Six Pack Sunday: Blessed with BEER!!

It’s been FAR too long. Six Pack Sunday posts are some of my favorite things to write but, as of late, I’ve been swamped with working, learning, and a little bit of playing.  One of my buddies from school asked me in class this week,

How on EARTH do you have time to write a blog?

Good question. I regularly wonder, when reading some of my favorite blogs, how they manage to go out and run 7 miles, food prep for the week, work their jobs, get their education, and look gorgeous while socializing AND blogging.  It’s a mystery, but I guess folks make it work. Bravo to all those overachievers in the blog world.

I’ve been feeling pretty fantastic, primarily because I’ve been achieving a bit, at least in the beer world…  Yes, I had a GREAT TIME with my new beer babes of Philly Girls’ Pint Out on Monday, but there’s been some other stuff….

1. FREE BEER!! Thanks, Yuengling!

Tastes like home

Sometimes, the stars align, and something wonderful happens. When that wonderful thing involves free beer… that’s even more wonderful. On Friday night, Yuengling treated the folks of Philly to a free Lager to thank them for helping make Yuengling the largest American-owned brewery. The Philly-wide Toast was a great way to start the weekend off on a solid, free note!

I have to give props to Neiman for what I think was a unique and very popular campaign. That’s the kind of advertising I’m into…

2. Midterms are Coming

AHHHHHH!!!!!!

That’s all.

3. Worth It.

I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant about shelling out $4 for an order of sweet potato fries.

Well, consider my doubts swept RIGHT under the rug!

Shut the FRONT DOOR!

Hip City Veg is DANGEROUSLY close to Athleta. Like… when you have a 15 minute break, you can get there and back in time to eat an entire order of sweet potato fries. Add a side of black bean cilantro dip (which I now FULLY intend to recreate, ASAP) and you have the most decadent treat I can imagine. Salty, sweet, creamy dip AND a decent sized portion. I don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse.

My tastebuds say blessing.

4. Drink Your Paycheck, Much?

Ever since Monday’s glass of Consecration, I’ve been JONESING for a sour beer. And then, last night, I got paid.

Sure, the check was a fraction of what I used to get working full time in research.

Sure, I’m also attending grad school and shelling out dollars for that.

But it was an itch that only a good beer could scratch.

Sexy, right?

Hey, Russian River… You make one heck of a sour beer, blonde or otherwise. And in your tartness, you have won me over completely…. It was ALSO totally worth it to enjoy a lone peer that harbored on perfect to end a LONG Saturday full of work and Zumba. I slept like a baby (if babies could drink sour ales).

5. Freezing Fashion

The weather was in the 60s this week. And, since my body, accustomed to North Carolina temperatures, panics at the sight of 7s and 6s leading the numbers on the thermometers, I did what any sane employee of Athleta would do…

The coziest.

The Reversible Training Headband by Smartwool screamed out to me since we got our winter shipment at the store. And, last night, the crisp air DEMANDED the purchase of my very own headband. I also have barely taken it off since then.

6. The Luckiest

Remember that time that I booked a flight, mid-summer, to Denver, Colorado for the weekend of October 11-13 for $7.50 since I had so many points for flying back and forth to Philly from RDU for the past two years?

And I chose that weekend specifically so that I could go to the Great American Beer Festival.

Then… the tickets when on sale.

Four minutes later, I sat at my computer, shell-shocked by the fact that I didn’t score a single ticket. The sell-out was nearly instant, and I REFUSED to drop hundreds of dollars on a scalped ticket.

My buddy Melissa and I then promised each other we would enter any and every contest to get our tickets, hoping for luck to be on our side.

Enter: BeerGram

I signed up to receive their emails, crossed my fingers, and said that, without question, I’d send my first “BeerGram” to my beer babe, Melissa.

And then I was told that I won tickets to GABF.

I not only won one ticket, but two tickets for EVERY session.

Oh, we’re GOING THERE!

My heart skipped a few beats, and then I immediately wrote back YES YES A MILLION TIMES YES!!

This is the most exciting Six Pack Sunday of ALLLLLL Six Pack Sundays.

