Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Parties, Weddings and Holidays!

For some reason, school is sucking even more than usual lately. It's crunch time and patients keep canceling! Thankfully--my network of friends here in Dental School and my loved ones back home are getting me through this. I've been working on so many non-school related craft projects and it's helping to reduce stress and focus on the things in life that really matter.

Two weeks ago, our friend and basically only blog fan, Tom, made the ladies at PLSB a crazy proposal. He wanted to PAY us to throw him a birthday party. This was obviously nonsense, and he didn't know that we already had his birthday party planning in the works. You can read his re-cap of the party here. Tom didn't want any part in the planning because he thought it was too stressful, so we had to do a lot of guess work. Our inspiration, oddly enough, was his tattoos! (see that first picture). From there we made an invitation and made decorations crafted with pictures of his actual tattoos. We told people to dress dark and edgy as we were planning a biker gourmet/west coast choppers/nouveau americana/amy weinhouse theme. Really, I just wanted an excuse to wear my new lipstick, but the guests had fun with it and I think Tom was thrilled.

The invitation.

Some of the decorations. I've seen so many of these pendant banner things on blogs, so I decided to try my hand.
That's Tom, Will, Erin and Tyler digging in. They are eating steak kabobs, risotto, Persian dish (don't know the name, sorry), salad, Indian dish, etc.

This picture makes no sense here, but I just want the world out there to realize how amazing of a chef Yasi is. This was salmon nicoise. Prepared for Brigid and myself on a RANDOM WEEK NIGHT. Again, my friends are seriously getting me through this. Even on the most basic level of nourishment. I wish I had a picture of the Thai dish Yasi made the week before last that completely resolved my sour post-waiting-at-the-car-dealership-for-three hours mood.

Back to Tom's party. Yasi, Brigid and Erin preparing the food.

Catching up on some big news. Brigid just tasted something bad I guess.

Standing proudly in front of her handiwork. That's a lemon trifle and our watermelon/balsalmic/feta/candied nuts salad in the background.

The above two photos don't make a lot of sense here either, but I stole them from Tom from our St. Patrick's day feast. I just like how he took a picture of me taking a picture of B & Y. As he always says, "in ten years....this picture will be priceless!!"

Also getting me through these rough few weeks--comfort food. These ended up tasting not-so-hot, but after a long hard day, pancakes with extra granola and banana (intend to) hit the spot.

Friday afternoon I scheduled a cleaning so I could get out of clinic early and make it to my friend Patti's wedding rehearsal. I've known Patti and her family since I was six weeks old, so needless to say, her wedding this weekend was a wonderful event! This may not mean anything to anybody, but I made it from the dental school in San Antonio to the Kemah boardwalk in three hours and forty five minutes! I never thought I'd make it to the rehearsal, but I arrived just in time to change from scrubs to a dress in the back of my car and run down the hill to the boat (yes the wedding was on a boat!) The windows on the boat were tinted in such a way that I didn't realize that the whole wedding party was watching me run (so not graciously) on a down slope to the dock in heels.

The wedding was intimate and so much fun. I was really nervous about my speech and MOH duties, but everything worked out. My sister Leah, on the far left in the picture was asked to do a reading, and my other sister, Alyssa, on the right side of the bride, sang a beautiful rendition of Ave Maria. I was proud of them both.

Saturday night at 4 am, after catching up with my old friend Kendall at Baytown's newest, hottest (only) bar, we booked tickets to the Duke vs Baylor game. We ate at Goode Company BBQ before the game then grabbed some drinks at the Armadillo Palace. You can't tell but that's Chrissy, Leah, and Ben sitting on saddles.

View of Htown from Reliant.
Chrissy & Leah claimed they didn't plan these matching outfits.

Of all 40 thousand fans, our seats were right next to our classmate, Alex!

I was actually cheering against both teams. I was rooting for my ice cream!

Last night was our Passover seder! I got invited to my Aunt Dolly's in Austin. We had a great time and the food was so delicious. Tonight a classmate and I are hosting a second night seder at my house. I've got to race to Central Market right NOW and get some of the food.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Naw Ruz!!

