Sunday, March 18, 2012

Back to Reality

Spring break flew by and I'm back in Ohio already.  I had such a good trip and got to see so many great friends - I couldn't have asked for anything more.  Oh, and the cherry blossoms bloomed for me.  I'm assuming it was for me, anyways.  

The extra warm weather spurred the blooms' early arrival.

That was quite all right with me!

I love flowering trees and it was a treat to see the beginning of spring in DC.

I met up with a really good friend for lunch on Friday, and she works near the White House, so I couldn't resist popping over to play tourist.  When I worked in DC, my office was just a few blocks away from the White House, but I was still in awe every time I walked by.

Maryam (aka my BFF) and I didn't get to all of the restaurants on our list (although I think we did pretty well!) but I'm so glad we made it to Shake Shack - I got a bird dog (chicken, apple, and sage sausage), and we split an order of fries and an unpictured strawberry milkshake.  Everything was SO delicious!  Not a healthy meal, but definitely worth the splurge.

I sadly had to say my goodbyes yesterday morning and head home.  After spending over an hour trying to get out of DC because so many roads were blocked off due to a marathon (grrr...) I stopped at Wawa for fuel - gas for my car, coffee for me.  I'm pretty much in love with Wawa, and their coffee is awesome.  I had half vanilla, half hazelnut, with a splash of skim milk.  Definitely perked me up.  Bzzzz.

Please excuse the dust...
And this perked me up, too - the temperature stayed around 80* during my entire drive!  I had the windows cracked and didn't use the A/C at all - heavenly!

I took one last treat on the road with me.  When I met my friend near the White House, we ate at Teaism, which is known for its salty oat cookies.  They are extremely yummy, and have that unbeatable sweet and salty combination.  Yummm.  As much as I enjoyed all of treats I had over the past week, I'm looking forward to getting back to healthier eats and a workout routine.  I did a lot of walking and a few online workout videos, and did a decent job getting in some salads and fruits in between the indulgences, but I'm feeling a bit sluggish.

As you could see in this post, my car was in desperate need of a wash.  Even more so after I parked under a tree and had pollen and lovely bird splatters all over my car.   Luckily, 80* weather made it feel just like summer, and I was able to wash my car in shorts and a tank top - crazy!  And since I washed my car, of course it rained during the night.  To my fellow Ohioans - I take full blame.

I drove to my parents' house to spend the night since it's basically on the way to my place in Cleveland Heights.  And it doesn't hurt that I could wash my car and laundry at their place, free of charge.

It was so nice out that I decided to sit on my parents' porch and catch up on emails outside until the sun set. Not a bad way to end the day.

There were 2 Mallard ducks swimming and quacking in this creek behind the porch - definitely a big change from DC and NYC!

Random picture: I forgot that I do collect something other than ornaments - souvenir pennies!  I have lots of these pennies; I think I probably started collecting them when I was around 10 years old.  I always carry the shiniest penny I have in my wallet in case I find one of these machines somewhere - they pop up in the most random places (toll roads, Cabela's, etc.).  When we were walking through Central Park, we went through the zoo section and I found a penny machine!  We didn't see the penguins, but we did see seals - pretty close, right?  Haha.

After a great spring break, it's time to get back to school, healthy eating, and the gym!

Reader question:  Did you do anything fun for St. Patrick's Day?  Since I was driving back, I didn't celebrate this year.  Oh well, there's always next year!

Song of the day:

"Cruisin'" by Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow, from the movie Duets.  Even before Gwyneth Paltrow did Country Strong and guest spots on Glee, I loved her singing in Duets.  This song is a staple on my road trip mixes.  And it's awesome to sing along to.  Or maybe that's just me....  I basically treat long car rides as a chance to belt out songs as loud as I want, without subjecting anyone else to that experience.  I just turn up the song loud enough so I can't really hear my voice :)  It sounds great that way!  Haha.

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