May 21, 2017

Weekend Getaway: Washington, DC

In an effort to spend more time together (which is surprisingly really hard to do these days), beau and I decided to take a weekend trip away to the nation's capital. We booked two nights in a hotel in Maryland - about a 30 minute drive from D.C. a couple weeks in advance and excitedly waited in anticipation for this time away from home. I haven't been to DC in 10+ years (I attended a pre-college program at the University of Maryland College Park during the summer of my junior and senior year of high school and we always took trips to the museums in DC).

 After work Friday evening, we sat down and had leftovers for dinner, packed up a few last minute items and got on the road around 7:30 pm. Despite my fear of being stuck in traffic, the ride south was pretty easy and smooth. We arrived at our hotel at around 10 pm and tucked in for the night. 

Saturday morning, we woke up pretty early. It was almost like clockwork. Clearly sleeping in wasn't in the stars for us, even if we tried. That was okay though, as we had plans to see a really cool art exhibit at the Hirshorn (Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrorsand knew we had to stand in line for tickets. We arrived at the museum at around 9 am, and no-lie, the line to the museum spanned 2.5 really long city blocks. We decided to give it a shot anyway and stood in line for an hour. Within the first five minutes of getting in the queue, we moved about up about the length of 1-1.5 blocks, so that was amazing to us. We were sure we would get in at that rate. But at about 40 minutes in, and only moving up a few feet as patrons seemingly lost their patience and got out of line, I decided to take a walk down to the entrance to see exactly how many more people were ahead of us. Needless to say, there were a LOT! I mean, the line ahead of us stretched about one long city block down (0.2 miles), then wrapped around the gate to the museum, and then around the circular shaped building. That was enough for me to give up on seeing the exhibit. With that many people in line, we were not guaranteed to get in. Plus, it would be a huge waste to our day. So, we excused ourselves from the line and made our way towards the Washington Monument. (Btw, the line was about 2.5 blocks long BEHIND us!!!)

We spent the rest of the day walking around the city, stopping at all the monuments and memorials. The distance between each seemed a little daunting, especially as we ventured over to the Thomas Jefferson memorial and still wanted to get to the White House and the Capitol Building. But we toughed it out and got our steps in! My legs almost failed me by the time we got to the Capitol. A part of me was a little happy that they had closed the steps off, because I honestly don't think I would have made it.

We took a little rest break at the Capitol then started making our way to the car. We passed by the U.S. Bontanic Garden just a few blocks ahead and had to stop inside! I am glad we did. It's what #urbanjungleblog dreams are made of! We finished the evening off with dinner and an Asian fusion place back in Maryland, played a few rounds of a card game (it's our thing) and then went to bed. The next day, we took it easy. Check--out was at noon, so we slept in (and honestly spent a good chunk of time trying to find a brunch spot that wasn't fully booked for Mother's Day), had brunch, then drove home.

This kind of trip is not everyone's cup of tea, but we enjoyed it. We love going to places we've never been before to explore. The break away from the stresses of life is also nice. I find that I am much more pleasant when I'm away, and Beau's mind is more at ease. Also, I'm pretty sure I lost a couple inches in my trouble areas from that walk!

March 26, 2017

Korean BBQ

The food culture in America, especially in larger cities like Philadelphia is so great. It is comprised of a blend of cuisines from all around the world. I used to be the person who stuck to what I knew. Wherever we went, I would order a chicken dish... like, I was THAT plain. Even though I am a Jamaican and we eat pretty peculiar dishes like pigstail, tripe and beef liver and kidney I would eat those things, but stay clear from everything else that was unfamiliar. Calamari?- no way! sushi?- definitely not! I think it was after I began dating Beau that I became a little more adventurous. So much so that I now crave sushi, and I am willing to try things like escargot when we go on super fancy dinner dates. 

I have tried many regional cuisines since we started dating, but one cuisine I have yet to try was Korean- specifically Korean barbecue.  After viewing a few Youtube videos with Korean foodfare (eg. clothesencounters), I decided I really wanted to try it. Hubs found us a deal to Miga in the Fairmount Park section of Philadelphia. We went on a Sunday evening and I was pretty excited to go. The menu was a little daunting because they did not have normal meats like beef or pork, they were listed as bulgogi and galbi -- and what actually is that?! We decided on the Korean bbq for two and had our ingredients mis en place in no time. 

We started out a little dainty, placing one or two meats and a few vegetables at a time. The waiter then came over and seized our utensils-- tongs and a pair of meat cutting scissors-- and threw a couple more things on the fire, chopped up the large pieces of beef into smaller ones and started brushing the sauces on. ------------I guess we weren't doing it right!! 😂--------------------- After that , we got a little more comfortable with how everything worked and made sure that guy did not have to come back again. We ate and were strangely satisfied, even though it didn't seem like a lot of food at the time.

Overall, it was a good experience. I can finally say that I tried Korean barbecue! But will I ever go back there again? Probably not to this specific locatio-- for two reasons only: (1) the portions of the sides seemed so meager. I'm talking like, ONE piece of bell pepper and a very sad 5 stalks of broccoli; and (2) I felt like it was missing something. Maybe the company of others friends/family, or maybe additional sides (like you see in googled images of Korean bbq). Whatever it was, I do believe our experience could have been a little better. I will probably eat these words in a couple years if  someone mentions going out for Korean barbecue and I end up going, but for now, it's up there with Hibachi, where the first time experience is fun and exciting, but it's not something you would want to do on a monthly basis. Maybe once a year or every six months so the experience and excitement is fresh again.

Have you ever dined at a Korean BBQ?

February 26, 2017

What We've Been Through

To the people who say "Thank God I don't look like what I've been through", who are you?? How was that even possible?? Every bit of what I've gone through is stamped ALL over my face. Every nook. every crevice... the depths of my eyes reveal it all. 

... But everyone is too caught up in their own worlds to see it. 

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