What? I've been busy.


I haven't blogged in awhile. Don't be mad. I've just been super busy.

It's been a whirlwind of a week.

Remember last week when I posted those great pictures of me walking to work through the park? Well, this week I'm in Phoenix. I can walk to the client for sure (in gorgeous weather no less) but I did have to fly to get here. Boo! Spoiler alert? Phoenix is further than I thought. It was a 6 hr flight. Who knew? Not me.

So what's happened in the last week? I got put on a really great project team at work. I don't like to talk about work here (on the blog) but I'm really excited about this opportunity because what I'm participating in is like the essence of what my new company does. I've wanted to be close to the "source of innovation" and this is pretty much it. 

Other things? We had a really great Thanksgiving at home. I wore elastic banded pants the entire time. Holla for leggings! We took some great walks to the beach, snuggled in front of the fire, and drank endless pots of coffee. I wanted to do some baking but never really got around to it. Driving to the grocery store was much less enticing than watching Friends DVDs on repeat. 

I also made some significant changes to my lovely new apartment. Can I still call it new? I've technically been living there since mid-October. I brought up two new chairs .... and two Christmas trees. That makes sense right? It's a one bedroom apartment with two trees. But seriously, it was great. Is there anything better than having a few friends over for Sunday dinner and decorating a tree? I'll answer that for you. No, there isn't. 
We feasted on some pasta. But not just pasta....I sauteed some garlic, crisped up some prosciutto, and tossed in some big meatballs .... oh and there was fresh bread. One more point for the North End! 

Stay tuned for more tales about my "alive" Christmas tree ... Baby Sister and I fully documented the excursion so perhaps they'll be a post about that this week.
In the meantime, this is what Phoenix looks like (through a dirty hotel window)... tonight we are going to an English pub ... and tomorrow a Blues Bar. This might be the most social I've been at work in years. In the event that doesn't put me into shock, perhaps the fact that this is the first time in forever that I won't have stayed at a Hilton. 

Lovely Start


You know when you walk away from a weekend just feeling hella productive? That's pretty much how I felt falling asleep last night. Maybe I'll write a post on that at some point today. Not having internet at my house yet is proving to be both productive and unproductive at the same time.

This morning I didn't have to be work until 10 am - which was incredible. So instead of wasting my morning in front of The Today Show (sorry Matt Lauer.... but I gain little intellectual knowledge from you), I actually went for a run. Seriously. If you've ever read this blog before, you know that I love to run by the ocean ... and thankfully the North End is on the water. So this is what I ran past today:

A bit chilly but remarkable none the less. I loved it and felt super productive all before 8 am.

Another great part of today? I get to walk to work now. Its about a 2 mile walk from my house to my office - or 30ish minutes. I'm sure there are a lot of people that like to hop on the T but for someone who has spent the last year plus on planes, trains, and lugging suitcases around.... I walked. 

What can you really complain about when you start your day with a cup of coffee, see the water (and some super historical sites) on a morning run, and walk through the public garden on the way to work?
Answer: Not much.

Bonus Picture:
Meghan convinced me last week in a wine haze that I should have a real Christmas tree this year. I've had fake ones for years. So I impulse bought a tree stand via the Amazon app on my phone... in a bar. Part of her selling point went something like this "you live in the North End! Don't you want to buy your Christmas tree from some guy on the corner?!?". I doubted her a bit, but turns out she was right.

Wine, Cheese, and America


Are you tired of seeing pictures of America yet?

I sure hope not. I've really enjoyed Instagram-ing the hell out of this place. Yesterday was my last night in DC and true to form, Meghan did not disappoint. Knowing my love of cheese, white, and the night sky she pulled together an easy and great "night on the town".
We met up for dinner at Sonoma on (or maybe just near?) Capitol Hill. I've gotten really great at navigating the Metro so it was no challenge to get there from Arlington. The Metro is super easy so I can't get too boisterous about my "new skill". Prior to knocking back a glass of delish wine, Meghan took me on a brief tour "of the Hill". I got to see the Capitol Building, Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court Building.... all light up and illuminated in the chilly night. Just my speed :)

