Terrific Trip Tuesday: My Home Turf

Rewind to a cool day in NYC history….

When the Yankees won the World Series!

A friend and I skipped off to Manhattan to watch the parade, and then out to Max Brenner for some goodies.

I’m about to leave for my hiking trip, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. =)

What do you love about your hometown?

I’ve just moved into my dorm! Woohoo! What are you looking forward to about this school year?

The Week Where I Give In To Every Craving….

Okay, I’m only going to be gone for about two weeks before I visit home.

Still, the past week has been packed with visiting friends, eating a TON of delicious food, and basically traipsing around my house like I’m leaving forever. Oh, and shopping. I caved and bought New Balance Minimus Life sneaks. I love them so far–review coming soon!

Canceling my gym membership and returning all my library books seems so final. How did summer go so quickly??

With a number of things to do before I left, close to the top of my list was to make a Green Monster smoothie. I used the simple-yet-delicious recipe from JuliannaBananna. It isn’t the prettiest, but it was delicious! (My mom tasted it and was shocked when she heard I put spinach in it. I eat the most vegetables in the family, haha.)

Bottoms up!

I have been craving s’mores lately, so I finally bought all my ingredients at the grocery and concocted a ton. This one is made with a dark chocolate Reese’s. YUM. Dark chocolate + pb = amaaazing combination.

We finally went to a new(ish, new to me is about…a year?!) restaurant, CheeburgerCheeburger. I did the unthinkable and ordered a salad. They have unlimited toppings on their salads, so I went a bit crazy. It was gigantic, with grilled chicken, banana peppers, red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, salsa, black olives, cheddar cheese, guacamole, onions, baby corn, and romaine. *phew* I think that’s everything! I liked the salad even better after it marinated overnight, and I stuffed it in a wrap, which toned down the spiciness a bit.

I leave with this (so flattering) photo of me, because my mom thought it was funny I was in bliss, and I made s’mores three nights in a row.

Have marshmallows, will microwave.

I might become a s’more.

What food can’t you get enough of lately?

I loved my Green Monster! I wish it had more green. Do you like smoothie/shakes?

Terrific Trip Tuesday: Washington, D.C.

Although my trip was only a few days, so much happened that I had to split it into two parts. (Part 1: National Harbor, Maryland and Alexandria, VA here.)

I’m going for a run! No, really, I AM!

After a day of sightseeing in Alexandria, I decided to check out the hotel gym for a quick run. I mean…super quick. I ran two miles in about 23 minutes and then ran back to my room to take a shower before the military band performance.

A workout is a workout. I wasn’t exactly planning on running this vacation (I had a huuuge inflating spider bite on my heel), but I was able to cover it up with a band-aid and some foam so I could walk (and run!) without pain. Due to this, I didn’t exactly pack running clothes…so my pajama Tweety top it was. =P

After a speedy shower, we headed down to the harbor to watch the Army band perform. They were awesome! We grabbed some subs and sat on the steps for a waterside show. Later that evening, we saw some impressive fireworks (while perched on boulders by the hotel) and I edited for several hours.

The next day was busy! We toured the Capitol. Fun fact–even though there is a crypt inside it, no one is actually buried there. George Washington was supposed to be buried there, but he requested in his will to be buried at Mt. Vernon instead. Inside statuary hall, there are “whisper spots” where you can hear people several feet away, thanks to the acoustics of the building.

Another fun fact: the statue of King Kamehameha I stood in statuary hall until the floor underneath started cracking. The statue and its base have a combined weight of 15,000 lbs. WHOA. It now stands in the lobby of the building. (more info on the statue and the man here.)

With a quick stop for some food in the cafeteria before heading over to the Library:

Corn on the cob, sauteed eggplant, and grilled chicken with olives, onions, and tomatoes.

What was probably the most expensive (yet tiny) salad I have eaten. I believe this was about $6…yikes. I was craving greens, though. Tomatoes, strawberry, spinach, and well, I’m not quite sure what else….

