When Your Normal Layover Spot is your Destination

FOOD

Spent half the week on the road, and that was not good on the food front. I was in Atlanta and the event I was at had fruit for breakfast, nothing I could eat for lunch, and nothing I could eat at the one dinner event at the Botanical Gardens. Apparently normal attendees fill out a form during registration to indicate any dietary preferences or restrictions, but since I was a guest speaker, I didn’t do that.

I was able to have one meal on my own and went do a place called Einstein’s. They had one vegan dish – roasted veggies served on a curried Israeli couscous. It was pretty awful. The veggies had zero seasoning and the couscous was just nasty and hard.

To be fair, the carrots were good. The rest – sucked

I was back in the office on Thursday and had lunch with my friend J. I bought Girl Scout cookies from his daughter months ago, but we hadn’t had time to get together. I took him to my fav Thai place – he’d never been before – and had a really great time.

Thursday night I took my kids and BS out for pizza and pool. Well, they played pool and I studied until food game. It was A’s 24th bday the next day, so she got a serenaded to dessert.

Loved this walking into the pizza place. Undergrad from ODU, graduate from UVA, and I was in the Navy!
Synthesizing down my themes from my research materials – with a Bold Rock cider!

Friday I made a huge back of butternut squash red curry that’ll be meals for days. For dinner my guy and I went out and we had olives and I got a mushroom risotto.

Today has been mostly just snacks. Fruit, crackers and hummus. That kind of stuff.

FITNESS

Only got one run in, and that was yesterday morning. I didn’t pack workout clothes – if I had, I would’ve need to check my bag and I didn’t want to do that. I also started not feeling so hot on Tuesday. I think it’s just sinuses, but still. Ugh.

LIFE

Been a busy, but good week. I flew out early on Monday to Atlanta. You know what’s funny, I’ve flown through Atlanta more times than I can count – but it’s been since 2004 that it was a destination (another work thing). Funny – not just a layover spot!

Before I went, I made lunches for R for the days I was going to be gone. Just sammiches because everyone HATES making them. But since I went to bed early the night before and missed Game of Thrones, I was carrying my iPad around to watch it while getting ready to head to the airport. Didn’t finish until I was in Atlanta.

A chauffeur met me at the airport – that was new! Walking up on someone with an iPad displaying my last name. It was nice and he took me to my hotel. I got settled and went for a walk. Then went back to my room to work and study before the welcoming reception, which was really fun.

Kids wanted a picture. They’re funny

The next day was several sessions including the panel I was on to discuss blockchain in healthcare. It was a really great discussion since this time the audience were all healthcare leaders. We’re historically a slow-to-adopt industry, so it’s fun to be on the cutting edge of something that excites others. And yes, I’m a nerd.

That evening was the event at the Botanical Gardens. The theme was Alice in Wonderland, and it was so neat. But the best part was seeing E! I hadn’t since our grad school reunion over a year ago.

I absolutely adore Chihuly – so was thrilled to see this at the gardens

The next day had some more sessions and then came home. Had some time to kill so walked some more and then got a quick manicure before my ride to the airport.

Cucumber-basil mojito at the airport

I got home literally just in time for my live class at 8pm. Then work and normal routines the next day (not that anything about my life is routine!). Luna decided to stand above my laptop and “watch” class. If my camera was one, my classmates literally just would’ve seen a kitty snoot. She also liked to bat at the cursor as it moved along.

Friday night I spent with my guy after going out for a bit. Early night though since we were both pretty drained from the week. Today Mateo and the boys went to the movies and I mainly studied. I have another ~3 weeks to get my research topic approved. I’m close – but not there yet. The focus now is on the research objectives and research questions I expect my research to address. So – no pressure 😳.

Tomorrow is all studying all day as those research deliverable are due. Then packing and off to Boston on Monday for a quick trip – back late on Tuesday.

So I literally have a stack of notebooks from various vendors and events on a bookshelf at home. A new one for the collection!
I did sneak out to an Italian coffee shop for some much needed java.

My curly peeps get just how real this is.
My study buddy. She’s low maintenance.

She Devil

FOOD

Lunch on Monday I went out and had tofu green curry! Shocker, I know. Dinner was beer and popcorn 🙂

Met my guy after work for a couple beers since we hadn’t seen each other much lately

Tuesday I had a day road trip for work. I stopped at Wegman’s in Woodbridge, VA for a breakfast salad. On the way home I admit – I stopped at Taco Bell. Traffic was a nightmare and I just wanted to get home! (It was 8 hrs of driving + 2 hrs of meetings). I generally dislike anything fast food quite a lot since there’s literally no nutritional value at all and helps contribute to the widening waistlines of the world, I do admit sometimes (tho rarely) it’s the only option. Had I used my normal purse, I’d have had granola bars in it that I would’ve had instead.