Details on the tasty eats? 
Wine: We elected to "savor" a few glasses of Falanghina "Campi Flegrei" Cantine Farro. A good departure from the sav blancs we tend to enjoy.
The eats: We shared a cheese plate that was the bomb.com. I subsequently dominated the pappardelle pasta - which I chose because it had pancetta.Meghan had the fettuccine ... and the other guests seemed pleased with their burgers. Oh, and the fries that came with the burgers. Ah-maze-ing. 
So, I'm not going to move to DC anytime soon. But, this city is pretty great.... unexpectedly. I really enjoy how easy it is to navigate, the breadth of options for things to do, and fundamentally how historical this place is. If I had to pick a new city to move to, DC would be it.

Nice and Easy


 I love it when life is nice and easy. Even if it comes with a dash of rain.

Doesn’t that dinner look delicious? Well it was.

I’ve always loved a dinner cooked by Meghan and this one was no different. On the menu? Butternut Squash soup with broiled fish and tasty salad. Meghan’s parents have a very productive garden in Vermont …. And that’s where the butternut squash came from. Holla!

So, a few quick details about the meal?
Butternut Squash Soup. Roasted the squash whole in the oven. Added the mooshy goodness to some sautéed onions and assorted spices. Added to a blender with a bit o’ chicken broth.
Halibut Delight. Broiled in the oven. Tossed the fish in a casserole dish with a bit of butter, white wine, dill, and lemon.
Side Salad. Arugula with cucumber, feta, and itty bitty baby tomatoes.

I’m sure I’m forgetting things…. But it was seriously awesome. I can’t wait to make this halibut again soon.

One more day in DC. I’d be super sad if I didn’t already have plans to be back in early December. 

Also, how cute is Dixie the wonder dog? Just looking in on her BFF in the kitchen. 

It's Naomi, thanks.


I'm on day 2 of returning to the working world and I really just want to work. 

Is that so bad? I have this crazy itch to get into the groove of things again and maybe start making a difference in this great world of ours.

In life I tend to balance between being hyper-involved and wallflower. Big range right? I cover both of those traits with sarcasm for good measure... but sometimes I prefer to just sit back and let the magic happen. This week I've been a pretty quiet work/training/professional conference room occupant. So much so that at our "event" tonight, a few people even commented on how "talkative" I was compared to the class. 

My new coworkers know very little about me as a person and I tend to keep it this way on purpose. I'll reveal more to them as is needed. One tidbit I revealed at the event tonight? My love of bacon. Apparently it's not normal the amount of BLTs (and bacon in general) that I consume on a consistent basis. Seems normal to me. They were also quite impressed with my compensating factors for using turkey bacon (if required) and other ways to maximize bacon consumption. I didn't tell them that I'm the voice behind ButILoveBacon.com. Yes, that link is for real yo. Check it.

Bonus coworker interaction? One guy told me I looked like Naomi Watts. When I responded with a kind "thank you" and I've never heard that before.... he was shocked. I've never been told that I look like anyone. I think I've always just looked like myself.
Post coworker interactions.... I met up with Meghan for a bonus dinner. You can't just eat cheese fries for a meal.... or so I heard. Meghan took me to the Logan Circle area which had a bunch of cute and probably delish places to grab an easy, yet awesome, bite to eat. We ate at the Logan Tavern and were not disappointed by the "bistro"-like fare.
You are lying to yourself if you think those scallops aren't tasty looking. 

I'm currently in the process of not trying to burn out my culture hostess Meghan. It's a hard balance between wanting to use every opportunity we have to see each other ... and the drain of working and entertaining each night.  I think we'll work it out just fine.

Tomorrow's goal? I'm hoping to go for a run in the morning [AMBITIOUS] and perhaps check out some snipers at the White House over happy hour [FUN]. Oh, and I'll go to work in between. I've got some conference room sitting to do.

Cultural Adventures in DC ... not at a Blind Pig

I experienced something yesterday that I had not experienced in a month. 


