A Very Belated Post on Washington DC

I know I need to stop this… taking such a long break between posts. 😀 But in between writing weekly assignments on strategy schools and change management models, sitting down to write a blog is really far from my mind. Don’t forget capstone…. my final thesis blearggghhhh… I conclude that my career will never ever be in research. And I have the toughest supervisor/grader ever who picks up on the tiniest things. Arghhhh.. oh well… happy thoughts, need to have happy thoughts!

This is a very belated post on our spring break vacation to Washington DC. To be fair, it wasn’t really a suitable time for blogging about fun then since Singapore was still in mourning. We actually found out about the bad news while in DC and wanted to pay our respects at the Singapore embassy over there. Unfortunately, we were due to fly out the day that the condolence book was available for signing.

The husband has been super obsessed with American history since the start of the year. I think he has probably watched all the available documentaries on Netflix that has to do with the history of America. Btw, the PBS versions narrated by Ken Burns are supposedly the best out there. I suggested that we head to DC so that he could get his fill of all things American. It was a place that he had never been and a place that I had been to only very briefly many years ago. We also had family and friends whom we we were more than happy to catch up with. To prepare for the trip myself, I binge watched all the episodes of House of Cards! hee

We booked ourselves into an AirBnb place again and it was the most lovely of stays. The apartment was in the basement but so spacious, clean and bright. The first thing I noticed and loved was the DC print on the wall from Rifle Paper & Co. I wish they have something similar for Singapore . I am already eyeing the Chicago one to bring home when we move back. Even though I have yet to step into Wrigley Field lol.

What we didn’t expect during our stay was that our hosts had a baby just a few hours before we checked in! But they were still so sweet and responsible to text us and check if we were settling in ok. We even heard and caught a glimpse of the newborn when they came home 2 days later. Of course we had to leave a little gift and card to thank them for everything before we left.

To be honest, we went to DC at a not so great time. I was hoping for some cherry blossom viewing but they were a no show due to the unusually cold winter and the tons of snow that dumped on to the east coast. The iconic Capitol Building dome was under major repair, so no photo opportunity there. The dinosaur section in the Natural History Museum was also under renovation.

The night monuments tour we took was quite blah. It was too cold, so the “open” trolley become a covered up one with plastic sheets and the view to the monuments were pretty obscured. The tour wasn’t as informative as I remembered. It probably is a luck of the draw thing as the tour guides are volunteers. Hence, the quality really depends on how experienced and knowledgable your guide is. Sigh. But my very positive and happy husband didn’t really care. Again, I am so thankful and grateful that he is always the cheerleader in the family.

The great thing about DC is that the majority of museums are free and there is always something for everyone. And if you didn’t like what you saw, just hop to the next museum. Or if you can’t finish what you want to see, just come back another day! We hopped in and out of the American History museum 3 days in a row!

My favorite was the National Portrait Gallery. I didn’t recognize more than half the people on the walls but taking a tour with the docent there was super informative. Free too!! Btw, that middle photo is Pocahontas after she got married and moved to England. Lost all her Native American-ness unfortunately.

The portrait gallery also had a pretty covered courtyard where we chilled out for a bit. The husband also sat here to do his work (he had to grade his students’ assignments during spring break! sigh) while I wandered about on my own first. He said if we lived in DC, he would come here all the time to do his work since it’s so serene, pretty and free! Aiyoh…

The presence of internationals from near and far in DC meant that food choices were a lot more varied than Chicago. The quality was pretty amazing as well. Our friend drove us to this amazing Korean BBQ place in the burbs and we had awesome seafood too.

Most unforgettable was our meal at Little Serow, a Northeastern Thai place in the Dupont Circle area which our friends recommended us to go to. Even though it was a place run by a through and through American chef, they weren’t stingy on the spices! For this Southeast Asian couple, everything pretty much hit the spot for us. It was so good feeling the burn of chili padi!! The restaurant serves a standard set meal made up of little plates for $45 each person. The menu is changed every week. Sticky rice and veggies were free-flow! So we had 3 rounds! (sheepish smile)

The restaurant is teeny tiny (only 28 seats!) and very nondescript. They take no reservations so a queue forms at least an hour before it opens! We were very lucky to squeeze in for the first seating and managed to make friends with a nice little old lady who was in the queue  behind us. It was also her first time and she was excited. Service was great and the waitresses all wore cute vintage floral dresses. Very hipster! The decor really doesn’t match the food but well, food is more important!

So despite some of the not so great parts, I really enjoyed the trip to DC. It really is a very livable city. Unfortunately, many areas are getting very gentrified, driving many prices sky-high. It feels very different from the DC I visited in 2009 which I remembered to be a boring government administration kind of a city. Some say it’s due to the Obama effect where all the young, talented and idealistic have come to DC wanting to contribute and play a part in national policy. It may change if/when power returns to the Republicans.