Wednesday I had a salad for brunch from our new Wegman’s. I have to say – I may not need to go to Whole Foods ever again! One of my big complaints about the Virginia Beach Whole Foods is that their salad bar rarely has any vegan proteins on it, like tofu or tempeh. Wegman’s does. It was awesome. While I didn’t snap a pick, I had a breakfast salad there on my way home this morning also.

Other meals this week were grilled fun, smoothies, pizza, and about half of this awesome burrito made with Impossible meat! Also baked some banana bread for the kidlets.

Never had this one before, but I really liked it

Quick lunch at Brixx pizza! Love they have vegan cheese options

FITNESS

Managed to squeeze in two runs and one bedroom yoga session (and no, that’s not a euphemism – I really did a yoga class in my bedroom).

LIFE

When I got home from my residency Monday morning (about 1am), I discovered that my boyfriend came over and installed my new dishwasher as a surprise! Mine died a bit ago, and I frankly got tired of hand washing them. It was an amazing surprise.

On the school front, it was a bit chaotic, but lower intensity than normal. My guess is our professors were giving our brains a chance to relax after residency last week.

On the work front, it was really busy, but good. Tuesday I had a day trip to DC to speak about blockchain in healthcare to a Federal Services advisory group. It was a really excellent discussion and a lot of fun.

Though, as I’m stuck on 395 trying to get out of the city, I check Facebook. And what do I see? This post from my sister. FYI, she lives in Wisconsin…

So I text her. And SHE WAS IN DC AT THE SAME TIME AS ME. Most disconnected sibling award goes to….? US. Ugh. Good thing I’ll be in Chicago in a couple weeks and will drive up to see her. Because I’m a good sister 😏. All kidding though, I live 3 1/2 hrs from DC and there’s no way she’d think I’d be there mid-week when she’s only there overnight. But still. Crazy.

Busy week otherwise. Work and a plumber to install a new kitchen sink. All good things though. Oh, and I also figured out how to use my pressure washer on Wednesday! Been sitting in my shed for 2 years unused. Last year I just hired someone, but its silly to have one and not use it. And I was sick of the pollen, so M and I figured it out (YouTube helped). Which means I was able to enjoy my coffee on the back porch this week!

Friday night my guy and I went out to one of our fav spots. Saturday morning I went home and worked on school stuff for most of the day. My girls went to some curiosity fair together in the morning and also picked up some plants for the garden. After they got home, we went out to get the remainder of the plants and then A finished all the planting!

Late that afternoon went back, we went out to dinner, and then up to the Eastern Shore to our fav cider place. It’s actually in Richmond, but they have a tasting room on the bay too, and that’s closer. Not as much selection since it’s not where the ciders are brewed, but still awesome.

And funny enough – we ran into one of my girlfriends and her husband! My guys son always says I have friends everywhere (I’m a lucky girl), but even this was funny. So they joined us and then we went to a distillery for a couple drinks before going back home. Awesome night.

My fav! The Resolution
The She Devil. Also good, and VERY spicy

I hit up the grocery on my way home this morning and have otherwise had a really peaceful Sunday and lovely Mother’s Day with my kids! I got a spa gift card for a Mother’s Day package (massage, facial, hair appt), and a beautiful crystal lotus. I have a love of them – after all I have a tattoo of one on my inner arm. It has a very personal meaning for me, so I’m totally thrilled with it.

Spotted on my drive to DC. I admit – I don’t get the appeal of trucks like this unless you have a business that requires hauling heavy stuff!

My morning java on my guys porch yesterday!

Lazy bear staring at us upstairs but not wanting to put in the effort to join us

BS made a playlist he shared – so I was jamming to it while making banana bread today!
I feel like I should make business cards with this and just hand them out to people when they learn I’m vegan

Will be another busy week. I fly out tomorrow morning for another blockchain panel discussion, but this time for a healthcare audience. I’m excited to see one of my girlfriends who lives where I’m heading – she’ll be my date on Tuesday night at an event at the Botanical Gardens!

Busy Busy Busy!!!

I have been admonished, so here I am with a long overdue blog post.

