Tag: food and drink

Retreat, day 2

Beth and Megan (and Shakespeare’s) birthdays today so happy birthday everyone!

Up just before 6 AM and into the office by 6:30. Did some work on my “futures” presentation and then back to the retreat. Once again, meetings from 8 AM to 5 PM. Breakfast brought in. I was supposed to have lunch with Cathy but there wasn’t enough time because we went over. She seemed really disappointed but we arranged to have lunch tomorrow; I felt terrible, of course. Fortunately, I had flowers delivered to her for Administrative Support day, and hopefully those cheered her up some.

Good sessions again today, and long day. Dinner with Jim and Janet after, once again at the Galley (Jim heard it was good and didn’t know we’d gone there the night before, and I didn’t want to spoil it for them). Had the Australian lamb, which was outstanding. Got to talk with Jim and Janet for a while which was nice.

Was supposed to do a software upgrade tonight and had to abort due to some technical problems. We’ve rescheduled for Monday. Back to the hotel around 8:50 PM, checked the bar but still no Sambuca. Came back up to the room to put finishing touches on my “application support” presentation and them I’m off to bed.

Retreat, day 1

So busy with the retreat that I don’t have much time to write here, so I’m doing mostly simple diary entries that stick to the basics, so forgive for a few days. Eventually things will return to normal. At least you’ll get a glimpse of what my “diary” blog entries look like.

Up at 6 AM, into the office by 6:30 and in meetings from 8 AM to 4:30 PM. Breakfast was brought in but lunch was on our own. I had lunch with Jim and Robert, who took me over to McDonald’s, which has been remodeled and looks completely different from what I remember. The food wasn’t any better.

Good morning session and good afternoon sessions, and when it was over, I was exhausted. But we had the group dinner at 6 PM at The Galley Restaurant. I had the spicy shrimp diablo, which was very good. 11 of us at dinner, and had a great time. Afterward, Neal, Will and I headed to the hotel bar for a drink. They didn’t have Sambuca or Ouzo, so I just had water. In bed around 10 PM, finished up In Memory Yet Green and then off to sleep.

Things are warming up

I left the office at 4 PM yesterday, after a busy day, and headed over to Kelly’s, enjoying the walk from the metro station, down the hill to her house, because the air is finally getting warming around here. Eventually, we headed back up the hill for dinner, going to a place called Mexicali, which we thought was Mexican but might have been Salvadorian. Kelly had fish tacos and I had two shredded beef tacos and 1 chicken taco. It wasn’t bad. The guacamole wasn’t particularly good, but I’ll be in Southern California next week and plan on dining on good Mexican food a couple of times while I was there. On the other hand, they had $2 drafts, which was nice.

Earlier in the day, I picked up a copy of Juno on DVD as a little surprise for Kelly. I gave it to her yesterday when she got home from work, and then we watched the movie before going to bed. We’d both seen it before together when it was in theaters. Kelly saw it another time with a friend. Even on a second viewing, it was a great movie, with a great soundtrack.

I had a dream last night that I was having a bad allergic reaction to something and was breaking out in hives. I’m pretty sure I know what that dream was all about.

Got to sleep in this morning, which was nice. Two full nights of sleep in a row. It was warm already when we left for work. It’s supposed to be up in the 70s today and into the 80s tomorrow. Tomorrow, we’re planning to attend our first “outdoor” happy hour of the year.

548 pages through In Memory Yet Green. No writing yesterday.

Busy day at work today, I’ll be in meetings from 11 AM – 4 PM. Which means I won’t have time to get a whole lot done.

Saturday evening/Sunday

Kelly’s flight was delayed 2 hours yesterday, but I picked her up from Dulles at 7 PM and we headed back to her place. I think she was glad to be home because it had been a long trip for her.

We slept in this morning and then made pancakes for breakfast. After breakfast, Kelly went to the gym while I lazily read more of In Memory Yet Green. Then we packed up stuff into our cars (including my new telescope) and headed over to my house.

I was in a cleaning mood. I cleaned up the kitchen, and took piles of books from the living room and put them in the office. I mopped the floors. I emptied trash. While Kelly did her taxes, I went grocery shopping. I had to stop and get litter for Zeke and found that it was on a rather incredible sale. I got 2-14 lbs boxes of litter for $3 each. They normally cost $15.99 each. Crazy! I also got us stuff to make dinner. Later in the evening, we had a 3-course meal: salad with sliced tomatoes and broccoli; ravioli and pasta sauce; and apple pie for dessert. Meanwhile, I put my telescope together while Kelly did laundry. I took it outside to get it aligned. It was so cool. I managed to lose a small screw and spent about 20 minutes searching for it but to no avail. I gave up when I realized I could find an exact match at Home Depot for less than a dollar. Unfortunately, it was overcast out so I couldn’t use the telescope to look at stars tonight.