Wings and Basketball

Thought to record this for memory sake since it was such a fun night.

The NBA finals were going on last Sunday and the husband impromptu-ly decided we should go watch it together in a sport bar. It would mean eating at my favorite Buffalo Wings place and not having to cook dinner that night. Of course I said yes!!! And though we both don’t usually keep up with NBA basketball, the finals are pretty fun to watch. Go Spurs!

The wings weren’t so tasty this night somehow. Perhaps the kitchen was distracted by the game. The servers sure were less attentive this day too. Tried a new wasabi sauce and it was really good! Too bad it was a limited edition, so probably won’t get to eat it again in future.

Best part of the night was having my ID checked for the cocktail I ordered. Haha. Never thought it would ever happen to me again at this age.

Our 10th Year

If I have to list things that I really love about my husband, one of them would be his ability to make me laugh. He has a child like curiosity about him and has no qualms being himself and acting silly. I on the other hand constantly worry about being judged if I do something weird. If there is anything I need to remind myself more is that no one really cares except for myself.

We reached our 10 year milestone yesterday, Monday. 10 years of being a couple. It was a quiet affair since the husband had classes on the actual day of the anniversary. We had a pre celebration at a sushi place in downtown Evanston on Sunday and he cooked me a hearty breakfast on Monday.

He also stuffed a hilariously corny card under my pillow for me to discover before I went to bed. Only he will buy this type of card for me lor. But I love it!

And this “Lady & the Tramp” scene over the weekend amused me till no end.

May we laugh and be silly together till the end of days. Happy Anniversary! 😀

Who buys gifts for others on their own Birthday?!

My husband lor!

I haven’t been on a blogging draught, just that I haven’t been able to do so with the temporary death of my laptop.

You see, I was trying to take a photo of my gorgeous daffodils when I spectacularly split coffee all over my dining table. Part of it went onto my laptop and the rest on to my floor!! I did a quick wipe of the laptop but was in salvage mode for the floor as it is beige carpeting!!

I guess I didn’t do a good job for the laptop as it couldn’t start up for the next few days.

My laptop is fairly old. It is at least 7 years old if not older. Honestly, I have been itching to get a new one as it has been really laggy and is too old for me to download the new OS and apps from Apple. I’ve dropped it hard before so the power socket is kinda wonky too and you have to twist it in such a way so that it starts charging. But in general, it is still working ok and I really only use it for blogging currently and for sites that I cannot access on my iPad.

My husband is one who loves showering me with gifts. He is not terribly great at surprises but if he knows that I like something, he will usually offer to buy it for me. I try to thwart him sometimes as most of the things are merely frivolous wants and not needs. I would feel bad if he has to spend alot of money on it.

So even though the old laptop miraculously came back from the dead 4 days later (I suspect the coffee in there dried up or something heehee), he still went ahead to get me a new MacBook Air! Which I am happily using now. (erm, the trackpad like very sensitive hor? And autocorrect is annoying!)

I told the husband that he was crazy for buying me a gift for HIS birthday. But guess what? He said that that it would be my gift to him for accepting. Sigh. This type of husband… so good to me! 🙂 Must remember to shower him with more love and be more patient with him.

And I found the most apt birthday card for him.Always thinking of other’s happiness first and not his own. Not just this incident but always. And not just to me, but for all his loved ones and friends too.

His kindness and care for others are what really attracted me in the second place. (the first was his physique which I saw when we went on a swim date! bwahaha… I’m so shallow) Interestingly, I’ve always thought I like the alpha and take charge type of men before I got married. Then I realised I do love my SNAG husband much much more! The downside is that he always gets bullied, unfortunately by me (oops) and other not so nice people. He takes it in his stride though and is always positive, never harboring any malice for others. But hor, when he gets really angry, damn scary.

I’ve tried to ask him what I can buy for him but he just wants a simple hot pot meal with his favorite luncheon meat and homemade wantons. Guess I better get cracking to cook a yummy meal.

Happy Birthday my dear! 🙂 Lots of love.

 

Love on the Chopping Boards

I love watching the husband cook. If he had more time to head into the kitchen more often, I am sure he will be a much better cook than me.

He was in charge of Rusty’s breakfast this morning. Was so taken by how much care he put into cooking for our little one – the deboned chicken in smaller pieces for easier chewing and perfect cubed carrots and sweet potatoes. Filled with awe and love for his meticulousness and his ethic of giving his best in everything he does, even in the most mundane of tasks. My man, my love.