This past weekend I was fortunate to celebrate a friend in love. I know a lot of relationships out there seem perfect and a lot have their ups and downs; but some just teach you the true meaning of love, and that if it’s worth it…you fight for it. And that’s exactly what Jenna and her boo, have taught me through the years. Needless to say, I was more than excited to take part in her bachelorette and bridal shower weekend!
The bridal shower was the usual sort of affair – cheese, wine, crackers, gifts. The bachelorette party on the other hand, had a nice twist to the usual night out on the town. Her bridesmaids decided to take advantage of the wineries in Northern Virginia and a limo bus service that runs from the metro to really celebrate Jenna’s one last fling as a single lady.
We started at Hiddencroft Vineyards with a tasting, followed by a food spread in an upstairs room with a few bottles of the wine we had just tasted. Here’s myself and Jenna, before things got messy
Next, we headed up the winding roads of Loudon County to The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards. By this time, the sun was out and it actually felt like Spring so naturally, we were outdoorsy and drank our wine on the patio. Here’s the whole group:
By this point, we were all a few bottles deep and having a fantastic time. A few of us even walked down to the lake (that was still frozen on top) and checked out the vineyards. By the end of that adventure, this was the current state of affairs for yours truly…
I love this picture – is that vain to admit? I don’t love it because I love my Mindy Kaling inspired outfit, I love it because lately, I feel like I struggle with allowing people to see the real me. Mostly out of fear that they won’t like what they see, but you don’t have to look closely to see that I felt comfortable in my own skin again. This is me. This is who I am.
Congrats again, Jenna Penna and thanks for showing me that love is still alive and well in the DMV!
I can’t believe it’s already Thursday and I’m only now posting last weekend’s review. The week hasn’t even really been that terribly busy – where has the time gone? Either way, it was probably a good idea I waited as it allowed me to get my head right and as I finally came out of my “surgery sads.”
I don’t think the “surgery sads” are a unique phenomenon as anyone I’ve talked to recently (that has had surgery) knows exactly what I’m referring to. That general feeling that you’re either a.) no longer invincible or b.) everything feels so fucking hard, you wonder how you made it this far in the first place. I went through a big round of these with my first ACL surgery and it was not only emotionally draining, but also physically. I remember being tired all the time and not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thankfully this time, the sads only lasted a week but it felt compounded by more than just my meniscus repair (feeling unsettled, unloved, and generally lost in life). But I clawed my way out of those sads, waking up every day determined to love myself more and to be better, to do better than the day before.
So what did I do to celebrate? I went on an adventure to Fredericksburg, VA with the best of friends. It was definitely last minute, but full of laughter and good memories. We started at Hartwood Winery where they just happened to be having a Mardi Gras party which also included a cellar tour and tastings from both Hartwood and Unicorn Winery.
Can’t say it was the most exhilarating winery tour I’ve ever been on, but we made it fun – as we always do.
And one of the guides was more than obliged to take a picture of our motley crew. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…2 browns and 2 lesbians walk into a winery in rural Virginia.
Let’s just say turning heads is what we do and oh how we laughed. After the winery, we headed to Blue and Gray Brewery about 20 minutes away from the winery. We stopped in for their taster and some appetizers. We turned a few more heads there too, but definitely worth the stop as the beer is delicious!
Even though we were a little full, we had promised ourselves we’d have a nice dinner at Capital Ale House in downtown Fredericksburg – the real draw being the hundreds of beers available and the fancy ice bar they have to keep your beer cool while chatting and having a good time. I think we all walked away stuffed, but happy.
More importantly, no more “surgery sads.”
Life feels a little slow at the minute. All the struggles of life, love, and career can take it’s toll and slow your pace, even when you’re just itching to jump out off the starting line. Maybe that is the root of the frustration, I want to run when I can barely walk…figuratively and literally.
Though, I’m always trying to take [hobbled] steps in the right direction. This weekend, for instance, I had my meniscus repaired…finally. It was deja vu of the worst kind, but hopefully this is the last I see of outpatient surgery centers for awhile.
I do feel fortunate that so many friends were checking in on me over the weekend, but it goes without saying that I’m ready to jump, to fly, to run. To START the next chapter of my life.
So here’s to feeling a little less unbroken this weekend and as always, working towards the BIG, big goals of 2014, and not losing focus even when I slip and fall.
I had a full social calendar this past weekend – sangria with the girls, Super Bowl festivities, and dancing to some sweet 80′s music. That’s right, I went to my first Legwarmers concert on Saturday night. All I can say is the shoulder pads were out of control!