I’m scoping out survival guides, I’m making my plan of attack, and I’m getting thirsty.

Anyone else going?! HOORAYYYYY!!

What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you lately, my friends?

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Philly Girls’ Pint Out Takes Flight at City Tap House

When people ask me what I miss most about North Carolina, sometimes I think about the stunning UNC campus. Other times, I think about the hip, welcoming town of Durham, complete with giant bull statue and delicious eats and my favorite minor league baseball team. And there’s always Cheerwine, Bojangles, and all the beauty of Honeysuckle Sorbet… But then I remember what I REALLY miss most of all.

MISS YOU SO!!

It’s my NC Beer Family, of course! This amazing group of men and women were some of my best friends, and they always welcomed me with open arms and open bottles!! They gave me a community, a place to be myself and geek out over my favorite things in the world (craft beer…. cheese…. chocolate…. friends.)  And, though it’s still in the early phases, I think I’m finding that community in Philly.

You know what helped?

Well, that logo looks familiar!!

Philly’s very own Girls’ Pint Out!!

Though this was my second event with the ladies of PAGPO, it was definitely the first where I really got to meet and know some of the women. And they’re fantastic!

We all got together on Monday night at City Tap House for a DIY Flight-Night personalized for each gal. For $10, we each got 4-5 oz pours of different beers. And, since… tis the season and all, I just WENT FOR IT!

Fueled by Luna!! All pumpkin, all the time!

As you can see on the bottom there, I claimed the name “Pumqueen” for the night since every beer I was enjoying featured a Pumpkin spin. Lavery’s Stingy Jack, Old Forge Smashing Pumpkin, Long Trail’s Imperial Pumpkin, and Fegley’s Brew Works’ Devious Imperial Pumpkin!!

So much pumpkin on one paddle.

Unfortunately, there was some confusion at City Tap House which beer was which on the paddle. However, through careful deduction and detective-like skills (and some discussion with other ladies) I figured out my beers and their order (maybe). Either way, I’m PRETTY sure that my favorite was Long Trail’s Imperial Pumpkin. Smashing Pumpkin was a little low on carbonation, and the Brew Works’ Devious Imperial Pumpkin had a little sharpness to it that I didn’t love, and not enough pumpkin.

Unfortunately, one of the beers had a little extra something and, while I was chatting with my new lady friends over how we all got into craft beer (Brothers! Working at a brewery! boyfriends! Buddies! so many routes to the inevitable destination of beer love!) Into my mouth went….

A SHARD OF GLASS!!

Eeek.

I told one of the servers and, don’t worry, no one got hurt (no one = my mouth). They comped my paddle and, though I’m not sure if it was because he felt bad OR because this had been planned long before, Andy decided to treat all my new lady beer buddies to some special bottles!!

Andy, you the m-ANDY!

Sorry about my lousy iPhone shots, but I didn’t even consider bringing my fancy camera.

TREATS!!

My favorite was HANDS DOWN the Russian River Consecration Ale. Sour dark ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon Barrels with CURRANTS!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!@#?!$!?#

Glory, thy name is Consecration and I’d like to drink you ALWAYS.

Despite the glass-y shard, the night was fantastic and had me smiling the whole time.

Happiest camper.

And the best thing of all?

NEW BEER FRIENDS!!

Do you think the pink tint was to go with the GPO colors??

No one could replace my NCBeer family, but I’m SO STOKED to be starting a new bunch of beer loving pals!

Thanks to City Tap House for handling a problem with grace and courtesy, thanks to Andy for spoiling us (and introducing me to Consecration, my new love), AND thanks to my new buddies for sharing your Monday night craft beer loving with me!!

I wonder what tasty beer event is next on the horizon….

 

 

 

Free(food) Isn’t Free

At UNC, it was Pokey Sticks, pizza, hush puppies, and Bojangles.

I’m cool with that.

And, with age, comes maturity, right?

Like a really mature cheese.

A Swiss gruyere, perhaps?

Or a very mature… Whoopie Pie from Cupcake and Whoopie Cravings.

