Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shenandoah National Park

We started off the weekend by looking at some homes for rent in the Bethesda area on Friday evening. We found one that looks really nice and are pretty sure we'll put an application in for it on Monday (as long as no one else has beaten us to the punch). Here's a funny side note - the Realtor for the owner put a slideshow of the house on YouTube - but at least you can see the pictures there!

Saturday we woke up bright and early to rent a car and drive to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. We drove all 105 miles of Skyline Drive. Along the way we saw lots of wildlife - lots of deer (including a fawn crossing the street with its mom), lots of hawks, a raccoon, a turkey, and Cayne even saw a Black Bear! The drive was beautiful and lots of fun to do. After all, who doesn't love windy and twisty mountain roads with over 70 overlooks?! Plus, there really wasn't a lot of traffic.

Along the way we stopped to hike down to Dark Hollow Falls, which is about a 70 foot waterfall. The key thing to notice is that the hike was down to the falls, meaning after about 0.7 miles hiking down a steep hill, we then had to climb 0.7 miles out. It was actually a really nice trail and not too strenuous... and the falls were great!

We spent the night in Wayesboro at a really nice Residence Inn and drove home this morning. We enjoyed driving back home through the valleys and looking up at the mountains we drove through the day before. Cayne even drove almost the whole way, making me take us back into Reagan National to return the car.

We spent the evening filling out rental applications. Cayne had a great time trying to figure out how to answer the questions that don't translate to the type of information available in New Zealand but he did it the best he could figure out. We'll see what they think later this week!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Green Card

Betsey and I had our interview this morning, which went really well! The people in the immigration office were really friendly and made the entire experience a relaxed process. Kudos to them! I was surprised to find that they issued me a Green Card on the spot, so now my passport has a very official "Temporary Green Card" stamp in it until the real one turns up in....6 weeks to 6 months. Happy times!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hey, You're just too spicy for me

Yesterday I made some absolutely delicious chipotle beef burritos. The only problem is that they are almost to spicy to eat! It was a slow cooker recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. After I had shredded the beef and made the burritos (adding my homemade salsa - a modified version of Erika's recipe) we were anxious to taste them. Well, the flavor was terrific but awfully spicy. And I usually like spicy foods. And the recipe didn't say anywhere that this dish would be particularly spicy.

Today at work I was telling Lori about last night's dinner and mentioned how confused I was about the spiciness of the dish. She laughed and asked how many chipotle peppers I put in. I explained that I thought maybe I was supposed to drain the peppers and not add the adobo sauce with all the peppers. That's when she pointed out to me that the recipe probably called for 1 "canned" pepper not 1 "can of" peppers. Well, if you take a look at the recipe you can see that yes, I was only supposed to add 1 -2 peppers out of the can. Not the whole can! To top it off, I also added a couple Serrano peppers to the recipe.

Anyway, the flavor is great and I'm sure that if you only add 1-2 chipotle peppers it would be edible without having your mouth on fire!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wedding Photos

I have finally collected all of the wedding photos into one place, and put them online. Here is part 1.

Wedding 2009

Flickr wants me to start paying, so I decided to opt for Picasa for now. The only drawback was that it only allows 500 photos per album. Therefore you will have to go to the "Wedding 2009 Part 2" album once you have finished with the above (assuming you are still awake). Enjoy.

Wedding 2009 Part 2

June 12-14

We had a fun weekend. Cayne got to deal with our grocery delivery from Safeway while I was getting my hair cut on Friday night. Grocery delivery works great, although substitutions are sometimes a little odd and you can't necessarily depend on them to have what you need in stock. Seriously... how does a grocery store run out of Coke Zero or beef roasts? And I wanted 1 Serrano chile, not half a pound of them. But the convenience of having these things delivered more than makes up for having to pick up the few missing items during the week. Or trying to figure out if I can freeze (or dry) the Serrano peppers. Plus they deliver wine and beer.

Yesterday we went for a walk and had a fire truck run-in. We were at 22nd and Pennsylvania Ave when about 3 fire trucks came racing around Washington circle and stopped at a building under construction in front of us. All the construction workers were running out so the firefighters could do their thing but unfortunately, we were at a funny 5-way intersection and couldn't move in any direction because so many additional trucks were trying to come through! By the time we were able to get out of the area, smoke was billowing out of one of the top floors and they were putting their ladder up to fight the fire. Very exciting, but we didn't stay around to see what happened. I will say that the DC fire department is a group of really fast responders who are very methodical. (They even brought 2 water rescue know...just in case).

Last night we were at Caroline and Mike's for a BBQ. The weather was perfect and we finally got to see their remodeled kitchen and new nursery! Now, they just need to add the baby. It was so nice to sit outside in the backyard and enjoy the evening. When we got back home to Dupont, the area was still hopping with Capital Pride events (headlined this year by Rupaul).

Today Cayne is working out how to get those darn wedding photos posted online for everyone to see. Hopefully that will happen soon!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two Offices

I work at home, in a 650 Sq Ft apartment. This can be a little cramped, but getting out of bed at 7:30 and starting work at 8 surely beats a commute through city traffic!

This week we finally got our circuit box replaced, which was necessary in order for our air conditioning to be fixed. Don't ask. Suffice to say I wasn't able to work without electricity for 5 hours. So what to do? I went to a local cafe, about 1 block away. I have to admit that after spending 3 hours working there I'm hooked! Working from home reduces contact with people, a lot, and there was something intensely enjoyable about working amongst a group of strangers. I have decided to try and make it a weekly ritual, 1 or 2 hours per week in the local cafe.

In other news we finally upgraded to a blue-ray player. We got the Samsung BD-P3600 which quite frankly is awesome! I'm hooked on Pandora again, and the Netflix streaming has worked flawlessly. 4.5 out of 5. If the buttons on the machine were not on top, but on the front of the unit, it would get a 4.9 out of 5.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sackboy's Demise

Sackboy likes to sit on a shelf,
Sackboy likes to sit by himself.

But alas, on an extra stormy day,
Sackboy decided it was time to play.

Where art thou oh sackiest of boys?
Hast thou run away?

For Seth and Nina with lots of love!