Saturday, July 30, 2011

[On the water in Idaho.]

For Chad's family reunion last week we stayed at a beautiful house right on the lake in Island Park, Idaho, so much of the week was spent boating, tubing, and wake boarding. I hadn't wake boarded since my first time, when I was sixteen (and it involved me getting dragged along the side of an irrigation canal -- highly unpleasant), so I had a lot of wipeouts and drank a lot of lake on this trip. Particularly unfortunate since I LOATHE getting wet -- I prefer dry land, thank you very much -- but after four or five tries I managed to get up and stay up. Meanwhile, Chad dominated on the tube -- I didn't know one could excel at tubing, but apparently there are flips to be flipped and rolls to be rolled. Who knew?

At one point our boat ran out of gas, and we were stranded in the middle of the lake with about a million babies on board. Though Chad and his brother valiantly attempted to row us to shore (using waterskis as paddles), we eventually had to get towed back to land. I was bordering on the verge of a meltdown the entire time, but luckily these two adorable twinsies kept me distracted the whole time with their iPhones. Or maybe it was the other way around, but either way, crisis averted.

Please note that twinsie Thompson (above left) is making the same face as Uncle Chad (below). Must be a Hill men thing...boys will be boys...

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Last week, while in Idaho for Chad's family reunion, we went on a day trip to Yellowstone. I was really glad for the opportunity to check Yellowstone off my life list, particularly Old Faithful, but Chad was somewhat more infatuated with the hot springs than I was. What can I say? I'm a city girl. Nature makes me sneeze, and I feel claustrophobic in the outdoors. I most enjoyed the time we spent driving through the park, rather than walking, but even I couldn't deny the beauty of the largely untouched landscape. I was hoping slash terrified that we'd see a bear, but we only encountered overgrown Bambi-like beasts (Chad says they're "elk"). Observe:

One of about 5,000 pictures I took of Old Faithful, for no particular reason as it turn out that pictures of water shooting up from the ground all look the same:

Apparently these hot springs can be like 100 feet deep and over 100 degrees in temperature, even the ones that are only a foot or two wide. Very colorful and pretty for such hostile little buggers.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

[Domestic revolution.]

So I don't cook. It's not that I can't cook, but that I won't. Why cook, when restaurants do it for you, and little men on bikes bring it to you? Most learn to cook in college out of necessity, but I learned to survive on takeout. (...also out of necessity. Have you SEEN Columbia dorm kitchens? I obviously haven't, but I hear they're gross.) My diet at school largely consisted of Indian, Sushi, Chinese, Mexican, and Korean, with some white people food thrown in every now and then for diversity. My meals in DC have been somewhat less varied (mostly because I live in awful suburbia, not actual DC), but just as outsourced.

For a variety of reasons, I've recently resolved to start cooking more. Partially because it seems like everyone I know here cooks a lot and cooks well, and I hate when people do things better than I do. Also, I need a hobby other than watching TV and kissing my boyfriend. Mostly, though, Chad and I are trying to be a little more grown up about our habits--we basically don't exist apart outside of work, which means that every meal is eaten and purchased together, and that can be a little excessive, even for us.

So last weekend my mom received the call from me that I can only assume she'd been waiting to get her whole life, the call in which I demanded she teach me how to make a roast immediately. Chad laughed at me as I slowly repeated her directions to myself while writing them: "" Can't afford to make any mistakes on that step, people. With the help of sous chef Chad (seriously the best sous chef ever--shucks corn and peels potatoes like a pro, plus he tells me I'm pretty all the time, so I like him extra), I made my first grown up meal ever, and it was LEGIT if I do say so myself. Pot roast, a vegetable salad with roasted corn and red bell peppers plus sauteed green and yellow squash, and mashed potatoes, Grandma Rodriguez style. Obviously, documented my triumph for posterity's sake (slash for Mom). If you know know that this is kind of revolutionary for me.

P.S. At one point I had four pans on the stove and one in the oven, all on different timers. Felt like a really big deal. Also felt like an octopus.

P.P.S. If I continue this trend (highly unlikely, but let's be optimistic), prepare for more posts like this. Contain your excitement, please.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

[Independence Day.]

This is how we spent our Fourth of July, melting at Chad's Little League tournament. Mostly melting from the heat (high 80s + 45% humidity), but also melting at how CUTE "Coach Chad" was with his little players.

Meanwhile, super fans Kelsey and I alternated between cheering, giggling, whining, dozing, and eating. And you KNOW I waved that American flag the entire game.


[This is where she gets mushy.]

This holiday was a particularly special day for me and Chad, because we met on the Fourth of July last year. We consider it an anniversary of sorts, because even though we didn't start dating "officially" until late October, we were inseparable from that day forward. If you had told me on July 4, 2010 that the random boy who kissed me within five seconds of being introduced on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial {true story} would soon become the most important person in my life, I would have called you crazy. And yet, here we are a year later, best friends and loves, completely wrapped up in our own little world together. I could go on and on, but I'll spare you (for now...), and simply say: I love him.

[Told you.]

[Philly cheesesteaks at Jim's.]

On Saturday, after an unplanned mini-road trip to Delaware, Kelsey {Chad's sister} and I convinced Chad to drive us an extra forty minutes to Philadelphia so that we could have Philly cheesesteaks from Jim's for dinner. I've been a fan of Jim's since high school, and after five years on the East Coast, including one in which I basically lived in Philly part-time and ate cheesesteaks with some, um, regularity, I can honestly say that Jim's NEVER disappoints. Order a cheesesteak with American cheese and peppers, and you'll be a happy camper!

Friday, July 1, 2011

[dreaming of decorative arts at the getty...]

Just some more pictures from my LA trip last month...
If I could narrow my dream home down to one decorating style, I'd probably end up with a glitzy, 17th - 18th c. Versailles-wannabe. I could happily live out the rest of my life camped out in the J. Paul Getty Museum's European decorative arts galleries, where I wandered for almost an hour while Kelly wandered around the gardens like the flower child she is.


Oh, and here we are.