washington national cathedral


it's been a busy and productive week ending with my last CCS concert ever (as an employee).  only 12 days of work left! i can't say it wasn't a little bittersweet, though.  the cathedral is a beautiful space and the sound is always moving.  and you always notice a new detail, no matter how many times you've been in there.
abraham lincoln
j reilly lewis
wood carvings
wood carving
washington national cathedral
view from the cathedral
so long cathedral!

date weekend


eric and i spent the weekend running errands and going on dates with each other.  we had a date friday, saturday, and sunday.  it's like we're in love or something.  friday night we recreated our second date at lost dog, saturday night was a double date comedy show at the newly redone old town theatre, and sunday morning was a breakfast date at boccato.

we haven't been to boccato before but drive past it every day and thought sunday morning sounded like the perfect time to drink coffee and people watch.  from the outside it looks like a normal local coffee shop, but inside it's a mix of italian and central american with gelato, empanadas (from julia's!), and of course great coffees and teas.

this place is definitely a new favorite date spot.  everything was delicious and sitting in the window watching people go by and listening to conversations around us while we hang out is so much fun.  i love hanging out with eric, he's the best :)

travel bucket list


does planning a trip just make you want to plan a hundred trips?  does it make you over zealous and think that you can pack way more in than is humanly possible?  me too.   while planning our honeymoon and australia, i've been reminded of all the other places still on the list.  it's like no matter how many you cross off you can never make a dent in the list of all the places to see.  

my top 6 list is below.  what's on yours? and what are you waiting for?!

1. Antarctica - the 7th continent.  between the long boat ride, freezing conditions, and not a great chance you'll actually get to set foot on land, this is at the top of the list just so it can get crossed off and finally say all seven have been done.  although, the thought of seeing some sweet penguins and pretending i'm shackleton does make it much more appealing.  plus you could check out patagonia on the way!
2. South Africa - let's pretend for a minute that i'm ballsy enough for this ridiculous dive destination.  not only do you have the sardine run, which appears to me to be one of the most incredible things you can witness, they also have tons of sharks and other megafauna.  can you say cage diving with great whites?  i can already tell this trip would cost an absolute fortune.  and there's no way i'm going all the way to SA and not also checking out the big 5 (elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, rhino) at kruger national park.  maybe we'll win the lottery?
south africa
3. Equador/Galapagos - so many reasons... blue footed boobies, giant tortoises, great snorkeling, quito, otavalo highlands, darwin, i could go on and on, we would need months here.
4. Cocos Island - aka the uninhabited island from jurassic park flyover scenes.  it's a costa rican national park and though i would love to spend lots of time on this island that Jacques Cousteau called the "most beautiful island in the world", the waters have an extra special offering.  the unusual counter-currents and steep drop offs around the island give you pretty much the best exhibition of megafauna known on earth.  having to do your trip on a live-aboard seems worth it as you can see tuna, mantas, sharks, whales, dolphins, turtles, sea lions, and whale sharks all on one trip.  that's what they say anyway, so put it on the list!
whale shark
5. The Silk Road - i've been wanting to do a silk road trip since the tuvan throat singers came to A&M and we got to spend the week with them.  the history of these trade routes where people began some of the first major globalization and cultural exchange makes this trip seem rewarding in such a unique way.  not to mention the scenery looks incredible.  plus you can sleep in a real yurt.
6. Iceland - because who doesn't want to land in crazy cross winds, see auroras, and experience one of the most extremely natural beautiful places in existence?  can't afford a trip to another planet? go to iceland!
aurora borealis

p.s. can you tell from these pics that my favorite color is blue? :)

one month


welp, we have exactly one month until moving day and exactly 3 months of stuff to do.
  • find a new storage unit
  • finish my job (4 concerts back to back = no weekends)
  • finish planning our wedding!!! well we have 2 months for this, but still... way too much left to do
  • go through storage
  • pack for texas, fiji, and australia all at once!
  • do our taxes
  • pack up our house and move it into storage
  • road trip it to tejas
i don't know how all of this will get done, but getting married, changing jobs, and leaving the country all at once is a lot to think about.  hence the coaster pic.

i love our apartment so much, it's our first home where we have become a family of four.  i love mornings here, the walks we take, the window in the shower, cooking together, even cleaning the house. it's so small we can get it the whole place spotless and smelling wonderful in just a couple of hours.  i want to live here forever! (...if it weren't in DC...and so so expensive) but nooo, let's never leaaaavvee!

but it's ok, because then we are going on another adventure.  my favorite things in life are love, eating, and travel (whose aren't?) and right now we get to be in love with each other, our house, our dogs, and our families, and after the wedding we get to eat again ;) and travel.  so as much as i'll miss our first perfect home, now is the time to appreciate our last month here before we to get to do something new.

only one more month! :) ... 
only one more month. :(  
only one more month! :) ... 
only one. more. month. :( ...

cosmic bowling


friday night cosmic bowling!  aaron, rebecca, eric and i like to bowl at fort myer so last night we hit it up with cheesesteaks and massive amounts of pepsi.  we are so good at this game.  we might have to start a league.  87 was the highest score of the night!

the perks of a job


just when i think i'm so ready to be done with my job and move on to the next thing in life, i get to do some cool stuff at work.  working for music organizations is pretty cool in general, what other job are you required to be a part of beautiful concerts in beautiful settings involving some of the most talented musicians in the country?

but there are lots of other random unexpected things you get to do.  like last week reilly tells me he needs me to turn pages at his organ concert at the kennedy center.  i'm like, man i don't want to spend my thursday night doing this! then when i get there he says, oh by the way i also need to you to play the zimbelstern at the marked places (this is just a button on the organ that you push on and off and it makes little twinkling bells sounds).  no prob i can do that!  so while i'm bored by this whole thing, at some point i realize, wait: you live in our nation's capital, you're on the stage of the kennedy center with a full audience, you were just hanging with eschenbach backstage, and now you're technically playing the organ.  probably not going to happen again... this is actually pretty cool!
reilly lewis organ
i've also gotten to check out lots of embassies and ambassadors' residences over the last few years.  being inside the buildings can really make you feel like you have traveled to the country.  everyone is speaking the language, the furnishings and other decor have been shipped over, and they give you customary food and drink for meetings.  some are nicer than others, like the 4 course french embassy meal that lasted for hours and was only supposed to be a short lunch meeting.  i have no idea what i ate, and left completely drunk.  it was wonderful.  the belgians also really know how to get it done, and lucky for us the current ambassador loves bach and our organization, so we get to spend lots of time there :)

today we met with the russians to promote our upcoming rachmaninoff vespers concert.  it was just a short meeting, but we were treated with coffee, tea, and russian chocolates.  since most of the meeting was in russian, which is so beautiful and rhythmic that it makes me sleepy, my mind wandered from the cups and saucers to the artwork to the chandeliers and back.

i guess the point is, i've been so ready to get out of here, but when it comes down to it maybe i'll miss this place just a little.
^^from the space room.  obviously.^^

the beard collective


if you like beards like i do (a lot), here you go.  happy friday and you're welcome.

a couple of favorites:

(all images via)
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