Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekend Review: Kollaboration DC and My First Attempt at Rucking

Over the weekend my sister and I went to Kollaboration DC. Kollaboration is a talent showcase featuring Asian Americans that started on the West Coast. When my Yelp Elite status brought an opportunity to see this show (with VIP status to boot!) I just jumped at the chance and brought Jill with me. Here is the sampling of some of talent which consisted of various different types of singers (i.e.: bands, solo acts, acoustic performers, etc.).

There was even some spoken word! I'm typically not a fan of spoken word, but George Yamazawa's poem on Jeremy Lin was pretty cool!

Here is a picture of local dance group, The Diamond Family consisting of two groups--The Upperclassmen and the Kickrocks Crew. I miss #abdc! Wah!

Near the end of the show they had a freestyle vocal contest. This little kid had a lot of swagger. He sang a Chris Brown song and it was adorable!

Asian Pop Group Blush even performed!

A group shot of all the participants

If we had thought bubbles over our heads we'd be saying, "Sooo many Asians!" LOL

After the show, we walked to GBD (in heels no less!) for some grub! I started my meal with one of their house punches, the Cherry on Top.

I got the fried chicken bao bun (on the left) and popcorn shrimp (on the right).

The Luther (aka: doughnut sandwich) under the spotlight...

In addition to show watching and stuffing our faces, this was the weekend Jill and I decided to start really training for our GoRuck Light at the end of the October. What is a GoRuck you may ask? Basically, this link provides all the details. :) Our GoRuck Light takes place over 4-5 hours and will cover roughly 7-10 miles with various physical challenges in between. Did I mention we have do all of this with a weighted backpack? Approximately 12 lbs./2 bricks if you are 150 lbs. and under; twice that much if you weigh more. Since they were having a buy-one-bring-your-buddy-for-free deal a few months ago, I figured that we should sign up. Great idea at the time, but I forgot that I would currently be in my "hibernation" period where I put on all this fat, LOL!

Initially, we just dumped the bricks in a plastic bag because we wanted to get started right away. We would later realize (and my back would clearly tell me by throbbing in pain) that this is not what we should have done. The bricks kept moving around and they were literally digging into my back. Ouch. Lesson learned.

Rucking around Capitol Hill. This caption should read, "Wait for me!" because for some reason Jill and I felt like kids that missed the school bus (and were now running after it, hahaha!)

After that rough first go 'round, we figured we might as well do it proper and follow the instructions on the website on how to properly wrap your bricks. First you put two bricks together and your wrap it around three times with duct tape. Then you do it again going the other direction (length-wise).

We even went the extra mile and wrapped it in bubble wrap. They say it helps with the shifting.

Voila! The finished products.

I hope we're ready by the end of the October! I'll definitely do a write up to let you all know how it went!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Review: Food and Football

Hello everyone! Long time no see! I know it's been about a month since I last posted, so my activity level on this blog has been looking a little something like this:

Unfortunately my work blocked blogger (the blog writing website I use) which prevents me from writing and reviewing my posts in a timely manner. How annoying! Don't you hate it when work gets in the way of things? LOL, I kid, but I'll try to post at least once a week despite this setback. 

This past weekend was one of the few weekends we were in town so we opted to make the best of our time at home since we would be traveling again in a couple of weeks. This weekend also happened to be the first time I wasn't able to score tickets to Virgin Mobile Freefest which was kind of a bummer. But on the bright side, I already saw two of the acts Vampire Weekend and Kaskade earlier this year. Oh, well maybe next time.

Anyway, I started off my weekend bright and early at 8am (!!) on Saturday morning with a strength class at my box. I usually don't do crossfit on the weekends since my box is kind of far from my house (It is right next door to my job which is why I go after work). I made an exception this time because it was a strength focused class (i.e.: bench press, skull crushers, etc.), unlike a typical WOD. I definitely want to go again...if I can get my butt up early enough! ;)

After working out Justin and I went to the Tyson's Bagel Market for some breakfast sandwiches. I got my favorite, lox and cream cheese with all the fixings and Justin got a sausage, egg and cheese. They were both on everything bagels of course!

After our filling breakfast, we had to head home to get ready to go to the Maryland-West Virginia Football game. After swinging by my parents' place to grab the tickets and dropping off the boys we were on our way to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. 

The hyped up student section on the far right. Oh, to be young again...

The first pic we took together before the torrential downpour. As you can see by my perfectly fluffed bangs it hadn't started to rain hard yet...

My Terps about ready to score...


During halftime, Justin was mesmerized by the male baton twirler, but in all honesty he was really good!

Another shot of us, now completely drenched in a nearly empty stadium after everyone was seeking cover.

After a rousing 37-0 shutout victory, Justin and I headed back to pick up the Frenchies from my parents' place, but not before grabbing some grub to celebrate the win. We hadn't been to Wing Stop in a while so we figured we should check it out while we were in the area. 

The french fries (lightly dusted with cinnamon sugar) and parmesan wings.

The lemon pepper wings (our favorite!)

And the mild buffalo wings (I compromised for Justin 'cause I usually like it hot! :)

Whew! After a meal like that you know I gotta get back on plan on Monday! I hope you all had a good weekend, too!

