snippet of information on the Royal Announcement. A quick Google search to confirm- and I had indeed woken up to a fantastic start to my Monday. 

Hip Hip Hooray for Another Baby!!






Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Me. Oh. My.

Well me. oh. my. I could have sworn it was July. 

But here we are in September. I wouldn't believe it if I didn't have a calendar staring me in the face at this very moment. Somehow, without any explanation a full 2 months has just evaporated. 

I've missed writing here. I think about it just about every darn day, but every day I find myself going to bed wishing I had carved out the time to come here and document life. 

Eight weeks isn't even that much time, but a lot of has happened. I was just on the other side of the globe a week ago, and before that I was checking things off my bucket list, and even before that, I was in the best place on earth. I've been on 11 flights, in 7 countries, with family, with friends, and with my myself. 

I managed to essentially skip summer in DC, and there are days where I forget where I am right now. (Perhaps that is just the jet lag speaking) 

Where to start? How to wrap my head around everything that has been going on, as this summer has easily been in the top 5 summers of my life. 

I went home. I posted once about the start of my trip there and then quickly settled so deeply into my new "routine" in Idaho, I didn't bother to write again while I was there. Regardless, is was the best 5 weeks I have had since sometime in 2008 I am pretty sure. I was home. I was with my family. I was truly happy. 

I sat on our deck and read and sipped red wine. I cuddled with the dog. I saw friends. I went to my high school reunion. I went to a family reunion. I hiked. I got to love on my niece and nephew. I got to laugh with my sister. I got sort through childhood memories. I got to go to farmers markets and shopping with my mom. It was cathartic.

Bless the individual who invited the "work from home" model. Amen.

I checked off a bucket list item. I saw Niagara Falls. We even took one of those boats out to where you get soaking wet and can hear the roar of the water crashing down the falls. We wore ponchos and ate a hot dog while we strolled along and took photos of the jaw dropping sight. 

It always stuck with me when I was little to hear that one set of my grandparents had honeymooned in Niagara, and it was special to go here. Albeit, I am sure the tacky hotels and Vegas-esque vibe wasn't around when they experienced Niagara. There was also a jaunt up to Toronto, where we ate at the Momofoku Noodle Bar, and stayed up watching the light show on the CN Tower .

Then it was a frantic week, full of long nights of working and preparing to be gone on a ten day trip to Europe. We ate goulash, drank beer in a ruin pub, walked across the Chain Bridge, and soaked in natural baths in Budapest. We rode bikes, drank beer on a canal, salivated in design stores, and took a car on a ferry to Sweden in Copenhagen. We toured Buckingham Palace, and saw how giddy I can get seeing the Royal landmarks, ate pizza with a bunch of hipsters and saw friends in London. 

It's been a whirlwind. I am exhausted (and sick. boo.) but feeling incredibly energized in thinking back on what an incredible few months it has been. 

Hopefully some detailed summaries are to follow- but I don't dare say this until I actually see it happen. Meanwhile I will be sleeping odd hours, dreaming of cooler places, and really good food.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

DC Summer Sabbatical

Well folks ( yes, I say the word folks when I am out West), I've been absent for awhile on this little space. Sorry, I'm not sorry. Not even a teeny tiny but, because....well....I kind of quit DC. !!!! It's a temporary situation until I figure out the final move, but I am at least escaping a good chunk of time in my most despised place.
Basking in the evening rays, eating dinner on the back deck, ten years high school reunions, having friends in town, enjoying my family while not feeling rushed, sipping good beer, and cruising local farmers markets. Cue the overplayed "Happy" song, and call me content. Life is good. Better than good, it is fabulous.
Call it my sabbatical, call it my trial run for the real deal, but whatever it is...it feels good.
I forget what it is like to sleep through the night with out sirens waking me up. Or to have summer days where you want to be outside. How it feels to not have your stomach in your throat because you are so stressed all the time. And how wonderful it feels to feel connected. Connected to your family, to a place, to things that are meaningful and matter. My mind is still adjusting to the positive changes.
Some photos to capture some of these amazing moments so far.

