Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Maybe you can go home again... (Part 1)

Get ready for an epically long post... ;)
This summer, I took advantage of our shutdown time at work to take a full week off and drive back to Michigan. Yes, a little insane (especially with my insistence on making the drive each way in one day), but worth it to have the mobility once I made it there. It was so wonderful to get to catch up with friends from so many stages of my life, from childhood to my last job before leaving for Boston.
I drove into the Metro Detroit area first (after a slight disagreement with Pennsylvania, where road construction added a couple hours onto my drive...sigh) to stay with Shelley, one of my (old) work besties. She was dog/housesitting, so as a bonus I got to play with an adorable pup!
On Sunday, we participated in a fundraiser event put on by her barre studio, Barre Code Metro Detroit, at Atwater Brewery. Nothing better than barre + beer + raising money for an animal shelter! Naturally we followed this up with brunch-at Vinsetta Garage, a restaurant I had actually been wanting to try back when I did a show with Birmingham Village Players. It was worth the wait!
On Monday morning I drove into Ann Arbor to spend some time just wandering around my hometown (and shopping for Alvan's birthday present!) and spend time with friends who live there. I hit up Roo's Roast for breakfast-my favorite avocado toast in Michigan and amazing coffee-then wandered around all my favorite stores downtown. Naturally I went to the M Den (where I limited myself to just one sweatshirt!), but also made it into Shinola, Cherry Republic, Rock Paper Scissors, and Literati (where I did not manage to limit myself to just one book...oops). I need to do some more research into Boston bookstores, as I'm sure there are wonderful ones...but I just miss Literati so!
obsessed with the food & drink section here!
I then met Elizabeth, a friend from the Ann Arbor theatre scene (particularly Brass Tacks Ensemble) for lunch at Sava's and a stroll through the Arboretum. It was a hot and humid day, but there was no way I was passing on the Arb-I love it not only for the natural beauty but also memories it holds from my childhood all the way through Shakespeare comedy performances with the Residential College Players (you never forget it when you have to spring through the woods on a hot summer night in Elizabethan dress to beat the audience!).
I had to get some ice cream at Blank Slate Creamery, of course-they have the best flavors and I love that it is all made fresh from quality ingredients! I then decided to take full advantage of happy hour (as it doesn't exist in Boston-which just drives me crazy) at the Raven's Club. I always love trying out their seasonal infused vodkas!
That evening I got see a number of people-first dinner with Alex (we became friends in middle school when I did my first play with Ann Arbor Civic Theatre) at Jolly Pumpkin, then sangria with Megan (friends since I volunteered to be her buddy when she transferred schools in 6th grade) at Aventura, then some of my trivia crew-Joe, Steve A, and PJ-where Megan and I helped them secure first place in the final round.
Tuesday was pretty chill, as it was planned entirely around lunch and dinner plans. I did make sure to go by Zingerman's for breakfast-and a couple drinks to take home-where I wondered why I couldn't just have leisurely mornings with pain au chocolat and café au lait all the time.
Megan and I had made reservations at the Lunch Room's new restaurant, the Detroit Street Filling Station, as it was their soft open-perfect timing, right? The food was fantastic and I cannot wait to go back (someday) now that they have a full menu-and to hit up the Diner & Canteen for some vegan ice cream treats!
Megan refused to take a photo with me...so I made her dog, Sophie, take one instead!
Tuesday evening I got to have a reunion of sorts with my old coworkers, my warriors of love. Binh hosted us all and it was truly fantastic to get to catch up with everybody. I have become close with some of my coworkers here, but there was something magical about our relationships there.
Stay tuned for part 2...I promise it is waaaay shorter!

xoxoxo
Emma

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 10.14.17

The first weekend in so long that I'm not traveling and don't have guests...it has been so fun but I must admit, I'm happy to have a weekend of (almost) no plans. I decided to go to Providence for the evening to hang out with Dad/avoid ruminating over (non-)relationships, and tomorrow I start at my new part-time job, but otherwise I get to just do me! More to come on the job front of course...I have a feeling it will result in a lot of Insta photos :)
favorite lazy Saturday activities: drinking coffee and baking
Reading: The Assistants by Camille Perri. I loved this book-a story of undervalued women, in underpaying jobs, fighting back in clever ways. Definitely check it out!