FOOD

Fairly typical eats the past couple weeks. One cool thing I was introduced to by my boyfriend’s mom is a local produce delivery service. They grow everything hydroponically and deliver every Friday. Due to travels it took me a couple weeks to finally order, but it was amazing! I got bibb, Romaine, and red leaf lettuces, arugula, wasabi sprouts, pea shoots, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and a huge back of juicing greens. It was an excellent haul. You just leave a cooler on your porch and come home to it filled with goodies!

I certainly used it all up too! Juicing, of course, and lots of salads. I took the bib, romaine, and wasabi sprouts to my guys house one night where he grilled and made everything else, I made the salad, and the 3 of us (BS – my admonisher) watched the season premier of Game of Thrones!

The next morning we went out to breakfast at a new place in VB. It’s a chain I’ve been to in the DC area, but it just opened a location here. It’s called First Watch, and to be honest, it wasn’t as wonderful as I had hoped. Wasn’t terrible, but not a spot we’d probably frequent too often. That said, I had the coconut chia pudding with granola and fruit and a side of multi-grain toast. It was good, but also the only thing on the menu for breakfast I could eat. Though the fresh juice (beet, orange, and turmeric) was awesome.

Other miscellaneous eats…

My girlfriend H made this slow cooker vegan chili with Daiya shreds for R and I when we spent
the night at their place
Mish mash meal of quinoa, Morningstar Farms chick’n strips, cabbage, and BBQ sauce

Simple coleslaw from the 1st China Study cookbook
Slaw on a baker with those Morningstar farms strips again

Vegan fried rice with tofu at Fat Dragon in Richmond!
No Bull burger at a tap house outside Richmond
My relatively boring mono-meal of steamed sweet potato and carrots

Homemade hummus from the Forks Over Knives cookbook

Monday night I went to an event with my girlfriend LC. I can’t believe I didn’t get a pic of us – but I DID get a pic of the food, so that’s what matters! It was held at a local place called Taste, and it was a food demo and dinner event called Vegan Food for Non-Vegans. L eats a lot of veg based meals, and knew I’d love it, so we went. Food was amazing. Wine was eh. I had to skip the first course due to that damned avocado allergy, but I couldn’t finish all I had anyway, so no loss there.

FITNESS

It’s funny how I went months without running, and lately it’s been the only workout! But I’ve gotten a bunch in since my last post, which is nice.

LIFE

It’s been ridiculously busy the past couple weeks. I know that’s a common theme, but still. Yikes.

On the school front, I’m now officially done with all didactic work. That ended with my last term. Starting with this term, it’s all about the research. First – this 10 weeks is about getting approval to even pursue my topic – which has been much more challenging than I would have thought. In a good way – and it’s really forcing me to narrow things down and consider what I would find valuable with a more critical eye, but it’s freaking exhausting. But also exciting. And hive & insomnia inducing (not an exaggeration), but also rewarding.

My son M went to a GoT watch party dressed as Jon Snow. It was awesome.

My youngest flew to CA so visit her Dad for spring break week. Her flight was out of Richmond, so after school that last day, we drove up and spent the night at a friend’s house. Unfortunately, her little one was really sick – so much so that they needed to take him to the ER. R and I stayed and hung out with their other son D, and while I missed seeing H, I’m glad we could be there to make it at least a bit easier for them to take care of J.

This only R’s second flight (since she was 2 anyway), and the first time not flying with an adult. We did the unaccompanied minor thing with Delta, and it was a great experience. They take her safety very seriously, which I appreciate. All went off without a hitch!

I had all these plans for spring break. I was going to take most of the week off, do all the yard work, prep the garden, and study. Let’s just say that life got in the way of most of those goals, and study was the only thing I planned that I actually did! It was still a good week though.

Friday we went to Richmond to spend the night. R was flying home the next evening, and my guy and I love spending time up there – especially in the Scott’s Addition area that has our fav cidery and Chinese restaurant.

Our first stop was Fat Dragon. And then we went to Blue Bee Cider. We went a year or so ago, and weren’t fans. But people he and I know or meet keep saying how much they love it, so figured we’d go see if our first impression was wrong. It wasn’t. There wasn’t a single cider we really liked. At best, 1-2 were “ok”. The rest were just not our style. Should always trust my cider instincts!

Thankfully Buskey’s is just around the corner and that very much IS our jam. Had a great time too.

And tomorrow is back to the regular routine of school and work. And that’s okay!

Making sprouts! They’re almost ready too!!
R at her Dad’s, about to go surfing

When There are Nine

FOOD

This week has been a combo of at home and on the road eats!

