After my travels these past few months, I was looking forward to catching up on reading, blogging, and getting back on track with my workout routine. In reality, I’ve been viewing apartments and condos, taking care of random errands like getting my car inspected, and now I’ve come down with the plague. On the bright side, I finally picked some photos to include in another Odds & Ends post!
- Austin, TX
I’m working on my Austin travel diary post, but I loved this city so much I haven’t stopped talking about it. Maleah and I had the best time catching up with old friends and making new friends, eating everything in sight, and petting allll the dogs! (Five year plan: me, a miniature goldendoodle, and Zilker Park.) Moving to Texas used to be a sarcastic joke, but I can actually see myself living in Austin someday! How soon will I leave my East Coast roots? Only time will tell…
- Detour Coffee
I used to be a big fan of Northside Social in Clarendon (I’ve compared it to my beloved Tru in Chapel Hill). Recently though, I’ve been unimpressed with their food. My roommate told me about Detour Coffee down the street, relatively unknown and tough to find if you don’t know it’s there. It looks kind of sketchy, and it’s tucked under a sign for a restaurant/nightclub/bar that I’ve never actually heard of anyone going to. But the coffee shop’s interior is whimsically decorated and has more spacious worktables than Northside Social. Other than space to spread out and free wifi, the food, coffee, and service have been great every time!
- USNA Flight simulator
Each time I get in an airplane, it blows my mind that humans figured out how to control massive hunks of metal, flying around the world with hundreds of people in them. That said, I’ve never really been into the technical aspect of flying. My dad loved the air & space museum, but I was never captivated by such feats of physics and engineering like he was. On a work trip to Annapolis recently, my team had the opportunity to tour the Naval Academy’s engineering labs…
And I was internally geeking out after being away from the science/tech environment for so long! The coolest part was getting to try the flight simulator. While I successfully landed the Piper Seneca at BWI (lol), I definitely don’t have a future in engineering or aviation. To all my friends who will be flying planes and helicopters for a living – I appreciate you!
- NYC eats
I recently spent four days in New York City (via Megabus, which let me say has so many operational issues to work out…) and finally feel oriented to the different neighborhoods. I’ve never been a big NYC girl and still l staunchly believe I could never live there. But, I have a newfound appreciation for the amazing Asian food in Manhattan! In 4 days, I had Korean (DCB Tofu House), Chinese (Tasty Handpulled Noodle), and Japanese (Ippudo ramen).
For a casual lunch, I was a huge fan of Dig Inn. It’s a familiar concept – healthy, farm-to-table “create your own bowl”, etc. But it certainly gives DC fast-casual staples Little Beet/Cava/Roti a run for their money. The line was out the door at lunch time near our New York office, so you know it’s probably in regular rotation for the suit-clad. Dig Inn is currently only open in New York and some other New England cities, but if it came to DC I’d be first in line.
- Seed + Mill Chelsea Market
If there’s one food recommendation to come out of my NYC trip, it’s Seed + Mill in Chelsea Market. The market itself reminded me of Reading Terminal Market in Philly, and there were a ton of great options for food and souvenirs. While the coffee and bagel I had there was unremarkable (couldn’t beat Absolute Bagel that Katie took me to in the Upper West Side), this goat milk ice cream and the crumbled halva (fudge made of sesame and sugar) – neither of which I’d tried before – was just sweet enough with a nutty flavor. A perfect dessert that didn’t feel too heavy.
- Sur la Table cooking class
To add to the list of fun things I get to do because of my job, we had a networking event at a private Sur La Table cooking class! Our instructor was the chef for the EU Ambassador part time, while teaching at Sur La Table part time – so cool. I’d never taken a real cooking class before, and the best part may have been having someone clean up after me… but of course, the food we made was absolutely delicious.
I added these cooking classes to my Graduation Gift Guide because it’s a gift that actually gives you skills/knowledge that you can take with you. I learned, for example, that you shouldn’t cook with olive oil because of its low smoke point. And that salmon is overdone when the foamy white stuff starts to appear on the surface. The more you know!
- On my nightstand: Just Mercy, Still Me, What Alice Forgot, Rooster Bar