The Doodle Dog, Kimber
Idaho subsets are the best sunsets
Dog in a backpack at Alive After Five
First trip to the Boise Trader Joes, I am ready to move here
Watching the clouds
Pre party after my ten year high school reunion
River rafting
Which resulted I a terrible foot sunburn
Ava
10 barrel
Capitol at night
4th of July parade
Fireworks
Saturday farmers market
Ordinary views making me love this place
















Wednesday, June 11, 2014

LACMA

For yet another one of our weddings on the #weddingtour2014 we found ourselves in LA and made a long weekend/ mini-vacay out of the trip. (since we all know I will use any excuse to be on the Best Coast as much as possible). We had the entire day after the wedding to hang out before heading to another epic dinner at Ink., our favorite restaurant. After a "rejuvenation breakfast" with some other friends who had been at the wedding, we decided to head to The Getty, but upon arriving, the line to park was barely moving and we didn't want to waste our day sitting in the car. A quick brainstorm and google search later...we decided to head over to LACMA. Parking was a breeze and in probably half the time it would have taken to finally get into the Getty, we were parked, had tickets and had planned our route through the multiple buildings to try to see the exhibits that interested us most. The architecture alone was amazing, and the weather was nothing short of stunning.

One of our finally areas that we were exploring lead us to a room with a HUGE installation that looked a lot like an adult erector set. It was a cityscape with a complex track for thousands of little cars to zip along. We quickly realized that it was actually motorized and we had come in just in time to have them turn the motors on so we could see all the moving parts.

The piece is Metropolis II by Chris Burden and it was entirely worth the trip to LACMA all on its own!





And to see it in action...some video footage



video





Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Santa Fe Wedding

We have been on the wedding circuit this year. From April to the end of May I felt like we had a wedding to attend just about every other weekend! 

The BF's cousin got married in Santa Fe and it was one heck of a wedding! Unfortunately, I barely took any photos to really show off how amazing of a wedding it was, but the backdrop of Santa Fe was stunning!

The ceremony was held in the historic Loretto Chapel , which is about the most amazing church I have ever set foot in. The miraculous staircase is jaw dropping, and such an amazing centerpiece of the chapel.


Now Santa Fe and the chapel really set this wedding apart, but what really set the wedding apart....were the beautiful brides. #twobridesarebetterthanone


These ladies are the definition of a modern day "power couple", an accomplished doctor and nurse, both stunning and some of the most kind and vibrant people I have ever met. Their vows... man went right for the heart strings.

After the beautiful ceremony the guests were ushered outside to listen to a live mariachi band while the brides had a quick photo shoot inside. I was included in a group that got to decorate the pedicab that was going to take the brides to the reception location, just a short walk away. 

One of my favorite parts was  walking to the reception venue. The brides existed, found their decorated pedicab and then we were lead in a giant process by the mariachis through the streets of Santa Fe and through the plaza. We were a huge group drawing a lot of attention, stopping traffic, people cheering and the mariachis keeping the music going.

The outside of the Loretto Chapel

Onlookers across the street, we felt like a big deal

Decorated Pedicab with the brides headed to the reception

The procession, quite the scene! 

The reception was at La Posada, which could not have been any more beautiful! My photo taking motivation quickly dropped off at this point, but the venue had an outdoor tent and indoor dance area which was perfect for the evening reception. The food was some of the best wedding food I had ever had- and the cocktails and available agua fresca was fantastic. 

Another part of this wedding that I thought was so well done- were the main of honor speeches. Perfect length with some of the most touching words. The night was a wonderful celebration (complete with s'mores)! 



Monday, June 2, 2014

These Are Some of My Favorite Things






♥ An adorable shop in Old Town, Red Barn Mercantile had these amazing coasters, that may need to come into my home to proclaim my west coast loyalties. 

♥ A great read on the love we all deserve


♥ If I could print money, this could be a strong contender for my Sun Valley home.


♥ A personalized cup for my favorite drink! Maybe someone will want to gift me a late birthday present?

♥ I bought this shirt in a powder blue a few weeks ago, and I am so in love with the fit and texture--I went and bought two more so I made sure to have my closet stocked with them! 


♥ A few years late to see this movie, I was pleasantly surprised. Not to mention John Hamm is an outstanding jerk on screen- it is clearly his thing. 



Friday, May 30, 2014

Letters to DC: Sweaty Man at the Gym

Dear Sweaty Man at The Gym:

Could we talk for a minute how you are ruining the time I spend in the gym? I used to actually like going to the gym before you started to show up and leave your GIANT pools of sweat on the floor. This is just a personal opinion, BUT I am pretty sure that working out for 2+ hours while you are drinking beer and energy drinks isn't exactly doing your body a lot of favors. With all the sweat you are leaving on the floor around the elliptical machine, I would highly suggest drinking some water rather than your quad, triple-extra-large Starbucks coffee canned beverage (or a beer like you had a few weeks ago). 

Also, if you are leaving pools of sweat (and I mean POOLS) around the machine you were using--be polite and wipe that nastiness up! Better yet--why don't you bring some bath towels and lay them on the floor considering how much you wick off of your toxin fueled body. 

BTW...how are working out wearing that Belly Burner?!?

