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Our Weekend(ish) in Pics

Mass Effect came out this weekend and it took most of our time this weekend

Mass Effect came out this weekend and it took most of our time this weekend

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We’re Baaaack (Sorry!)

We have just arrived back from a nice 5-day vacation on the magical East Coast! We went out to visit Chris’ family (he’s from New Jersey/New York) and also see some friends. We had planned to prepare posts for each day ahead of time…but obviously that didn’t work. We have a little pathetic excuse, that there was no wifi we were able to get onto in the house…but still, sorry! I hope this post of deliciousness and friends will help you forgive us. It will be picture-heavy and text-light.

It was an early start to the Wednesday of us flying out–6:30am flight called for a 3:15am wake-up. We drove the car over to the airport and had a nice smooth ride, stopping briefly in Minneapolis before arriving at Newark. Since everyone who could pick us up were working, we decided to take it slow and just take public transportation back to Chris’ town, Midland Park, New Jersey. We got to the train station, his mum picked us up and we had an early first dinner of some good Chinese food. Two hours and a chiropractic appointment later, we had another dinner with his brother at a great thin-crust pizza. We finished that night off with some great Van Dyk’s ice cream and played video games all night with a good friend, Po.

photo 2 (15)

Po & Chris, ice cream buds

On Thursday, we wake up bright and early (not getting much more than 5 hours sleep…who sleeps on vacation, right?) and pack in the car with Chris’ mum to visit Chris’ sister in Pennsylvania, right outside of Philadelphia. And grabbed delicious bagel sandwiches on the way! It was a great day of relaxation, visiting Chris’ niece, adorable puppy, spending quality family time, and watching movies like Hotel Transylvania and Puss in Boots. We didn’t get home until around midnight and collapsed right to sleep.

Chris and his niece on a walk

Chris and his niece on a walk

Puppppyyyyyy

Puppppyyyyyy

On Friday, it was another early-wake-up day for us because we were visiting the city–New York! We had a great day seeing lots of friends from college. We found our way to my friend Mary Kate via bus and had a great breakfast with her before she headed into her super awesome 60 Minutes work. Then we took the good old 1 train uptown to the college where we met, Manhattan College. We got to meet up with some friends who still are attending, some who drove in for the day just to see us, and our old bosses. Chris got to fit in a leg workout while I hung out with my old JustPeace (a social justice club I led) club while they held an event. I got to see Kathleen and Hilary here.

Times Square, crazy to be back

Times Square, crazy to be back

Yum

Yum

hi!

hi!

Roomates 4 lyfe

Roomates 4 lyfe

My boss (Lois), Kathleen, and I

My boss (Lois), Kathleen, and I

Quad livin'

Quad livin’

Sweaty buds

Sweaty buds

After that (still Friday), we grabbed Kathleen and kidnapped her back downtown where we forced her to see The Grandmaster (review coming soon), which was pretty epic at one of our favorite indie theatres at Lincoln Center. We walked around Central Park for a bit before walking down to the famous Halal Cart which came from humble beginnings but is now 3 carts deep. We chowed down on some platters and then met up with Allan to go to the Yankee game. It was a lot of fun and we got great seats! Pretty good game too–2 of Chris’ favorite players hit homers. We then got a ride back to New Jersey, had some ice cream, then went to sleep.

Central Park walk

Central Park walk

Chowing on Halal--thanks for the pic, Kathleen

Chowing on Halal–thanks for the pic, Kathleen

DROOL.

DROOL.

Yankee game

Yankee game

On Saturday, we actually slept in! All the way until 9am! I know–crazy. While we waited for our friend, Allan, to wake up, we went and visited Abma’s Farm for some baked goods and sheep humor. After that, and he still wasn’t up, we went to the local Wildlife Conservatory which has beautiful paths and only animals that need rehabilitation. We finally met Allan, Jane Kim (a friend of Chris’) and her boyfriend at a new place in town for “brunch” (…at 12:30pm). Although we were wary about prices and reviews, it turned out to be delicious and a great time! We walked around town afterwards, got some boba, and hung out at the Ridgewood Park. We then grabbed a Tony’s Pizza to eat the next day (because they would be closed on Sunday). Later that night, Chris’ whole family went out to hibachi and it was delicious! Then after, we of course got more ice cream and went to sleep.

This sheep had the deepest voice ever...creepy

This sheep had the deepest voice ever…creepy

Beautiful nature walk

Beautiful nature walk

 

My delicious breakfast burrito at brunch

My delicious breakfast burrito at brunch

Friends

Friends

Best pizza I've ever had

Best pizza I’ve ever had

Hibachi!

