2nd & OFFICIAL inaugural ball

I have finally realized my goal of laying eyes on President Obama in person. Woo hoo, success! It was freeeeezing(!!) last night. We arrived at the first point of entry, after a quick metro ride, to total chaos and a line that would guarantee we were standing out in the cold for minimum 1.5 hours. Hmm, let’s check the other entrance that is not as close to a big metro stop. Bingo! Good life decision. We were in the Convention Center within 15 minutes. Through security and into a coat check line. I debated holding onto my coat all night because I thought pickup would be a disaster (and I was right – over an hour in line). 15 minutes to drop off my coat and then it was off to the actual event.

In order of appearance: Mr. Kimberly Williams (a.k.a. Brad Paisley), Fun, the President & Mrs. Obama accompanied by Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Vice President & Dr. Biden accompanied by Jamie Foxx on the piano, John Legend, Soundgarden. (Soundgarden?) Trying not to be bitter that my coworker’s better tickets got her Katy Perry, Alicia Keys & Usher. Oh, boo hoo, I went to the inaugural ball and only got X, Y & Z. Okay, I’ll stop whining now.

Obama Inaugural Ball 1.21Although the heinous coat check-out process ended the night on a low note, I feel so lucky to have been able to attend this ball. Thanks Liza & Keefer for watching Linden for us!


Inaugural ballin’

On Sunday night we attended the South Carolina State Society Inaugural Ball with several DC friends. A good time was had by all, a lot of champagne was consumed… I felt pretty fancy.

SC Ball 1.20.13

DC: What I’d miss – Redux

I’ve been thinking more about this and I definitely left a few things out:

1. My doctor at One Medical Group (Dr. Snyder is awesome & so is the whole OMG concept)
2. The sausage, egg & cheese bagel from the corner market near work
3. Feeling like we’re “hip” and at the center of things/history/events, living here in DC
4. Vapiano’s Greek salad

November photo-a-day

So, it’s a tad belated, but here are 30 days of my Instagram pics from November for Fat Mum Slim’s photo-a-day challenge:

November '12
And here is the key:




DC: What I wouldn’t miss

Two weeks ago I posted on what I would miss most about DC if we were to return to California. As promised, here is what I most definitely would not miss:

1. Humidity
2. Carrying an umbrella every day
3. Metro
4. Crazy, shitty drivers
5. Expensive daycare
6. Not having family nearby
7. Our neighborhood

The Weather
Humidity is the worst weather feature ever. It rains in the summer… often. This is why I always have an umbrella in my purse. But it’s not cool and refreshing rain, and at times it’s torrential. The second the rain hits the hot sidewalks it’s a steamy hell. Y.U.C.K.

The number of times I’ve gotten nauseated on the Metro are too numerous to count. And the system is pretty much unusable on the weekends with the constant track work and 20+ minutes between trains. And although it’s generally reliable, it seems that it’s not at always the wrong time.

The Drivers
California drivers ain’t got nothing on these people. The drivers here are the most incompetent, insane, idiotic, entitled, selfish lunatics that have ever roamed the roads. Every day I think I’ve seen the most jaw-dropping move only to have it topped the next day.

$$ Daycare $$
Word has it that the DC Metro area has some of the most expensive daycare costs in the U.S. If they don’t, pity the rest of the country! Let’s just say that $20K per year puts a large hole in one’s pocket. I did a quick search of Sacramento daycares and they are about $700/month less. Holler!

No Family in DC
I’m so jealous of the people who have built-in babysitters! ‘Nuff said.

Our ‘Hood
I like to call it “an amenity-free zone.” Unless your idea of amenities include a McDonald’s, liquor stores, tattoo parlor and gas stations. No restaurants. No gym or fitness studios. No (decent) grocery store. Zip, zero, zilch, nada. And although it’s not a dangerous neighborhood, I don’t feel comfortable, say, going out for a run by myself, especially not at night. And while it’s not unsafe, it’s not exactly crime-free. Several people have been attacked/mugged on the way to the Metro, even at gunpoint. It’s been a while since any such thing has occurred though. Maybe things are turning around.

There you have it, the non-missable things about my Washington, DC.

Inaugural ball prep

Issa Spice Twist DressThis January, the husband and I are attending one of the “State Society” inaugural balls with several of our new friends. An inaugural ball is definitely something that is on my must-do-while-living-in-DC list. I’ve already scheduled my hair appointment at Dry Bar. But what to wear? I wasn’t about to buy a dress. Enter Rent the Runway. I’ve heard a lot about this service but have never had the need to try it out. Until now. The dress I initially wanted was unavailable in my size for the date I required it. Drat! I spent a lot of effort picking that one out. The long sleeves were perfect for a January event and I dug the plunging neckline. In hindsight though, this dress would have required some major pre-event prep on my part – a serious diet and actually going to the gym… a lot, not to mention two pairs of Spanks.


