Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gustavo Dudamel

If you have a minute - definitely watch this video featuring Gustavo Dudamel, the youngest music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  Amazing. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Deepwater Horizon

Last night we were sitting down with our Chipotle and happened to notice 60 Minutes was about the Gulf oil spill.  We proceeded to watch the entire show - stunned all over again by the images and stories.  My brother who is an engineer at Exxon had explained some of this to me, but the videos and first person testimony make it much easier to understand the proposed timeline of events.  There is also a pretty incredible video clip of what the oil in the water looks like - almost like a floating mat of thick caramel or something.  Definitely worth the 25 minutes or so to watch (first video is about 14 minutes and the second is about 11 minutes).

Video Part 1

Video Part 2

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Today two very special friends get married!  
Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Honeymoon Day 5

On the 5th day of our honeymoon (our 4th day at Liku Liku), we signed up to have a picnic on a remote, uninhabited sandbar island.

Approaching the sandbar
The resort packed a lunch for us and a boat took us out there.

The picnic lunch
It is apparently a popular dive site and there was a ton of coral and fish to check out.  Although I will say that I was less comfortable swimming in deep open ocean water than the new husband - I feel a little bit like prey when I am in such deep water.

Going out for a second look at the coral
It was beautiful and the 2 hours went by WAY too fast!  It was sort of a surreal experience.  I definitely walked the entire way around in about 5 minutes.  At high tide, the island almost disappears  - kind of wild.


A few weeks ago, in honor of the Kentucky Derby, my husband (!!!) made mint juleps for friends coming over for dinner.  His trick is blending the ice with the mint and then packing the glass full before adding simple syrup and then whiskey.  Although the crushed mint would later clog our garbage disposal - it was definitely worth it.  Thanks to Tracy for the very beautiful fleur de lis glasses. 

mint juleps in the making...
Enjoy your weekend!  Cheers to Lindsey and Tyler!  

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Honeymoon Day 4

On day 4 we switched from an overwater bure, to an on-land bure.  We had booked 2 nights in the overwater and 3 nights on land because each place offered something different.  The overwater rooms had a beautiful deck with access to coral reefs, but the on-land bure had a private plunge pool, a shaded daybed, and an outdoor private shower.

View from our front porch
The plunge pool was surprisingly deep!  
This picture isn't great (blurry), but you can see how sweet the daybed is 
There was really no need to leave the bure except to eat and to kayak/swim/snorkel!  It was really like heaven.  I don't think it would be impossible to go back... California to Fiji is like New York to Hawaii and people seem to do that all the time!

bike to work day 2010!

Today is bike to work day!  I made the 6.5 mile trip on my trusty steed Paolo. Acquired in the late 90's by my brother from the New Orleans paper's classified section.  I took over ownership around 2005.  The bike is from sometime in the mid-80's according to people who know these things because of the elliptical gears (apparently a fad for a number of years).

Paolo makes the trip!
When I got Paolo (named for the frame manufacturer Paolo Guerciotti), I gave my hybrid bike to my brother Johnny to ride in SF (paying it forward sort of).  Although, that bike was promptly stolen in SF - the memory lives on.   

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Honeymoon Day 3

Right across the water from our resort was this smaller island (photographed at sunset below).  Apparently on the other side there is a resort called Castaway (we were very close to where Tom Hanks filmed Castaway).  We kayaked over there at some point and it was awesome.

Sunset from our bure
I should probably say that we didn't do much while we were in Fiji - so there isn't much to say!  We snorkeled, read our books, and ate delicious food.  Our room came with a free couples massage that we used on this day, and that was pretty amazing.   I must say that we didn't talk much to other people, or make any new friends - which was just fine with us.  

spring cleaning

I returned from the honeymoon with lots of energy - and the first thing that I wanted to tackle was a major spring cleaning of the house and my wardrobe.  I hate to admit it, but a significant fraction of my current wardrobe was also in my drawers when I was in college.  It is time to say goodbye.  I would like to step outside my jeans, flats, and a cotton t-shirt routine and explore some new things.

Here are some of the items I would like to look for this spring/summer (obviously cheaper versions):

1. the classic Burberry double breasted trench coat from Saks.com

2. a beautiful, simple black leather very high heel (this one by Christian Louboutin)
3. a classic work appropriate dress in a pretty abstract print (Marsha dress from Tory Burch)
4. a bright scarf made by Ethiopian weavers for J. Crew, Lemlem Omo Scarf
5. a summer sundress in a dusky lavender (this one from J. Crew)
(imagine this with a brown leather belt and brown strappy sandals)
6. a strappy brown summer flat (Steve Madden)
(I sort of can't tell if I like these...
I really like the top view but not sure I like the back zipper)
So there are just a few of the wardrobe items I am thinking about.   I need more practical wardrobe and would like to have fewer items that were more functional and higher quality. I am trying not to buy more distressed/embellished cotton t-shirts, party shoes,  and party dresses...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Honeymoon Day 2

We arrived in Nadi, Fiji at 5am on the Tuesday following our wedding.  After waiting at the dock for a few hours, we took a boat to Liku Liku Lagoon Resort on Malolo Island.  We then checked into our overwater Bure (like a hut/bungalow).  It was absolutely beautiful.  The bures were built along the edge of a reef which you can see a little bit in the picture below.

