Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Simple Weekend

This has been a truly great weekend. It certainly hasn't been simple in the meaning of easy or laid-back (for the most part) but it has provided me with so many of life's simplest pleasures and most wonderful moments.

On Friday evening, I had the opportunity to meet up with a few blog friends! I had met Lisa before, but it was my first time meeting Rebecca and Morgan. What lovely ladies! We dined at Dogfish Head Alehouse in Fairfax, which was loud and crowded, but I think we made the most of it :) We shared stories and favorite blogs, offered advice, and found friendship. It's so nice when blog friends become real-life friends.

(I don't know why I always crouch in photos. Someone please yell at me next time I do that!)
lovely ladies!
Lisa, Rebecca, Morgan + me

Friday night found Mike and I watching episode after episode of The West Wing and snuggling. Ahh.

We were supposed to go for a ride on Saturday, but after some plans changed and I wasn't feeling well, we changed direction on that. When I woke up, Mike was sitting on the sofa playing Zelda. Apparently he had rediscovered his old-school Nintendo console. 

I never played video games as a child or teenager, except for the odd Pac Man arcade duel, so I am not terribly familiar with Zelda or any other classic video games. I went from no video games ever straight into World of Warcraft, and then I traded that addiction for blogging. I dressed up as Princess Peach for Halloween once, and that is pretty much the extent of my video game knowledge.

So I was (understandably, I hope) mesmerized by Zelda. I kept asking Mike questions about the game and the levels and the things he was battling. My favorite exchange of the day:
"What are those crab things?"
"The red ones?"
"Yeah..."
"Those are bats."
"Oh."


Then he tried to explain the Triforce and I got really, really confused. So we gave up and went to Old Town Alexandria. We had to visit our jeweler and it was a nice enough day to take a walk around together. Old Town is a pretty cool place: it was founded by Scottish merchants in 1749 and as you might imagine, it holds a lot of awesome old American history. It used to be a port town but now its docks hold private boats and party yachts, and the old, old buildings are lined with cool new restaurants and cute shops. There's an awesome ice cream shop called Pops Old Fashioned that I love love love, and a former Torpedo Factory that now functions as an art center, complete with artist studios and an event space. The city was planned out as a perfect grid and many of the streets are still cobblestone. There are beautiful old homes and churches, and neat alleyways too. Rhiannon and I used to venture to Old Town after school many days, and it was a cool hang out area for a lot of our classmates as well. Oh, and the date nights - don't forget the date nights! Being taken out to an Italian restaurant in Old Town, like Landini Brothers or Il Porto, was a big deal! (Visit Alexandria's information page about Old Town is here.) It's only about a 15-minute, very pretty drive from our home, so it's a nice place to enjoy together.

We went back to the jeweler where Mike had my ring re-sized because it was recommended to us by a good friend of the family, and they do great work. Grandma gave me a ring of hers over the Christmas holiday and I wanted to get it appraised, so that was part of why we went. Another part was to see about getting my ring re-re-sized, because it's been a bit loose lately; however, we decided to wait until warmer weather, just in case. Another part was to drop off Mike's father's wedding band to be re-sized, as it will be Mike's wedding band. It's a beautiful, tapered yellow gold band with detailed etching and three tiny diamonds, and it means so much to Mike that he'll be wearing his dad's ring. It's only a little bit big on Mike, so the jeweler recommended adding a small bar to the inside of the ring instead of completely re-sizing it. The final task at hand was to discuss my wedding band. I don't want to give too much away because, I mean, c'mon: I have to keep y'all entertained for the entire 18 17 months until our wedding! Haha :) In talking about our wedding bands, it was always important to Mike and me that they matched in some sense. We were able to spend a while talking with Lawrence about our options for how that could happen, and we crafted a design together! I swear, we walked on clouds out of that shop! I am so, so excited to see what the final design looks like - almost as excited as I am to marry my wonderful fiance... almost ;)

After we left the shop, we walked down toward the river along King Street. We were surprised that so many of the shops had closed, and enjoyed peeking in the windows of the ones that had just opened. We stopped into Starbucks to grab some drinks (coffee for him, chai latte for meeeee!) and then kept walking along the docks. As we curved around part of the dock, I saw this image and immediately knew that it was perfect for the Day 4 assignment of #febphotoaday.
4. a stranger | #febphotoaday


We kept wandering and eventually Mike found an alley and pulled me down the cobblestone alleyway. I realize that sounds like a horror movie, but I swear it was funny and we both just like alleys. Heehee :)


love this guy!

being a model,
obviously



We eventually wound past the Life is Good store:
life *is* good

and past a hobby shop:
I'm really lucky that Mike likes photography as much as I do, because he doesn't mind me stopping in the middle of the street to take pictures of die-cast cars ;)

I headed to Caffe Amouri in Vienna on Saturday afternoon for a lovely blogger meetup organized by Jane (at The Borrowed Abode) and Christina (at The Scrappy Housewife). I had only found out about it on Friday, from Sarah at Sunny Side Up, so I hope these ladies didn't feel like I was crashing their party!) but I was so super excited about it. I love meeting bloggers in my area. A few months ago, I honestly believed that there were no DC-area bloggers and I was all alone in my own little bloggy la-la land. How wrong was I?! There are so many friendly, talented, wonderful, smiling bloggers out there and I am lucky to know as many of them as I do. The group of us descended on Caffe Amouri (which is in such a cute area of Vienna that I didn't even know existed!) and talked and talked and talked for hours. Seriously, at one point people started looking at their clocks and saying "Oh my gosh! I told my husband I'd only be gone for an hour!" haha :) It was truly a great time, filled with laughter and good ideas, and I'm hoping I get to see these lovely ladies again very soon. A picture was taken but I'm not sure who has it, so if I find it I will be sure to share :) 
For now, for some awesome blog reading, please do check out:
Christina, at The Scrappy Housewife (+ Facebook)
Jane, at The Borrowed Abode (+ Shop) (+ Twitter)
Kimberly, at Maher Family Grows (+ Twitter)
Michelle, at Two Streets Over (+ Facebook)
Rachel, at Funnelcloud Studio (+ Shop) (+ Twitter)
Sarah, at Sunny Side Up (+ Twitter)
Steffanie (+ Twitter)
Toya, at New Family Naturals (say hello to amazing kale chips!) (+ Twitter

When I got home I was really hungry, so we raided the kitchen and threw together an Indian feast: naan, chana masala, and potatoes and chicken and spinach in a red curry. Mmm mmm mmm!
As we ate we watched more of The West Wing, and eventually we made brownies - topped with frosting and sprinkles - I do not mess around with my brownies. Don't brownies make everything better?

Mike woke up early today to go to a friend's house to wrench on his old Vespa, but I stayed in bed until exactly 10am. How funny, considering that the Day 5 assignement for #febphotoaday was 10am ;) So this was my 10am:
5. 10 am | #febphotoaday

My Sunday has been deliciously restful. I am enjoying coffee and blogging, making a point to not stress myself out, and letting my body heal (because I am finally feeling better!) and relax. It's been wonderful.

Tonight is, of course, The Super Bowl! And me being the huge football nerd that I am, I will be watching with Mike, Dad, and Tommy. And eating lots of yummy food. And drinking beer. Regardless of what you're doing tonight, I hope you have a fantastic Sunday!

I am linking up with Simple As That's Simple Things Sunday for the first time today - because you guys know how much I love link-ups to get my creative mind going! ;) 

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