Say what?! Transliteration from farsi: Happy New Year! It's the first day of spring (so they say...it was snowing in Dallas this weekend, that doesn't exactly scream spring time to me) which can only mean one thing if you're persian and/or Bahai-time to celebrate a new year! For Baha'is the new year commences at sunset the evening before March 21st each year, it's a time of celebration, feasting and visiting loved ones. For persians, the new year also begins on the first day of spring although based on the lunar calendar in Iran, the exact hour on March 20th changes from year to year. In Iran, the new year celebrations began as a Zoroastrian celebration and are the equivalent of "the holidays" in America. Students get a few weeks off from school, kids are basking in the glory of gifts and lute from their relatives and everyone is traveling around to visit their families. Out of respect and tradition, it's always custom for the younger children/siblings/adults to visit the older generations first. I really love this holiday, I've been home with my family almost every year and there are two traditions in particular that I always look forward to.

1. The Haft Sin. Though I'm a bit unsure of all the historical implications, the haft sin is basically a table set up with seven items which begin with the letter "sin" in farsi. I think the number seven has religious implications, but again I'm a bit foggy on the details. Hyacinths (farsi = sonbol); Vinegar (farsi = serkeh); Apples (farsi = seeb); Garlic (farsi = seer) are a few of the staples that always make it to the table. The idea is that these seven items are all naturally occurring items symbolizing rebirth and prosperity in the new year...or so I was explained. I just love it because it's pretty and the smell of hyacinths is intoxicatingly good!

Momma's haft sin

2. Sabzi Polo Mahi. Literally meaning herb rice with fish, it's the traditional meal to bring in the new year. The fish can be fried, baked, broiled, smoked, grilled, whatever you want. Just make sure it's some variety of white fish. I remember when I was younger my mom would drag me to the persian market in Dallas to buy the fish and I would be so grossed out by the glassy eyes staring at me. But that fear is long gone! This year I helped my mom scale and stuff all the fish. In the province of Iran where my parents grew up, the fish are stuffed with this incredible tamarind, parsley, cilantro and garlic concoction that no description of mine could do justice.

Tamarind goodness

Minus the unexpected arctic temperatures, I had such a good time back home. I even got some lute of my own that I'm quite excited about. With the time change and nicer weather in San Antonio I'm hoping to get back in my running groove. This is going to hurt if I don't get back into things quick!

St Patty's Party Recap

But first...here are the pictures we finally got from Brigid's birthday party. What a fun night!

We stayed up so late!

Brigid and I have the same boots!

We made smores! (just realized I went a little crazy with the exclamation points, but it was really fun)

Okay--now on to St Patrick's Day. Brigid cooked corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, carrots--the works. It was delicious again this year and I helped myself to about 5 slices of Irish soda bread and butter.

Super cute, right? Can you see the precious little flowers on Brigid's shirt? And by the way, there were other party guests besides the three of us.

The girls here at PLSB are pretty busy right now with dental exams, Persian new year celebrations, trying out a new lipstick shades (see below), ordering Papa John's online and planning our friend Tom's birthday party. We are excited and will be posting pictures...but for now the theme is kind of secret.

It's called "Funny Face."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Some pretty paper cutouts...
from here

Today I'm reminiscing of my childhood celebrations of St. Patrick's day. My family really seems to hold on tightly to our Irish roots and so this day always was a production. I'm talking green milk all day long, a big meal of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, Irish soda bread (my FAVORITE), I'm sure there were probably some green eggs in there, green cookies, what else can you die green?

The way my family, and much of America, have latched on to this holiday as a way of celebrating Irish heritage (or good friends and beer) has me thinking. I think it is so interesting how in our melting pot of a country some (many?) of us hold on to a specific part of our cultural/ethnic background as a big part of our identity. What I think is funny is how people chose to loudly proclaim some cultural identities and keep others much more muted.

When I was younger I always got the impression that my mom's side of the family were the loud Irish-Catholics and my dad's side German. I just assumed that's all there was to it based on what I always heard in family gatherings. The Irish side was always played up so much more that if it weren't for my last name, you could almost forget about the German heritage (not to mention the first names in my family: Molly, Kieran, Patrick, Megan, Evan...I could go on and on). Oh, and my name? Well, St. Brigid is only like the second patron saint of Ireland after St. Patrick, so yeah...

So, imagine my surprise working on a genealogy project sometime in middle/high school and finding out about that crazy, 'we're so Irish' side of the family? Yeah, there were some from Ireland, but what about the French-Canadian, German, a Swiss mixed in there, plus the part of the family that's been in America long enough to be around signing the Constitution? Hmm, what about them...

