Things That Made Me Smile #16

Hi de hi! (British thing, sorry!) How did you all enjoy the long weekend? I understand that it was a three day weekend across the board, what with America celebrating Memorial Day on the Monday, and one of the many random British bank holidays coinciding. My shifts actually tallied up with the rest of the world for a change, so Ben and I got to do some normal weekend stuff with our 9-5, Monday-Friday circle of friends, which was nice. But to take a slight trip back in time, this covers the week before the bank holiday as well. This covers the end of mine and Ben’s time in New York, and travelling down to Maryland and Washington DC, before flrying home for the final few days in holiday mode before heading back to the grind today (boo).

Without further ado, here are the things that made me smile last week:

446– Experiencing the beauty of Maryland for the first time. I have never been to Maryland before, and it’s honestly not somewhere that I would have looked at going if we hadn’t been staying with Ben’s friend Adam and his girlfriend Fawne. But it was so worth it. Rolling hills full of beautiful green countryside, it reminded me a little of Wales, but slightly less mountainous, fewer sheep and temperatures that go above 17 degrees in the summer!

468– Making my first ever S’More over a fire. Adam and Fawne set up a fire and we put together the two slices of Graham Cracker, a slab of Hershey’s chocolate and a jumbo marshmallow, gooey from the flames. It was beyond delicious, and it is definitely something I want to bring to the summer round of BBQs!

508– Going to my first ever baseball game! Adam and Fawne took us to watch the Hagerstown Suns play the Greensboro Grasshoppers (very minor league), and although neither team was exactly amazing (it was such a slow, stop-start game, especially by comparison to watching the Boston Red Sox play on TV the next night), it was the experience and atmosphere that mattered. We had beers and sat in our summery clothing on hard wooden benches under the floodlights, breaking for cover only once when the rains came in. We had a brilliant night.

560– Visiting the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Washington. I have an unending love of bookshops, and Ben very accuratelly pegged that I have a fasincation with bookshops in other countries. I just like the idea of meandering between the aisles, taking in all the books and seeing how different countries publish their books, and what is published in America as compared to the UK (Sewing Circle Mystery Books, anyone?)

552– Eating at the Elephant and Castle in Washington DC. It wasn’t for the food (although, true to American form, it was huge and tasty), bu more the name that we had to make a stop here. See, I know Elephant and Castle as a dingy area with a roundabout and a shopping centre in South London (google it for some enlightening pics!) Don’t get me wrong, I love this scruffy dive of an area in a weird way, but only because I lived and worked around there for several years. For anyone else, maybe the restaurant should be what you call to mind when you think of E&C in future!

– Criminal Minds. I love, love, LOVE this show. I blame it in part for my new-found love of America, and harbour a not-so-secret wish that I could up sticks, move to the States and become an FBI Agent with the Behavourial Analysis Unit. But alas, while that is not a possibility, Sunday spent clearing up the aftermath of our Eurovision Party (see below_ and binge-watching half of Season 4 most definitely is. It may have been a lazy day, but it was so worth it!

11216412_10153369067884595_703811624_n– EUROVISION! Because who doesn’t love an evening watching the musical representatives of Europe dazzle, baffle and bemuse you in turns? We had singing grannies last year, this year we had capes. Lots and lots of capes. I remember this particularly because Jon and I decided to throw a Eurovision Party this year. We’ve never done anything like it, but I thought it would be a laugh. We dressed up as different countries. brought along examples of their regional food, and played a drinking game along to Eurovision. This involved rules such as drinking whenever something truly bizarre happened, whenever we saw a cape, and whenever Graham Norton delivered some sass. It was a hilarious, but there were a few sore heads the morning after! (For anyone who doesn’t know who Graham Norton is or just how awesome he is, read this Buzzfeed article)

(P.S. Can you guess which countries Ben, me, Jon, Anna and Adam came as?)

004– Savage Beauty by Alexander McQueen at the V&A. Such a fascinating exhibition, full of the fantastical, wondrous and downright bizarre. It was more than just a selection of clothes sat on mannequins. The pieces themselves, the exhibition, it was all a work of art.

More on most of these still to come. But till then, what has made you happy in the last week or so? How are you spending your weekend?

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