Hibachi!

We have another late morning wake-up on Sunday, this time around 8:30. I decide to go for a easy-paced run in the morning while we get started on the day. We basically spent the entire day visiting Chris’ many aunts and uncles–it was really nice to meet all of them as I hadn’t met many before. That night we met up with Pablo and Brit (Chris’ close friends) and we drove 15 miles to go to East, a restaurant with sushi on a conveyor belt. Delicious! We then watched Here Comes the Boom (surprisingly awesome movie) and, of course, got some more ice cream.

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

Now it’s Monday, and we’re wondering how this vacation is already over! However…our flight wasn’t until 7pm so we had a good amount of time to spend with friends before we took off. We had a nice breakfast with Pablo and Brit that morning while we waited for Allan and Po to roll out of bed. I got way too much food…brie-stuffed french toast, eggs, home fries, and toast! We then meet up with everyone else and to everyone’s disappointment, Chris coerces us to go see the Percy Jackson movie. Okay maybe not coerced, but reactions were definitely amusing. After that movie, we all piled into cars and rushed to Mitsuwa (which will be getting its own post), which is a magical place that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into Japan. Once we gobble down some delicious foodAllan is nice enough to take us down to JFK in Labor Day traffic. We owe him a big one.

Brie-stuffed french toast. yup.

Brie-stuffed french toast. yup.

And that was our trip! We had a pleasant flight and watched Great Gatsby (review coming soon) to make the 4.5 hours go by quickly. We are still catching up on sleep, and apologize again for the lack of posts, but here we come on full throttle! I’m probably forgetting a lot in this post, but I did what I could from memory! Make sure you travel to stay hungry and fit!

Thunder storm below us

Thunder storm below us

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Kathleen and I ^.^

Kathleen and I ^.^

Post-Workout Protein Oatmeal

So I came back from my workout at an odd time, around 11 in the morning. Hmm, I want something to sustain me for a bit, and smoothies never do. Wait, didn’t my protein powder bin say to try it in cereal? Well, oatmeal is a cereal…hmmm. And here we are with a oatmeal recipe loaded with protein. It was actually really good, once you got used to the texture. Really delicious and healthy. Try it out!

Prep Time7 minutes?

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 scoop flavor-less whey protein [I use Jarrow’s]
  • 4 strawberries
  • 6 dates
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp agave nectar 

Directions

  • Get cup of water to boiling
  • In advance, cut up dates and strawberries

fruit

  • Add in oatmeal and turn down to simmer
  • Once oatmeal is starting to cook, put in some cinnamon
  • oatmeal w cinnamonAfter you stir in the oatmeal, pour in the whey protein powder and stir. By this point, you definitely want to keep an eye on it because it will stick much easier

whey oatmeal

  • Once you stir in the protein powder, pour in some of the agave nectar in for a touch of sweetness

nectar

  • Throw in a few dates and strawberries in (but not all of them) to heat into the oatmeal 
  • After a minute, take out and serve into bowl

ready to eat

  • Put the rest of the fruit on top and you’re done!

beautiful oatmeal

I think this took me about 7 minutes total and it filled me up with excellent nutrients: fiber, protein, and carbs! If you want, you could even try putting in a flavored protein powder, up to you!

Cheers!

Breakfast Spotlight: Dot’s Diner

Alana would probably be more fitting to write this post about Dot’s Diner because she’s been there more and she also likes it a bit more, but I can still tell people how delicious it can be. Dot’s is a throwback baby-boomer themed breakfast diner that has a little bit of a Nepali twist to it. Their Nepali cooks make sure that the daily curries and chai are up to authentic standards, but we haven’t tried any lunch entrees there yet. We go for the breakfast and have brought everyone that has visited, from parents, to grandparents, to friends to Dot’s for breakfast. Everything here is good and some things are really good, nothing bad so far for us and we’ve been nearly ten times in just the few months we’ve been in Boulder.

I’ve gotten the trout and eggs, AM sandwich, omelettes, and house breakfast. I like their eggs and they have really good home made hashbrowns, no grease or excess oil to be found. The service is typically good, usually the water is always refilled quickly, but not today. My hands are still cold and my stomach still isn’t feeling good so this isn’t the best, most in depth, lengthy post like usual.

Nice hot Chai

Their standout feature, typically but not today, are their biscuits. They are made in the kitchen and typically aren’t greasy, or too hard, they just have a very nice fluffy inside and some crunch on the outside. And they’re huge, and they have this amazing jelly that comes out of a squeeze bottle, which is a genius idea. I usually have more jelly than biscuit.

