Monday, May 30, 2016

ESOP Convention 2016

First of all, Happy Memorial Day! Thanks to anyone who has ever served our country, is currently serving our country, or plans on serving in the future. There's a reason we're always shouting, "USA! USA!" unironically; this is an amazing place to live and I am forever proud to be an American.

I thought I would be patriotic and share snippets from my short trip to DC last week. Because I was there for work, I really didn't do much in the city. However, I arrived early enough on Wednesday to roam around a bit before our dinner reservation and we had some free time here and there so I still managed to have a little bit of fun in between my lectures and sessions.

The main reason I was in DC was for work. A group of us were attending the annual ESOP convention. ESOP stands for 'Employee Stock Ownership Program' and it's a pretty cool concept. My company is an ESOP and basically, it means I own stock in my own company... for free. It makes me work harder and it gives me extra retirement money; it's a win-win. I was lucky enough to be allowed to attend and listened to several great speakers and got to network with people working for ESOPs.
It was a great way to spend a few days. And, if I'm allowed to say, it was frankly kind of nice to be out of the office for a few days especially since the weather was so lovely. Usually in DC, it would've been the beginning stages of muggy summer; instead, it was crisp and gorgeous.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Summer Holiday Planning

My sister and I got itchy feet recently. Neither of us had had a real break in a while and since our trip to Greece is still months away, we decided to make a long weekend in Florida. Why Florida? Well, flights are cheap ($190 round trip per person), there's decent snorkeling, and no mobile roaming charges.

We're also planning on heading to Pennsylvania for a few days with our dog for Memorial Day weekend. We're planning on lots of hiking and hopefully we'll manage to do some stargazing, as that was kind of my whole reason for choosing PA in the first place.
As I've mentioned time and time again, planning the trip is 40% of the fun for me.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dog Beach

George Michael loves swimming, which is something my sister discovered when he ran into a pond to chase after some geese as a puppy. Since then, he's been in his best friend Baxter's pool several times and he loves to dip his feet in the creek when we go on hikes.

I thought a trip to the beach was long overdue so we decided to take advantage of the warm weather we've been having, as well as the off-season dog-friendly beach at Asbury park, and went "down the shore" for a day.
Dogs are allowed only in the early mornings and evenings during the high season. But between October and mid-May, they're allowed all day. We parked at a small lot just off of Ocean Avenue, which was free. There was also plenty of metered street parking.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Woodloch

For the second time, I was invited by my office to a little retreat-style conference. Last time, it was in New York at the Mohonk Mountain House. That place had a truly spooky vibe and reminded me of The Shining. Since my coworker, L, was organizing the whole thing, I went and quizzed her about this new place, Woodloch, and she told me it had more of a Kellerman's vibe and I was immediately buzzed and excited. And you know what? It totally did remind me of Kellerman's. (If you don't get that reference, it's because I guess you're not a Dirty Dancing fan. I honestly expected Johnny to walk around the corner and it made me really want to carry a watermelon.)

We had a bit more free time this year and we were invited to drive up early on Sunday so I took advantage of that and toted my camera along.
Unfortunately, because the weather was so crummy, I didn't quite do as much outdoorsy activities as I had imagined.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Dinner at Noreetuh

Last weekend, I ventured out into the city on a gorgeous day to celebrate my friend L's 30th birthday and to have dinner with D. I decided to drive, since the weather was amazing and mid-afternoon traffic on a Saturday is virtually non-existent. I managed to find metered parking near Cooper Union and wandered down to meet my friends.
The birthday party was at Lionsbeerstore, which is a really nice little bar on the LES. The walls opened up completely so we got to enjoy the amazing breeze and sunshine, the beer selection was pretty decent, and the food was incredible.
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