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Exploring the H Street Corridor

After work, we got off at the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro station and hopped the H Street shuttle to meet our friends at Granville Moore’s. The shuttle only runs every half hour but we were lucky to catch it as soon as we got off the metro. After a short 5-10 minute ride, we arrived at H and 12th st. This gastropub might be easy to miss because they have a tiny sign outside. However, on the inside there is a lot of character. It has exposed bricks on the wall and handwritten menus. The selection for Belgium beer was very extensive. I don’t know much about beer but the light wheat beer that I got was pretty good. Of course I forget the name. I can never remember names. We ordered mussels and frites with 5 or 6 sauces. Excellent mussels!

This place is in NE where a lot of gentrification is starting. There was so much character to the area. I can see this area being more hip and trendy in a few years, similar to where U Street is now. We’ve always wanted to go check out the H Street Corridor and it was perfect night to finally go.

Granville Moore's on H St.

Granville Moore's on H St.

Sleep Deprived …

This month has been full of events … and work. I’ve been pretty swamped at work but I’m full of energy. Sometimes I feel like I’m on steroids (don’t worry … I’m not). It seems that since I started working out more (we have a great gym and swimming pool in our building) my body keeps on going and going and going. Maybe I’m the Energizer Bunny.^^ It’s funny that I can get up at 7 am on the weekends. If you know me you know I am not a morning person. Am I getting older or am I just excited to go out? I think it’s the latter.

Daniel and I have definitely been taking advantage of all the amenities in our building. Everything is so convenient! The best part is I’m swimming better. I love our year-long, heated indoor pool. Daniel says I still look like I’m trying to ask for help when I swim but I can move forward better. Ha ha! It’s not easy to find convenience like this at your door step.

At the beginning of this month we went to Fiesta Asia with Jennifer. I still don’t understand why Korean food is nonexistent at this festival. The best giveaways were, to our surprise, from McDonald’s. It was pretty a warm day so the apples and apple juice helped. I didn’t get to see the dance demonstration (I cried at the Korean dance last year) but the Tae-Kwon-Do performance was pretty great.

We bought mountain bikes to ride along the Potomac River’s Mt. Vernon Trail. I’ve been so envious of the many cyclists and I’m excited to finally join them. I won’t be a serious cyclist with the need for speed. I’ll be geared (no pun intended) to cruising. I was going to buy a cruiser but the mountain bike was a better option for now. Daniel customized my bike to fit my short legs and satisfy my fear of speed. We went to Gravelly Point to see the airplanes take off and land at National Regan Airport. It’s such a beautiful park along Potomac River and it’s only a 10 minute bike ride from our place.

Oh … Daniel got dress rehearsal tickets to Legacy of Light at the Arena Stage. It was so cool to see a play before opening night, especially for free. The show was witty, clever and made us laugh. And the best part was that we were able to walk there in 10 minutes.

For Memorial Day weekend, my parents, Daniel and I went to St. Michaels for a crab feast. It’s only a couple of hours from our place and it feels like you’re in a completely different world. It’s surrounded by water, full of cute beach houses and they have cheap, yummy crabs. It can be a pain to crack everything but then you get to the meat … it’s heavenly. That’s what makes it so fun.

This past Sunday, we got a chance to go to National Park for Nats game. It’s a “green” ballpark so it’s too bad the Nats suck. We must have been lucky, because they hite two homers (one a Grand Slam) and won the game against the Baltimore Orioles. It’s so funny … the Orioles lose every time I see them play. After the game, we stopped by Ugly Mug for drinks and Ben’s Chili Bowl for chili fries and half-smokes. It’s the best chili place ever! I’ve never been a big fan of chili but this place is different. I’ve had Pinks and Tommy’s in LA, but they were a little greasy and I felt nothing special. The chili at BCB has a unique flavor and I love how spicy it is. So yummy!

So, yeah … as much as I want to keep moving, I need to unplug myself and have a nice, slow weekend soon.

Wearing some Taiwanese hat at Asia Festival
Wearing Taiwanese hats at Fiesta Asia
Daniel's fixing my bike

Daniel fixing my bike

Legacy of Lights at Arena Stage

Legacy of Light at Arena Stage

National's Stadium

Nationals Park

National's Stadium

Nationals Park

Driving to St. Michaels in Maryland

Driving to St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore of Maryland

We love crabs!

We love eating fresh crab!

Beautiful Day at St. Michaels

Beautiful Day at St. Michaels

Taking a nap on the metro

Taking a nap on the metro (I do this often^^)

Loving Old Town Alexandria

Rainy days gone … at least for now. It finally felt like spring today. My friends and I decided to go for a “Girls Night Out” after work. We walked around Old Town Alexandria and went to MoMo Sushi, where I’ve been wanting to try. My co-worker and our new neighbor friend told me about it, as well as my many, fellow Yelpers. It’s a very tiny place near the waterfront. Their sushi was very fresh and we loved how intimate and cute the restaurant was. The waterfront was full of people hanging out with their family, friends and dogs. We saw this little 9-month-old puppy that was SO CUTE. I forget what type of breed it was. It was half Shihtzu and half something else. If I had a dog, it’d be something like that.