Listening: When I was in Nashville a couple weeks ago, I discovered that there is, in fact, some country music that I enjoy. Of course, it's closer to folk, but it still counts! Leaving Thomas is an adorable and talented duo from Canada who performed at the Bluebird when we were there...if anybody finds their song about online dating, please send it to me-I've been on the hunt!
Watching: All the Michigan football, of course! I did miss part of a game for my friend's wedding (I guess it was worth it...ha!) and it has been fun but stresssssfull. That last loss to Michigan State was painful, but hopefully we come back knowing we ned to up our game!

Have a great weekend, y'all!

xoxoxo
Emma

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 9.23.17

It's Caroline and Patrick's wedding weekend! I'm writing from my brief layover at DTW, where I am

Reading: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee. I do love my YA lit, and this is a good one. I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the trilogy! She has a great blend of a potential future world with the humanity that will never change.

Listening: Common. I will often read and listen to music at the same time, but I just can't do that with his music-it requires my full attention.

Watching: I just started Drop Dead Diva on Netflix and it is super cute. A little reminiscent of Legally Blonde at times, but I'm ok with that!

Have a great first weekend of fall (that feels like summer)!

xoxoxo
Emma

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Eating Elsewhere: Madison

I had a quick trip to Madison to celebrate with my friend Caroline for her wedding shower and bachelorette-but still managed to fit in an impressive amount of food! Not quite as crazy as when Dad and I went to Denver, but still...
Her shower wasn't until the afternoon on Saturday, and I was staying with my good friends Erica and Erik, so the three of us decided to have some fun before. In the morning, Erica told me she knew the best doughnut place in Madison, so of course we had to go there. She wasn't wrong! Dough Baby Bakery is sooo delicious and I need to go back to try more flavors. Perhaps when I'm there for the wedding? We had the blueberry, mint lemonade, and chocolate almond toffee flavors-I think the blueberry was the winner for both of us. It was such a clear and strong flavor, and a little different from what is usually available.
Of course we stopped by Colectivo Coffee as well-one of my fave coffee places in Madison.
For lunch we joined up with Erik and went to a delicious restaurant, Alchemy, that I had actually been to during Lucas' graduation weekend. The stuffed grilled cheese sandwich and seasonal salad were killer.
Caroline's bachelorette began at her and Patrick (her fiancee)'s favorite cocktail bar, Graft-which also has fantastic food. It's heavy on the seafood and meat, so I could only enjoy some of it, but what I had was great. The jasmine rice salad in particular was delicious-enjoyed by vegetarians and meat eaters alike! Everyone else seemed to especially enjoy the scallops as well, and the brussels sprouts were great.
The next day I went to brunch with Erica-the rest of the bachelorette party (Caroline included) seemed in no shape to enjoy delicious food, ha.
We walked over to Heritage Tavern, yet another great restaurant in the Capitol area. I can never turn down a breakfast sandwich, and this one was particularly well done. I like to assess brunch restaurants on their potatoes and Heritage didn't disappoint-they essentially made potato pancakes.
One is not allowed to go to Madison and not consume cheese curds at least once-Erica, Erik, and I decided to hit up the classic Old-Fashioned in the afternoon for said treat and a drink before I went to the airport.
Now, to plan out where I'll eat this weekend when I return...any hot tips?

xoxoxo
Emma

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 9.16.17

The kids came back this week...oh boy. It's been good to have them, but it definitely makes getting anything done a lot more challenging!

Lately, I've been

Reading: Wine All the Time by Marissa A. Ross. I would highly recommend this-it has totally inspired me to learn more about and experiment with wine! A totally accessible (and hilarious) guide that is still extremely informative.
Listening: I've been getting some shit for my choice in music lately (that I don't listen to anything new)...but I do enjoy some newer stuff! John Legend, for example, is pretty much a perfect human.