Red Velvet = sexual chocolate

Instead of the All-American/All-Southern foods, we get a diverse mix of international cuisines.

Veggie lo-mein, quinoa and wheatberry salad, HOLY MACKEREL what a spread!!

But, no matter whether you’re getting a greasy Pokey Stick in your dorm building’s meeting or gourmet salami picante and Margherita pizza at a Happy Hour for Public Health students, at the end of the day, free food is NOT free.

DAMN YOU, SUPERIOR INGREDIENTS!!

I know it’s been the case with me. I’ve been thinking to myself YEESH grad school is so expensive. I have nothing in the way of a steady income (though I am loving the Athleta job, it’s certainly not a 40-hour career gig that can support city living) and ANYTHING free is better then spending my own money, right?

Wrong.

Last week, with all sorts of events going on for school and a little bit of wobbling when it came to getting accustomed to my new working-girl schedule, I found myself rushing around campus going to any and all events that were free and sponsored by campus. Collecting cookies, soft pretzels, and hot dogs for the run. Thanking my lucky stars that I wasn’t shelling out my dollars on expensive salads and grilled chicken. And then it hit me.

With the effort that I was putting forth finding the times for these events, mapping out the destination and the route to get there, and considering time is money… I was spending quite a bit on these “free” meals.

Their nutritional value was rarely better than the slop you’d find at a fast food restaurant or a massive buffet. Hamburgers, pasta salad, hot dogs, snack-bar cookies, brownies. And the occasional fruit cup and quinoa salad didn’t really offset the unhealthy other junk.

The result of the week?

blub blub blub

I’m feeling like a pufferfish, head to toe.

So this weekend, I went out, nabbed some grapes, some chicken breasts, frozen veggies, and spinach at my local Superfresh. Instead of taking the bus there, I jogged. And I prepared food for the week.

For when I have to eat lunch/dinner at work, I picked up some sandwich thins, lunch meat, onion, and fruits for my lunch bag. No rushing over to McDonalds for convenience and cheap burgers.

Turns out that the cost of this free food was surprisingly steep. My self-esteem, my energy, my time, and my digestive system.  And that’s just not worth it, not at all.

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and I think I might have with that disembodied wisdom.

Ever fall into the “Free Food” trap? 

Any advice for navigating it without ending up puffy and sad?

I’d say avoid the carbs, that’s going to be the very worst part of the meal most of the time. The hot dog buns, the noodles, the cookies… they ended up as the lowest of the low quality.

 

 

 

 

Megabus or BUST!

When I decided on an impromptu journey to NYC for the weekend on Friday morning, I never thought I’d be waking up Sunday and Monday mornings to this ugly mug:

Hello, you fool. DON’T LOVE YOU!

But, other than a furry alarm clock that woke me up a few hours too early each morning with a scratchy tongue and a desperate Meeyooooowwwwww, this was just the most pleasant little surprise trip to visit my buddy Claire.

Goals of the weekend?

  • Eat good foods
  • Avoid any/all football games (televised, IRL, college, NFL, Fantasy, foosball…)
  • Don’t spend too much money
  • Get outside

Mission: accomplished.

Scenes from the Megabus Experience

After my first actual floor shift at Athleta (my new employer, in case you missed this post), I hauled booty over to Philly’s infamous 30th Street Station to hunt down the Megabus stop. After walking around like a sleepwalker for a bit, unsure of what I was doing, I spotted a Bolt Bus and figured it couldn’t be too far…  And, after chasing a bus turned fruitful, and the Megabus was about 20 minutes late, I hopped on and secured a window seat.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might also know that I secured my own row on the bus.  This was achieved by looking generally surly and standoffish and pulling my hood up over my eyes. I’m pretty sure no one on that bus wanted to be my friend.  That’s fine, I didn’t wanna be their buddy either and about 2.5 hours later, I pulled up to the stop in Chelsea to meet Claire!

After a long week for both of us (first full week of school, first few shifts of work for me; she’s apartment hunting and working full-time), any pipe dreams of GOING OUT!! TO THE DISCO!! MAKING MOVES FOR A NYC PARTY WEEKEND!! were kicked to the side as we both looked at each other, then down at the container of pimiento cheese in my hand. Cheese party for two? Bring it on.