On to the Library of Congress! What a beautiful, beautiful building. The ceiling is engraved with famous quotes. My favorite? “The pen is mightier than the sword.” –Edward Bulwer-Lytton

I was probably most excited to see the viewing area with all the books. There is a balcony overlooking the library where National Treasure was filmed. No photos allowed, but I enjoyed it. The best part is that anyone can go in and read or research–you just need to apply for a reading permit across the street. Amazing.

The next day, we toured the White House! So. Cool. The president was awarding a Medal of Honor that same afternoon, but we didn’t spot him.

Did you know that there is no “back” and “front” of the White House? They are referred to as the North and South entrances, because they didn’t want to offend anyone by welcoming them at the “back” entrance.

We stopped for lunch at Founding Farmers. There was quite a wait, so we hopped over to CVS to buy some milk for breakfast and coffee.

Wow. It was totally worth the wait.

Founding Farmers prides itself on organic, local foods, and the place was mobbed! Everything was quite tasty. I had the butternut squash ravioli.

It was the best pasta I have ever had (outside Italy, of course). Whoa. Just looking at the photo makes me want to race back to D.C….

We topped off the day at the National Building Museum, where I saw a World’s Fair exhibit (pretty much empty, since the museum was closing–neat!) and a LEGO exhibit. I had seen some of the LEGO models before, on my Chicago trip, but this in-progress White House replica was cool.

It was a LONG, hot walk back to the hotel (my dad caved and took the metro), but a great day. We stopped at the American History museum before heading home the next day (best part: the First Ladies’ dresses and the replica of Julia Child’s kitchen!). I love U.S. history, but after a full day of touring the day before, we were all exhausted and ready to head back home.

Great trip! I hope I get to return to D.C. again. I love all the museums and historical sites.

Sweet Times + Swede Dreams

Why did I spend a recent morning dancing around my kitchen with a blissful look plastered on my face?

That would be dark chocolate-covered pineapple. In the shape of a star, plucked from an Edible Arrangements basket. YUM. My family goes through fruit by the ton, and this was a welcome surprise. (Okay, I don’t want to give away all the credit…I have been known to eat four or five apples/oranges/an entire bushel of grapes in one day. I am a fruitivore. =P)

The next day…IKEA! I had no reason to shop, what with my dorm already being furnished, but I’m a sucker for everything miniature. I love the sleek furniture and I coveted sooo many bookshelves. One day I will have a Manhattan apartment with lots of bookshelves. =D

We stopped for a quick bite to eat. I had Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam and mashed potatoes, along with a side salad.

Lingonberry juice! =)

I loved the lingonberry jam and bought some to take home for myself. Dinner was some biscuits with jam…delish. I hadn’t had biscuits in a very long time.

I’ve been running around lately trying to finish up everything before I leave for college. I needed some quality friend time. =D

Froyo date with the lovely M. We went to a new place (with CHAIRS! Whoa, a step-up from the place I had been to before) and it was a nice time catching up, reminiscing about high school, and analyzing the shop’s soundtrack. The music consisted of Glee covers, Broadway, and random Disney songs…strange, but I liked it!

Nice, new shirt? Yes, super comfy, but…I realized I had blue armpits by the end of the night. Wash before wearing…noted! I am wearing my running shorts, but I actually went for a 20 minute swim that morning. I have not been in the workout groove lately (my muscles feel tight), and I’m not doing anything strenuous before my three day backpacking trip. It’s so close! A week from today, I’ll be in the middle of hiking in the mountains. Woohoo!

Cake batter, banana, and raspberry flavors with chocolate chips, kiwi, maraschino cherries, and rainbow sprinkles! I am addicted to the combination of cake batter and banana. After making a CVS run (for Sour Patch Kids and Fig Newtons…talk about sugar overload!), we watched The Notebook (me for the first time…I live under a rock. I liked it! I love the 40s era!).

I was up against the Rock Band champ…but I managed to pull off 99% on keyboard! Yipee! I had to record it because I am notoriously terrible at Rock Band. Queen? Heck yeah.