This was from By CHLOE in Boston – someplace I’ve wanted to go for a LONG time…taco salad!

Amuse bouche. Polenta with pea purée and balsamic bubbles

A vegan potato and leek soup that was AMAZING

FITNESS

Runs appear to be back on the menu lately. Not sad – I’ve usually liked running. Though when I get tired of it, I’m ok walking away to do something else too.

LIFE

Well, been busy, which is seriously nothing new.

Friday my guy and I went to a new wine place – Yianni’s. One of our fav people started working there, so we wanted to show our support. Ultimately – a nice wine bar. Amazing prices in that respect. On the food front – nothing really for me. And he’s pretty particular about not eating someplace I can’t easily – so we’ll probably be back for drinks, but not meals. I will say the place is cute and has a huge selection – and really wholesale prices on wines by the bottle. So totally worth it.

On Saturday R and I went to Busch Gardens. It was our first trip of the year, and we had a blast. Rode all the rides before heading home to do wash and pack.

I left for Boston early on Sunday. I spent the late afternoon and evening with friends walking around the Seaport area. AF and I went to grad school together and his wife L is totally amazing too. It was awesome to spend time together.

One of our stops was at the contemporary art museum, which was thought provoking…and strange. Perhaps more on the strange side…

I went with the cucumber mint – which was surprisingly yummy

I’ve been at a conference that focuses on artificial intelligence in healthcare. It’s been exhilarating and exhausting and I really need a nap from it!

OH – and last night my grad school alma mater WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP!!! Wahoowa!

Today I had a break and went to Salem – which was the coolest little witchy town ever! Went to the art museum (Peabody Essex) and then wandered around, but it was too cold to appreciate much.

Then it was to the Sam Adams brewery for a tour and tasting. Totally fun!

This is called the “When there are 9” experimental beer.  Brewed in conjunction with the Pink Boots society which promotes women in the beer brewing industry.  The name is an answer to the question “when will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?”

Tomorrow I go home, and I’m very ready. So many people there that I miss.

Dragons!

So BS admonished me again. I did tell him to bite me because I had a 40 page paper due and that was more important than his blog fix, but whatevs. Paper is done and now it’s time to catch up!

FOOD

As you can imagine, there has been plenty of food in the past 2 weeks! Thai, soups, salad, smoothies. You know – the typical. And eats out and about too of course!

Beyond Meat Brat & pretzel bun at Brick Anchor!

Dinner & drinks with a girlfriend from Boston who was in town

Take out Thai while paper writing

Today’s breakfast salad! Pit stop at Whole Foods on my way in this morning…

FITNESS

The past two weeks have been too chaotic to go to the gym. Good thing I have a small home gym with a spin bike – been quite a bit of that!

And yoga, of course. I’d probably burn out without it.

LIFE

Very busy couple of weeks! Went out of town with my guy a couple weekends ago. Great trip about 3-4 hrs away from home. Got back on Sunday – realized I left my wallet at the restaurant where we had breakfast, and proceeded to drive back to get it. Ugh. It was 7pm by the time I got there and raining, so I just spent the night and came home early in the morning. What a pain. Otherwise a wonderful weekend.

Got annoyed that they left the Irish whiskey with the same dumb Scottish spelling…but

Then it was a normal week of working, working out, studying, and going out one night with my guy – typically a Friday night.

The following weekend was an almost full family movie fun with Captain Marvel (A wasn’t there – her man was in town!). The next day was a brunch party at our fav brunch spot to celebrate A & J. Minus my son who was working and one of my guys sons who had pre-existing plans, and plus two other friends. We reserved the tea room, ate, drank, and laughed a lot. It was a lot of fun.

Then more work and school. My girlfriend H from Richmond was in town for a few days (she grew up here and was here for family stuff). We went out Tuesday night.

I took off Wednesday to focus on my paper. Library, then Brick Anchor for lunch, then Starbucks, and then meeting S from Boston for dinner and drinks.

This past weekend was all about robotics! R had a competition locally and was a ton of fun – though two 12 hr days is loooong. My guy came to some of it both days and that was fun. R was student ambassador so had to work shifts giving tours and explanations of the program. We were her first she gave tours to, so it was cute.

My term ended yesterday, so I’m done until April 8th. Here’s hoping I don’t get too bored…

And misc pics of course 🙂

Snuggly sunshine friends

Umm. I go thru a LOT of highlighters. Bulk purchase for $5 and I was excited.