Gorgeous, much?

The next morning, we slept in, but the sun did not, and it was a PERFECT day to head to Brooklyn for one of my favorite parts of the city, Smorgasburg! I was introduced to Smorgasburg last November, and basically dream about it every weekend. And, after reading all about the Vendy Awards this weekend, I was itching for some goodies. Sunday Smorgasburg delivered.

Lunch of Champions

Lunch was a Coconut Chicken Curry bun from Bite Size Kitchen and a Baja Asada (grilled fish!) taco from Choncho’s. I FINALLY tried a direct squirt of Sriracha, and I’m chomping at the bit to get to the store and get a bottle (or four) of my own.

And dessert, of course.

Dessert was sweet and refreshing. Miniature maple butter tart from Cutie Pies NYC and, my favorite new treat, Kelvin Natural Slush!! Arnold Palmer flavored with a bit of Raspberry added in, and ideal on a sunny afternoon laying out on the grass.

Since we were (sort of) in the neighborhood, we headed over to Brooklyn Brewery for a little Sunday Funday.

Beautiful

This might be my favorite brewery scene I’ve ever been to (this was my second visit) and we enjoyed tasty beers and fantastic company.

MANY tasty beers.

Rainbow of beers! Rain-beer?

After galavanting about Brooklyn a little longer, the sun had sucked out the last of our energy. The night was spent eating more (what else?) CHEESE!

Tallegio, goat cheese x 3, and fig jam? We fancy.

I secured another entire row for myself this morning on my bright and early Megabus back and I’m basically FLOORED by the ease of getting to/from NYC. I’ve had more trouble getting to South Philly….

Megabus goes from Philly to Boston, Baltimore, State College, DC, and Toronto. I wonder where I’ll go next.

Any suggestions?

What’s your favorite method of long-distance transportation?

How about your favorite food to eat in NYC? Mine is everything

Philly: The School of Hard Knocks and Soft Pretzels

I’ve officially survived the first week and some change of grad school, and came out without a scratch! Maybe a corneal scratch or two, I’ve been doing a lot of reading (actually, I highly doubt that corneal scratches come from reading, and I’m pretty sure that my best friend, the optometrist, would smack me for saying such a thing). But, beyond the classroom walls, the outlining, the biostatistics, I’ve learned a few other bits and pieces on the mean smelly streets of Philadelphia. And, since I’ve been doing enough writing for school on things that might not fit into this blog (The effects of tar balls on public health! The Theory of Reasoned Action and how it influences condom use! The history of voluntary abortion in India!), I figured I’d share a few tidbits on the blog so that each of you can get a little tutelage from little old me.

1. Have your cake and eat it, too.

Or, in my case, find a place to work and workout, too.

Second home?

You’re reading the words of one of Athleta’s newest employees. And, even though I’ll soon be better dressed in the gym than I usually am outside of the gym, I promise not to forget the little people that brought me to this point (if you’re reading this, I’m probably talking about you.)

One of the major perks of working somewhere filled with like-minded athletes and fitness Barbies like myself? Workout classes IN THE STORE!!

Athleta just was identified by Be Well Philly as the best place for free workout classes and, after finally trying one on Thursday morning, I can see why. In 40 minutes, I broke a sweat, burned over 500 calories AND was surrounded by adorable clothing that just screamed out “buy me, buy me!” I held off (waiting until I actually get my first paycheck, before I blow it on clothes) BUT it was definitely worth the trip over.

2. You can ALWAYS find X cheaper if you look hard enough. 

Deal on grapes at Whole Foods?

Go to Trader Joe’s.  Too expensive there?

Try Superfresh.  That not doing it for you?

Farmer’s Market.

Shopping around, when you have the time, can save you a buttload. You just have to make the effort. Luckily, I’ve got the time AND am a notorious cheapskate. A dynamic combination….

