This is probably pathetic, and maybe I'm the only one that suffers from this problem, but I am terrible at making time for my friends. Terrible. Especially on weeknights! It's not that I don't enjoy a night out, or even a girls night in, I just find myself so focused on my 5-9 schedule (wake up a 5, bed by 9) that I make zero effort to see the people that are important to me. I'm marginally better on weekends, in between runs, playing with our puppies, and time spent with Evan. But even so... it's a real problem.
When somebody asks me to hang out on a 'school night,' my first inclination is to say no because I'm tired, or I'm home from work late, or I'm too lazy to battle traffic in DC... My sister is the complete opposite. She has plans with a different group of friends each night of the week, and her weekends are planned out for months--you almost have to schedule weeks in advance if you want to see her! What is even more impressive, she has an amazing career, trains year round for triathlons, and has time for a committed relationship.
Well, I clearly needed to up my friendship game. I could live my whole life in a cycle of these excuses. OR, I could manage 15 minutes of traffic and a little less sleep to see the people that are important to me... right?
Well, that is exactly how I've spent my week so far! Let me recap for you:
Sunday: a lazy weekend with parents, exploring new areas.
I am lucky enough to live 10 miles away from my dad and my stepmom, and probably see them at least once a week (usually for dinner because my dad is an amazing chef!!) Well, this weekend I stayed over on Saturday (Evan was on a trip) and woke up bright and early-ish to make a big belgian waffle breakfast with my dad before we laced up our sneakers for a run.
We made it 6 miles before calling it quits, which was really impressive given our bellies full of waffles. Running while pregnant has not been easy, so it's nice when you get a run every once in awhile where you feel like your 'normal self.' Along with being such a great cook, my dad is a great runner--we've actually run a handful of half and full marathons, 50ks, and one terribly long 50 miler together! It's so fun to train together! Obviously, my racing days are on hold for now, but it was great to hit the trails a bit with him.
Shortly after our run, we got ready and quickly headed out to explore a new area for lunch. On the menu? Del Ray in Alexandria. If you haven't been, it's this really cute neighborhood that often gets overshadowed by Old Town--it has its fair share of cute boutiques, consignment stores, and restaurants, so we had no problem spending our afternoon eating and shopping. Our stomachs told us it was time for lunch, so we headed straight for Bon Vivant, a small but delicious cafe with a healthy selection of soups, sandwiches, and salads!
I went for the egg sandwich, topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and this avocado spread that was to die for. WOW it definitely hit the spot and tamed my post-run hanger. A little after lunch, we browsed the stores along the street, and nabbed some great items for the baby. Since it was close to 95 degrees out, our energy drained quickly and we headed back to their home for a Sunday nap and enjoyed a healthy dinner to round out our day together.
Monday was spent at another yoga class (I'm 2 for 2 so far... which is 100 percent better than my previous yoga record). I tried out a strength vinyasa which turns out to be quite difficult when you're 20 weeks along... I totally forgot how many poses are focused on core and deep twists. Obviously, I modified or rested in child's pose as needed, but I still felt like I left centered and with some sore muscles.
Tuesday: Ramen, shopping, and ice cream!
I made plans to meet up with my friend Tory for dinner and shopping, and it turned out to be that and then some. We met at metro center, and made our way to Umaya Izakaya for an early dinner before hitting Saks Off Fifth nearby.
Oh my gosh, Ramen has been my new obsession. I don't know why it took me so long to catch up with the trend, but after tasting the sweet nectar of a good bowl of ramen, I can not go back to the dried instant noodles (just kidding, I see myself more as a ramen lover, not a noodle snob, so I'm not above the 99 cent packages).
I will say this was one of the best bowls of ramen I've had in DC to date--it was their traditional pork broth and pork belly, and the flavor was insane. It also wasn't incredibly salty, which I think is a frequent mistake with asian soups.
After we browsed Saks, we headed to U street in search of ice cream. Tory is from the mid-west and complains that she has yet to find a decent ice cream spot in the city.. well, I think we may have found at least ONE! We went to Ice Cream Jubilee (they have two locations, one in U street and one in the Navy Yard) and I ordered a scoop of their banana caramel and cookies n cream. It did NOT disappoint. The ice cream was so rich and smooth... and I loved the flavor combinations that they offered. It looked like the winning choice of the day was seasonal blueberry pie, since we saw every other person in line order a bright purple cone of the stuff. Next time...
We ended up walking around U street before I made it home around 9 pm. I know, almost past my bedtime!
Wednesday: Korean BBQ with family
So, if you haven't caught on yet, food is my family's love language. It is what brings us together and often what we talk about! We joke that we're already planning our next meal, even as we're sitting down to enjoy one together.
My dad wanted to take my stepmom out to kick of her birthday week (yes, a week of celebrations, I love it) and korean sounded like a fun and tasty meal. We headed to Han Gang in Annandale and were seated immediately in a nice private booth. Nelly, my stepmom, and I arrived first and ordered a few appetizers to tide us over until my dad could make it from work. We ordered the mandu, which are pork and beef dumplings, and a kimchi scallion pancake. WOW, as soon as we took our first bites we knew we were in for a feast...
After my dad arrived and we were situated with drinks and appetizers, we ordered a round of korean barbecue (short ribs, pork, chicken, and spicy beef), a seafood hot pot, and rice noodles for our family-style meal. My family has this habit of over-ordering but it's almost because there is a fear of missing out if we don't try everything! And hey, leftovers are always welcome...
|All of the amazing korean sidedishes that come along with your meal|
|Mandu--this was taken after we inhaled the rest of the dumplings!!|
|Kimche and scallion pancake! Sooo tasty|
|Different meats grilling away in front of us|
As you can imagine, we ate our weight in bbq, along with korean rice cakes and spicy seafood! We definitely took home leftovers, but the over-ordering was so worth it to be able to try a bit of everything they had to offer. I think my favorite dishes were the spicy rice cakes and the short ribs... but honestly, I didn't taste one thing that I didn't immediately love!
We rolled ourselves out of the restaurant with full bellies and I am not complaining at. all. I managed a quick walk around the block with the puppies before I called it a night..
Well, that about wraps up my recap of the week.