We’ve been doing lots of fun stuff. I’ve just been bad about blogging, but I am going to start writing at least once a week, so keep on reading.

One of the most amazing things about living in this area is that you can be in the mountains, at the beach, or in the desert in two hours from here.  We took a camping trip to Anzo Borego with some friends last weekend that was a lot of fun.  

We got stopped by border patrol on our way  in to the park, and they asked all of us where we were from.  One of our friends who is Isreali totally confused the agents who almost certainly haven’t heard any other answer to that question except “Mexican” or “American”.  It was pretty funny.  You could almost see the “does not compute” sign blinking over their heads.  

We took a magical hike through the desert that dead-ended into an oasis of palm trees in the middle of nowhere.  On the way back, we managed to get lost in the desert at dusk, which was pretty scary but a little fun too.  Mike and Dror, the Isreali, ran ahead to find the campsite before dark and us ladies stayed back with the pups, who were exhausted.  Once they found the site Dror said, “Oh, they’ll come here eventually, don’t you think?”  and Mike looked at him and said, “I’m not leaving my wife in the middle of the desert,” and then he just turned around and headed back into the desert to find us and Dror followed.  What a good, good Man I have.   

Here are a couple of photos:

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A phallic cactus and a blue, blue sky

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The palm trees

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You’re gross Sophie

We left Sophie with our friends Ryan and Juli while we went to visit Grandpa and Jo in Yuma over the weekend.   Sophie got sick while we were gone and threw up THREE pairs of my underwear and a banana peel.

After the third one, Ryan sent Mike a text that said, “Dude, she just coughed up a third pair!  Move over Victoria, Sophie’s got a bigger secret.”

Talk about embarrasing.

DC

I finally feel like I have had enough time to digest our trip to DC.  I unfortunately didn’t have the overwhelming “We’re all apart of something bigger” moment I had in Iowa–I was too worried about getting squashed like a bug for reflection, but overall it was an incredible trip, and here are a few of my favorite moments.

1. Hanging out with Melissa’s Family.  We had a Birthday party for her sister, saw her step dad’s awesome museum that he’s building in the basement (that guy’s an untrained installation artisst), played cards with her dad, and ate lots and lots of delicious food (her mom is an AMAZING cook).   Even if that Obama guy wasn’t even in the picture, getting to see where Melissa came from and meeting the people she cares about were worth the trip a million times over.

2.  Meeting “Bunk” from The Wire at Wynton Marsalis concert at The Kennedy Center.  I’ve met celebrities before, and I usually refrain from saying anything to them, but I ran right up and gave Mr. Wendell Pierce a big hug.  I don’t think many other people knew who he was, which made my excitement look all the more silly, but it was SO cool to meet him.  I just love The Wire, and if I had been more articulate, I would have told him that I thought he was one of the best characters in a show that turns a low brow form of media into an art.  But I didn’t.   We chatted for a few minutes and he told me some good news–he is filming a new series for HBO about five musicians in post Katrina New Orleans.  I can’t wait.

3.  Seeing the Obamas in the parade.  We were just a few feet away from them, and he honestly looked Presidential.  Something was there that wasn’t the last time I saw him.  Michelle was gorgeous, and the car they got into was bad-ass.  It was a Caddilac limo with license plates that read “USA 1”.  When the President opened the door you could could see that the door was about nine inches thick and that that the high tech security windows reflected light in a funny way.  I’d take one of those over the bat mobile any day.  You could also see the girls in the car pushing eachother out of the way and being silly, an adorable little glimpse behind the curtain of our first family.

4.  Eating a Crisfields with Melissa. This is a jewel of a little seafood restaurant that Meliss’s been eating at since she was a little girl.  When you walk in, you grab a stool around the counter and stuff yourself on killer chowder, stuffed shrimp, oysters on the half shell, and $1 beers.  In my version of heaven there will be places like this on every corner.

5.  I also have one more highlight that involves a cheap ol’ billionaire and a broken chair, but I’ll have to tell you about that one.

Pittsburgh Part 2

Brian told me that his grand parent’s built this church, so I took a picture of it.

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Then we headed out for sandwiches at Primanti Brothers, as suggested by our tourguide.  Yum.  Yum.

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We finished off our visit by stumbling upon a great little Imported food shop where I bought one of the best cheeses I’ve eaten in my life.  Beemster XO is the super deluxe product from a premium dutch cheese cheese maker.   I like to call it crunchy gouda on crack and highly suggest that you find a fancy cheese shop in your area and get some.

What a great city, that Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Part 1

Pittsburgh is a really cool city.  Thanks to recommendations from my friend Brian, who worked with Mike in Chicago, Melissa and I had a fabulous stop in da’burgh.

Our first stop was the Warhol Museum.  I learned that Andy “Warhola” was born in Pittsburgh and is buried in a little cemetery just outside of town.  What quiet and quaint bookends to a crazy life, huh?  The museum housed an enormous amount of  work and fascinating documents from his life, including a room full of cardboard box time-capsules he kept and drawings from the illustration career that funded his early work and party lifestyle.   I got in trouble for taking pictures at the museum,which made both us us want to shoot more.  Enjoy the contraband and a couple others taken around the city.