Another request...could you please change your clothes (that are dripping sweat down the hallway) before you go and sit on the weight machines and leave pools of sweat there as well? 

Well thank you for considering my requests. I hope to see you in the gym soon, perhaps with some water, bath towels and an extra set of clothes. Happy working out!

Best,

Andrea

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

If You Don't Like Kale....Try, Try, Again

Kale and I didn't start off on the right foot. 


I read about this "amazing", "life-altering", green of a million health benefits and ran right out to the store to grab a giant bag to incorporate into my smoothies. This was before kale was splattered all over every trendy restaurant's menu and before you could buy it at Trader Joe's- so I was a little....uneducated about the green. 

I dragged that big giant bag home, read that I should pull the leaves off the stems and toss a good hearty handful into my blender with my fruits and chug it down with a post-workout smoothie.

Well THAT was a mistake.

I remember I vaguely interpreted that disclaimer about the stems being super bitter and that a little kale goes a long ways in a smoothie. I ended up washing the smoothie down the sink, throwing the remainder of my kale in the trash and vowing that glare at any person who exclaimed "I LOVE kale!". 

I avoided it for a few years, steering away from it on menus, in smoothies, and it certainly never graced my grocery basket ever again. 

Cue a dinner at Mintwood Place and sharing an appetizer of burrata, kales, hazelnut, apple & tamarind with friends. The crunch baked kale was outstanding. Dare I say I got territorial over the appetizer. Fast forward and a friend brought a kale and brussel sprout salad to a super bowl party. Again...delightful. 

It finally occurred to me that my initial interaction with kale had been a rushed, brash experience that resulted in a less than warranted aversion.

Looking for some healthy, quick snacks I can make to munch on while I am on marathon calls for work, I decided to jump on this kale chip bandwagon (making sure to truly remove all those stems!) and have found a new craving that isn't a samoa girl scout cookie.

Not to be a sell out....but... I LOVE baked kale chips. 

Watch out world...I may just buy a yoga mat now. 

If you are looking for Kale inspiration, I found mine here, and here

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

These Are Some of My Favorite Things


♥ I found the most adorable Boise coasters that I framed for my office during Christmas. I just found LadyBugPress on etsy, and she has save the date coasters that are adorable.

♥ Sending flowers is always such an expensive and disappointing experience. You end up spending way more than you anticipated and then your gift usually arrives and looks nothing like what you ordered. Makes me interested to try the affordable and well rated Bouqs (Hint: Boyfriend, hint, hint).

♥ I've been trying to find the perfect new duvet or coverlet for our guest bedroom (my office) for months now. While these don't come in a color I am excited about for our room, I really loved them and the look. 

♥ I bought these today in an attempt to have some light colored pants in my wardrobe. They are some of the most comfy pants I have ever purchased. 

♥ Slurpees have long been a favorite treat of mine, but for some reasons the "7evs" near me gross me out. This neat trick looks like a fun way to get my frozen coke fill. 

♥ This might be my new go-to baby gift for friends who have new little ones. How much fun to have something personalized! 



Monday, May 19, 2014

My Scary Age.

I am nearing the final weeks of my life as a 27 year old. The days of thinking 25 was old, were I was supposed to have this neat, organized, and pristine life, seem like a laughing matter now as I stare 28 straight in the face. When I passed 25 and looked at my life to see that it bore very little resemblance to what I thought it would be, I kind of shrugged my shoulders as thought "Well, that was funny, but I'm still young...pllleeennnttttyyy of time".

Then two more years sailed by.

The panic has started to rise in my throat.

Laugh all you want. Say how young I am, how much life I have to live. I know. 

But it has nothing to do what others think, and entirely to do with what I think. 28 is my scary age. 


I feel like I'm failing. That I've done something wrong to be at this point where I feel empty handed. I don't want to grow older when I am fearful that the moments I want most are moments I don't, and won't have.


Again, laugh all you want, but I am worried I won't ever have kids. I'm terrified that by the time I get married (if I get marred), settled somewhere I actually am happy to live and acclimated to married life, that opportunity will just that much harder to come by. It seems silly, but it is a really true, deep rooted fear. My whole life I've been told how maternal I am, how great I am with kids, how "mom-like" I am, and yet I am lightyears away from having a life that I would even want to bring a child into.

See!? This is my scary age....because my head has become scarily unhinged and crazy.

It was almost easier when my idea of "adult life" was a closet full of heels, the ability to have a stocked kitchen in which you cook amazing meals for dinner every night, and a social life where you had cocktails and coffee dates every evening. All of this desire to be settled, and to feel like I am not just myself, but part of a unit that will become its own little family, is scary, daunting and emotionally exhausting.