So this weekend while at robotics, M bought everyone in the family their very own dragon! I was so excited that this one is mine. Totally perfect! Still needs a name tho…

Half Burnt Beats Fully Burnt

FOOD

I was on the road for a week, so not many homemade eats since my last post! I didn’t get pics of everything, but breakfasts were mostly oatmeal and fruit and sometimes toast. I managed a smoothie one day and I thought I was in heaven.

I was at the airport a bit early, so it was fruit, breakfast potatoes, and a mimosa!

Sunday afternoon/evening I went to Epcot (you know I can’t pass that up when in Florida!). Other than drinks, I got what I always do at the Tangerine Cafe in Morocco – falafel, hummus, lentils, olives, couscous, and tabbouleh. It’s their veg platter and it’s yummy.

And the rest while out of town…

Gardein Wings!

Erin McKenna’s fully vegan bakery!

Wine, Popcorn, and Twizzlers at the Orlando Magic game!

Then there’s this past weekend after getting home! Still didn’t cook because my best friend came in for the weekend. Didn’t get a pic of Friday night’s dinner. Mine was a mushroom risotto

AC and I LOVE Thai, and that was her 1 request – no good Thai in NOLA I guess

More gardein wings!
Vegan Bloody Mary at The Bee and Biscuit!

Last night’s very basic noodle and veggie dish

FITNESS

Hahaha. Does hiking all over Orlando and the convention center count? If not…well…then nothing!

I will say I was WAY over my step count, and averaged 5 -7 miles of walking per day.

Glad to be home, and when this stupid cold passes, excited to get back to Regymen and yoga!

LIFE

Well, I was in Orlando for the week for the HIMSS conference. Honestly, it was an excellent conference this year. I had 3 speaking engagements, tons of meetings, a lot of valuable sessions, plus our inaugural booth where we launched 3 products/services. To say it was busy is a major understatement.

Of course, there’s always a blend of a lot of work and quite a bit of play too. Vendors always want to treat you to fun evenings, and that certainly happened.

My quick recap –

Saturday was around the world in Epcot. Sunday was Universal City Walk and some mini golf.

Monday night was a women’s innovation dinner that was actually really great. Then met up with friends for drinks.

Tuesday was a show at a place called Mango’s. Lot’s of singing and dancing and it was a good time. My girlfriend KB lives in Orlando and she was my date! Hadn’t seen her in about 3 years, so it was a ton of fun.

Wednesday was light on the festivities. Went to happy hour to support a friend who is with a new company, but then left to head to Disney Springs and do some shopping and grab dinner. Needed a quiet night.

LOVED these – didn’t buy any – but loved them…

Thursday was the last night there, and we went to the Orlando Magic basketball game. That was a TON of fun and got to catch up with more friends I hadn’t seen in 2 years.

Friday’s flight wasn’t until 455pm, so there was plenty of time to relax at the pool. What I didn’t really pay attention to is the way the sun was falling on me. Only my right side. So – my right arm and leg got a bit of sunburn, while the rest of me didn’t! All is fine now – but I do have a few more freckles on that side of my body!

Friday I came home. My best friend AC arrived from New Orleans about 20 minutes before I landed. So I scooped her up and my guy met us for wine and dinner. My oldest had to work (she works nights), and was leaving right after work for DC and not returning until after AC had to go, so I was instructed by my daughter to bring her aunt AC to the hospital – with food 🙂

Saturday AC and I went to Thai for lunch, then I took her to BackBay Farmhouse brewery, where my guy met up with us for a few drinks and hanging out. Then it was back home and showered for the whole reason AC came this weekend – Kathleen Madigan comedy show. And it was HILARIOUS. After we stopped at Yard House for a drink and apps.

Sunday morning we were up early and to my fav brunch place – the Bee and Biscuit. Then it was off to the airport to drop her off, and me heading back home for a nap and then writing a paper.

Busy busy week! Unfortunately, I came down with a cold this weekend. Woke up Saturday with a sore throat and stuffy. Pushed through, but I think I just need some serious rest. And Sudafed 🙂

On a side note, I really really love sugar skulls. So while at Epcot I did pick up a new water bottle with them on it, and a thing for my desk. AC – who rides in the Mardi Gras parades – made me a purse with one on it – in purple – and it’s the absolute best!

Not as many fluff pics as normal…

So, it was a good week and a great weekend – but I’m happy to be home. Need a bit of recovery to feel 100%, but that’s okay too.