Where In The Heck Have I Been?!

 

I write this as I’m currently sitting 30,000 feet above ground on a flight en route from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles. It’s a bittersweet flight because although I’m returning home (yay bed!) it also means leaving my honey buns. The lovebirds sitting next to me are not helping me feel any better. Please stop making out. kthanks. Benjamin left home about a month ago and won’t return until Christmas. I keep telling myself: it’s only 5 months! You made it through the first month and you’re still alive! But god, Christmas?! That just seems light years away. Hell, summer hasn’t even hit Southern California yet. I still have all of summer, fall, and winter to get through. If you’ve lived/been anywhere near the beach in Southern California in the month of June you will know the awful phenomenon known as “June gloom”. It’s like the world said, “hey, San Diego we know you’re great and all and you moved here for the sunshine but June is going to be the most overcast, disgusting month of the year.”

But, as with any year it eventually clears sometime in July and summer finally hits. It’s a strange feeling not being on summer vacation. My first year out of college and I’ve done a decent job adjusting but I have been getting far antsier than usual at work pretty much every day after lunch. I’m happy to have work and plenty of activities outside of work (including but not limited to barre workout classes, nordstrom rack hunting, and cooking elaborate meals and yes sometimes cookies for myself). In case you’re wondering why Benjamin would just up and leave our life you have to know it wasn’t out of choice. He’s at the point in his career where he needs to complete 6 months of officer related training at a school in Virginia, just outside of D.C. So he packed and off he went in June. Thankfully, I will have the opportunity to visit him a few times while he’s out there so it won’t be quite as miserable as a deployment but it is somewhat similar.

This past holiday weekend his parents offered to fly me out (thanks Karen and John!!!) and allow us to spend the weekend together. We had an absolute blast in a whirlwind of 2 days. I hopped on a red eye Thursday night and after a 2.5 hour delay ended up landing at about 8 am Friday morning. I have no shame in admitting that I’m a 3 year old living in a 25 year old woman’s body and brought my down blanket on the plane with me. And yes, that sucker did take about about two thirds of my luggage. Don’t judge me.

We ended up grabbing bagels for a quick breakfast before checking in to the hotel and passing out for over two hours. Feeling refreshed we got dressed and headed out to explore the city; we were in the nation’s Capitol on the 4th of July after all! Thanks to  a few missed google searches and statements of “oh, I think this way looks good…” we ended up lost looking for the metro station. Not to worry, we soon found our way. Metro passes ended up being a great buy as ended up traveling a little more than anticipated. By late afternoon we made it to the Capitol, Supreme Court, and the botanical gardens. Like a cat in the lazy afternoon sun we sat and soaked it all in from a bench in the gardens. It was that time of day where the sun is sitting low and all you want to do is close your eyes and smile.
We left around 8:30 to head to Chinatown where I had found a fantastic restaurant. Unfortunately I didn’t account for the holiday and we walked up to find the place was closed. So we went for option 2: a tapas restaurant, my first actually. We had raspberry mango sangria, duck, bacon wrapped dates, lambchops with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, salmon stuffed with shrimp and a green asparagus purée, and topped it all off with a dessert concoction served in a martini glass. While the service left much to be desired the food was delicious. I’ve come to realize that eating is one of my/our favorite pastimes. Haha. We were so busy eating that we missed the fireworks! I managed to see a few as we were walking back to the hotel but we missed the grand show. The next day we took advantage of the hotel’s free breakfast before heading to some shops in Georgetown. All I can say is wow! I ADORED the neighborhood and the Main Street having all of my favorite stores was the cherry on top. Benjamin checked a real estate listing to find a 10 bedroom home in the area going for a whopping $22,000,000. Ha, dream on Viktoria! After Georgetown someone talked Benjamin into checking out a sale at nordstrom rack (additional 25% off all clearance!). We then changed and headed out to our last dinner which was an absolute blast. Great food, fun atmosphere and excellent service. What more can you ask for?
I can’t say enough good things about this trip it was such a welcome vacation. I know the next few months will be tough but at least I’ve got my blog to keep me company. Right??? 🙂

What I Wore: As American As Apple Pie

I’ve mentioned Julian Apple Pie and all its deliciousness before because, quite frankly, I’m addicted. Benjamin knows how much I love the stuff and has brought home a pie for me every once in a while. Anyways, the other night he mentioned a little surprise and lo and behold he had planned a trip to Julian for us! Its about an hour and a half journey for us so Saturday morning we headed on our way. About half an hour in we were driving by a casino and Benjamin half jokingly asked if we should stop and see what we can gamble for $20. So, I agreed. And we spontaneously went to a casino with our $20 in ones and gambled away. We were like kids in a candy store going from one shiny machine to the bright lights of the next one. Our strategy was to make small bets and cash out the tickets while we were ahead. I even managed to get ten dollars on a one dollar bet! It was wild and crazy and so much fun. On a more serious note though, I could easily see how all of the lights, attractions and gambling can suck people in. We went in with the intention of gambling the $20 we walked in with and nothing more. Thankfully, our strategy worked and while we did chip in another three dollars we walked out on top with $28.92! Not a giant win but at least we came out with more than we had coming in!

And a mere 45 minutes later we were back on the road.

We were starved by the time we arrived. And, again, by we I mean I. Yelp failed us a bit this time but we still enjoyed a stroll down the streets of Julian after our mediocre lunch. I wasn’t too worried about it though because I knew there was an apple pie calling my name very, very soon. We stopped in a few of the local shops: a used bookstore and a gift and craft boutique. We also passed by a woman and her llama. I’m not joking. It was getting to be late afternoon so we took a few photos and hit the road so that we’d get our apple pie in time (the Julian Pie Company is outside of the town and was closing at 5 p.m.). We each devoured a warm slice of apple pie and took a whole pie to go for dessert later that night. Which was promptly enjoyed. Mainly by me. And then just like that it was gone by Sunday evening.

