Monday, June 10, 2013

Best Layover Ever

I still haven't blogged about all the 30B430 things I managed to accomplish. This post is about number four:

Dip my toes in the pacific ocean.

After my fabulous birthday in Vegas (more on that later) I had to fly back to DC using the most roundabout flights possible, my layover was in Long Beach, California. While some people would have been livid at the idea of going the opposite direction in order to reach their final destination I saw it as an opportunity.
Sarah booked the same flights I booked and I told her we were using our 5 hour layover to leave the airport and head to the beach.

It was INSANELY windy that day, but it's never too windy for a selfie. 

After our jaunt on the beach we headed to Chronic Tacos for some good eats, and they did not disappoint.
Our server even told us that there was a bus to get back to tthe airport just a few blocks away. Which was way better than another $25 cab ride.

And that is the story of the first time I ever saw the Pacific Ocean.

Best. Layover. Ever.


Tina Marie

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I Cheated...

When I made my summer checklist I cheated a little bit.
2. Go to the beach
 I had already done this! If you follow me on facebook you have likely seen the awesome pics being posted of my vacation in the Outer Banks. This year I stayed in Nags Head with friends. It was amazing.

Sarah bought a tent shade thing from Coleman. This was maybe the best purchase she has ever made It was great to have a place on the beach that was shaded from the sun, and easy to find. If you look REALLY closely you can see both of us in there. 

One of the days at the beach we decided to make a day trip to Orcacoke (pronounced like Okra and coke).
Ocracoke is an island very close to South Carolina. We had to take a ferry to get there. This is  pic of the girls on the ferry ride back. 

One of the days we spent poolside we decided to go buy pool floaties. We had a large order and the store (Wings) offered to blow them up for free. It seemed silly not to accept. 

One of the days spent on the beach I decided to dig a hole, then I got in the hole. I promise I was wearing a bathing suit and wasn't naked. 

This is one of the many lighthouses in the OBX. I think this was Bodie Island. 

I love the time I spent in the OUter Banks and can't wait to go back next year! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Checklist

I really enjoyed my 30 b4 30 list. It was a great way to hold myself accountable for lots of things I wanted to accomplish. I still need to write blog posts about a few of these, but in the mean time I decided to write another list; a summer checklist.

 So, in no particular order here are things I want to do this summer (by September 15th - also it comes out to one thing per week):

1. Make popsicles

2. Go to the beach

3. Go to an outdoor movie (screen on the green type thing)

4. Run a half marathon

5. Go to an outdoor concert

6. Run through a sprinkler

7. Ride a roller coaster

8. Go fruit/berry picking

9. Roast Marshmellows

10. Make Sun Tea

11. Go to a Baseball game

12. Paint something/ create art

13. Grill out in my backyard

14. Take a nap in the sun.

What are your summer plans?

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

I LOVE Food.

Some people might call me a food snob. I don't see myself as one simply because as much as I love truffled goose liver with gold shavings (made-up item), I equally love Doritos (not a made up item). I understand there is a difference between the two, but I can't help but enjoy the junk. That being said, the best meals always consist of a little effort being put forth. In this case the effort wasn't mine, but that of PRIME in Las Vegas.

Prime is a swanky steakhouse. While in Vegas for my fabulous birthday celebration (more on that later) one of the nights the crew decided to eat at PRIME. One of the other birthday girls had eaten there before and claimed it was fabulous. She did not disappoint.

Prime is located in the Bellagio hotel overlooking the dancing waters. Ya'll... we sat on the patio, overlooking the water (and occasionally getting a misting from the dancing waters).

This is right before our meal standing in front of the signage. Yes, those ARE tiaras. 

This is the view from the table. Yep, that's the Eiffel Tower in the background, along with dancing waters. 

This isn't the best picture of the three of us, but it's the birthday girls! 

So I wish I had taken pictures of our food, but I didn't cause I was too anxious to get it in my mouth (twss). 
Three other girls and myself split a bottle of wine, 3 (different) steaks, 3 appetizers, and 4 sides. We call it musical plating. I LOVE when I can share food cause I love trying as many things as possible. 
Our menu was: 

1 Bottle of blended red wine (Sarah ordered it so I cant even give specifics)

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
Market Tomatoes, Burrata Cheese, Mussini Balsamic & Basil Salad
Roasted Baby Beets, Yogurt, Crispy Shallots & Fresh Herbs Salad - SO GOOD

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Quince & Bacon - YES YES YES!
Ginger Sweet Potatoes
Chickpea Fries
Gratin Dauphinois with Comté Cheese

Bone in Filet
Regular Filet

I suppose what all this is getting at, is that if you are in Vegas, you NEED to eat here, otherwise the terrorists win.


Tina Marie

Friday, March 15, 2013

Habeus Papem!

Habeus Papem! Viva il Papa! 