3. Be Aggressive. B-E AGGRESSIVE!

Ok, maybe this isn’t going to work for everyone. And, honestly, I don’t even know if it’s working for me. BUT I’m taking a fairly aggressive approach to befriending people. If I find out their last name, I’m friending them. If I can get their number, I’ll text em. AND, if there’s a chance to interact with my peers outside of class… I’m doing it.

Silly happy hour photos at the Mutter Museum? I’m there.

We’ll see how this goes in the long run….

4. Find Joy in the Little Things

Got a three hour class on the more complicated theories that form the basis for public health policy and interventions?

At least there’s a view…

Penn’s coat-of-arms is gorgeous. 

Also a little joy?

This solar-powered dancing sunflower, which is only happy when it’s sunny out.

Sound like anyone else you know?

5. Free? I’ll take it.

Yes, I know I said I’m a cheapskate. And you know what’s even cheaper than cheap?

Free.

Today, I stopped at the RnR Philly expo to see what all you crazy runners were fussing about…. Then I stopped by the Reading Terminal Market for some goodies. The sum of my experience?

Score.

The cost?

Zilch.

Be resourceful, check twitter, and who knows? You might take that old phrase “No such thing as a free lunch” and flip it right on its head.

6. YOLO

Last minute bus trip to NYC for the weekend, leaving in 30 hours?

Pretend that’s me in there.

Jeez, living in the Northeast is easy.

Agenda today? Quick trip to Rittenhouse Square for some art walking then DATE NIGHT with the beau!!

Learning is so fun.

 

The Lithe Method: A Newbie’s Perspective

Little did I know, back the long days before I officially moved to Philly, how fantastic blogging would be not only for my sanity moving to a new city, but how it could introduce me to new folks, and totally new things. The Philly Geek Awards, a mess of Philly Twitter-users, the glory of Yelp and Yelp Elite, and, most recently Lithe Method and a certain new workout Barbie friend, Julia!

There she is (sorry for the creepy photo… not really.)

Julia, having read my blog a bit when I mentioned I was heading to Philly, commented saying we should meet up sometime. Never one to blow an opportunity for a new friend, I jumped at the chance and, after a few emails and some money exchanged (between me and LivingSocial, not me and Julia), we had a friend date scheduled at none other than Philly’s own Lithe Method for my first ever Lithe 101 class.  For a little less than $40, we got 2 101 classes, 3 other classes, AND some juice!

You know I’ve never been one to turn down juice, so before I knew it, it was time to Lithe.

“What’s the Lithe Method?” you may be wondering…. Well, according to the website:

The Lithe Method® is a revolutionary, fun, multitasking and highly effective (albeit addictive) fitness regime that burns fat, sculpts muscle and puts your butt back where it used to be…in record time.

Our intense, systematic, empowering, cardiovascular workout utilizes our proprietary Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting® Technique, Lithe’s Higher Power Band System®, our signature Barre-work, and strength training with weights and other small equipment.

I’m pretty sure my butt hasn’t strayed too far from where it used to be, but the chance to Cardio-Cheer-Sculpt was intriguing, and so I donned my workout best to meet Julia.

Ok, I’m ready.

As far as what to wear, you don’t need shoes OR socks (bare feet babes!), and I’d suggest leggings or shorts (something form fitted on the bottom) with a comfortable top that allows your arms to move a lot.

The first few steps into the Lithe sanctuary, I heard pumping music, peeked a few slim ladies doing some urban rebounding on tiny trampolines, and was shocked by the amount of Lithe “stuff” they had for sale. From juices to snacks and, more prevalent, “Lithe Gear.”  Which, after a bit of checking, I realized is just dark/black tank tops and leggings with a ridiculously steep price tag.

Lithe Wear’s very own waist band… a stretchy black band for $45!

Tank tops for $105, and a pair of half-leggings, half-fishnet stockings that I’m sure will hit NYFW like a freight train in the near future.

Julia and I got to chatting, a little chit, little chat, but all the other women there were silently reading magazines and sipping on water. Not the most social bunch, but not everyone likes to make conversation pre-workout. No big.

One of the rules of Lithe is that there is no talking in class – at all. Also, no cell phones in the classroom (I like that one), no street shoes (to avoid fecal matter entering the class. Their rules actually state this.) and NO Perfume! Their 9 Rules are taken pretty seriously, it seems, so I was glad I wasn’t late!

