Showing posts with label DC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DC. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PhanPhamTam Fam Vacation

short and sweet and exactly what we needed!

that's the best way to describe the weekend we had last weekend in DC with hung's family.  we stayed in falls church where we could have easy access to eden center , a large plaza of vietnamese bakeries, restaurants, hair salons, you name it.  we also had easy access to the metro to get to the center of it all in DC, where we hoped to find some blooming cherry blossoms.

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hung and i didn't get to the hotel until almost 11pm (stupid NJ turnpike traffic!!), but we got a solid night of sleep (on the pull out couch, i swear we sleep the best on anything but our own bed, even if it's a pull-out couch!) and were ready to go for a fun family day at the monuments and memorials in DC on saturday!  we first stopped at the national zoo to see the baby panda and other fun animals before stopping for mediterranean food for lunch.  picking more and more friends up along the way, by the time we got to the white house, we had 16 people!  we stopped for a few kodak moments at the white house, washington monument, lincoln memorial, and more.

my favorite memory from the weekend was explaining the train system to hung's mom.  when we got on the metro at falls church, that was her first time riding a train!!  she was so excited just to get on, but when we went underground was the really fun part.  i explained the underground train systems, and that they are underground so they don't make noise and take up valuable space in the city, and that people get to the underground station by going down stairs or escalators from the sidewalks. her response after everything i said was "wooow!!"  when i told her that's the kind of train by our house and that's how hung gets to work everyday, her response was an even louder and longer "WOOOOW!"  it was so fun to experience so many new things with her last weekend, and made me really realize how fortunate hung and i are to live the lives we live, to be able to pack our bags and go places on a whim, to make new experiences everyday....

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after the full day of walking and exploring, we set our sights for Annandale for Korean BBQ.  i tried booking reservations for restaurants in a fun part of DC, but with a total group size of 18 people, my efforts were pointless.  DC restaurants get booked days in advance for saturday night dinner, let alone trying to book a table for 18 (or 2 groups of 9, or 3 groups of 6, we tried it all) in places that seat sometimes 50 people or less.  hung's friend from high school pulled through and got us a LONG table at honey pig in annandale. 

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considering the looks of the aftermath, i'd say it was the best choice!!  with a group that big, the important part is that we were all together eating good food, not that we were eating at one of the best restaurants in DC or that we were even IN DC at all...

i hope that the next PhanPhamTam Fam vacation can be just as fun :)


p.s. we originally planned the weekend so hung's mom could see the cherry blossoms.  she read about them in a book when she was a little girl in rural vietnam and had wanted to go ever since.  the trees were just budding when we were there, so i suppose there's always next year. it's hard to predict when they will bloom when you have to plan a vacation months in advance :(

Friday, April 4, 2014

happy friday!

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oh hey guys! it's friday! ...which means we get to relax! drive 4 hours for a weekend away! although we're pretty darn exhausted from 3 weeks of nonstop painting, refinishing the hardwood floors, and moving, we're going for a mini family vacation with hung's immediate family and i am SO excited to see them!! 

last year we went to ohio more times than i can count for very unfortunate circumstances, but in the midst of it all, we got to see hung's family more often than we ever anticipated.  now that we aren't going back so often anymore, it feels like FOREVER since we've all been together! ...even though it has been just 3 months. 

the idea for the trip was to see the cherry blossoms in DC, but with the crazy weather this year, it has been hard to predict when they will bloom. although google says the peak bloom won't occur until later next week and next weekend, we're hoping to see at least a few blooms this weekend too.

my body is pretty darn worn out from being on the move (literally) for so long, but i can't help but have a smile on my face for all the good in our lives lately :)

happy friday, friends!


p.s. photo is from this post two years ago when my mom came to visit and we went to the brooklyn botanic garden.. guys there's a whole FIELD of cherry blossom trees there and it's GORGEOUS when they are at peak bloom!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

90-degrees in october

no, i'm not talking about florida...

i'm talking about DC! my bags were first packed with leggings and jackets, but after mr p checked the weather I decided I could wear my skirts and dresses leggings-less and jacket-less.... and still be sweating. who would have thought!? 

mr p and I took the Acela train down there from Newark Penn Station Friday after work.  we have driven there before, usually taking between 4 and 5 hours to get there by the time we make our way through rush hour.  this train took us 2.5 hours! I was so impressed.  the driving time from jersey city to DC, and from jersey city to boston are about the same, but the train to DC was an hour quicker (totally worth it!!)  after taking the train to boston each week for months on end earlier this year, I had so many rewards points built up that we didn't have to pay a dime to go there.

