The 8th thing I love about living in Arlington, VA…

Wait, what – Hurt Locker is a musical? Nope…just an elaborate inside joke from the current Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Finally being close enough to New York that theater weekends can be a real thing!

Thanks to Vamoose Bus and its direct trips from Arlington to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan, we’ve been taking full advantage of this proximity to catch up on some amazing Broadway shows.


Our first trip up not long after moving back to the US from Berlin, we saw Wicked (Theater Girl’s pick for her very first Broadway show), plus the sadly now-closed After Midnight (with Dulé Hill!) and Buyer & Cellar (Michael Urie!).

On our second trip, we were extra-ambitious and managed to squeeze in four shows plus a whole day with a friend conveniently visiting from Berlin that same weekend. Seeing Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall in the new production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a thrill I’m still pinching myself over months later, matched only by FINALLY seeing Alan Cumming in the latest Cabaret revival (Michelle Williams, too). Stunning performances, all.

Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall? Enough said.
Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall? Enough said.


Seriously, looking back at those sentences I just typed, I have to wonder if I’m not the luckiest person ever.




Add in Pippin and this other kinda-well-known actor Daniel Radcliffe (Daniel Radcliffe!!!) in The Cripple of Inishmaan and I already know it’s going to be hard to top that theater-licious weekend.


At least until Theater Girl is stage managing professional shows of her own, because you know I’m going to want to be in the audience for those every single night.

Things I’ve Heard From Our Balcony


ligSomeone playing a trumpet! For a few brief and wonderful moments, I actually thought I was in Berlin listening to our regular musical visitors. Then the very un-Berlinish crosswalk signal down the street began beeping and I remembered that we’re now back in the US where we rarely hear music on the street. It’s likely that the unseen trumpet player is a busker down in front of the Metro station a few blocks away, but that doesn’t really matter to me. I’m okay with letting a little musical mystery back into my life…

A rather angry squirrel barking at some unseen threat.

Overgrown tree branches scraping against the window of an apartment in the building across the street.

An extended set of really, REALLY loud male sneezes.

The local high school’s marching band practicing its halftime show out on the football field a few blocks away.

A spirited, high-volume rendition of the Rocky theme by a twenty-something guy running down the block. Continue reading

The 3rd thing I love about visiting Huntington Beach, CA…

SugShack(aka my hometown)

Breakfast at the Sugar Shack.

This Main Street mainstay is famous with locals and tourists alike for its just-off-the-beach location, but to my friends and family, it’s also the site of an impromptu wedding breakfast just after my love and I got married in a (very) informal and pretty much unrehearsed sunrise ceremony. Continue reading

The 2nd thing I love about visiting Huntington Beach, CA…

HBsurfersunThe ocean.

The Pacific Ocean, to be specific. And the sand and tidepools and cliffs and bluffs and surfers and swimmers and body-boarders and toe-dippers and piers and sandy towels and sunscreen (so much sunscreen) and wind and seagulls and sunsets and tar (okay, maybe not the tar) and lifeguard stations and dolphins and grunion runs (when the midnight moon is right) and whale watching excursions and the outline of Catalina Island 26 miles away, but only when the view is clear enough.

That’s why, whenever I get back to Huntington Beach, my very highest priority (after hugging my family, of course) is to get myself down to the ocean, dig my toes in the wet sand, and walk along the waveline until I once again feel the connection that tells me I’m home.

Things I’ve Seen From Our Balcony

Armored car guards picking up a deposit from a nearby restaurant.

A wasp nest high up in a tree across the way.

A group of very loud, very official (possibly even Presidential?)-looking helicopters.

A large group of children playing a swimming-pool-free variation of Marco Polo in a nearby courtyard.

Workmen using our balcony as a staging area for repair work on a balcony a few floors above.

A very flattened blue-striped work glove, obviously run over multiple times.

Crows, or maybe ravens? I don’t know which but I would like to because sometimes they quite companionably hang out on our balcony railing and I feel it’s rather rude not to know their proper name. I’ll try to get a picture and then maybe you can help. Continue reading

The 1st thing I love about visiting Huntington Beach, CA…

MD(aka my hometown)


These people!


And these people, too!



My parents and brothers* are AWESOME (yes, I proudly claim my SoCal heritage through frequent and exuberant use of that word) and being in the same city–not to mention same country–with them, even if only for a few days, is always something to celebrate.

*My in-laws of all varieties are similarly awesome and should in no way feel slighted by not being pictured here. Their time will undoubtedly come soon….