If you, like me, grew up in Baltimore, you've definitely made a few trips to the National Aquarium. Though the layout and exhibits have definitely changed a bit since my last visit (what happened to those awesome columns filled with bubbles?), it was so much fun to go back and enjoy this hometown gem with Eric and my dad.
Hanukkah gifts came early this year (my dad's family and I exchanged gifts over Thanksgiving), and I was delighted to receive a new lens for my Nikon. Though I didn't bring my actual camera to Baltimore, my dad always has a spare lying around This time it was the D7000, or what he likes to call his "little" camera. (It's not little, it's bigger than mine!)
To be honest, if my dad hadn't pushed me, I wouldn't have brought the camera to the aquarium at all. I stepped out of my comfort zone and used a camera and lens that were both bigger and heavier than what I'm used to.
Achieving good or even mediocre photographs was a challenge. Shooting through glass (often scratched or dirty) was no small feat. I never, ever focus my camera manually, but in this case it was a necessity- otherwise the shots would end up focusing on the glass or anything showing up in reflection!
In some cases, like the photo above, a little reflection actually made the photo even cooler! It sort of seems like the jellyfish is floating inside of a spaceship. The screen reflections didn't happen on purpose, but I'm happy with the result.
Though I took about a million photos throughout the aquarium, I was most happy with the jellyfish because of their whimsical shapes, celestial vibe and bright/contrast heavy colors.
I'm really, really proud of these photographs. They may not be my best, but I definitely would not have been able to take these types of photos a few years ago, or without the encouragement of my dad. Really, I feel so blessed to have such a cool and talented Dad.
I'll leave you with this photo that reminds me of 2 things: 1) a flame (while editing, I couldn't get 'Girl on Fire' out of my head) and 2) some sort of crispy, fried carbohydrate that you'd find on top of a piece of fish/a salad at a fancy restaurant.
We enjoyed a delicious dinner at my favorite Indian restaurant, drank a lot of wine and posed for too many pictures. My dad and Eric talked about photography for what seemed like an eternity, and for once, I was ok with feeling like the 3rd wheel.
This was the first time Eric had come to visit since our situation evolved from friendship to relationship, and I was amazed and full of joy when Eric said the point of this trip was to spend time with me and my family. In fact, we didn't even go into the city to do typical "Baltimore" things. We spent the weekend going from meal to meal, cooking together (well, Eric cooked, I set the table and did dishes), enjoying Shabbat lunch with my mom and stepdad, and going to some of my favorite restaurants with my dad, stepmom and sister.
And you know what? My family, especially Zooey, loves him. What more could a girl ask for?
My stepmom didn't want to have a 50th birthday party, so she had a 49.5 party...aka "farewell to the 40s" this past Saturday. (FYI, that's her in the first photo with the band, Fools and Horses.) It was LOADS of fun. The drinks were flowing, the band fantastic, the food tasty and the people fun.
Plus, I got to buy a new dress, which I did Saturday morning FYI and it only cost me $12.99! (Can you tell I'm proud of myself?)
Sophie and I performed the song "Stranded" by Plumb, which we first heard in 10 Things I Hate about You. It's actually the second time we've performed this song in front of a crowd. Even though I've been doing plays and singing in front of people for years, I still get nervous every time.
You know how people say they read a blog and feel like they know the writer personally? Well, that's how it felt with Kate. There was very little time for awkward silence as we had a lot of "catching up" to do. (It's weird that you can catch up with someone you've never met, but I guess the Internet has that kind of effect on people.)
We had delicious brunch with my fam and even walked around a street fair near Hopkins. There were loads of artists selling their creations, as well as people selling seemingly random items. Even more notable: there was an entire grassy area covered in hula hoops just waiting to be....hula hooped (?) with. You know, just for fun.
Seriously, how cute does Kate look? She told me I wasn't allowed to wear anything too "chic" because she couldn't fit a lot in her duffle. I purposefully wore something pretty plain so she'd feel comfortable and guess what? She totally out-cuted me!
So I'm curious, has anyone else met up with their blog friends in real life? Did it turn out ok or was it super awkward? Do tell!
Yesterday, my parents and I took Thibault to Hampden to experience some Baltimore culture at Honfest.
"HonFest is a local tradition. The Bawlmer term of endearment, Hon, short for Honey, embodies the warmth and affection bestowed upon our neighbors and visitors alike by historic working-women of Baltimore. HonFest is an annual celebration in honor of these women."
We had a blast! There was a tent set up where you could get your hair done in a traditional Bawlmer Hon beehive, tons of greasy-delicious food and lots of women (and even men) dressed in amazing costumes.
Did I mention that you can compete for the title of Baltimore's Best Hon? This year's winner received $1000, a ton of bubble gum, a set of plastic flamingos and a bunch of other great stuff in addition to bragging rights.
I loved seeing all the little girls in their Hon costumes, it reminded me of Toddlers & Tiaras!
I really wanted the cute old lady to win. Sadly, she didn't. I guess there's always next year...
...and I'll leave you with these amazingly tacky leggings! TONS more photos here.
Oh, and just for fun, check out the Bawlamerese Lexicon and learn how to speak "Hon."
And one last thing- my dad always says his favorite Hon is Atilla. Tee-hee.
Then, I went on a special mission with another intern that involved a lot of driving! We've been tasked to plan a company event for late July and spent a good chunk of today checking out one possible location.
Shirt: gift from Sophie, purchased at "the shook" in Israel
Shoes: New York and Co.
Necklace: Stolen from Sophie :)
Headband: CVS (I think!)
When I told Eric (the guy responsible for my AMAZING new blog design) that I was wearing a gold sequin skirt today, he said he only associates sequins with show choir.
Please. This outfit is so not show choir- although honestly, some of the kids in Glee have great style.
I scored this skirt at Loehmann's a few weeks ago. It's Romeo and Juliet Couture, and I've been dying to incorporate it into a work-appropriate outfit ever since Kristin wrote about summer sparkles here.Shirt: Target
Anyway, I'm off to pick up the boy at the airport today. I haven't seen him in over a month!
How cute are these? I bought them on sale in London from Monsoon. Actually, I wore them to Thibault's ball!
Oh, and in case you're curious about the title- it's from one of my all time favorite movies. I'll give you the movie quote and you tell me the movie title. Go!
"So then Bianca says that I was right. That she didn't wear the Kenneth Coles with that dress because she thought it was mixing genres. Right? And the fact that I noticed -- and this is a direct quote 'really meant something.'"
So far, there are very few things Sara (my boss) and I disagree on. We both seem to like the same snack foods (those yummy rice things), hate the same flowers (carnations and baby's breath) and have a love affair with shoes (seriously, they make the outfit).
One thing we do disagree on though, is my quest to bring yellow back. Sara HATES yellow. Apparently, it makes her look green so she avoids it. Well, Sara's dislike for yellow only made me want to prove her wrong...because hey, I'm bringing yellow back. I used to hate it myself (I thought it made my skin look funny too), but now I'm not so sure.
Though I actually have 2 yellow dresses, I thought I'd opt for a few yellow accents so as not to overwhelm Sara. (Plus, I didn't really want to wear either of them...) Truth be told, the scarf was actually worn in my hair all day, but made its way to my wrist after my haircut.
**Sara: please note my yellow table. It's totally cute.