Here’s what I wore:

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My outfit details:

Dress: Banana Republic

Jacket: H&M

Scarf: Jones New York, gift from Benjamin for getting a new job last week!

Tights: H&M

Boots: MIA

Purse: J.Crew

The Journey Back

We’ve been home for just about a week now and its strange to say it feels like we never left. Tuesday last week we were awake by 3:50 am and leaving the house by 4:30. I was surprisingly chipper for such an ungodly hour. We got to the airport and through security smoothly. Us and our 6 pieces of luggage, 2 carryons, and 2 personal items. Ha. Yes, thats 10 pieces of luggage. Benjamin was making some last minute phone calls while we sitting in the airport and I got sucked into the deep, dark hole that is Pinterest that we completely missed the fact that we were sitting at the wrong gate. I just barely heard the FINAL call for our flight and we dashed off to get on the plane before it left. In all fairness though, we weren’t the last ones! There was one person behind us. The flight was a mix of sleeping, adjusting sleeping positions, attempting to sleep, adjusting again, and attempting to sleep some more. Benjamin was awake a little bit more than I was and managed to catch a movie that was being shown on our flight. In LA we had 2 hours to get to our next gate and onto the next plane. A quick hop, 43 minutes to be exact, and we’d made it back. We were greeted by a chilly 65 degrees which was refreshing compared to the 90 degrees we were used to. I immediately put on a light sweater, a scarf, and a cheesy grin because it felt so great to be back in southern California. My mom picked us up and after a quick drive home we enjoyed dinner and some much needed sleep. 3 days later Benjamin was off again, this time to Georgia to visit his parents and I’ve been back on the job hunt at home. Here are a few pictures from our journey back:

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What I Wore: Happy 238th Birthday!

Last week we had the pleasure of attending one of the many 238th USMC birthday balls. This was our first ball together and let me tell you we were both blown away. It was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Waikiki (not too shabby right?) last Friday evening. I knew we’d be attending at least one ball this year but it didn’t really dawn on me that I needed to be prepared before leaving for Hawaii. So, about a week before I left for the island, after my initial freak out, I buckled down and designed this dress.  There was the chaos of packing up my entire apartment and moving it all into storage and trying to get myself packed for Hawaii oh, and sew a ball gown. I was luckily able to move my sewing machine and some sewing supplies to my parents house but not nearly everything. Thankfully, this fabric was in my stash there. It’s a heavyweight silk, Oscar de la Renta I believe, that I found at Mood last year. If you know me, you know that I’m obsessed with polka dots (and stripes) and especially those in any variation of black and white or navy and white. Really though. I will buy anything with horizontal navy and white stripes. But, the polka dots were calling my name this time. A peplum is one of my absolute favorite design details so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into the look. I also figured that since the peplum was going to cover the waist I might as well make this dress as two separate pieces, a skirt and peplum top, so that I get more use out of them. While I don’t plan on wearing the skirt all that often I will be able to wear the top with jeans or a pencil skirt. Yay multitasking! I wish we could’ve had more time to take pictures but it was a busy day of hair, makeup and prepping. So without further ado, here’s the final look:

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Dress: Made by me

Clutch: J.Crew (old)

 

Lighthouse Trail

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Ah, the view from the top.

Rewind to last weekend when the weather was being a little moody. Remember when we went to the beach here and I said how cloudy and dreary it was that weekend? Well, we took that time to embark on another hike. This time up Makapu’u Point lighthouse trail.

Going on the hike in the late afternoon probably wasn’t the best idea. It was so hot and muggy, but not really sunny, that by the time we reached the top we were both soaked. From the parking lot there are a couple trails you can take: one heads up to the top and the other goes down through a gully to the beach. As much as I know Benjamin would’ve loved to surf some of the surrounding waves, we were on a mission to see the lighthouse. The hike followed a paved road pretty much the entire way up – a fairly simple route but based on my guesses we stopped every 5-10 minutes. And by we, I mean me. First it was water. Then to take a picture. Then to walk down a random path over the cliffs only to come back after 10 steps. Then more water because I was thirsty again. And so the cycle went on. One of the signs we stopped to read had said that from that vantage point (on the top of a cliff) you can sometimes see whales in the water below. They’re easier to spot during mating season when they are around the island, usually in December/January. Of course, I have to go back then and see them.

Another little side trail led to an old bunker. I get the sense there are so many of them on the island. It was tagged with graffiti, as many of them are, after years and years of abandonment. But, get this! This one still had a rusted truck parked out front! How cool is that??? The grass has grown in and the pieces are falling apart but I loved it. I have a little thing for old, abadonned buildings/cars/homes/towns. There is something so beautiful in the lost and forgotten.

And of course, the lighthouse. With its little red cap it looks a lot like the old seaman that I picture watching over the lighthouse a century ago. It really pops against the pale backdrop of the blue ocean and gray clouds. I wish we could’ve walked closer, there is a path right up to it, but unfortunately its a closed trail. But even from a distance, it was beautiful. IMG_7884

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Turtle Turtle

A few weeks ago we went on the hunt for turtles. Not literally hunting turtles (that would be awful!) but just to catch a glimpse of them. They’re known to hang out at certain beaches and pop up onto the sand every now and then and bask in the sun. They are, after all, the Hawaiian basking sea turtles. Unfortunately, that day was not our day because although we spotted some in the water, none came up to shore. I may or may not have tried to convince them to come closer telepathically, but still no dice. I told Benjamin that we have to go back a few times and see if we can’t catch them soaking up some rays on the shore. We did, however, have fun climbing on the rocks! 🙂

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