Friday, January 29, 2016

I'm Back! Vacation Ramblings & Other Thoughts

Hi friends! I took a mini break from my blog and most interneting (except Instagram, because YOU CAN'T MAKE ME, I won't do it!) when Andrew and I flew off to Maryland for a bit. Then I decided to extend my blogging break for another extra week...mostly because I was feeling lazy. Anyway. We live in California, so we literally flew all the way across the US. It was a long, nasty day of traveling. So the actual getting there part sucked, but minus that we had a nice trip. I wanted to share some photos, which for the most part I already posted on Instagram, but I don't care and want to talk about them anyway! We didn't do a whole lot of touristy stuff this time, which was totally fine because I don't always like constantly running around when I'm on vacation. So stressful! But the one big big big thing that happened was - doo de do doooo - I got engaged! Yay! :D A handful of you already know (yay facebook!) and I really appreciate your kind words <3 I'm going to start recapping our trip and I'll talk more about that part when we get there!

Day 1 - I only took this lovely photo of my face that day so you're stuck with that and the poster of the movie I watched on the plane. I took that picture after getting off a SEVEN HOUR flight and was getting ready to board another plane for TWO MORE HOURS. My friend (who knows I hate flying) texted me, saying "YAY are you having fun yet?!" so I sent her that as a response. How is it that being on planes makes you feel so tired and gross when literally all you're doing is sitting there? Ugh. Have I mentioned how much I have flying? The upside was that the longer flight had those fancy TV things on the back of each seat with lots of movies, shows and music to choose from. The downside was that I picked a bad movie, hahah. I knew I should have watched the new Cinderella! Grrr. I'd been wanting to see "The Gift" partially because I like Jason Bateman movies, and also because I thought it was going to be more of a thriller type...but it's more of a drama with a couple twists. It left me feeling really bummed because (slight spoiler, but not really if you've seen the trailer) the bad things that happen are Simon's (Jason Bateman's) fault - he's a huge asshole so it wasn't all that surprising when someone wanted to screw him over...but his wife (Rebecca Hall), who had nothing to do with what happened, got screwed over even worse simply as an act of revenge. So sad! After this movie I took my mind off of it by reading the two newest issues of Saga :P

Day 2 - On the second day we ventured into Washington DC to eat at Texas de Brazil, somewhere I'd never heard of, but is super popular with Andrew and his family. There were so many of us going that we had to take two separate cars, and the car that we weren't in ended up getting stuck and were really far behind us. We killed some time by hanging out at a coffee place called Poets and Busboys, which I'd also never heard of but it was super hipster and interesting. I got a Thin Mint latte, so yummy! We eventually got to the Texas de Brazil, which was another interesting experience. It's sort of like a buffet, but not quite. You just go sit at your table, and when you're ready to start eating you flip your little card thing over so the green side is up (pictured). All around the restaurant the servers are walking around with these giant skewer/sword things filled with MEAT. So one dude will come over and toss a slab of steak onto your plate. Then a few seconds later another dude will come over and put a piece of lamb (which I tried for the first time, and didn't like) or whatever on your plate. There's a whole bunch of different meats going around, but you get the idea. So these people will keep coming to your table, throwing different meats on your plate, until you turn your card over to the red side which means MY MEAT MOUNTAIN IS TOO BIG, PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE! It was an interesting experience, but also kind of ridiculous!

Day 3 - On day 3 we slept in and played tabletop games after breakfast! Thanks to us, Andrew's siblings are huge Munchkin fans now. Later that night we had reservations for Medieval Times! It's sort of like a dinner theatre, but the show is a live medieval tournament! The food is really good, too...but you have to eat it with your hands! I know it's supposed to add to the atmosphere and all that, but honestly that's the only part I don't like, hahah. Everyone is assigned to a different knight in the tournament and you get a crown and flag in your knight's color so you can cheer him on all night! It's even encouraged to "booooo!" the rival knights, if that's more your style. We had the black and white knight and he won the tournament! It's sort of hokey, but a LOT of fun! The first time I went was also in Maryland a few years ago. We don't have one super close to where I live, but it's only 15 minutes from where Andrew's family lives.

Day 4 - On the fourth day we went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore! I LOVE aquariums! Seeing the jellyfish is always my favorite. That's why Andrew proposed to me that afternoon in front of a giant jellyfish tank! Then I started crying. Then everyone else started crying. SO MUCH CRYING! But they were all happy tears of course, so it's all good. Yay! :D Writing detailed, emotional posts is not something I'm great at, so I'll just leave it there. I'm so happy, though! Yayayay <3 Oh, and I even got to touch a moon jellyfish! All the jellyfish exhibits I've been to, and I had to wait until I was 24 to actually (safely) touch one. After the aquarium, Andrew and his family were really insistent on showing me the Barnes and Noble that's on the same street. I was like, "I know I like books you guys, but I don't need to go to the Barnes and Noble, really!" But we still went, and it was really cool! It's part of a giant building called the "Power Plant," because it actually used to be a power plant from 1900 to 1973. The inside looks like a steampunk Barnes and Noble! We explored there for awhile - their games/toys department is much bigger than the Barnes and Noble here. They even carried the Heroes of the Storm Funko Mystery Minis! Andrew bought me two of them and I ended up with the variant Stealth Nova and Tyrael. I really want Nazeebo and Chef Stitches!! I guess that's how they get you :P So for obvious reasons day 4 was the best day of the trip <3

Day 5 - This day was also pretty chill, it was a Tuesday (Monday was a holiday) and Andrew's parents both had to work. However his younger siblings had a half day at school, and when his sister got home we ate ice cream and watched Kingsman: The Secret Service. I loved the parts with Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson! Later that night I discovered my new favorite hard cider - McKenzie's Black Cherry! SO GOOD. Sorry, Angry Orchard. Unfortunately since coming back to California I haven't been able to find it anywhere. I even checked BevMo yesterday! The hunt goes on.

Day 6 - This is the day we flew home! Since you already read how I feel about planes then you can imagine how this day went. But! Our layover was in New York, and I really, really wanted to get one of those super touristy "I <3 NY" shirts." We didn't have much time before we needed to get on our next plane, so when I walked by like ten stores without the shirts I was upset and about ready to give up. But we found them! I bought one for me, my friend and my mom :) We finally landed in San Francisco around eleven! We had a great vacation, but I was really excited to sleep in my own bed that night.

...and now I'm home! Getting back into the swing of things after a vacation is always rough. Especially when we got home past midnight and I had to work early the next morning! Welcome back, Natalie. Hahah. Now I just need to get caught up on all my blog reading! Feel free to link me to any of your posts I should read ;)

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