I am trying to embrace the idea that adult life is about filling your life, your surroundings, and your heart with the people, places, things, and memories that make you happy. Leaning on that for your contentment and measure of success.

I'm focusing on accepting. Accepting...that I can't control parts of my life. I can't control that I'm not engaged, or married, or having kids. I can't control what other prioritize, or value. I can't control the really load sirens that blare by our apartment all day and drive me bonkers. I con't control that we have mice that hide behind my coffee maker. I can't control or change someone's mood. I can't control that people get sick, and hurt and that there are just some really awful things in the world.

I am trying to shift my focus on what is in my control. Go and buy a dog, move back across the country to be near family and friends and the scenery that makes your breath catch in your throat. Stop worrying about what your resume will look like if you switch jobs again, or if you don't have matching furniture. Eat lucky charms for dinner, and wear clothes that you bought at Target (in the clearance section), and you cross your fingers that your 19 year old car will last another couple thousand miles before you need to put all that money that needs to go into it.

Smile and graciously accept another year of getting older because it will be ok. 



Friday, May 16, 2014

Atlanta: The Spence, Trey McIntyre, and Baseball

Trey is doing a farewell tour since he has called it quits with his full-time dance company. I've cried just about every day since it was announced. 

The BF knew how much this has hurt and suggested we take a trip to see a final show so I could mourn the loss of one of my favorite pieces of dance the world. We settled on Atlanta and selfishly did so for the addition of some good food and a baseball game to make it a complete weekend. 

We left DC bright at early (maybe not bright- but certainly early) on Saturday morning and were in Atlanta before brunch time had passed. After a brief stop to grab some metro cards (way to go Atlanta for a way better ticket system than DC!) we headed to our hotel and checked-in. A brief nap and a little research we set off to track down some pancakes at Ria's Bluebird. Now I am not much of a pancake lover. I typically opt for bacon, eggs, hashbrowns-those types of things. However, these pancakes were supposed to be epic, and throw in the words "caramelized bananas" and I was sold.



They. Did. Not. Disappoint. Be still my heart-- they were phenomenal. By far the best pancakes I have ever  had. Epic. The bananas created this amazing syrup that I would have drank from a cup if given the opportunity. 

On our way back to the hotel we wandered through a beautiful historic cemetery and also wandered a bit farther than anticipated to see Coca Cola world (can we say diabetes? It was a zoo, but with 9 million bottles of soda and overly caffeinated children). After our minimal sleep the night before, we opted for pulling the black out shades and napping until we had to get ready to go to dinner.

It is no secret that Richard Blais is at the top of my list for favorite celebrity chefs (ok...I'll be honest...he IS my favorite...I mean...can you blame me?!). 

SIDENOTE: I am practically bff's with Richard's sister, so it is just a matter of time until we get to meet.

Anyways, back to the trip. We had been long awaiting an opportunity to eat at The Spence.  It was phenomenal. Even just going to Atlanta for that meeting was entirely worth the trip. Not only is the food fantastic, the space was beautiful, the staff was friendly, and the cocktails were delish.

Did I mention that my love of keys was indulged as well!

Oysters & Pearls

Fried Olives

Bone Marrow

Beet pasta

Short Rib

Sweet Potato "brulee"

And of course we had to have the table-side liquid nitrogen ice cream dessert (how could we not after watching Blais on Top Chef!?!)

The Spence dining room is sunny and beautiful!
Couldn't get enough of the key!

We ubered back to the Rialto Theater, just in time to grab our tickets and make it to our seats for Trey. I can't even begin to tell you about the performance. It haunts my thoughts. 

We saw The Vinegar Works, a work commission on part by the Rialto, which was eerily beautiful and satirical. When Trey nails it--he nails it.

We also were lucky to see Mercury Half-Life, which took my right back to the first time I ever saw work by Trey in a cramp studio theater in Boise Idaho. I remember getting chills. It was the first piece of dance I had seen that made me realize that dance was so much deeper than movement with meaning. His choreography is human, relateable, and emotionally pungent. I can't shake some of the movement that I swear will be seared into my memory forever. It was almost as good as that first time I saw him. Forever I will think of The Reassuring Effects of Form & Poetry, but Mercury half-life was in its own realm of wonderful.

It was a good goodbye. I cried. No joke. Its a close to a period of my life that has such fantastic memories tied to it. I do hope there will be more of TMP in the world, and hopefully some more dance too.


 After a night of emotional recovery- we woke up and headed for a Braves baseball game. All I can say is....Tomahawk chop.


We avoided getting drenched in a horrible rain storm, made it back to the hotel, grabbed a snack and then headed back to the airport to get back to DC so we could pack up and both leave on work trips the next day!