I guess the Irish were the more recent immigrations and therefore the culture seems more relevant and convenient to hold on to. The thing is, you see this so often but you rarely hear someone just say "I'm American". I never really thought about this until a couple years back when B and I were talking about our family's and he said just that. What's different is that his grandmother actually grew up in Europe and immigrated here as an adult so the cultural ties are so much stronger, but instead he self-described as American instead of being picky about one European country over another. How awesome is that?

Maybe that's just what we need in our country...to quit nitpicking over each specific ethnicity and just celebrate that we are here, in America. I think a lot of what divides people could be resolved if we tried not to compare quite as much. Jamie was just telling me recently how she never knows what to mark on demographic papers; should she mark Hispanic, or if it isn't an option then Caucasian, or the two or more races category? Cultural sensitivity is always important and their are times where race or ethnicity does come into play; but does anyone feel that maybe it comes up a little too often? We are all still people!

Of course, I don't expect everyone to loose their cultural identity, nor would I ever encourage it. I think it is so lovely and special for those families that genuinely keep a hold to cultural ties and practices. I also think these cultural traditions are a great way to grow up realizing where one's family might have come from, to learn about how they came to where they are today and how important history can be; affecting both people and families as well as the country's development.

This was totally not supposed to be a downer...so, with that: Eat, Drink, Be Merry today! I still plan on celebrating like any good Irish would!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Toothy Tuesdays: Your TMJ

Today's tooth news is coming a little late and it's not entirely about teeth. You've heard people say they have "TMJ." (Remember when Miranda talks about her TMJ when she gets braces?) Well to tell you the truth, everyone has a TMJ--temporomandibular joint. It's the joint that connects your bottom jaw to your skull. The problem comes in when people are diagnosed with "TMD"--temporomandibular disorder.

Lots of things can make your jaw joint flare up and these flare ups can actually get confused for tooth pain or mask some muscular issues. Stress, clenching, grinding, sinus issues, and dental infections all contribute to aches and pains in front of your ears and up to your temples & forehead.

This past week I've been having issues with my own TMJ. I think that I have been subconsciously clenching my teeth because I'm so stressed out! I've probably been clenching during my sleep and during the day when I'm surfing the internet--err--working on patients. Brigid and I diagnosed/treatment planned my case today at lunch and so I'm going to take her advice and take some NSAIDS (like alieve) while wearing a mouth guard. The mouth guard will help me notice when I start to clench my teeth together and hopefully keep the teeth apart during sleep.

It's best to talk to your dentist about your specific symptoms if you feel that you are having TMJ problems. I'll let you know how my joint issues work themselves out....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Back to the living...

Remember how we used to have a blog? We'll we're back readers. I know how much I've sucked lately and am determined to NOT be so sucky [Jamie, on the other hand, somehow never seems to run out of writing]. Somewhere in my head there is some sort of blog material and it's coming...soon. I don't think the light bulb has gone off quite yet.

Turns out that recovering from surgery really sucks the life out of you. I thought I was good to go and then I decided to go to school last week. I would seriously come home and fall asleep by 5:15. This past week was the first (and ONLY) time it was good all my patients were canceling because that meant I could go home early to sleep. Oh what a pathetic life I lead.

BUT, good news! This weekend, the sun was shining, (after sleeping 15 hrs in what might be the lamest Friday night ever) I was well rested, and I felt like a normal person again! It was perfect pool weather and I was determined to enjoy it. Oh wait, except I'm still not allowed to get in the pool and my stomach is covered with scars/scabs and a deformed belly button. Well, thanks to an awesome new summer outfit from Yasi [see awful pic Jamie is posting] and a ridiculous but hilarious book borrowed from Jamie, the sunshine was wonderful! Can't wait to enjoy a little more of the outdoors this spring, once I'm able.
Have a wonderful Monday everyone!

Spring has arrived!!! And so has she....

The weather this past week has been truly incredible! Brigid showed up at my door on Saturday decked out in her sunbathing attire and it was just too funny and too cute. I couldn't let her escape without a picture.

So even though the weather has been so nice, I'm going to hold off on discussing outdoor things until I've gotten a few indoor things off my chest. I LOVE watching TV--like too much--and I get a little emotionally invested in my shows. I don't just watch anything on tv, not that I am that picky, but just a creature of habit. My channel surfing goes between Bravo, TLC, HGTV and E! for the most part. Big things are happening lately with the finale of RHOC and the new season of RHONY.