Sounds like spells from Harry Potter? It's not, it's Latin. We have a new Pope! I know almost all my readers know that I am Catholic, and the church has every reason to celebrate right now. For those living under a rock, our previous Pope, Benedict stepped down last month, citing old age and inability to meet the demands necessary to lead the church. Catholics everywhere were stunned. It was completely unexpected. I felt very unsure. I did a lot of praying that this was the right move for the church. It's no secret that the Catholic Church is riddled with scandal. Between sex scandal cover ups, Vatileaks, and the infighting in the curia, it is a tough time to be Catholic. 

In the two weeks leading up to the conclave I did a lot of reading on the papabili (the contenders for pope). Technically it could have been any of the 115 cardinals in the conclave, but there always emerge a few "front runners". As I read the biographies one stood out in particular: Jorge Mario Bergoglio. I knew he was a definite long shot, but I thought it's what we needed. He is a Jesuit. I have a special place in my heart for the Jesuit order, as I went to a Jesuit College. I know from first hand experience how AWESOME the Jesuits are. Unlike Diocesan priests they don't focus on the every day running of a Church. Instead they live in communities together, and the Jesuits are famously known for their efforts in education and ministry to the poor. The Jesuits at Loyola would have happy hour with the students every Friday at a local bar. Why? Because they go where the people are. They are humble, easy to talk to, and accepting of all kinds. 

I was at work when the white smoke first billowed out from the Cistene Chapel. I shed a few tears at my desk, and along with the rest of the Catholic world I was in shock when the Pope was announced: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, taking the name Francis I. St Francis is known for his life of poverty and ministry to the poor. I really should have had money on my pick in Vegas, I would have cleaned up. 

As elated as I was, and still am it's still not an easy time to be a Catholic. This is where living in New Orleans was awesome, EVERYONE is Catholic. You never have to explain yourself. Among my (very educated) friends I often feel like I'm defending my decision to belong to a peasant religion. I know they don't mean to offend, but it's really hard to be constantly questioned and (feel) attacked. Sometimes I feel like people hold me personally responsible for every wrong doing of the church. It doesn't stop with people I know either, I see it on TV, and in the news, every where people constantly questioning Catholics (sometimes warranted, sometimes not). I don't write this because I want to be some sort of victim. I choose to be a part of this religion, with all it's flaws, because I so intrinsically believe in the dogma that has nothing to do with the curia, or Vatileaks, or sex scandals; it has to do with faith at its core. 

I really have every faith that God was in the room, helping the cardinals at the conclave make their decision. I think Pope Francis is exactly what this church needs, and I look forward to growing in my faith with him as our leader. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Everything is Bigger in Texas: Another 30 B4 30 Goal!

Number 13: Go to a game at Cowboys Stadium.

While I was on my life sabbatical and living in Texas for a few months I realized I could totally cross this one off my list. You know the saying that everything is bigger in Texas? Jerry Jones took that one to heart.

I went with my entire family. We went to a preseason game, so the weather was beautiful. Cowboys Stadium and The Ballpark in Arlington (where the Texas Rangers play) share parking lots. A baseball game just happened to be playing the same night so we parked in the Rangers parking lots cause they were cheaper. The walk was maybe half a mile to the stadium.

This thing is huge. (TWSS)

This is right outside the front doors. More TVs.

Fireworks and the infamous screens.

"Smaller" side screens.

The standing room is kind of amazing. Walking around the stadium you almost don't need seats as there are so many awesome places to stand (and set your drink down) while you cheer. We had seats but only stayed in them for about half the game.

All in all I would DEFINITELY go back and watch another game, but I don't know that I would want to watch a regular season game there. There is so much to be distracted by (look! shiny object!) that I think I would lose track of what's happening on the field. I think I'll stick to Clarendon Grill for my regular season football watching.


Tina Marie

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Go Home Panda. You're drunk.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving. I totally know I did.

My day started off with meeting my good friend Jena for lunch at Honey Pig.
What is Honey Pig? I am glad you asked. It is the most amazing Korean BBQ place in Annandale, VA.
It's sort of like Hibachi, in that your food is cooked right in front of you/ at your table. It differs from Hibachi because you don't get a show. You order your meat and they waitress comes to toss it on the wok. She will occasionally pass by to stir or cut the meat, but really, it is all on you. Jena and I always order the thinly sliced spicy pork belly. AKA the Korean equivalent to bacon. Lots of spicy, spicy bacon. We totally demolished it.

Also to be noted, this place is open 24 hours. 

After Honey Pig we wanted/needed to walk off all the food, so we headed to the National Zoo. The Zoo is part of the Smithsonian, so it's free! (Parking, however, is not!) It was too cold for most of the animals, so we went through a lot of "houses" (The Reptile House, The Bird House, etc). It was a fun way to spend the afternoon. The National Zoo is more sprawling than I thought it would be, which was interesting considering I had run my first 5K that very morning before lunch! By the end of the day I was pooped! 
All in all I had a great time, and this is by far the best picture of a panda I have ever seen:

"Go home panda! You're drunk." -Jena


Tina Marie