Badgley Mischka RTR dressSo back to the drawing board I went. And I ended up choosing this red, strapless Badgley Mischka. Red is not a color I usually wear. And strapless isn’t always the most flattering look for me (although my wedding dress was strapless). The fit is much more forgiving than that of the Issa dress, which I appreciate given that I can’t seem to ever make it to the gym and it is the season of peppermint bark and Christmas cookies. The necklace shown is no longer available for rent (foiled again!), but I’ve become obsessed with the idea of wearing a statement necklace of (faux) diamonds and jade/emerald/malachite/whatever-green-stones.

Pre-ball to-do list: Find perfect necklace, hire babysitter, secure transportation, tone up my not-ready-for-primetime arms. That’s doable, right?

DC: What I’d miss

Now that we have the baby, we are always toying with the possibility of moving back to California to be closer to family. This got me thinking the other day. What would I miss most about DC?

1. New friends
2. Parkmobile
3. Free museums & events
4. Good Stuff toasted marshmallow milkshakes
5. Metro
6. My office
7. Potbelly sugar cookies
8. Our first house

New Friends
We’ve met so many wonderful people since we moved here in 2007. Through work, school, hobbies, parenthood…

What do you mean I don’t have to feed a meter? Best. Invention. Ever.

Free museums & events
There are so many great (FREE!) things to do here. There are all of the Smithsonians (I can go to the Portrait Gallery & American Art Museum on my lunch break), lunchtime performances at Harman Theatre, jazz in the Sculpture Garden, etc. No city can match this.

Good Stuff milkshakes
Might I never have a toasted marshmallow milkshake again? It’s like vanilla, but enhanced, with a jumbo toasted marshmallow on top, with thick whip cream. Perfection. Thanks Chef Spike.

Full disclosure: This is also on my list of things I won’t miss. It’s a love/hate relationship. But it does make my commute very efficient and makes it possible to have only one car.

My office
My office has wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Mass. Ave. It’s on the edge of Chinatown, making Union Station, Chinatown, Penn Quarter, etc. all within walking distance. And it’s just 5 metro stops from home.

Their sugar cookies are like a stick of butter rolled in flour & sugar, with sugar crystals on top. A zillion calories & fat grams, but oh so delicious. I’m also fond of their sandwiches thanks to their hot peppers. Yummy.

Our 1st house
It’s so shiny and new. Everything works as it’s supposed to. There is minimum maintenance (both in & outside). It is our first house. The baby’s first house, which she won’t even remember.

Stay tuned for those things that I most definitely will not miss.

MCM in Hollin Hills

Holy moly. I want this house. I also want the $749,000 to buy it. We toured Hollin Hills earlier this year. It’s an MCM-lover’s dream, located in Northern Virginia. If we planned to stay in/around DC long term, I would try to find a way, somehow, to live here (there are cheaper homes, though not cheap homes).

 Hit up Modern Capital for more pics.

I’m famous!

Okay, not really. But when I was going through my reader on Friday night (oh yeah, it’s an exciting life I lead), I came across this post from the local blog Greater Greater Washington. And my photo was one of their picks!

This pic was from one of my monthly photo challenges. (I’m doing two this month.) The assignment was “Colossal” from the #AugPicChallenge put together by John Martino, etal. And well, that’s a big ol’ brick building, the length of nearly the entire (long) block.


Out n’ about, downtown DC

This past weekend, Ray & I headed downtown with the baby. For those who may not know, the Corcoran Gallery is free on Saturdays during the summer and Ray and I hadn’t been since we moved out here in ’07, which is a travesty. I love free! The last time I visited the Corcoran was for Annie Leibowitz and Roy Lichtenstein special exhibits when I was here in ’99 as an intern and living in the Virginia ‘burbs in ’00-’01. I was determined to not let another summer pass without taking advantage of the free admission. We made quick work of the Corcoran. It’s a darn good thing there were two of us because that place is all stairs and not particularly stroller-friendly as a result. We had a quick lunch downtown near the White House (Potbelly. We’re simple folks.) and then popped into the Renwick Gallery, a Smithsonian, which neither of us had ever been to. And all of this with just two hours on the meter. You’ve got to be efficient when you’ve got a 9 & 1/2-month in tow.