The classroom looked like this:

At one point, my eyes were directly under that beam of sun. I felt like Simba, only blinder.

Notice those bands above the mats? Those come into play for the cheer sculpting part… We each got a mat, two 3 lb weights, and one of these great, squishy balls.

Recess? Nah, Lithe.

The first part of the class had us on our backs and, though we didn’t start right on time, we got started off hard with some ab work. Crunches, leg lifts, pilates-type stuff, occasionally utilizing the ball between our knees for bonus squeezing and work.  There was some light weight lifting (but, when you’re also working the rest of your body, those 3lbs feel real heavy, real fast).  Then, we went over to the bar.

Things at the bar definitely felt a lot like Pure Barre classes, squats, ballet-ish leg work, definitely got the heart pumping. However, it was during this portion that I realized, although there was music playing the whole time, it didn’t ever really feel like it “went” with the actions we were doing. This was a little distracting for someone who is fond of the Les Mills classes and Zumba, but I made it work.

The most unique part of Lithe 101 was the use of the resistance bands which hang from the ceiling. Holding onto these things without gloves (which they normally “require” though they seemed pretty lax with this rule for us newbies) was tough, and I felt my hands slipping a number of times as we pulled the bands down and around. This was the only part that felt like “cheer-sculpting” was going on but, as we started a little late, I think that we didn’t really get a full immersion into this portion of the class.  Oh well, maybe next time.

Throughout the class, I wore my HRM and, in the 54 minutes of the workout, burned 468 calories. A little low for this cardio queen, and I was sort of feeling a little jipped at the end.

Then, I woke up this morning and realized how wrong I was. My abs, calves, and booty are sore in the way they haven’t been in some time. I feel a general tightness that makes me wish we’d spent a little more than a few minutes at the end stretching, but that’s probably my own fault as I could’ve done it at home if I’d wanted. You’ll have to pardon me for not rushing home right away to stretch though… See, I just can’t pass up a free pristine white shower with Aveeno products….

Color me clean.

I’ll be back soon, gotta better gauge the rest of these classes. With names like “Skinny Mini”, “Barlesque”, “Waist Not”, “A-List Abs”, “Cinch”, “Arm-istice”, “Hot Legs”, “Super Fly”, and “Tight End”, there’s gotta be a lot left to learn. Maybe I’ll finally get to live out those dreams of cheering, after all.

Wait.

I never had those dreams.

Ever try Lithe?

What’s your favorite class name? I’m thinking Tight End, so far.

Grad School vs. Kindergarten

And, just like that, I’m in grad school. I’m making moves, I’m taking Philly and UPenn by storm, and my higher education is top priority.  Yesterday was my very first day of classes and, though I was PAINFULLY excited, I was also silly-nervous. Was the teacher gonna be hard? Would there be mean girls  a la Elle Woods’ first day in law school? Would anyone sit next to me? What was the difference between nominal and interval-ratio, again?

Luckily, my intro to Biostats class was the ideal first class to have. My professor was friendly, adorable, and “loved” that I was named Jordan (boy’s name for a girl! HOW NOVEL!!)  As I listened to the lecture (for which I was incredibly prepared for, as I’d been “that girl” who did all the reading before the first day), I found my mind drifting a bit. Primarily to the fact that, despite almost all the students being 25+ (with a few “young’ns” clocking in at 21-22), this wasn’t so different from another first day I had, years and years ago.  Maybe like… 20 years ago.  Like Kindergarten.

And, though I’m not the first person to make this comparison, my personal experience revealed both major similarities, and stark differences.

Like Kindergarten, I pored over my first day of class outfit. And, also like Kindergarten, I chose a pink dress.

LET’S LEARN!

Like Kindergarten, I took the bus to school (at least, like most Kindergarteners, I was spoiled and got driven).

Unlike Kindergarten, it looked like this:

Where’s my yellow schoolbus?

Like Kindergarten, I had a nutritious lunch to fuel my big day.