It was this really weird sensation and I didn't even really know what was happening until after I had "recovered". What was I impatient about? Running. Like all I could think about was putting on my running clothes and "hitting the open road". As soon as there was a roadblock to this plan, it was as though my mental state broke out in hives. (That's an odd visual right?)
Anyway. I was in such a state that I ended up running in stretchy pants (that are too long), carrying my wallet and sunglasses, and without my headphones. Seriously, but it was so great. My friend Meghan responded to my feverish gchats with suggestions of the "Key Bridge", some river, perhaps Georgetown... and its a mere miracle that I actually got to all three since I really just started running and happened to run into all of them. It was 3.3 miles of loving on America.
Post run? More culture! Hello, I'm in DC. Don't worry, I'll return to my hum-drum life on Friday... but until then I'm eating at Ethiopian restaurants and going to trendy bars that don't have signs. 

I was feeling all sorts of inappropriate amounts of confident after my run and hoped on the Metro to dinner. The Metro would have been just fine if I didn't get off a few stops early. I'm honestly not too sure what I was thinking, but it happened and I ended up in a part of town that would have been fine in daylight... not as much under the cloak of darkness. So, I flagged a cab and asked them to take me to Dukem. I'm pretty sure the driver was a teeny tiny bit insulted when I asked if he knew where it was  ... turns out he's Ethiopian. But whatever, its not like I can distinguish ethnicities from the back of a dark cab. I also couldn't understand a thing he was saying except that he liked coffee, and that I wasn't going to the best Ethiopian place he knew. Thanks guy!
Ethiopian food did not disappoint. Meghan had hinted that you get full a lot faster than expected as a result of the "carb delivery system" that comes with Ethiopian food ... otherwise known as injera. Its essentially thicker than a crepe but thinner than a pancake that hasn't been flipped. Don't worry this would make sense if you had it.

We ended up ordered Spinach Sambusas for an app-e-teaser and then splitting a "meat" option and a "veggie" option.... otherwise known as #27 and #33. Technical right? Anyway it was great.

If you are thinking the trendy stopped at Ethiopian food, you'd be wrong. Meghan has really raised the bar ... and took us to a speakeasy. Yes, exactly. The Gibson is alluring to me for many reasons. One of which is that they don't want you to stand. You are essentially supposed to sit the entire time and not meet new friends. PERFECT.
Since the essence of a speakeasy is that it's a secret, the website is essentially pictures that aren't of the place and an email address. As a result, if you want to know more you really need to read this Washington Post review. Each of the ladies all had a different cocktail... although we didn't share. Oops. I should have offered. I had the Hay Fever, Meghan had the Bubblegum Pop, and Melissa had the Bolts (see bottom for ingredients). And yes, they tasted as good as they looked. Not free for sure.... but hell, I was also paying for the exclusivity of going to a speakeasy in 2011. Note: If you clicked the "speakeasy" link above (and here), it would have taken you to Wikipedia.... where you would have learned about the differences between a speakeasy and a "blind pig". To boil it down, apparently a "blind pig" is a low-class dive where only liquor and beer are served. So.... not The Gibson.

That was pretty much enough culture and activity for a Monday evening, so I headed back to my suburban delight of the Hilton Garden Inn in Arlington. I guess it's not really suburban.... but it's also not the happening area of DC or that Georgetown place I quickly ran to. Another thing that I've learned about DC? The cab drivers are not in a rush to get you anywhere. A little part of me wants to know how pissed a pregnant lady gets and if they are willing to drive any faster for her.... and by a little part of me.... I mean a big part.

Goal for the rest of the week? See one of these "typical" DC tourist spots at night. I've got three more nights to make it happen.... and I'm feeling really confident and not at all impatient, but we'll see.

Bonus Picture:
Meghan and Melissa in front of the speakeasy .... without a sign.

Drink notes: 
Hay Fever: Bison Grass Vodka, lemon, grapefruit, St Germain, Grenadine
Bubblegum Pop: Pinnacle whipped cream vodka, lime, Creme Yvette, Grenadine, Club Soda
Bolts: Plymouth Gin, Grapefruit, Dolin Blanc, Vermouth, Raspberry Syrup, Club Soda

Oh America


In continuing my tour of America the beautiful, I am now in DC. Yep, the capital of America.

