Friday, April 26, 2013

Pimlico Racing Down Wine Fest

This post may sound familiar, since we did this wine festival last year. Well, it was SO awesome last year that we made sure to repeat it this year, despite the fact that I had spent the entire week prior in Orlando for a Peds Nurse Practitioner conference, was exhausted, and got home the night before this. WORTH IT. I am not in to gambling, at all, but this is FUN. Fun FUN. You go around and sample wine for a while, go out and watch a race (yes, we bet on the first race and won. Took our winnings and ran!). Come back in to taste more wine, peruse the craft and food booths, order a cheese platter, and go watch another race. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat again. Ok, time to go home. Actually, what ended the festivities was when the horse got hurt and pitched his rider and they both had broken legs. This resulted in my tears and overwhelmed heart because we all know the consequence for this I couldn't bear to be around it any more. Thank you over-empathetic heart and wine. Other than that it was a really fantastic time. 
Due to the fact I was still in Orlando FL on Saturday, we went on Sunday (it was both days), and it was really quiet and perfect. We were able to take our time at each booth and talk with the owners of the wineries and vineyards and really learn about their passion and their wine. It is much more interesting when you have context and history to the story, and I really think that it makes the wine taste better!

A nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon

Wine and cheese...yes please

Cheers to a gorgeous day and a wonderful time!

Our single bet, in the first race, on a horse named Jet Pack, WE WON!

Love and racing

Here they come, a clear winner approaches

So much fun to watch!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Juniata Reunion

Adam and I met at a fantastic school in the middle of nowhere called Juniata College. For this reason, and a plethora of others, it will always be dear to our hearts. One of those oh-so-many reasons is the absolutely fantastic people that we met there. Though we are both terrible at keeping in contact with people, we LOVE getting together with old friends and catching up with how they are doing and their lives are going. That was what this past weekend was all about. Matt is one of Adam roommates from Juniata who lives in PA and came down to hang out with us for the weekend. The three of us always have a really great time together. Our mini-reunion got a little bigger when Gretchen (another fellow Juniatian) and her husband were able to join us for lunch. It was a last minute gathering at Mike's Crab House near Annapolis that turned into a wonderful marathon of laughter...we ended up being there for almost 5 hours! Such a wonderful time with wonderful people.

Pat and Gretchen (plus in-utero Rory Patrick!)

The Juniata Crew!

 Afterward, Adam, Matt, and I headed over to RFK Stadium to watch the DC United soccer team play and lose to the New York Red Bulls. I cannot express how much I LOVE soccer matches; watching the game is fun but the camaraderie and enthusiasm of the crowd takes the cake. While it was nothing compared to the Real Madrid match that we went to in Spain, it was still a blast, and I hope that we make it to more games this year! On the way home we introduced Matt to the wonders of Five Guys, something that I love to do.

Adam, me, and Matt....ready for the game!

On Sunday we headed out to Catcotin Mountain Park again to log another 13 miles with Matt and had a great time. It was THE PERFECT DAY to hike; not too warm and not too cool, the sky was vibrant blue and the sun shining through. I have so dearly missed this weather! This was the 4th time that we hiked this particular trail and it was the best yet; no injuries, fastest time, and not sore the day after! I dare say...we are getting our trail legs! Matt also had a great time, saying that it was nice to hike with us because we weren't too slow (he is SUPER athletic and fit) like others that he hikes with, so I took that as the BIGGEST compliment ever! YAY!

Can you tell who the sun hates?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It's Been A While: HAPPY SPRING!

Happy Spring Everyone! You cannot imagine how excited I am that temperatures are in the 60-70s, the flowers are blooming, and the trees are turning green! Dingy, gray, and cold winter has finally passed! So this means that we have been extraordinarily busy enjoying the climate outside of working and sleeping. We have spent at least 1 day of every weekend doing some sort of major hike (10+ miles) and  spending time with family and friends. We ventured to Johnstown for the annual Easter gathering and feast with family and had a wonderful time, we actually managed to catch up with everyone but Kara, who is enjoying her amazing study abroad in Ecuador (stalk her like I do HERE). I am definitely living vicariously through her right now, as her adventures look absolutely fantastic and memorable! We were hoping to be able to go down and see her but the timing just didn't work out right unfortunately.
Last weekend was the start of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which is one of my most favorite weekends in DC, it is SO beautiful! There are hundreds of cherry trees that were donated by Japan oh so many years ago that blossom along the banks of the Potomac River and it is such a breathtaking site....I absolutely LOVE it! For this reason, Adam tolerates trekking down with the literally millions of other people who enjoy and do the exact same thing. We are at least smart about it and Metro in versus fighting the traffic, if you ever venture down for it, make sure that you do the same. If not, you will waste time sitting in traffic jams trying not to run over pedestrians who don't pay attention to traffic signals and avoid crosswalks, not be able to find parking, or if you do, pay a ridiculous amount for the spot. Unfortunately, we were about 4 days too early....there were some blossoms out but it definitely wasn't it's full splendor. Despite that, we had a great time walking around the mall and National Monuments, and even got some new ones in! We finally visited the Jefferson Memorial and the Roosevelt Memorial (my absolute favorite one now, by the way!), and logged about 5-6 miles.

Inside the Jefferson Memorial

Adam wants to play! Goose does not!

Outside the Jefferson Memorial

So beautiful, perfect day!

Hi Wife, you are not paying enough attention to me!

Dogwood tree

Love and cherry blossoms

Jefferson Memorial across the Potomac River

Cool aluminum tree in the Smithsonian Sculpture Garden

Inside the Jefferson Memorial

Blue skies and pink cherry blossoms