First of all, Happy December 1st! Crazy! It is Christmas time full force! Break out the trees, lights, music, shopping, baking, peppermint, gingerbread men, and all around cheer and joy! I've got just two more weeks of school and then I am home! That is the only Christmas present I really want right now. But before I get carried away, let me tell you about our last holiday...Thanksgiving!
Everything on campus closed down Tuesday night (i.e. no dining halls, gyms, classes, no people really) until today, Monday. Not very good for us kids who stayed (seriously, what about the international kids who don't even care about Thanksgiving?). Luckily,my dad arrived down in DC Wednesday night. All we did that night was drive over to his hotel for him to check-in and then...we went to Trader Joe's!
This happened. Tea is my life...besides coffee. Side note, the Tahitian Vanilla is "spicy". It has black pepper in it. Not very good 🙁
Some more goodies! The veggie burgers are from Whole Foods, but I threw them in this picture as well! I am excited to try those chicken burgers!
These goodies are from Whole Foods which we went to the next day. Besides the obligatory produce, milk, hummus, and loads of nuts I got (you don't need to see...we all know what apples and cashews look like), I "splurged" on some new-to-me things. Yea, blue cornmeal, coconut milk (a first for me!), and vegan, soy-free chocolate chips! I have recipes brewing in my head, but they'll have to wait until I'm home for break.
Back to what we actually did. Thursday (Thanksgiving), my dad picked me up and we drove into the city for some morning coffee! Delicious. From there we proceeded to walk in the cold down to the White House. My dad had never seen it, or any of DC for that matter. I'm also convinced that DC stands for "dead-city". NO ONE was around. Everything was closed. Yes, it was a holiday, but DC is like that a lot of the time. Creepy if you ask me.
We should have went down to see the White House on Friday morning instead when they were delivering the Christmas Tree! (I watched it on CNN instead, haha!). Then we walked back to the car and drove over to the other DC monuments. Imagine us in our be Tahoe trying to find a good parking spot in the city. Let's just say we drove in more than a few "restricted" and "do not enter" areas. We ended up doing out sightseeing from the car, which was fine by me. We ended up getting hungry so we drove over to Whole Foods for lunch (did some shopping), and then drove around Dupont as I waited for my 1pm SOULCYCLE class to start! Yes! I signed up for my first ever SoulCycle class!
Since I wasn't doing a festive Turkey Trot, I decided to do a festive SoulCycle class instead! What is SoulCycle? "Two women, Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, were desperately searching for some CARDIO that would make their hearts sing. Ultimately, they realized they would have to create it! Each SoulCycle ride delivers an intense FULL-BODY workout with a fun and energizing atmosphere. Not only do riders burn calories and get their hearts pumping, but using the SoulCycle Method, riders also work their core and use hand weights to tone their upper bodies. In all of our studios, we ensure that SoulCyclists are treated to the country's best instructors and staff, each trained to deliver unique services and personal attention to all levels of riders. Beyond providing an intense cardio workout, SoulCycle also incorporates a mental component of inspirational coaching. By keeping the lights low and riding by candlelight, SoulCycle creates a cardio sanctuary where riders can come to clear their heads."
Basically it is the greatest "spin" class you will ever take. I actually love spin, just don't have regular access to classes. But going into this class, I had somewhat low expectations. I feel most group fitness classes (especially studio classes like Barre) are too easy and really not worth the money. (Sorry, I'm a fitness snob), but SoulCycle blew me away. They only have studios in select cities right now, DC being on of them (but there is also one in NJ! Woohoo!). Your first class is only $20, so I used my own big girl credit card for the first time and signed up right when the classes opened (registration filled up so quick!). When I arrived to my class on Thursday, I signed a waiver and got special clip on shoes to wear. The studio was packed with people (everyone wanted a good workout before their dinner I guess!), but I was able to grab a locker and get situated. It was really clean and pretty though, with everything you could need. They opened up the actual cycle room and it was totally dark, with no lights, but a few candles. My class was actually being filmed for a special segment Channel 7 will be doing! Pretty cool! I got help adjusting my bike and getting my feet clipped on.