My attempt on drums? Um…there is a reason I didn’t photograph that one. 😉

Of course, M kicked my butt in Disney Trivial Pursuit. I consider myself a Disney enthusiast, but I am useless on questions for The Rescuers and The Great Mouse Detective…I really need to watch/re-watch those!

Well played, M, well played.

I think I’m bringing Disney Scene It to college for a hall-wide competition. =D

The next day, I hung out with more friends! I saw Glee, the movie, and stopped at Borders to pick up a few books.

Do you like board games? I can’t get enough of them. I say the weirdest things in reaction to clues (this week: MUUUUFASA! (a la The Lion King)), and they make great competition and fodder for inside jokes.

Watched any movies lately?

Shopping Spree!

With only a few weeks left until I leave for college, I decided to go on a shopping spree! Woo! Time to raid the mall. I drove on the highway for the first time (phew!). I bought some cute red flats and some new clothes. I can’t seem to get the shopping bug out of me, though…I’ve been eyeing the New Balance

I bought these flax roll-ups the other day…nervously. I had never actually eaten flax seeds before and I wondered how these would taste. I love wraps…but would they be compromised?!

Nope! Not at all. They were absolutely delicious. I had a wrap with garlic hummus, romaine, and a granny smith apple. It was a weird combo (I go with whatever’s in my fridge), but it worked! The sweet tartness of the apple balances out the strong bitterness lettuce sometimes has.

After a day of shopping, we headed to The Cheesecake Factory.

I had the Southeast Asian Chicken, yum. String beans + sesame seeds? AWESOME.

And chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake for dessert. Yum.

Today: 2 miles in 25:35 (I took it slowly because I was feeling tired.)
Saturday: 2 miles in 22:29 with a negative split!
Thursday: 2.01 miles in 22:26

It feels great to be running on a regular basis again. Most of my workouts these past few weeks have been walking hills on the treadmill with my hiking boots on (3-5 miles) so I can break them in. It feels so FREE to be running again!

How are you enjoying summer this month?
I spent a ton of time at the beach this summer. Lots of time hanging out with friends and family, reading a ton, and watching movies (Netflix…oooh, it is much too handy. Luckily, it keeps me from getting bored while walking on the treadmill.)

I have had scrambled eggs a TON lately for breakfast. I need a new method! What’s your favorite way to eat eggs, and with what?

Terrific Trip Tuesday: National Harbor and Alexandria

I was recently able to go to both National Harbor, MD and Washington, D.C.! And we also visited Alexandria, VA in between! Woohoo!

I had been to D.C. before but I’ve never stayed overnight in MD except for Baltimore, so it was pretty exciting.

I don’t know about everybody else, but I love car trips. I have yet to be the driver for a vacationing trip, but I don’t really mind being a passenger, either. I get to read (Harry Potter marathon?!), look out the window, and play the license plate game (I am secretly seven, I know, but from my love of Disney movies and my obsession with cookies…I think this was apparent already).

(I’ve seen them all by now, though! I think Maine, Utah, Missouri, Hawaii, and Alaska are the rarest for this area.)

When I was little, I always packed fake food for my imaginary journeys. I would pack up a little bag and stuff it with fake cookies, cantaloupe, and pancakes. Uh…dessert, fruit, and breakfast food??

Times haven’t changed so much.

I still pack up my stuff! Here I have a peanut butter and banana sandwich, blueberries, baby carrots (both of those packed in one of my nifty bento boxes), and a whole bushel of bananas.

Potassium oozes from my pores, I bet!

National Harbor is a cute area. Lots of little shops and restaurants are here. I couldn’t resist posing with my intense MUSCLESSS (riiight) with this statue. *flex*

We headed over to dinner at Ketchup.

Texas Two-Step. Chicken breast, corn on the cob, and cheesy mashed potatoes topped with onion crisps.

Mmmm, crab cake. In Maryland, crab cake does not disappoint.

Mini corn muffins with honey butter!

On the boat going to Old Town Alexandria.

Burger and sweet potato fries!

Where Washington’s town house once stood.

Obligatory sign photo? I think so.

I love steamboats.

On the next Terrific Trip Tuesday…Washington, D.C.!