Cheers to the return of patio dining and rooftop bars! I heard on the radio that this has been DC’s rainiest July since 1945, so this past weekend of sunshine has been a (warm) welcome to August. People are starting to talk about summer being over, but as I mentioned in my post about summer in Seattle… “summer” is now dictated by the temperature more than the months! Despite not having a long vacation, it’s been a fun-filled two months of being on boats, eating lobster, and seeing movies with my Moviepass (more on that next month…) 🙂
I’ve spent more time on boats in the last two months than I have my entire life, mostly thanks to this crazy thing I did – joining a sailing club! It is not easy to find new hobbies as an adult. Most people who actively want to keep playing sports as young adults are the ones that grew up playing them. So while I’m all about learning new things, I’d just be making a fool of myself at intramural soccer or softball!
DC isn’t what comes to mind when you think of sailing, but I am so thankful that Audrey convinced me to join the Sailing Club of Washington to experience something completely new. I don’t feel silly about being a total beginner with her, even though she’s been racing sailboats her whole life! Kind of like how airplanes always impress me, every time I’m on the water I think about the fact that we are moving solely due to mother nature and the laws of physics!
- whale watching
I finally made it up to New England for the 4th of July, and the highlight was hands down whale watching at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Allie drove up from CT to meet me, and it was her idea to go on this 4-hour excursion from Boston Harbor! I’ll have a full Boston post with everything I did and ate and more details about the whale watching, but it’s incredible to see these creatures so close. There were at least 5-6 whales feeding around our boat, including a mom and baby.
- Baltimore Aquarium & Harbor cruise
I distinctly remember being a dolphin trainer in my preschool circus-themed parade. Not sure what circuses have dolphins, but I had the rubber boots and a hula hoop and called it legit. So naturally, getting lucky with the timing of the dolphin exhibition when we got to the tank at the National Aquarium in Baltimore was a treat! They don’t do dolphin exhibitions regularly all day, and we happened to finish up seeing the rest of the creatures (including petting jellyfish and stingrays!) just in time for a behavioral demonstration. My sister especially loved the aquarium growing up, but it had been so many years I remembered nothing about the exhibits.
A couple days before our planned day trip to Baltimore (we got discounted tickets through work – they’re actually pretty expensive), I found a Groupon-type deal for Baltimore inner harbor cruises for $14. Why not? The weather was perfect, and the boat itself was actually pretty nice. There were games, a bar, and plenty of nice seating on the top deck to enjoy as a cheesy recorded history lesson explained the different sights as we cruised around Boston Harbor.
- Minneapolis, MN
My first foray into the midwest was for my first non-recruiting work trip. When I say “managing ambiguity” is the toughest part of my job, I mean that I found out I was going to Minneapolis three days before we left, with a team I didn’t know, on a project I knew nothing about. The crazy-packed days definitely made me appreciate that I don’t travel for work every week like some consultants do, but we someone managed to squeeze in a trip to the see the Mall of America (felt like a kid again in the Crayola Experience store), the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and several fantastic restaurants (Spoon and Stable in the Warehouse District, Cossetta/Louis in St. Paul, and Hazelwood by the Mall of America). If the trip had fallen over a weekend, I would’ve loved to stay and explore the land of ten thousand lakes!
- Bon Appetit dinner party
A few months ago, an Instagram ad convinced me to pay $10 for a year of Bon Appetit… I love thumbing through the magazine’s mouthwatering photos, but never have time to cook them! My friend Grace’s visit all the way from Taiwan was the perfect excuse to gather a bunch of friends to cook a big meal. We picked a few recipes from the summer issues – Orecchiette with Buttermilk, Peas, and Pistachios, Spicy lamb meatballs with yogurt sauce, and my favorite – BLT Lettuce Wraps. The thick-cut real bacon and bacon-greased bread crumbs were such a treat, but lately I’ve made a lightened up version with my usual turkey bacon, and greek yogurt instead of mayo in the sauce! So fresh and easy. I’d take a homecooked meal with good friends over eating out any day 🙂
- Zannchi Georgetown
When I got a last-minute invite to a walking Georgetown food tour with a team from work I couldn’t say no, despite the drizzly weather! Several stops were places I’d been before, like the vegetarian taco joint Chaia and the site of Julia Child’s former home. But my favorite new discovery was this Korean place on Wisconsin called Zannchi. I’ve walked past it a million times and never noticed it – probably because the signage for the Kung Fu Tea (they are everywhere now!) is so much more prominent. I loved it so much that I went back, with Grace the next week! Our group of four split all the appetizers and spent less than $10 each. They also serve a yuzu soju, which reminds me of my 19-hour soiree in Seoul.
- dairy free/sugar free “diet”
I’m not into being super restrictive with my diet, but I’ve been experimenting with eating less dairy and even eliminated sugar from my diet for a month. I had a bad habit of wanting something sugary during my afternoon slump, so in an effort to kick it I gave up sugar. It turns out sugar is in EVERYTHING (bread, chips, crackers… where you lease expect it)…. but it’s helping me not eat every dessert or sweet that’s in front of me just because it’s there.
- On my nightstand: Into the Water, Diplomatic Immunity, Once and For All, Little Fires Everywhere, Perfect Little World