I don't know how many people are lucky enough to see 3 of their best friends on consecutive Sundays. All I know... is that I am one of them. Need a reminder? This week DC, last week LA, and the week before SF. If only I'd been able to really close the loop and visit NYC....

I'm in DC this week for my first week of work at my new job. I can't even begin to describe what a different vibe I am feeling than I was 14 months ago. I'm not anxious. I'm totally relaxed and ready for my next adventure. But yesterday was anything but boring thanks to my tour guide / friend.... and I really enjoy starting my day with bacon so that was also a plus.

I flew down to DC first thing-ish on Sunday ... and was pretty shocked to see that the Sunday morning flights to DC were jam packed with people. But thanks to the close proximity of DC to Boston, I was able to be sitting down and enjoying a Bacon Bloody Mary at Bar Pilar shortly after noon. The food at Bar Pilar did not disappoint. Culinary delights all around.... 
Although the bacon eating for the day stopped after brunch, the fun did not. We also hit up Miss Pixie's to check out vintage furniture. Besides having a great name, Miss Pixie's also had some great deals. The furniture was so reasonable that Meghan ended up going home with two new great pieces. Really wish we had a "Miss Pixie's" of our own up in Boston. The furniture was made of real wood! Not Ikea particle board....

In an attempt to get our culture on, we ambled through a few exhibits at the National Portrait Gallery. I'm a sucker for things that are free so going to a museum for free? WINNER. Plus, we got to see some prettttty special folk art that really made you think. One of my favorites? This giant tinfoil masterwork by James Hampton. It took him 14 years to make.... in his garage. Can you imagine living next to this guy? I can't. [solid comical link about this, read it]
Another gem? We checked out all the president's portraits. Being the crazy smart and savvy ladies that we are.... we noticed that the trend of president's having facial hair ending at the beginning of the 1900s with Taft. Don't believe us? Just take a spin through the Gallery and you'll see that we are right. Last point about this place? Bill Clinton's portrait. It for reals doesn't match all the others. You can clearly see that the portraits have gotten more relaxed over the years.... but really Bill? This is just a trip.
Well enough with the art.... after all these adventures.... we weren't done yet. On our way home from the museum, we just swung by the White House. Spoiler alert? It looks bigger on tv. I know that makes me sound disappointed but I wasn't. People always rave about DC in the Spring... but I'm pretty impressed with DC in the Fall. Gorg.
 So, how did we wrap up the day? By drinking some half-price Spanish wine and dominating some great tapas like plates at Vinoteca..... with flamenco dancing! Super awesome. We very much "dominated" the menu. Plates we ordered? Goat Cheese flight [incredible], Roasted Sweet Turnips with creme fraiche [unbelievable], smoked butternut squash risotto [um. wow], and the Bison Strip Loin. I'm still thinking about the fingerling potatoes....
Nicely done America. Nicely done.

Also, since I didn't bring my fitbit with me I was wondering how far we walked.... according to an approximation by the Goog.... about 5 miles!

Bonus Picture:
The ladies in front of Barry's house... weird that he didn't invite us in for a glass of water.

It's a loaner


You know how when you don't have something you need a friend loans it to you?

My sister loaned me her cat for the weekend.

It's not that I *need* a cat. It's more than I needed some entertainment. See I haven't set up cable or Internet at my new apartment and well .... Those are important for keeping me entertained normally. If I can't wait Bravo or dvr'd episodes of "parks and recreation" I must have something else ....

Enter: Rabbit the cat 

Rabbit was the perfect sort of company, except for the ankle biting. I could have used a little less of that. Rabbit has some interesting hobbies that took a little getting used to -- like his desire to hangout in the bathroom tub. More normal habits? Sitting on windowsills and falling asleep in a pile of clean laundry. I could have used more help folding but I don't think that is one of his skills.

Stone Walls and Dragonflies


I have a thing for stonewalls. I seriously love them.