I'll start with New York. Bethenny and Jill not friends?? If they aren't best friends forever, then I don't know who can be. I'm so disappointed in them and was at first mad at Jill. I could see where being her friend might be a little demanding and Bethenny is just too funny not to love. BUT, then I thought--what if Bethenny is the problem? Maybe she's gotten too big for her britches? Either way, I don't like where this season is heading with all the confrontation. I used to love the New York housewives the best because they were classy, independent, fabulous and their plastic surgery is less obvious, but now I have to say I am disappointed. Please, RHONY, turn things around pronto!

Now for Orange County. I am more disappointed in myself for watching this trash. These women are so tacky. I felt like I was taking crazy pills watching the finale because everyone was against Vicky and I thought she was the only one who made any sense. Those other ladies do not go to work--OWN IT. Making sure your husband's latte is made and that one of your nannies is taking care of the kids so you can get a massage and work out is NOT A JOB. Alexis is 100% allowed to do whatever she wants, but if she felt confident enough in her decision she wouldn't be so delusional to think she and Vicky are in the same boat (or yacht as the case may be). Plus, her husband is a total creeper. How can you have three kids and NEVER have changed a diaper? I was under the impression that raising kids was team work. I guess they have decided to divide and conquer. (She manages all things reproductive and he provides financial support.)

I don't want to get into trouble here for being critical of this lifestyle, but these images are a public safety concern. These women are teaching their children and other people's children that natural beauty is not good enough, money is everything and women should stay at home while men bring home the bacon (even if they are struggling with that duty, ehem Frank ehem). And this travel thing? These husbands act like they can't allow their wives to be unchaperoned--it probably doesn't help that the wives are younger either. The episode where Vicky's girls weekend was ruined by the male partners was so sad and she was so misunderstood.

Let's go back to this old school idea that is being reinforced in the OC--women give intimacy while men give money. If you think this is too drastic, think about when your university educated roommate gets back from a date and says, "well he paid for dinner so I felt obligated to at least give him XYZ." XYX being anything from shaved legs and makeup to--well other stuff, but my mom reads this. There are tons of feminist articles on this and I see historically how this system might have it's place, but it's 2010 and Tamra should be allowed to work in real estate if she wants to! Wouldn't it help out her financial situation anyway? The saddest scene was when Tamra's mom--to paraphrase--basically told her to stay with Simon because she wouldn't be able to afford three kids without him. Tamra should have consulted with Ramona from RHONY who explained her rationale for making her own money--it could be the key to her freedom from a bad relationship.

Now let's go to the silver screen--last night Brigid, Yasi and I saw An Education. To make a long story short, the main character is a 16 year old girl in England in the '60s who has to choose between getting married and going to Oxford. Like those were her ONLY two options. She decided at first that getting married and being taken care of (fancy restaurant$, trips to Pari$) was way more appealing than going to college because her only career options were secretary and teacher. For the first time I realized how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to be "anything I want to be." Until watching this film I didn't know why my parents said that or what the big deal was. I never knew what it was like to have limitations. Sure, being a female dental student has it's rough moments, but at least I get to be here and can sue someone if they don't accept me.

So then the question is....should women feel obligated to rise in business just because our great-grandmothers couldn't? I don't think this is the solution, but have some appreciation for those who paved roads before you and acknowledge how lucky you are to have a choice. Alexis, Tamra, Gretchen, Lynn--do whatever you want, but don't complain when your house is in short-sale, you are being evicted, you don't have the money to leave the guy or you resent your 4th child-aka husband for being unappreciative because not getting out there and rising to your full potential is a slap in the face to women who never had any choice.

Ugh! I am fired up now, but we'll see what happens in 10 years when it comes down to me actually making these decisions.....

For now let's return to fairy tale wedding land. I'm making wedding streamers for a friend's daytime boat wedding. I am MOH---Woo hoo!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Missing the Rodeo....

This morning as I drove to school I was entertained by an old George Straight song. It put me in the best mood! It made my mind wander to my hometown and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

It's rodeo time again and I sadly did not get on the ball and get tickets this year. Darn! Well, let me clarify, I never have directly bought tickets to the Rodeo performances, but usually people who are a) members of some kind of country federation/rodeo board or b) more organized than I am get tickets early and they invite me.

When I was in 3rd grade my family went with another family to see Reba perform. I was fuh-reaked out. The Astrodome wreaked something awful due to all the barnyard animals taking over and everyone was wearing Wranglers! Ew. So I swore off the Rodeo for about 10 years until I was in college....

