Monday, June 25, 2012

East Coast, Mirror Lakes, Landscaping & A Working Rooftop Swamp Cooler

As you can tell by the title of this post, we have nothing but good things to report from the last month!

East Coast Weekend
We went home over Memorial Day weekend for the respective bachelor and bachelorette festivities of Ben & Sara as well as to visit with family & friends. We got in very late on Friday evening and picked up this gem:

I dropped Jonathan off with his friend Dan, then went to Christina’s to stay the night. The next morning, Christina, her friend Amanda visiting from NC, and I went to Woodberry Kitchen for breakfast – it was fantastic. I learned that I adore everything about that place – it is all homemade, local and in a mason jar. What’s not to love? After breakfast, I drove down to LaPlata to visit with the family. Everyone came over to my parents’ house to eat crabs for dinner – delish. That night, we went to my cousin Tom’s new house and started a fire in the backyard and just hung out all night.

Sunday, I made the trek back to Baltimore for Sara’s bachelorette party – it. was. AWESOME! We all met at Chateau de Tara & Katie before heading to Boordy Vineyards for a little tour and tasting. It was pretty steamy that day, so rather than spending too much time baking in the sun, we headed back to the apartment for wine, snacks and an underwear guessing game. Sara was surprisingly very good at guessing who got her which pair of underwear until the last few pair. Also, we never told her that after she guessed them that she had to put them on, but she did, so we went with it! The result was fabulous. Afterward, everyone got ready in their all-black outfits, except the bride-to-be who wore white + sparkles, and then we hopped in Baltimore’s finest cabs and headed down to Fells Point for a lovely, waterside dinner at Shuckers.

Then came the big surprise. We spent the remainder of the evening hopping around Fells Point on the amazing Charm City Pedal Mill! It was fun, hilarious, and even a workout! Stops included John Stevens, Alexanders, and The Get Down (oh yes, we did). My favorite memory of this would have to be when all of us girls were crushing it down the streets of Fells with Alice in Chains blaring from the stereo.

We skipped over to Canton after that to finish out the night before heading back to Katie & Tara’s apartment, fresh pizzas in tow. Fabulous night – I think Sara’s bridesmaids did a fabulous job putting it all together! Snaps, girls! Haha. I want to do it again!

After a Dunkin Donuts breakfast (a treat for me nowadays as they don’t exist in Utah) with the girls, I headed to Towson to see my besty, Mrs. Emily Emminizer, who I can now tell the world is expecting her first baby!! YAY. Emily and I went to visit The Olivers and their baby boy, Jackson, who is the cutest lil’ babe! I am mad at myself for not thinking to get a picture while I was there… next time! After a great visit and catching up, I met up with Jon and headed to the airport. I think Jon will fill you in on his weekend with the boys in another blog post.

Mirror Lakes Backpacking Trip
To celebrate 2 years of “officially” being together, Jon and I decided to get out of town for the weekend and check out the Uinta Mountains. We left Saturday morning and made the drive out, which was only about an hour-ish. We were headed to area of the Uintas called Mirror Lakes. Throughout this area are tons of glacial lakes that reflect the sky like, you guessed it, a mirror. They are really beautiful. We hiked in about 5-6 miles on Saturday and set up camp by Island Lake. We guessed the elevation was somewhere around 10,000 ft. There was still ice on the lake! It was gaw-jus. We took Romy with us who was a total champ and loved every minute of it. It got a little cold that night, but it was overall very nice. We hiked back out on Sunday, then stopped at the first restaurant we could find to inhale some good, ol’ American grub – burgers and chili cheese fries. We were pretty tired after we got back, but it was a great trip with beautiful scenery! Sadly, no animal sightings, though.


The second weekend in June we devoted to the house. We spent that Saturday out in the yard getting our flower beds cleaned up and looking great. Prior to this, we were borderline growing a jungle out there. I decided to plant black-eyed susans as part of our bed since they are Maryland’s state flower. J The larger ones we bought seem to be doing well, but the smaller ones are struggling a bit. We’ll see how it all turns out. Here are some before and after pics of the front yard.

A Working Rooftop Swamp Cooler!
Saved the best for last, kiddos. You might remember from the last blog post in May that I had a minor breakdown after coming to a realization that our house would be cooled this summer only by a small, portable, ugly-as-crap, louder-than-heck swamp cooler. WRONG! WE HAVE A ROOFTOP SWAMP COOLER!!!! Jon and Ben set to work to figure out if the large vent in our ceiling was, in fact, for a swamp cooler. It WAS, so then they had to get it working. And, now it DOES!!! It cools off the house SO much better than the lame, portable thing, which is now tucked back into a storage cubby, out of sight and out of mind! Alleluia! The world makes sense again.

Other News
Jon’s birthday was the day after we got back from our trip home. I made him a lovely dinner of lasagna and garlic-y green beans with a most fabulous strawberry-rhubarb pie for dessert. That. Thing. Was. Excellent. Just sayin. I also gave Jon his gift, which has been a lovely addition to our house so far!

Jon and I treated ourselves to a little impulse buy recently. Behold the beauty of two, matching, his-n-hers, late ‘70s, American-made, Schwinn cruisers. Can’t wait to take these babies around town. And yes, Jon got me a basket for mine. And YES, it is awesome.

That catches us up a bit. I am sure there will be another blog post coming soon to cover my parents’ trip to Utah, which was a lot of fun. Next up on our agenda is a weekend trip to Moab in a couple weeks, then Ben & Sara’s nuptials! SO excited!!

Thanks for tuning in, kids! Love and miss you all.