I most certainly never appreciated the stone walls that surrounded our childhood house. I got the historic beauty part, but the labor factor... that's the incredible part. Now, that I've seen people build stone walls I'm blown away when I try and think about laborers building all the stone walls that criss cross the South Shore.

If I could put stone walls, open water, and a big ole barn in one place .... with a stellar fireplace .... I would put my feet up and never leave. 

Well, I got closer to finding that reality on Wednesday when I went to the Norris River Reservation in Norwell. It's been on my list for a few weeks now and I'm almost embarrassed it took this long. The place was a piece of cake. I great place for a quick leisurely walk to get some fresh air.

I was trying to think about a way to summarize this place and I just can't really beat what they have on their website: "Hike past a former mill pond, cross a wetlands boardwalk, and explore a forest of pine and oak on your way to a boathouse on the banks of the tidal North River." The only thing they left out were all the great stone walls....

As you can see from the map, this place is super manageable... the yellow doodle is the route that I took. I left out the notation from when I fell in a stream and got my feet wet. That's my little secret. If you ever go, I'd like you to think I was being crazy adventurous ... and not a dummy.

Sometimes I feel like my pictures capture what I'm trying to get across... and other times not as much. That's how I feel about the stone walls. I also feel that way about dragonflies. This place was loaded with them (for some reason) and they just wouldn't sit still for a photo sesh. It's like they have some blog rep to protect.
The light in this picture is captivating to me. Especially when compared to the pine trees to the right...
I was on the forest floor for this one. These little babes were growing right under the illuminated tree from above. Just growing all by themselves, no help from anyone. Kinda awesome no? 
My tools for the day. What you can't see is that my left shoe is significantly "damp". Really wish I had my Hunter Boots!
I didn't pay this canoe guy ... but I should since he was an all-star subject. I swear I wasn't hiding in the marsh grass.
I'm in love with this reflection. Can you see that one leaf floating?

Bonus Image:
When I got to the Old Boathouse, I found myself with some company. A father and his toddler son having lunch ... and an old man reading a book. Pretty much the exact reason why places like this should exist right? Oh, and the little boy? He was terribly cute. After each bite of his sandwich he got to go and get another leaf... which he called a boat. And.... he had shark bites for a snack. That took me way back.

Running by moon light

Live updates aren't just for Yosemite :)

I'm smack in the middle of a run by moon light .... And it's awesome.

I'm jamming out to the new Kelly Clarkson and smelling the ocean. The beach is wet because the tide is going out. When you run over the wet sand there is like this whole different breeze at your feet. It feels pretty great .... But then again that could be the full moon wooing me. If so, it's winning.

(Charlie Sheen style, my brother would add that ...)


On the Dock

Sometimes a little walk is better than a long walk.
I was going to go to Norris River Reservation yesterday afternoon but decided to save that for today. So at the last minute, I went to the "Driftway" part of Scituate. I have no idea how it got that name but that's just what it's called.  The Driftway area is known for kayakers, bird watchers, and people trying to take family pictures. Oh, and the dump is right near by. So, you can really take care of everything at the same time.


There is this little trail / path there in memory of A.J. Steverman, a kid whose life ended all too quickly as a teenager. The path winds through the woods just a little bit, but the real selling point is when you get to the docks.

I think you'll agree with me on that one.

There is another little section of dock that had these two older men fishing on it. I'm honestly not sure how they were pulling in fish since there wasn't any water. But that's for them to worry about not me.

The lighting was really quite neat on that section and perhaps these few pictures are just a little more "artsy" as only certain areas are in focus. I like them and this is my blog so that's why I posted them.

Bonus Pictures:
The guys in this boat were a great source of entertainment. They hollered at the old men on the docks to see what they were catching. When they didn't get a response back, one of them said "only thing I ever caught was crabs from the sketchy girl". (Editor's note: he did not say sketchy... I'm keeping it clean here... and I honestly can't remember his exact wording). The boat boys were kind enough to holler at me as well. It's always an emotional booster when someone yells "hey blondie" from a boat. I'm only half kidding. It felt pretty good. I do love my blonde hair.

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