As you might have guessed, Legwarmers concerts aren’t just about enjoying the music, it’s about appreciation for some fine fashion. I tried to use what I had and Jenna borrowed her threads from a friend, but I think next time I’ll have to go all out. There were shiny leggings, troll earrings, and even an orange jumpsuit. It was so amazing, but let’s not forget the band!
Who knew I actually had so many favorite 80′s songs?! So if you like jamming with other crazies and raiding your closet and/or Good Will for the best the 80′s had to offer, then I can not recommend these guys enough!
To the best of my knowledge, The Legwarmers travel up and down the east coast and tickets always sell out. So get in while you can. Let’s just say, I wasn’t aware that I found meggings and cut-off tees so attractive.
80′s party for the win! Now, I gotta find a 90′s cover band to get my fill. I mean, I already have the combat boots. I’m more than ready to get my grunge on.
Welp, this will be the last installment of selfies from my grand Asia adventure. I’ve already admitted to being restless this week and I regret not holding on to that feeling of freedom and zen I had when I came back, but maybe with a little bit of inner focus I can get back there. Enjoy and let’s cross our fingers for an even bigger adventure in the coming months!
Day 41 – when conducting your own walking tour around Ho Chi Minh City, it is customary to stop and act like reindeer outside of the shops in the fancy part of town.
Day 42 – hello world, this is mags reporting in from Hoi An, Vietnam
Day 43 – I think when people fall in love with cities, they really just fall in love with who they are in that city. At least, that’s how I feel about Hoi An. I know it’s not my widest/brightest smile, but I’m just in a happy haze/daze.
Day 44 – Last night I randomly had dinner with a man from Hong Kong who lives in Paris and sells books. Then I met some Germans and drank snake wine and whisky until 4 AM. I love the adventures you find when you travel by yourself.
Day 45 – motorbike adventure to My Son and Marble Mountain.
Day 46 – Merry Christmas from Vietnam
Day 47 – it’s been a while since I showed you my tiger face. This is my tiger face.
Day 48 – oh ya know, just your standard lion dog guardian.
Day 49 – well, this was awkward at the Ethnology Museum in Hanoi
Day 50 – In Vietnam, motorbike is the only way to travel.
Day 51 – back to life, back to reality. Hanoi > Bangkok > Seoul > DC. See ya on the flip side.
Day 52 – that’s me back in DC after nearly 2 months of being away on the most amazing adventure. Last selfie of 2013 and to complete my journey. It’s definitely bittersweet, but I’m ready for 2014 and to figure out the other pieces of my life puzzle.
And if you wondered what I did with all those selfies, well – I made myself a little Flipagram because travel really is about discovering your selfie! You can watch it over here (because I’m too impatient to try and figure out how to embed it here!).
I think it’s trickled into my posts lately that I’ve been feeling restless and a bit frustrated. Definitely not angry, just annoyed that I’ve been back from Asia a month and sometimes it feels as though I never left. Time has a way of slowing down when you seek normality and sometimes it feels as though my mind is just as cluttered as before. I hate that feeling.
I’ve tried to take several approaches to calm my restless spirit:
- Acceptance: lives don’t always change overnight
- Adventure: cross off items on my DC bucket list
- Socializing: meet people, old and new – say YES to everything
- Risk: try new things, like dating, even if I wasn’t 100% sure I should (see above, saying YES to everything)
…and while all of these fall in line with my 2014 goals, I still don’t feel like ME. It’s probably harder to grasp on to these ideas when they haven’t all been fruitful (like the dating); the sad part being that I wasn’t putting myself first for the past few weeks. Not truly anyways.
I allowed myself to drift and didn’t focus on what is probably the largest and most important goal of 2014 – define and improve my career. How can I expect the rest to fall into place when I’m not even sure if I should be staying in DC? So there you have it, a kick in the arse, to stop drifting and to define my professional life.
But it’s scary. That blank slate feeling returns and it’s just as nerve-wracking before I left for Asia. So I need to be brave.
I MUST be brave about a lot of things, especially in 2014, particularly finding my way out of my own cage and not allowing myself to be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love.
2014 is about me – I just have to let it be.
I’m in a restless mood today. In fact, I’ve been restless for nearly a week now so I can’t commit to just one song today. I started with the Cranberries, then went to Eiffel 65, and somehow circled back to Aqua – but none were speaking to me. So here’s a little compilation of misheard lyrics from some great 90′s songs.
Roll on the weekend!