Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Crazy Weekend

Since getting engaged just last weekend, I feel as if I have gone down the rabbit hole. I am now one of those girls who spends hours on The Knot, cramming wedding knowledge into my head. Venues, floral arrangements, party favor ideas. Thank god for Google. I know they're becoming the devil now, or something, but I literally cannot imagine doing this without them- Google docs, Google mail, Google searches. A whole lot of Google in my life.

 My crazy weekend started Thursday night. I went to see the midnight showing of The Hunger Games with a couple coworkers. We pre-ordered tickets (the movie was sold out by Thursday afternoon so it turned out to be a good call) and got there at 10pm. When we arrived there wasn't a soul in sight. We went into the lobby and same thing. Then we found out why... the theater had been open since 5pm for seating, so everyone was already inside. Luckily there were only 3 of us, and we found 3 together pretty quickly. The movie was fun, but LATE. We got home at 3am, and I slept in a little before getting up at 10 to head to the office.
Nicole and me at The Hunger Games. Like dorks.
Friday night Dan and I took it easy and made some homemade meatless Lent pizza on a store bought wheat crust. Pasta sauce, caramelized onions, spring mix, mozzarella, goat, and eggs cracked on top. Easy and delicious!
Homemade pizza, best easy dinner idea ever!
 After a week of venue searching and emailing, we went on a couple of visits last Saturday. We had to be at the first appointment at 10, a 90 min drive from my house. So we left home at 8:30, stopped for McDonald's breakfast (a guilty pleasure, for sure), and hit the road. An hour and 25 minutes of driving later, we made it to our destination.  It was beautiful- a big wooden building with beautiful grounds in the back.

 I definitely loved this place, but as I said, the location is just awful: in a small town without much in the way of hotels, restaurants, or bars. Not much to occupy our guests. After some exploring the town we grabbed lunch at a restaurant Dan found on urbanspoon (ok, but not excellent) and then had another appointment. The place was nice, but not exactly what we're looking for...I can't really explain why I didn't like it, objectively it was pretty and I like those chandeliers, but we both felt "meh" afterwards. Shrug.
After that we had the looong drive back to my place. We both flopped down on the couch and thought about napping, but eventually got up and drove (again!) the half hour to Dan's place. We were both pretty wiped so we had a quiet night of grilling and watching TV. All I do in this town is drive.

Sunday we got up and went on a run. What was supposed to be 5 miles turned into a 2 mile run out and 2 mile walk back. I got dizzy, probably dehydrated, so we took it slow back. It has gotten much hotter and I think I hadn't prepared adequately for the return of summer running (ugh!). After that I went home to clean. Well not clean, more just clear clutter. I am hosting a Passover seder for around 10 people next Friday, so I am already preparing for that. House needs to be presentable and I have tons to cook.

After that, I had some volunteering to do. My synagogue runs a non-profit that provides housing, food, and assistance to people coming to Houston's medical center. The Medical Center district here has world renowned doctors, so people with serious illnesses come from all over the world to receive treatment. Often they are far from home, traveling all alone, and must stay for weeks or months on end. The organization my temple runs, called Aishel House, takes people of any religion or nationality, puts them up in apartments they own, brings them food, arranges transportation to doctors appointments, the airport, and anywhere else they need to go. It's really incredible what they do... all the food is cooked by my rabbi's wife (who has 11 children of her own), funded by donations, and staffed by volunteers. Their main fundraiser is a benefit concert. For the past 2 years I have helped with set-up and cleanup for the event. Sunday I got there at 4pm and helped moving tables, setting up displays, taking donations, directing the junior volunteers (a bunch of high school students getting their community service hours... I think they originally thought I was a junior volunteer when they stuck me with them. Sorry, no, I'm a grown up!) and did a lot of heavy lifting and running back and forth through the venue. The next morning I woke up SO SORE. Every inch of my body hurts. So I guess volunteering is good for the spirit and the body, huh? I wish I had worn some kind of fitness tracker or pedometer to see how much I really worked. Feels like a lot!
I got home after midnight and fell into bed. And slept soundly until... 7:30. Rats!

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