Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend Report: Mother's Day and EU Embassy Open Houses

I feel like this blog is unofficially dedicated to my mama.

She's the reason I love to cook. Some of my earliest memories involve Sister1 and I "helping" my mom in the kitchen. We each had our own kitchen stools, and installed ourselves on either side of her as she chopped fresh veggies for salsa, rolled out blackberry pie crusts, and baked sheets and sheets of biscotti and chocolate chip cookies.

She's the reason I love to read. Every night before going to bed my mama read us books - from Goodnight Moon to Frog and Toad to Little Women. Since I started reading on my own, we're constantly trading books - almost everything I read comes from my mama's recommendations.

Both my parents are the reasons I love to run. My mama is an amazing athlete - my goal is to someday be as good as she was. (That's to the tune of a 2:46 marathon...oof...we'll see...) She ran every day for years, and now does Bikram yoga every day. That is dedication. (Read more about my running family here.)

And she made me the writer I am - the hours and tears and frustration spent ripping through my elementary school and junior high papers taught me how to edit and write coherently (Mollie, what exactly are you trying to say here???).

So Happy Mother's Day Mama! I love you!

But since I'm in DC and my mama's in CA, my weekend involved no actual Mother's Day activities...

Saturday morning LOTR-Emily and I started early on the EU Embassies Open House tour. We learned our lesson from last year, and this time strategically planned our attack. We started at Belgium - kicking off a day of sampling with some delicious chocolate and a mini Belgian waffle.

Next we went to Finland. Their embassy is LEED Gold Certified and so freaking cool inside! They're also the only embassy I know of that is always open for tours, so if you visit DC definitely check this out.

At Great Britain we toured the gardens, chatted with accented soldiers, and were given a book of short stories by British authors.

Luxembourg's embassy was small (much like the country), but very nicely wood-paneled inside. The Dutch ambassador's residence was gorgeous, the Slovenian embassy offered maps and delicious cinnamon roll-like bread. 

The Estonian embassy had one of the coolest buildings ever, and we finished off with the Bulgarian embassy. (10 points for whomever can place all those countries on a map!)

I felt quite accomplished after completing so much tourism in just one day. Followed by a run with SpeedyKate and check! Saturday was complete.

Sunday's morning long run was gorgeous...but absolutely awful. We started at Carderock, just 20 minutes outside DC, and ran up past the Billy Goat Trail

I hated running through my 8-mile slog (it was supposed to be 10, but there was just no way that was going to happen). SpeedyKate and I re-fueled with Cosi squagel egg sandwiches (SpeedyKate as we're about to order: "I'm annoyed that I have to say 'squagel' right now.") that despite their ridiculous name were de-freaking-licious

I spent the afternoon practicing French then hanging out with my refugees (translation: making a 4th grader sit and do multiplication for an hour and a half. Ick - when do they get to use calculators? When was the last time you had to do 496 x 55 by hand???).

Then we hit up my favorite Ethiopian restaurant (Madjet) for dinner - it was sooo tasty and satisfying!

Hope you had a good weekend too!