My instructor, Garret, was amazing. He is so talented and coordinated for what he had to do. We started up out of the saddle for the whole first part of the class, The music was super load, but it's supposed to get you out of your own head and just feel the energy. With in the first 10 minutes I was close to tears. No, not from pain, from this "yoga sense" of just power! It was amazing! I don't even know how to describe it. I was just totally lost in the amazing "SoulCycle" feeling. Garret had us cycling to the beat, using our body for some weird choreography popping our bodies all around, and using 2lb hand weights for the upper body portion later in the class. We ended by going all out and Garret asking us if we were happy and how much were we willing to give and push through. It was so amazing!
I came out of that class totally renewed and wishing so much that I could go back. Problem is, I can't easily get there (just like the whole yoga studio problem I have) and it is really expensive! But I am so glad I tried something new and broke out of my fitness bubble! I am hoping to maybe go to the NJ studio when I'm home for break. We'll see 😉 But if you are in DC or near one of their other studios, you MUST try it out! You will not regret it, I promise! I'm hard to please on the fitness front, but man, I was pleased 😉
As you can imagine, when I got back to the car and my dad, I was rather sweaty, haha! But first, we drove to Georgetown, got some water at Starbucks, saw that everything was obviously closed, before we headed back to my dorm so I could shower and get ready for dinner. Guys, this will probably sound weird, but I blew-dry my hair for the first time with success that day! I needed my hair dry before I left out in the cold and the only way to do that was to blow-dry. Well it worked and I felt like a grown-up, haha! Plus I got all dressed up for our dinner reservations at 5pm at the new Cafe Deluxe - West End. They have 3 other locations, but this was the only one open on Thanksgiving and it was right in the middle of DC. (Plus they had a gluten-free menu! Score!)
It was really nice and our server and hostess were so helpful and quick. I ordered the Candy Stripe & Red Beets Salad with Arugula, Spiced Candied Walnuts, White Balsamic Vinaigrette and had them hold the goat cheese, but add grilled chicken! Haha! It was delicious (and allergy-safe!)
My dad got the Braised Boneless Short Ribs with Seasonal Vegetable Risotto.
We took some awkward Thanksgiving memory photos and out server took a picture of both of us together!
I ordered some shitty decaf coffee, before we finished up and headed back to my dorm. My dad dropped me off and would be back in the morning for some Black Friday shopping in Georgetown! Friday was cold again and it was randomly snowing just a bit off and on in the morning. It was weird. Now I hadn't planned on doing any shopping, but since Georgetown is right there and we had nothing else to do....We picked up Starbucks and went to H&M. I haven't bought new clothes in a very long time so why not splurge.
That's right guys, I bought TWO jumpsuits and a blazer! I've always wanted both so bad and they all looked amazing on! I am in love with the jumpsuits so much, haha! This girl is about to become a fashionista. Blow-drying my hair, wearing jumpsuits and blazers...crazy stuff! I also got a pair of new skinny jeans (thank god!), a comfy gray sweatshirt, and that cute cream sweater! I love it all! Yay for shopping and actually finding things that fit and look good. You all know those days where nothing you try on "works", well, everything worked here!
After that spending, I and my dad had no money left, but I did have some Lulu gift cards. However...they had no sales! Everything is just way to damn expensive in there and they didn't even open early. They opened at 10am! I basically walked in and walked out. I'm really not a Lulu fan I guess. I've only ever bought their headbands. Everything else is way to overpriced. :/ After that disappointment, my dad was going to hit the road back home so he dropped me off at my dorm and we said out emotional goodbyes. I loved spending time with my daddy. We never get to do that and it was even better since we hadn't seen each other since August. So it wasn't a typical Thanksgiving (I even missed watching the parade!), but it was different, a lot of nothing and a lot of everything! I missed the rest of my family, but I am so THANKFUL my dad came down and I still had family love all around. I'm even more excited to get home now; I just have to get through finals.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and were able to spend it with at least one person you love! I hope you ate amazing food, got it an amazing workout (I ran another 1.25mi PDR on Sunday morning!!!!), and had just some amazing relaxing "nothing" times too! XOXO
So tell me:
+ Give me the deets on your Thanksgiving! What was the best part?
+ Did you go Black Friday shopping? What did you get? This was the first time I actually even went out on Black Friday! I can't really consider it full Black Friday shopping though since we went to the store at 9am...but hey, at least I bought some stuff 😉
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