Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Not-So-Traditional Christmas

As I've mentioned in previous posts - and really any time I can find a reason to slip it into casual conversation - I love Christmastime. I love it like Santa loves cookies. I love it like ABC Family loves a screenplay in which a busy working woman falls in love with a man who makes her believe in Santa Claus. In fact, you may remember that I even bought my Christmas tree on November 19 - which may be why it died long before Christmas Day. 

This would be The National Tree, not my dead tree.
This year, I've loved getting to experience the season in DC - seeing the National Tree, attending holiday parties, shopping for gifts at new (to me) stores - but I was counting down the days to when I would wake up at the crack of dawn (which would be practice for Christmas morning), drive down to Charlotte and spend 9 amazing days soaking in Christmastime back in NC with my family and friends. I was ready. To that extent, I'd already eaten all of the chocolates out of my Advent calendar by December 18, symbolically and deliciously trying to speed up the passage of time.  

But on December 20, things changed. Plans were cancelled, suitcases unpacked, and priorities rearranged. 

My four-month-old nephew Charlie, the night before his first road trip to Charlotte, was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Inova Fairfax Hospital with a severe case of viral pneumonia and pneumothorax. Suddenly, nothing else mattered except our little buddy getting better. He was put on a respirator, given a feeding tube, administered sedatives, and doctors kept warning us that they may need to intubate him. It was unbearable to see the little guy in such pain. 

It would appear Christmas was cancelled. 

But I couldn't have been more wrong. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Day I Broke The Law....Allegedly

I was told that I wouldn't be an official Washingtonian until I got my first parking ticket.

Well, friends...

The time has come.

I present to you:

For the record...I OBJECT! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This Post Is About A Grocery Store.

(I thought I'd spell that out to begin with in case there is something more exciting you want to do with your time. This post is solely 100% about grocery shopping. If you're into that kind of thing (and, let's be honest, who isnt?) then read on...)

When I moved to DC, I lost touch with someone I'd grown quite close to in Charlotte. 

Joe. Trader Joe.

To me, Trader Joe's is like the Target of grocery stores. You go in there for one thing and the next thing you know, you're basket is full and you've convinced yourself that you absolutely need veggie tortilla chips and coconut water popsicles. Clearly.

In Charlotte, there was a Trader Joe's five minutes from my house. In DC, it's not so convenient. Well, ok, it's like a 10 minute drive but I've now become conditioned to think anything that isn't walkable, or is farther than 1 metro stop away, is inconvenient. So, even though I've been here eight months (whaaaat?!), I still hadn't made the trip. 

Last week, a girl in the elevator was carrying Trader Joe's bags and I had been thinking about my long-lost friend ever since (Trader Joe's, not the girl. I don't even know that girl. That would be weird.) Any Trader Joe's shopper knows that the best time to visit Ol' Joe is during the holiday season. No one does affordable holiday fare like Trader Joe's.
Not pictured: gingerbread mix. Because I forgot and feel lame re-doing pictures of groceries. You get the point. 
Produce, now that's another story. Sorry, Joe, but your produce sucks. You know it's true. But, Joe, I don't love you because of your produce. I'm seeing Whole Foods and farmers' markets on the side for that. And, I don't love you for your everyday grocery or household items. My friend Harris Teeter fulfills those needs. Trader Joe's, you're in my life for four main reasons: Candy Cane Joe Joe cookies, delicious frozen snacks, cheese and cheap wine.