Remnants of a biscuit

Finally, it’s always busy but never so much that you have to wait, and it’s very affordable. A $20 bill for a breakfast that leaves two people nice and full.

A.M. Sandwich with avocado

Alana's typical house breakfast

So if you’re in Boulder and want a local breakfast spot that serves top five breakfast food, stop by Dot’s and play some baby boomer trivial pursuit and appreciate the warm decor throughout for a nice meal.

Happy Birthday, Alana!

So, I failed Saturday because I was feeling lazy and Alana bailed me out, AND yesterday I was feeling sick and she didn’t bail me out. So here’s a few-days overdue post of our plans for Alana’s birthday and how they actually worked out. So basically…

We wake up on Saturday, September 8th and Alana is nearly 22 years old, American age. She’d be 23 in Korea. Now, she says she was born around 10 am Pacific time, so it’s not quite her birthday but that’s fine. So, actually at midnight, the night before, Alana opened her presents/cards from my family back home (thanks Mom, Dad, and Andrew for the check) and her family back home, thanks Kai for making so much and being so generous, and thanks mum and Dad for the jandals, tiger shirt, and being so generous. So, back to Saturday morning.

Marga invited us out for breakfast and we found ourselves at 10 a.m. at Tangerine on Iris and 28th. It was SOO busy so we knew it was a trendy spot with most-likely delicious food. Two minutes into the meal we got a surprise when Ben showed up. Ben and Marga got lattes, Alana got a chai, I drank water, and the food came out really quickly (it is breakfast food, but fancy). Alana got a vegetarian eggs benedict highlighted with pesto. The pesto was powerful and the eggs were cooked to perfection, along with some well seasoned taters. Marga got a prosciutto di parma wrapped egg-based dish, I think. It was really good and Ben eventually stole it because he wasn’t in the mood for his classic Belgian waffle with fruits and nuts on top. I couldn’t decide, because being a new pescatarian isn’t compatible at a breakfast place usually, and I got the flight of the pancakes, which is their sampler of three different pancakes. One was classic buttermilk, one was whole grain with some interesting toppings, and one was sweet with ricotta and blueberries on top. The maple syrup was good and by the end of the meal, after some plate passing, everything was finished off.

We sat around for a while and had some great conversation, about the democratic national convention and our political views. It is Boulder after all, so talking about politics was safe for us. Marga and Ben split the bill because they’re awesome. Ben had to leave to coach his girl’s soccer team and, as we left, Marga being the ridiculously nice and thoughtful person she is, gave Alana a present wrapped in a bag and some pet spot smell remover for our kitten accidents.

So, we got back home, Alana opened the beautiful wine glasses from Marga (thank you!) and we decided to go to the Boulder Farmer’s Market. We didn’t need much so we just got some Persian garlic. We walked there and back since it’s close and it was a beautiful day… it’s finally been getting cooler and I hope it wasn’t just a phase. Afterwards, we took a nap with the kitties and really did little to no work or chores.

5:30 rolls around and we have plans to visit my friend in Englewood (near Denver). The Buffs game ended hours ago and the Broncos didn’t have a game so we thought traffic wouldn’t be that bad. Well, it wasn’t LA or New York, but it took 80 minutes to go 33 miles on all highways. We stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some hard cider and a salad for our get together. We were going to make a salad at home, but our greens weren’t fresh and we weren’t about to serve them to friends.

So we roll into Englewood, interesting little area, and Garrett lets us into the parking garage. Now, Garrett was my co-worker at Hollister during high school. We played against each other in soccer and basketball in high school. I went to a small public school and he went to a smaller private school. We were both really bad schools for sports in general so nobody really won or lost. I haven’t seen him since high school because he went to CU Boulder and never returned because he loved it so much. Their apartment is beautiful and twice the size of ours, but they only have an original x-box and no matter how many emulators you have for retro-gaming, after selling 90% of my systems, our gaming is better.

But I digress. I was feeling very sick by the end of the day, but we still had a great time, meeting new people like Garrett’s better half “Lee.” She has a fun story having two parents in the military/government, I can’t say more because then my life might be in danger. Oh well, we just ate and hung out and caught up and can’t wait to see them again. Thanks everyone for an amazing birthday. Oh, and I got Alana a Star Wars the Old Republic graphic novel, Super Smash Brawl, and a huge zodiac tapestry for the bedroom wall. And that’s about it! OH and thank you Grandpa and Grandma Powell for the super generous card!!! :)