We were surprised to see how many new shops opened and saw so many places we want to try next time. We stumbled upon a wine bar for dessert and we wished we gone to another bakery. We weren’t too happy about their bad service and the food was just “okay” but had a ridiculous pricetag. I’ll have to Yelp about that place. In this economy, places like that can’t last long. But, the ambiance was good and it reminded us all of Europe. We talked about how great it was traveling in Europe. I’ve only been once, but can’t wait to go back. Hopefully, by the end of this year.

2009 American Inhouse Design Awards

Four of my designs at my work won 2009 American Inhouse Design Awards from Graphic Design USA! Our design team and the magazine design team won a total of 15 awards this year. I think it was the largest number of awards they have won in a year. It’s my second time winning design awards and I definitely want to make sure I get certificates this time. Last time I missed my chance to order the trophy and I really wish I hadn’t.

I am very happy and love my profession. ^^

Cherry Blossom Festival & Daniel’s Mom Visits

This year was our second year to go to DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival. It was pretty windy but the sun was up all day long. The Sakura Japanese Festival was fun, but their performances were nothing special. They were giving away free Shiseido facial coupons and Suave cherry blossom shower gel with free hand massages. As far as the flowers go, it was pretty, but nothing compared to my hometown. My parent’s were going to join us but my dad had to work. I don’t think they missed out too much though.

Daniel’s mom visited us for a few days. She loved our new place and we had a great time together. She gave me a swimming lesson and now I can swim a little bit better. I’ll just have to keep on practicing. We walked around DC, visited museums and found some quaint, new neighborhoods. We barbequed on our rooftop and she even drank wine with us (the delicious Zarafa from Trader Joe’s)! It was very nice to have a guest over. She has traveled a lot over the past year, only spending about half a year at her own home. That’s the lifestyle that Daniel and I really want.

Time Flies …

I can’t believe a quarter of 2009 is almost gone. This month has been pretty crazy. Due to the budget cut at our company, like most other companies, our design department has been trying to take advantage of free training seminars whenever possible. Luckily, there has been quite a few to attend. InDesign User Group had one, which was informative as usual, and CGX had a huge conference where they offered several different breakout sessions. They provided meals all-day long and lots of prizes. One of them was Adobe CS4 standard, which is around $1,500 and Daniel WON!! We couldn’t believe it. Daniel wasn’t even going to attend the seminar. I went with our department and when I found out they take same-day registration I quickly called him to come join us. It was the best prize ever and it was exactly what he needed! The CGX conference was an awesome design conference and I really hope to attend it again next year.

I can’t wait for Spring. Time flies but the weather doesn’t catch up. It’s getting warmer though. The Cherry Blossom Festival started and this weekend is supposed to be peak so we’re going to take our parents to the festival. I got off a little earlier today than usual because I got up earlier. I always plan to get up early but it rarely happens. It was beautiful outside so I had a nice 10 minute walk from the metro station to home. I made dinner and Daniel gave me 10 out of 10. He rarely gives me 10 so I was happy. I usually don’t like to read recipes and just start making things. This time, I made grilled chicken and vegetables with BBQ sauce. I put baby arugala on the top and wrapped it in a chili tortilla. It was pretty good. Just the way we both like it. Spicy and hot!!

30 Years Young

I just took baby steps into my 30s. I was freaking out for a few months but now I’m accepting it … and it feels awesome! I have achieved most of my goals and I am thankful for everything I have accomplished. The biggest adventure was moving to the States and exploring the other side of the country in my 20s. All of my experiences from these adventures got me where I am now. I am so happy with my husband in our little place where we have started our new life together. I couldn’t ask for anything more in my life. I have way more than I have ever imagined and I feel so rich.

Daniel took me to New York for my 30th birthday. One of my favorite things about New York is that it’s a different experience and perspective every time we visit. We went to check out all the good eateries mostly in the East Village and SoHo. MoMa is free on Fridays, sponsored by Target, so we took advantage of that. We joined my co-worker’s Bachelor party in SoHo and the dive bar we went to reminded me of the bars that I used to go to when I was in college in South Korea. We got lucked out on our hotel. Daniel told the front desk that I was claustrofobic, so they gave us a room on the 23rd floor. When we walked into the room, we found out it was the executive suite complete with a living room, kitchen, two bathrooms and a huge balcony with a nice view of the city. On the last day in the city, they had light snow on the ground and flurries. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen!

My past 30 years has had its ups and downs. I have had so many people in and out of my life. Some stayed and some didn’t. I love looking back and I would not change a thing to make it better or worse. I believe everything was meant to be this way. I created what I have now and it feels great to be in charge. My next 30 years will probably be even more hectic and busy. I am so looking forward to it.