View from our overwater Bure at Liku Liku
From the hut they had a ladder down to the water which made snorkeling so easy. 

Our ladder into the water
They also had clear glass panels inside the bure so that you could see fish (and your new husband) swimming by.  It was so cool. 

Fish watching

Oh no! Oh yeah!

When I was in college at the University of Maryland, there was at one point a car accident that left a giant hole in the brick wall flanking the main entrance to campus.  The University invested in a big sign that showed Testudo (our mascot) busting through the wall that would cover the hole until it could be repaired. 
Testudo at a football game in November 09
Then one night the expensive sign disappeared and this cardboard Koolaid man was left in its place.  It was SO funny at the time (although the University demanded its original sign back which it never received).  Yesterday an alumni mailing list was created where I work and this was one of the first photos sent around.  It brought back lots of college memories. 
UMD prank
Ah college.  UMD was a great place to go to school.  :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Honeymoon Day 1

I thought that I would also share some photos and stories from the honeymoon (my sister and parents keep asking to see photos so this is the least I can do)!  

The first day of our Honeymoon was spent in transit - flying from New Orleans to Denver to Los Angeles to Nadi, Fiji where we arrived at 5am on Tuesday morning (we never had a Monday that week because we crossed the date line).

Our chariot
From LA to Nadi we were in a Boeing 747 operated by Air Pacific.  Originally we had a row of 4 to share - which I thought was pretty amazing.  A little honeymoon treat from Air Pacific when we checked in!  However when we got to our seats, the lightswitch and the tv remote actually controlled a lightbulb and a tv 3 rows ahead of us (did not instill the greatest confidence in the flight equipment).  The same was true for the people in the two rows immediately behind us.  Because my aunt and uncle had generously lent me their UK version of "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest" (not yet available in the US), I was the one person on the plane interested in reading instead of sleeping.   

When the lights dimmed for sleeping, I was out of luck.  The flight attendant told us that we could move to the back of the plane and share a row of three.  Since I would rather share 4 than 3 seats, we declined the move.  Then out of nowhere - the flight attendant returned to tell us to follow him and he started blazing toward to the front of the airplane.  He then took us UPSTAIRS!  I was anticipating a full first class - but instead it was completely empty coach.  He showed me that the lights worked and we prompted laid across 3 seats each and fell asleep for 9 hours straight - each lying flat.  It was AMAZING.  With no passengers, there was no noise, no beverage service, no lights.  We also had a bathroom entirely to ourselves.  Here is the photographic evidence.  It was amazing.  We would not be so lucky on the return flight though. :)

Our private 747 floor!
Walking down the stairs after a full night's sleep in on the top floor

flyin high

Last weekend (May 1) I went to the Stanford track meet to watch my friend Graeme pole vault on his birthday.  Since graduation he has jumped unattached and it was awesome to see him clear 17 feet 3/4 inches.  It was insane!  Using my new-ish SLR camera, I took several photos in rapid succession - with the one below being the coolest (click on it to see it much bigger).   I should probably take the original file and re-center the photo around the pole vault and Graeme to get rid of that random guy walking across the track. :)  

Congrats to Graeme and Happy Birthday!

Graeme after a successful jump
p.s. Since I took the month of April off, I have a lot of cool pictures and stories to share that will no doubt be pretty random as I catch back up!  

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!

So I have been a delinquent blogger - although I promise that I have a good excuse! Over the last 4 weeks - I have gotten married and taken a wonderful honeymoon to Fiji and New Zealand.  I have SO MUCH to share now that I am back!  But first things first.

I wanted to start by thanking my mom and my entire family (and my new entire family-in-law) for being so wonderful during the wedding.  My parent's hosted the reception at their house and they were so amazing.  It was a wonderful, unforgettable day.

My mom and I on the wedding day!
My mom wore the most beautiful sequined blue top and skirt on the wedding day! 

Mom and I!
I'm not sure when this picture was taken - but I thought it was probably around the time of my mom's first mother's day, so I thought I would include it. :)

Happy Mother's Day!  Thanks again for everything!
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