Unlike Kindergarten, I cooked it in an oven, and served it with avocado and salsa. I don’t think I even knew what an avocado WAS back in the day.

Trader Joe’s Pizza al Polla Asado – $1.99 at TJ’s, SO tasty!

Like Kindergarten, we all introduced ourselves and said what animal we wish we could be.  (Mine was a Jellyfish. No surprise there.)

Unlike Kindergarten, we followed up with what school/program we were from… This was different unless you had PhD candidates for Bioengineering in your Kindergarten classes. I’m 98% sure we did not (though who knows about that one geeky kid with the swanky Lunchables container he designed himself…)

Like Kindergarten, we had snack time in the middle of class.

Unlike Kindergarten, snack time consisted of Rainier cherries, goat cheese, manchego, cracked pepper water crackers, and Pirouettes.

Thanks, Professor!!

Like Kindergarten, we were all eager to learn and meet each other.

Unlike Kindergarten, the plans we made for the future were not for playdates and sandbox trysts, but for happy hours and Restaurant Week.

And, as I got home after class and sat down to a dinner of crock-pot pulled pork and a bit of reading for my next class, I realized that, even though the (used) textbook I’m reading is titled Health Behavior and Health Education and doesn’t have ANY pictures, just like Kindergarten, it’s filled with illegible handwriting that might as well have come from a 5-year old.

Solid chicken scratch, bro.

Ah, it’s good to know some things will never change.

What was your favorite thing about the first day(s) of school?

 

Labor of Love

It’s important to start every holiday weekend off with something laden with carbs, cholesterol, and meat.  I’m pretty sure I read that… in a book.

T-t-t-tasty, tasty

And with my first bite of The Standard from Spread (voted best bagels in Philly 2012!) featuring cheese, eggs, and cherry wood smoked bacon on a whole wheat everything bagel, I was transported from a world of job hunting, school prep, and unpacking into a world of sun (a little bit of sun, at least), sand, and vacation-esque things of that nature.  I explored the liquor store for a bit, and held back my intense desire to buy this juice-box style Franzia.

Aw, baby Fran and big Papa Fran!

3 liters is a juice box, right?

Our first night at the shore (OCNJ, in case you’re wondering) was an evening to celebrate the ultimate man in the moon AND the blue moon at once! We scampered over to the beach down the street to appreciate it fully.

Here’s looking at you, Neil.

Day two was a day for celebrations. My uncle finally got married to his long time love, so we only had one option.  That option?

POP CHAMPAGNE!

You may be struggling to see the label, but trust me, it’s Veuve Clicquot. We’re basically rappers.

We enjoyed a late night swim under the stars, lots of laughing, celebrating, and talking late into the night.  Apparently, a little too late because, as I was riding my beautiful bike home along the route that I’ve ridden more times than anything else in my entire life, the car riding in front of me jerkily slammed their brakes on, before realizing that must not’ve been their turn and driving off.

The result?

CRASH!

Attempting to avoid hitting the one car in front of me, I swerved, hitting the stationary car and curb next to me. It was terrifying, it was dangerous, and it was pretty brutal. The car, of course, sustained no damage as I hit the bumper with my tire.  However, since I was riding pretty smoothly up to that point, the bike itself looks pretty jammed together. I’m hoping it can be fixed, though I was too scared to bring it in initially.

I certainly won’t be riding any bikes any time soon, especially after any champagne and, other than a few bruises on the legs and tailbone (and hip, and chin… ok, maybe it was pretty bad), I’m doing okay.

Just call me the patterned lady

Consider this a public service announcement: just walk home. Even if it’s the town you grew up in, and the route you know better than the back of your hand, and you’re “all good”, there’s always the chance that someone else might not know that route. And, as a biker, you’re always at the mercy of the drivers on the road.

And, since my bones are sore and my brain could use some flexing, it’s time to hit the books.

Study buddy!

Hit them hard, as school starts today!

Wish me luck on my orientation! I hope the other kids are nice to me…

What’d you do over the long weekend? Any sun or sand make it into your life?

If so, I’m a bit jealous, we only got one day and a lot of rain and clouds. But one is better than none!