I gassed up my car today (over $30!), and then, gassed up Kelly’s car before she left this evening so that she could drive straight home. She left at about 8:20. I’m heading off to bed in order to get a good night’s sleep.

Rainbow Room Birthday Bash 2008

Saturday began early for I was anxious to see everyone and wanted to get an early start. Kelly and I had gone to bed around midnight and I was up at 6:40 AM. I showered and then headed downstairs to sit on the couch and read until everyone else woke up. Kelly was up early too, and so we waited for vickyandnorm (Norm and Vicky) and kruppenheimer (Lisa) to awaken and get ready. It didn’t take too long but it seemed as though it took forever. However, we were ready to go by 9 AM, which is what I was hoping for, and at that point, we hit the road.

How’s this for a great day…

Cherry blossom festival

Kelly and I decided to brave the cool (but clear) weather and the potential crowds downtown today to check out the annual blooming of the cherry blossoms in D.C. As it turned out, more than the cherry blossom festival was going on. The National Marathon took place today. There was a kite festival on the Mall. And indeed, the Orange line train heading into downtown was pretty crowded. In fact, the whole mall area seemed jam packed with people and cars and buses. It was a good thing we took the train in and decided to walk. The roads were a mess.

We got off the train one stop before Smithsonian to avoid the major crowds. We then took a leisurely walk down to the Mall, past the Washington Monument where the kite festival was taking place. Kites of all kinds filled the skies there. We continued on past the first few cherry blossoms, and then made our way down toward the basin, which was surrounded by blooming trees. (And crowded with people.) We walked passed the Jefferson Memorial and then over to the other side of the basin, following the path around to the FDR memorial. Kelly had never been to the FDR memorial, so we wandered through that. I’d been there before, but this was the first time I’d learned that the memorial was divided into 4 sections, each one representing a term of FDR’s presidency.

More pictures of the Cherry Blossom festival…

Birthday dinner

Kelly and I met up after work yesterday and drove into Old Town Alexandria. The skies were overcast, but the weather was springlike, and we spent 45 minutes or so wandering about the streets of Old Town, popping in and out of little shops (including a cute little Irish shop) before heading over the the restaurant for dinner.

We had reservations at the Chart House Restaurant. Kelly managed to wrangle us a window by the water, and we spent much of our time commenting on the behavior of the 12 and 13 years old pooling around outside, waiting to board a boat for a dinner cruise.

It was a very good dinner. We started with an appetizer called a Crab, Avocado and Mango Stack
Jumbo, which was essentially lump crab meat tossed in remoulade over layers of fresh avocado and mango. I also had some clam chowder, and we both ordered fish dinners which were excellent. They have a famous lava cake dessert there, which must be ordered 30 minutes in advance, but we had dessert waiting at home. In fact, Kelly had made 36 chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting (how well she knows me!) They were moist and delicious. I have four of them with me here at work today.

And to top it all off, Kelly got her hair cut and I love the new length and style. I couldn’t stop looking at it throughout the evening.

She got me a book that I’ve been wanting, as well as an excellent Dr. Seuss birthday card. She got me something else, too, which is supposed to arrive via UPS today. I guess I’ll find out what it is later this evening.

I received phone calls from vickyandnorm and A.J. and Denisse, and stubiebrother last night. I also had a birthday voice-mail message from mabfan.

It was a wonderful evening, and a very happy birthday.

Lazy Easter Sunday

Today was a lazy day and it was great. We slept in until around 9 AM, then headed to a relatively empty grocery store to do some grocery shopping. Came back home, at breakfast and then lazed around for hours while doing laundry and watching TV.

About mid-afternoon, we headed out to get some air, up to Greenbelt lake. The weather was a little cool, but bright and sunny and the lake was crowded with lots of Easter picnics. We walked twice around the lake, getting our exercise for the day, before coming back home.

For dinner, I made ravioli (large ones this time) and spaghetti sauce, to which I added, while the sauce was still heating up, some hot pepper that gave it a nice kick. And for dessert we had apple pie, which we got at the store. Then more TV watching and lazing around until all of the laundry was done. Kelly headed home around 7 PM. I won’t see her until Thursday (I’m going there on Thursday this week instead of Wednesday because my birthday is Thursday and we’re going out for a birthday dinner.)

