Hi! How is everyone doing? I am doing ok—I feel like during all of this I have had good days and bad days, but this weekend was a lot of good days. As I mentioned last week, I took Friday off work as a mental health day and I think it was one of my best days in quarantine yet. I slept in, lazily read my book in bed for a while, and then picked up a BLT from Duke’s Grocery for lunch. After lunch, I went on a really long walk—like almost two hours long!—and explored some new-to-me streets and areas. It was a really nice change of scenery, and I walked for so long, I really got lost in my thoughts and not in my phone, which was so nice. After, I hung out on my couch watching old episodes of One Tree Hill. I haven’t seen that show in so, so long, but it is so comforting to me because it reminds me of my extended family’s big trips to the beach. I then ordered Mexican food, including margs!, for delivery from Lauriol Plaza and it was the perfect end to the day.
The picture above is from a trip to King Family Vineyards last fall. In another life, I’d be heading to Charlottesville this weekend for a long weekend with some friends from college. It makes me sad knowing what a great weekend we would have had—especially since it is perfect wine tasting weather!—but I know we will get to go again one day. The hardest thing for me about this situation is not knowing when it will end—I would love to plan a vacation to look forward to, but it’s hard to know when a safe time will be. I know once we’re able to hit the road again though, it will be that much sweeter, and in the grand scheme of life, this period will be small and it will end.
I think this week will be a good one—I have a lot of meetings at work, which always makes the day go by faster, and I am meeting my best friend from high school’s newborn via a FaceTime virtual happy hour! I also was asked to speak again via Zoom in the Georgetown PRCC personal branding class I spoke in a few weeks ago. (I can’t actually remember if I shared that here, or just over on Instagram, but regardless, honored to be asked back!)
I hope you guys have a good one, and if you aren’t feeling it today, hang in there—tomorrow will be better! x
01. THE IMAGINEERING STORY ON DISNEY+
I’ve been watching a lot more TV than normal and I have a group text with several of my cousins to share recommendations. Let’s be real: 99% of what we share is TikTok videos, but my cousin Julie Ann mentioned she watched the six-part documentary The Imagineering Story on Disney+ that takes an in-depth look at the creation of the Disney theme parks and cruise lines. While I am not a Disney super fan like some, I do really enjoy Disney and took a semester-long class on the company in college. I learned so much about Disney in this documentary and loved seeing a lot of old footage of the parks. I was lucky enough to go to Disney World as a kid and Disneyland in high school, and there really is no place like it! If you’re looking for something interesting to watch during this time, I’d totally recommend this docuseries.
The photos above were taken on my Dad’s family trip to Disneyland in 1963! Before he died, my Pop Pop digitized a ton of their old family photos and I am so thankful. I love having so many vintage family photos, and I thought these ones were really cool, so I wanted to share!
02. SUPPORTING DC RESTAURANTS!
One thing I am living for these days is doing takeout from different DC restaurants once or twice a week as a way to support some of my favorite businesses. I rounded up a ton of info on restaurants doing DC takeout in this post, but wanted to share a few I’ve gotten over the past few weeks and have really enjoyed (the first two places so much that I’ve ordered twice!):
- Lauriol Plaza—they have delivery within a two-mile radius and takeout. Their own waitstaff is doing the delivery, so even there’s a fee for that option, I don’t mind paying for it since it’s more revenue for them! I usually get queso, a quesadilla, and their frozen lime margs. Free chips and salsa with every order!
- Duke’s Grocery—people love the burger, but I am a big fan of their avocado BLT! It’s a very generous portion, so I can always get two meals out of it.
- TNR—my favorite Chinese food from my days back in Arlington and they will deliver within a three mile radius!
- El Paso Cafe—another one of my old Arlington go-tos, El Paso Cafe is also W’s favorite Mexican food in the DC area! They are doing takeout only, and free chips and salsa are included. I always get the fajitas and am never disappointed.
- Lucky Buns—seriously one of my favorite burgers in town! I always get the OG Burger and it is so good. I am not the biggest fan of their fries, so next time, I think I’ll bake up my own Alexia fries at home!
- Circa—their jambalaya pasta is my favorite, and luckily for me, they are doing carryout! They have an amazing special going, too: three courses for $25, and the jambalaya pasta is eligible! (And is normally $22, so it’s really a steal.)
I’ve also done takeout from Sweetgreen, Chop’t, and Chipotle over the past few weeks. While these aren’t the smallest of businesses, their staffs are still working hard and it’s been comforting to eat some of my favorite fast-casual places while the rest of the world feels like it’s in free fall!
And, it goes without saying, but tip well! I have been tipping way more than normal, but I want to make sure these frontline workers are taken care of since takeout is literally a major source of joy in my life right now.
03. MONSTER: DC SNIPER PODCAST
While I have a slew of podcasts I listen to regularly—you can see all my favorites here!—since I have been going on much longer walks than normal, I really wanted a podcast like Serial I could listen to that told a story over a finite number of episodes. I did a poll over on my Instagram for suggestions for podcasts like these, and got so many good recommendations—they are saved in my Week 4 Quarantine Highlight!
I ended up selecting Monster: DC Sniper and I have been enjoying it so far. The storytelling is so well done, and I am learning a lot. I was in the sixth grade when the DC sniper attacks were happening, and while I remember the fear, cancelled recess and sporting events, and the high-level details, since I was so young, I was (thankfully) shielded from a lot of it. If you like true crime, I would definitely add it to your list.
04. HIDDEN VALLEY RANCH DIP PACKETS
One of my guilty pleasures is the Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix. You buy it at the grocery store, mix it up with 16 ounces of sour cream, and serve with your favorite potato chips. My cousin Kara Marie introduced it all to us last year, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Because I live alone, I try not to buy it unless I’m going to a party or having people over because it is so good but not as good for the waistline. In quarantine though, all normal rules go out the window and I made myself a batch last week to enjoy with sandwiches for lunch, or, you know, just because! Add it to your grocery store haul list for your next big shopping trip—you won’t regret it!
05. LONG WALKS AROUND MY NEIGHBORHOOD
Getting out of my apartment each day for a long, socially distanced walk has literally been my saving grace. My apartment is really small, so it’s harder to do a lot of the at-home workouts and truthfully, they just really make me miss my group exercise classes, so I am doubling down on walking and trying to get at least 10K steps a day, five days a week—and most days I top that!
One of the best things to come out of this quarantine is that on these long walks, I’ve explored my neighborhood so much more than I have in the previous year and a half here in Dupont. Since I try to avoid people, I find myself most often on side streets and love enjoying all the springtime blooms and beautiful row homes. I wanted to end today’s post with a few of my favorite snaps from my ‘hood!
I’d love to know what distractions you’re loving—drop me a comment below so we can all enjoy!