I took my fancy camera with me expecting to document the entire weekend (hey, I don't get to see these friends often!) but I guess I was caught up in the moment and didn't take it out of our friend's apartment the whole time we were there.  we danced the night away at dodge city, grabbed late night pizza at & pizza, made breakfast from farmer's market goodies, bbq'ed in a park for a birthday, ate tapas for dinner at bodega, ate brunch at bus boys and poets, and furniture-shopped at miss pixie's vintage and room and board

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...and the only decent picture I have from the weekend is from the metro station. (in case you missed the picture, it's also posted here ) 90-degree weather in October will do that do you.  at least we got to see our friends in far places, it's the real memories that count :)


Friday, October 4, 2013

happy weekend.

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friends & food.
shopping & sipping.
trains & travel.

i'm a 'tiny' bit anxious for this weekend.  with all of the traveling i have done for work and for family this year, you would think i would be 'over' going away for the weekend.  but when you have great friends who make you feel at home, want to do exactly the same things that you do, and don't care that you crash on their couch for the weekend, it makes it easy to pack up and just go.   the fact that it's going to be 90-degrees in dc might help! another summer-like weather never hurt anyone.

good friends, good weather... it's the perfect recipe for vintage furniture shopping, right? right.  we could stand to replace our particle-board-based Ikea tv stand for a mid-century modern credenza, or find a double drop-leaf table that could double as a sofa table AND dining table. i'm not sure Amtrak will let us bring either of those on the train home though, so i guess we'll have to plan a trip back if we find any goods we just can't live without.

oops? another weekend in dc just to pick up furniture? you don't have to twist MY arm ;)

what are your plans?  please tell me it's something outside!!

cheers to the weekend!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

sunday funday: the color run

have you heard of the color run !?
did you run in it?
did you have a blast?

a few weeks ago (on a sunday of course, hence the post title), in the midst of our marathon travel month, we megabused it (for only $35 total for mr p and i roundtrip!) to DC to visit friends and to run the 5k color run...

we started out so fresh and so clean, clean on the crisp morning in national harbor...

...and we finished with a bang

...then danced in the party afterwards

....and ended up looking like this

it was a fun morning that's for sure :)

it wasn't SO fun getting up early after drinking lots of beer and staying up too late the night before playing sobriety test. it's a SUPER fun game that makes you do things like this...

it helps if you have fun friends :P


Monday, July 2, 2012

99 problems, but power ain't 1

100+ degree weather in manhattan

megabus is 2 hours late
(which means 2 hours of standing in line in 100+ degree weather with mr. cranky-beyond-cranky middle-aged man who took his cranky-beyond-crankiness out on the megabus attendant who obviously didn't want to be standing outside either with the rest of the hundreds of angry megabus riders)

stuck in traffic on megabus ride 
(putting us in DC at 2:30am instead of 11:00pm)

storms ravage through the nation, taking out power and destroying buildings in my hometown (and pretty much all of ohio)  and the DC area

being hot, sweaty messes from braving the heat to explore alexandria and annapolis

....but we had POWER. and we had CENTRAL AC!!
(unlike millions across the US this weekend!)

i might have felt like i needed a shower as soon as i stepped outside, but it was all with great company and great food! and great SHOPPING!

orchids at nicole's house · beautiful streets of alexandria · mr p's spread after looting the fridge 
pizza and beer at paradiso
brunch at the federal house in annapolis · views of the waterside
naval academy:  captains' mansions vs. student dorms. i'd take either!
naval academy chapel
brunch at o'connell's, alexandria
alexandria looks beautiful, but really we were dying of heat!!
olio aka air-conditioned, oil-and-vinegar-filled heaven.

mr p found a cheap (but totally awesome!!) sports jacket from the gap outlet store, i snagged an adorable watch from lou lou (and can even stand to wear it at work because it's flat and doesnt bother me when typing our mouse-maneuvering!!), and lastly... nicole's roommate introduced us to the glorious world of OLIO.

aged and infused balsamic vinegars and olive oils? sounds like heaven! wait.. we get to TRY them? ALL of them? now we're talkin.  try ALL of them, we did indeed!

so, paying $33 for 4 small bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar might sound ridic to some.. but considering we probably tried $30 worth of oils and vinegars in the store, it's a steal!!   can't wait for our little date night that will only consist of bread, oils, and vinegars... we will probably be so engrossed in the food we won't even break out the wine :P

after a smooth ride home, we're back to the grind today. with no work on wednesday for independence day, and trips to philly and virginia coming up, i'd say i'm pretty excited for the next few weeks! we won't have time to work out or do laundry, but we will deal.

thanks to our hosts, nicole and ainsley , for yet another fantastic weekend in your cutie patootie town of alexandria, va.

how was YOUR weekend? did you survive the heat!?


p.s. sometimes i feel like such a giiiiiirl... buying accessories and getting my nails did (color chosen and applied by the one and only, mr p.. watch from lou lou in alexandria)