I’m packing my lunch and then heading off to bed. I’m 65 pages into Factoring Humanity and I plan on getting another hour or so of reading in before lights-out. Tomorrow evening I hope to finish up the revisions on “The Golden Watch”.

Called he11o_sunshine and stubiebrother today but got voicemail. Maybe I’ll talk to them later in the week.

Saturday afternoon

Yesterday afternoon began late yesterday morning. After Kelly cleaned off her desk and I finished my book, we headed out for a day full of errands and fun. First we went to the post office so that I could mail all of my tax papers to my accountant. With that out of the way, we headed a short distance down the street to the Silver Diner, where I had my first-ever egg salad sandwich. (How it it I’ve missed egg salad sandwiches? The same way, I supposed, I have missed many other types of foods: there’s so much out there it takes a while, but eventually, you get around to it.) I enjoyed it. The atmosphere at the diner was fun too. We stopped at the vet to pick up some cat food for Kelly’s cat, Simon, and then we headed down to Potomac Yards.

We met Kelly’s friend Sarah there and proceeded to do a bunch of shopping. There was shoe shopping (or browsing). We went into PetSmart and Target. We dashed in and out of shops. Kelly and I even bought a basketball because she’s had the urge to play now that the weather is starting to get nice again. (This has nothing to do with March Madness, I can assure you.)

Next we headed over to the movie theater and the three of us caught a 2:15 PM showing of Under the Same Moon, which turned out to be a pretty good movie. I found that, for the most part, I could understand the Spanish without the English subtitles.

After the movie, we stopped at the grocery store, loaded up the cars, and finally headed into D.C. where we went to a Mexican restaurant just south of the Capital South metro for dinner. They had pretty good Margaritas, but remarkably, they were all out of avocados, so there was no guacamole to be had with any of our meals. Still, it was a good meal, and a good afternoon.

I drove us back to my place after dinner and Kelly started in on something like 5 loads of laundry. Tivo had recorded What About Bob? and so we watched that, but we were tired and headed off to bed at 10 PM, as soon as it was over.

Saturday morning

Kelly and I went to Harry’s Tap Room for dinner last night, and it was a particularly good meal. I had this spicy, tequila shrimp dish which was very tasty. Our server warned me that this was a spicy dish, but I was looking for something spicy–turns out “spicy” is a relative term. I’d call it “medium”, but it was still good. Kelly had trout. We both had dessert and then walked leisurely back to her place. The evening air was mild. It was all very pleasant.

We spent the rest of the evening watching a few episodes of Dexter, which I had never seen before, but which I really enjoyed. It’s a well-done show.

We were up around 7:30 and slept off and on until almost 9 AM. Kelly got up to go to the gym and I finished reading Up the Line. What a great time-travel book! I’ll have more to say on it later, but I thoroughly enjoyed it–gave it 4 stars–and it has to rank up there among the best time travel books I’ve read. I’ve now read 3 Robert Silverberg books and none of them have disappointed me. They have all been terrific.

I’ll be starting on Rob Sawyer’s Factoring Humanity sometime today, and I’m looking forward to that as well.

We’ve got some errands to run this morning and then plan on catching a movie this afternoon. Sometime later today, we’re heading over to my place. I’ve still got some revisions to complete on “The Golden Watch” and I’d like to get those finished this weekend.

Peruvian meals and mundane work

Kelly and I headed over to Denisse and AJ’s last night where we gathered with some of their other friends for a Peruvian dinner that Denisse prepared. I can’t remember the name of the dish, but it was terrific! Lots of mojitos and beer, as well as snacks and desserts. Good company, too. We got there a little after 6 PM and finally headed back to Kelly’s around 11 PM.

After a good night’s sleep, I left Kelly’s at around 10 AM this morning. I got home remarkably quickly. My first task was cleaning up the place a bit. That took about an hour. Then I had work to do. I agreed to write some documentation for a beta-test we are conducting beginning this week, and I spent much of the afternoon on that, taking a break for lunch, and a bit of reading.

All told, I managed to write about 15 pages of documentation (a tad under 4,000 words) and I completed enough to be ready for tomorrow. But the day is done now, and it’s already 7:30 which means it’s nearly time for me to go to bed. I’m going to eat some dinner, make my lunch for tomorrow, and then hit the sack.