I don't know if it was me or the miraculous advances in Rodeo entertainment, but I loved it now! Since the early 2000s I've been going to the shows every year (except this one) and have enjoyed watching performers like Beyonce, Maroon 5, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Pat Green, Clay Walker, and Martina McBride--to name a few.

For those of you who do not know, the point of the Rodeo is to enjoy food, drink and music. Headlining performers do their show after an hour or so of traditional rodeo games. There are horseback riding races, bucking broncos, and the hilarious muttin' bustin'--toddlers get strapped to a baby sheep that takes off and the toddler holds on for dear life, haha. With the backdrop of crafts and carnival lights, you get to eat sausage, funnel cake, barbecue and anything you want FRIED. I'm not kidding.

Let me take you back to the Rodeo Disaster of 2007. My friend Patti and I decided to try all these fried foods offered at the rodeo fair--I'm talking fried twinkies, fried snickers, fried coke, and our favorite--fried oreos (this was after sharing an entire bag of dark chocolates and sausage on a stick). Needless to say, my stomach was not pleased....but my heart sure was! It's probably a good thing we didn't ride any of the carnival rides that year.

The fun and friendly faces seen at the Rodeo really highlight Houston's pride and diversity in culture. For some reason fried foods and live music really bring people together! They may be wearing different clothes and sitting in different seats but the Sugarlanders, Baytonians, River Oaks-ers, etc can all get on board with sausage on an stick.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

SPRING BREAK !@@$#$ (Part 2)

Denver really wasn't what I expected--it was kind of old and people just schlep around in beanies, fleeces and brown floppy shoes. I thought everyone would be eating granola and sipping on wheat grass smoothies, but actually there were lots of beer and burger joints. I guess that's what happens in a city nicknamed "Menville" that is home to more "dispensaries" (that's medicinal marijuana shops) than Starbucks. NEVERTHELESS, Colorado is beautiful and I was so grateful to get the chance to get away from here. We were surrounded by beautiful scenery, fresh air and great food.

So begins the recap...

The first night we arrived we had dinner with friends at the Cherry Cricket because we saw it on Man vs Food. Great burgers with allll kind of toppings. I had cream cheese, green chili strips and bacon.
I kept waiting for the altitude sickness to
kick in, but surprisingly I was A-OK. Tuesday morning we took a tour at the US Mint, where they "don't give free samples," hardy har. We like to do at least one educational event on each vacation, but this was actually more humorous. We had to have reservations and we weren't allowed to bring purses or cameras. We had to go through serious security with metal detectors and x ray machines. Do they really think someone's going to run off carrying 40 lb bags of pennies?? Anyway we later drove out to Boulder to see the sights and get our hike on. Above is a view of the mountains on the drive.

We had lunch at The Kitchen, which was suggested to us by my travel book and a valet guy. I loved the decor--a contrast between rustic and elegant with lots of sunlight. Excellent humus and slow roasted pork sandwiches. The restaurant was on Pearl street which is the main shopping strip through the college town.

After we ate we drove up to Chautauqua park to get our hike on. I love hiking because, as I say, it's just walking. We got great views of the mountains and threw snowballs.
This is my friend Aliza who was our tour guide and was gracious enough to let us use her house and car!

After the park we went back down to the city to sip on some suds at The Sink. We enjoyed chips, salsa and trivia and lost track of time--resulting in an overdue meter and subsequent parking ticket--woops.

As if we didn't have enough liquids in our body after The Sink and the gallons of water we were all drinking to prevent altitude sickness, we went to the Dushanbe Teahouse for their famous Chai. Tajikstan is apparently a sister city and all these hand painted tiles were sent over and reassembled in Boulder as a teahouse.

That night we got to visit Safeway and King Soopers to get ingredients for our home made Spring rolls. Maybe it's just me, but I loooove visiting grocery stores in other cities, so that was cool. (We also visited Wild Oats in Boulder).
Very glad I now know how to make spring rolls. We used cucumber, fresh mint, noodles, shrimp, peanut sauce, and bean sprouts. The trick is to be able to find these noodle wrappers that look like Vietnamese tortillas. They start out stiff and flaky until you dip them in water and they become sticky and malleable.
Since Aliza had to go back to work
on Wednesday, we were on our own. I was super sad because the place where I wanted to eat breakfast, Bump and Grind, a restaurant where drag queens serve you waffles, was out of business! doh! Not to worry though, Snooze was amazing. Snooze was definitely a must-eat. I had the Barbacoa Benny and the flavors were incredible. Both savory and spicy.