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Blog Break and Our Trip to Boston

Excuse the radio silence...
I know it's been about a month since my last blog post and I apologize for not keeping you informed about all things Brioni. My work initially blocked all things blog-related but has since removed the block (I don't write these at work, I swear! ;)
Anyway, I have a bunch of half finished posts that I'll try to complete so sorry I'm not sorry if it seems like "old news."
* * * * *
Now back to the regularly scheduled old as heck blog post. :)
Before and after the wedding, Justin and I spent some time in Boston. We stayed near Fenway for the duration of Boston leg of the trip. As soon as we arrived, we hit up a nearby brewery called Boston Beer Works. They make all their brews in house so of course I opted to get a sampler! My favorite ones were the the blueberry beer (the second from the left) with fresh blueberries and the pumpkin beer on the far right, rimmed with cinnamon and sugar!

We also watched a Sox/Yankees game at Fenway. It was a packed house to see this rivalry!

As intimate and historical as Fenway is, I like Nationals Ballpark better. Call me biased, but I like how at Nats Park they have beer vendors that serve you in your seat. I like having cupholders. Where else can you get a Ben's half smoke and a Shake Shake burger in the same place? Although Nats Ballpark is a gargantuan stadium full of concrete, I like having a view of the entire field no matter where you sit. I must value modern conveniences more than nostalgia. ;)

With all the injuries the Yankees had and the whole A-Rod scandal, I'm sure this game could have been more epic...but it was still a fun experience since I had no loyalty to either team. 
See how full it was?
The bullpen. It looked like if you were seated close enough you could reach down in it!
The Green Monstahhhh (said with Bostonian accent)!

Surprisingly, although the Red Sox were crushing the Yankees the crowd stayed for a majority of the game. At the end of the game, the droves headed out...probably looking for something to eat. 

So that's what we did :)

Honestly, the food outside of the ballpark at the various carts tasted better (and had better value!) than the food in the ballpark!
In addition to hitting up a baseball game, we also had a side trip to Plymouth Rock.
Here's a replica ship, perhaps like the one the early settlers sailed in on.

Justin and I thought it was interesting how these boats were docked. You would drop anchor in this inlet and a little rowboat would take you to the dock.
Ta-da! The Plymouth Rock. Sorry for the shadow, I couldn't get a good angle!
Apparently, this is only a small piece of the huge boulder the Pilgrims landed on. Instead of thinking of Pilgrims, Native Americans and whatnot, all I could think of was the famous (or infamous?) line from Malcolm X referring to Plymouth Rock. You know which one it is ;)
So that was our Boston trip in a nutshell! I'll leave you with a perfect shot of my Spanish latte from Pavement Coffeehouse!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wedding Weekend: Ben and Ashley's Cape Cod Wedding

Weddings are always a fun time, especially when they take place in a location you've never visited before and the wedding has a unique theme to it.  When Justin's friend from high school invited us to his wedding in Sandwich, Massachusetts (i.e. "the Cape Cod area"), both of us knew we were in for a unique experience, considering the groom's personality and sense of humor.  The wedding took place at a campground, and guests were provided cabins, for lodging purposes if you chose to stay the night following the wedding festivities.  Neither Justin nor I had been to "the Cape Cod area," nor had we attended a non-traditional wedding like this one.  This trip called for some special music, Vampire Weekend's Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa! :)

The weather was perfect and the ceremony had an interesting twist to it that was far from the traditional seating arrangement you would be accustomed to in a regular "church" wedding.

A shot of the snazzy footwear!

Because the wedding was in the Quaker fashion, everyone got a chance to stand up and say some words to the happy couple. Below are some of the Louisville crew that shared their memories and offered the couple their well wishes.

The happy couple looking lovingly into each other's eyes. How sweet!

After the ceremony, it was time to go to the reception hall for the rest of the festivities. Below is my place setting.

Here's a picture of our place settings. To signify their love of reading, each table was was assigned one of their books. Our table was The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgeman.

Then it was time to eat! Our meal was provide by a local smokehouse and the sodas were local too! I definitely enjoyed eating (and drinking!) my way through Massachusetts. 

Instead of a traditional guestbook, they had their guests fill out their marriage advice on postcards. I loved pursuing the eclectic mix of postcards ranging from graphic prints to pastoral Kentucky scenes. On the same table were "Ben and Ashley-themed" Mad Libs. Each guest had to fill one out, and Ben and Ashley would choose one to win a prize.

A shot of the lights and bunting hanging from the ceiling. 

The main stage centerpiece was a cow head, a huge tub of marshmallow fluff, and a marshmallow fluff cookbook. I'm not sure why they were there, but I'm sure there was some cool story behind it!

The reception capped off with an epic dance party, but after the reception was over the party wasn't over yet. We went back to our yurt (yes, we stayed in a nomadic dwelling structure used by such people as the Mongolians!) to get out of our dress clothes and into something more comfy!

It's thug life up in this yurt piece!

After we changed, we headed down to the campfire to share some stories (that didn't make the ceremony!) and drink some beers. They even had s'mores so I helped myself. 

The fire was so warm and toasty!

All smiles around the campfire!

After the campfire, we got hungry again so we went on a search for food. Because we were out in the woods, a drive-thru wasn't an option. Then a light bulb went off. We would look for the leftover barbecue from the reception! Luckily we found someone that gave us directions to the walk-in refrigerator. And Bingo! We hit the jackpot!

With food in our bellies wandered back to our yurt to get some shut eye. The next day we had breakfast and said our good-byes. 

But before we left the newlyweds announced the winner of the last night's wedding mad libs. And wouldn't you know? We won! Do you remember the tub of marshmallow fluff and the fluff cookbook? Well, that was the prize for the winners! ;)

Thank you Ben and Ashley for allowing us to be a part of your special day. Your wedding weekend was truly unique and one we'll never forget!