Thursday, July 25, 2013

{travel diary} D.C & Virginia

I had the fortunate opportunity to visit the East Coast for the very first time two weeks ago.  It was my boyfriend's brother's wedding!  An exciting trip because I had yet to see any US historical monuments that DC is known for and even more exciting is celebrating a love that is cemented with marriage.

Short and sweet as the trip was, a mere 3 days tops, I was able to pack my carry on with ample space left for my boyfriend's goods too.  .

When we finally landed in DC and headed to Alexandria Virginia I immediately felt an old town vibe.  Fittingly, we were staying in Oldtown Alexandria.  Sidewalks were cobblestone, buildings were brick, homes were similar to those in NOLA, narrow and high with doors that had personality.  

The whole fam bam and I stayed at the Hotel Monaco, a Kimpton Hotel, where the wedding was to be held.  And boy, this hotel was beautiful.  Pet friendly, the lounge had lemon or lime infused water throughout the day, the mornings there was coffee and tea to help boost your morning and robes awaited to embrace you in the cute closet in the room.  
Zebra print robes. fantastic!
The evening we got in we partook in the most delicious Tapas Dinner yet.  La Tasca was the restaurant that was lucky enough to accommodate 20+ guests and they did it wonderfully.   Casta menu you rock! As a yelper you can read my thorough review here

The next day my boyfriend and I walked around oldtown with Coco {bf's sis's dot} and found a delightful cupcake shop, no puppy treats for coco, but many human treats! Yelpy review here.

beautiful aren't they?  
That evening was the wedding and oh was it touching and fun!  You betcha, touching = a bit of tears.  It was such a sweet ceremony it was a battle to hold back the tears of happiness for this couple.  They are so fun and sweet and perfect for each other.  

It was a party that each of us had fun with.  My boyfriend gave a moving speech for his brother, The bride's sister and bestie each gave touching speeches, my boyfriend's family sang a song in filipino.  It was so much fun.  The photo booth was a hit, the DJ was a rockstar, playing tunes we could ALL dance to and have fun with.  Very well worth the hop skip and jump it took us to get there  =)  
the happy newly weds. 
The next day we went to the monuments.  I was so excited I was screeching with joy!  I finally got to see him, the one guy that I would probably want to have lunch with if I could with someone who has died.  
Mr. Abraham Lincoln.  
Regal and breathtaking.  It was amazing being in this memorial seeing his statue.  He had done so much in his lifetime, many could learn from him.  

We also saw the World War II Memorial, took pictures next to our states, {Nebraska} and {Hawai'i} even the Phillipines was there {along with other Pacific Islands that were affected by World War II. We saw the West Wing of the White House and the Washington Monument.  It was such a great experience.  So happy to have seen this all for the first time with Joel and his family and especially thankful to have celebrated a new Chapter with those two newlyweds above.  
Peace & Love til next time!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

13 days.

In that short amount of time I will have packed, purged, and moved to my very first and my very own humble abode.  We saw, I applied and I signed the application in hopes of making this apartment a place of my own. Just the other day I was approved!! And with flying colors!! I am uber happy to have a place to call mine 'o mine.

Here's a peek of the amount of space I'll be working with.
my future little nook all 725 sq ft of it
Honestly, there's going to be so much space for me I will not know what to do with myself.  So cue the inspiration and I will be working on this little space so it will reflect everything I love.

Looking for an apartment, as many of you may know, is one challenging task.  One has to consider many factors before agreeing to live in a place.  Because, let's face it, you'll be sleeping here, eating here, showering here, and entertaining here.  The space must meet, or almost meet, all of your requirements you feel will be a 'home' to you.  Here were a few of my factors when looking for a place. They may be helpful for you should you set off on your own quest. 

Below are the must knows
  • utilities residents are responsible for. Is the resident responsible for water, sewage, electricity and/or gas, or does the apartment cover some utilities? 
  • Washer and dyer in unit or how much does it cost to do laundry in their laundry facility?
  • Controlled access entry to apartment building
  • Parking or Garage rentals
  • Cleanliness 
  • What does the complex do in between tenants to make it ready for a new resident?
  • Distance to work and frequented places like: church, grocery store, target, goodwill. Places like that.  
  • Windows --> we all need natural light!
The above were very important factors on my list during my search.  I found them to be a great guide to finding the perfect new home for me.  

Here is a list of contributing factors that played into my decision to sign on the dotted line at this particular apartment . My boyfriend also helped me with this very important decision as well. Gotta love the boyfriends who are always there to support us!

Below are the Extras but not necessary factors
  • What I call the, "have fun pool" and the playground.  Nice touch for families.
  • The fitness center that is shared with a sister apartment.  I will never have to pay for a gym membership ever while living here! AND I can start swimming in the lap pool, take spinning classes, and choose from ample treadmills & elliptical machines should I want to amp up my cardio. 
  • Balcony facing a golf course. I can sit outside and be inspired :) 
If I had found a smaller place that didn't have the above amenities, I would be just as happy too!  At this point in my life, having had roommates since I was in college, whom I adore and glad I had friends that I could live with and still be friends with today, it's a nice feeling to be able to spread my wings. 

What I love most about this apartment is how beautiful the building is.  I have surprised myself in having an opportunity to live in such a place.  It's beautiful, safe, and exactly what I've wanted, for a long time.  I love it and can't wait to break it in with my cooking, crafts, and beautiful things.

Pretty Brick Building. LOVE!

I'll be sure to share with you my crafty moments and the outcome of how I will turn my apartment into a wonderful and happy place!  *cheers* to good news and Independence day!  


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