After breakfast we drove to the Cherry Creek shopping area to rent bikes. Unfortunately, the only bikes available for rent were road bikes--which I had never used before. We had a nice ride up by Cherry Creek through some residential areas to Washington Park.
Biking is a great way to get a feel for a city and I actually love looking at houses. It's nice to see how people really live. Wash Park is apparently the place to be and we had amazing weather. Unfortunately on the way back to Cherry Creek Ben got a flat tire! We were able to miraculously change the tire (it only took an hour) by watching an instructional video on YouTube from Ben's phone. Point: iPhone.

Wednesday night was one of our most fun events--the Nuggets game!! (On the way there we stopped on Larimer Street to eat at Corridor 44. It was truly delicious and we enjoyed Smoked Salmon w/ Caviar Potato Chips, Salad, Roasted Chicken, Seared Ahi Tuna--YUM.) The technology in ticket handling alone is a enough to be impressed. I purchased the tickets online weeks ago and all we needed to do was bring the credit card to the game. The ticket collector swiped our credit card on a machine attached to her belt and out printed our tickets right there! (The next day Aliza realized she lost a hat at the arena and a live person actually called her back in response to the message she left on the lost and found hotline).

We had the most fun taking pictures in these mannequins set up to make you look like Nuggets and Avalanche players. It was truly hilarious and really brought lots of strangers together pointing and laughing. Before catching the bus back home we walked through LoDo, the 16th street Mall and had some Blue Moon at LoDo Bar and Grill.

Thursday was the best outdoor activity day. The Coors brewery tour in Golden was truly informative and enjoyable! The tour was free and provided a bus ride through the town of Golden from the parking lot to the Coors plant. We had individual head sets that gave us history of the company and an explanation of how beer is brewed. Here are some pictures from inside the factory.

We walked through Golden after the tour and had lunch at Woody's Pizza.

And now for the big Thursday Finale.........RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATER. This place is so gorgeous and was teeming with people--some exploring, some exercising. There was even a bridal photo shoot going on. We walked down to the stage where the Beatles, Dave Mathews and other Jam Bands have performed and then walked up the 70 steps back to the top. I was very disappointed that the visitor center closed at 4 so I could not get the full history but I was able to use Ben's phone to read the Wikipedia page for Red Rocks. Another point: iPhone.

After the wonder that was Red Rocks we drove back to Denver and visited the gargantuan flagship REI store. This complex included a bike shop, ski shop and every camping gadget you could ask for. I got a new water bottle and a pair of running shorts for my mom (surprise!). Ben got a sweet new ski jacket way on sale. On the way out of REI we spotted a grocery store called Vitamin Cottage. I had seen one earlier in the day, but didn't have the chance to stop so I was so stoked.
Here is the loot I scored from Vitamin Cottage. It's pretty much a smorgasbord of vegan-gluten free-organic-hemp yada yada --awesome. We were so exhausted from our outdoor adventures that Thursday night we stayed in to eat this food and watch the Real Housewives of New York premiere. This should be another post in itself, but I was so disappointed! They are all going nuts and I can't handle Jill & Bethenny not being friends. The jury is still out on whose side I might be on.

I read about the Museum of Contemporary Arts and was really impressed with their concept. The museum ended up being alright but my favorite part was actually the rooftop garden and cafe. Friday was spent mostly driving around exploring different parts of Denver by car. We saw Centennial and the neighborhoods around University of Denver. Tried to eat at restaurants we had heard about-- Sushi Tazu and Fruition, but they were both closed at the time we visited! Hapa ended up serving us well.

Friday night we had an amazing time at the First Friday Art Walk in the Santa Fe arts district. We went into so many galleries and enjoyed complimentary snacks and drinks. Another perfect weather night and we finished it out with Ethiopian food. I had tasted this food once before, but had never been to an Ethiopian restaurant. It was Ben's first time to experience this cuisine and he really enjoyed it.

I don't remember the name of the place, but it was on Colfax and run by a lovely husband and wife duo.

Are you kidding me?!?!?! We stepped out of the apartment we were staying at one morning, looked across the street and this is what we saw. Why can't I ever escape dental school?

Saturday morning we cleaned up, packed and ate the best sandwiches at Snarf. They had great bread and a special spicy pickled veggie spread. We took a driving tour of the new health science center in Aurora before we headed for the airport.

Great trip! Too bad I didn't get to visit D Bar Desserts, but I will definitely be back. If for nothing else, but to see a concert at Red Rocks.....oh yeah and maybe try skiing.