Watching: 30 Rock is going off Netflix on October 1st, so I'm finishing up my rewatch! One episode left...

Have a great last weekend of summer! Bring it on, fall...

xoxoxo
Emma

Thursday, September 7, 2017

21 hours in NYC

This summer (following our Denver adventure), Dad and I drove down to NYC just for a day. Sounds crazy, right? It may have been-but it was also 100% worth it, because we were going to see HAMILTON! When we selected our tickets last winter, it felt like the day would never come-but it finally did!
On Tuesday after work (I had a training so I even got out a little early), I drove down to Providence to meet Dad, and we immediately hit the road. We got insanely lucky with traffic and made it to the default bar by my friend Kate's place (where I was staying) by 8:00, so Dad dropped me off and went to his hotel in Queens.
When Kate finished up her yoga class, we headed over to a new wine bar that had recently opened around the corner, Pop & Pour Cafe. It is a tiny space but adorable-and has delicious food and drink! I had also started to forget the joys of happy hour but was soon reminded. Come on, Boston-please hop on that train!
Despite having no plans until brunch before the matinee, I woke up early (of course), but took full advantage of that to enjoy the perfect summer day. I hopped on the train-oh how I love NYC public transportation-and went straight down to Central Park. After walking from the bottom up to around 72nd St, I stopped by Le Pain Quotidien for a croissant, fruit, and cappuccino to tide me over until brunch. Unfortunately the scaffolding outside kept a lot of light out, but it probably is my favorite chain so it was definitely worth it.
I also swung by Alice's Tea Cup for some looseleaf tea to take back with me-the Kashmiri green chai is such a treat with almond milk and honey.
Dad and Kate then met me by the Bethesda Fountain for a little stroll. Dad had never been to Central Park just to spend time there, so we went through the ramble on our way back up town. It's pretty amazing that you really can forget that you're in a city while in Central Park-and even get lost!
We brunched with Kate, her friend, and his sister at a great place right by her apartment (also, weekday brunch? The greatest!) before heading back down to Times Square.
Waiting in the line to get into the theatre was crazy-we all had tickets already, yet were in a crazy long line to get in. Everyone was so excited and there were clearly a range of people in terms of all demographics.
What to say about the show itself? It was amazing. I had such high expectations for it given all the hype and how many times I had listened to the soundtrack, ha-and it lived up to them. I was a little concerned because it of course wasn't the original cast and a couple of the leads are played by their swing performer for the matinees. However, I didn't need to worry-everyone was fantastic!
Dad was not nearly as familiar with the show as I was, but I think loved it just as much. He was astounded at some of it (especially loving the timely line "immigrants-we get the job done") and has since purchased the biography-it's sitting on his coffee table!
After the show, we simply drove back to Providence and then I continued on to Boston since I had to work the next day. We didn't get quite as lucky with traffic on the return trip, though it was still 100% worth it.
Dad-thank you so, so, so much for taking me to see Hamilton! It was well worth waiting almost 10 years :)

xoxoxo
Emma

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 9.2.17

I guess it hasn't been so weekly lately...again with the traveling! Someday I'll get caught up on all those posts too...maybe on this long weekend? Though I will definitely be trying to make the most of what's left of summer as well, along with fully embracing the start of football season! Go Blue!

Reading: I was so excited to find The Admissions at the Ann Arbor Public Library-Friends of the Library book sale. I've been on the hold waitlist for it for ages, so I was totally willing to spend $2 on it. It was definitely really engaging and wrenched at my heart-I highly recommend it!

Listening: I listened to A LOT of my usual podcasts while I was driving to and from Michigan last week, as well as singing along to musicals at the top of my lungs and an audiobook. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was actually a great one to listen to-and I am pretty picky about what I will listen to rather than read myself.

Watching: I began watching the Defenders while at camp with James, so have been working on that. I just have 2 episodes left-can't get enough of superheroes making sarcastic and witty comments!

Have a fantastic Labor Day weekend! Oh, and GO BLUE!

xoxoxo
Emma