Monday, November 5, 2012

#25 Bike to Mt. Vernon

 Saturday I woke up early and rode my bike to Mt. Vernon with the lovely Kathryn.  It was a cold day, but such a beautiful ride!!  I kind of crack myself up sometimes.  I thought I could get on a bike and ride 30 miles, no big deal.  Note that I've probably taken my bike out 3-4 times throughout the entire summer.  I was definitely feeling sore and tired, but thankfully had Kathryn there to push me!  I look forward to riding this trail again in the spring when it is a little warmer :) Hooray for checking another item off my 30 before 30 list! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Seize the Day

This past weekend I had the opportunity to meet up with some friends in NYC.  I love this city.  Absolutely LOVE it.  It is most definitely one of my favorite cities to visit.  I love that I live a bus ride away.  Melissa was visiting this weekend, which made it a perfect weekend for a nyc girls reunion.  I got to spend some quality time with Bryndee, Kristan and Mel.  We did what we do best in New York: eat, shows, shop, explore/walk the city so that we can eat some more.  

My weekend kicked off with this lovely lady and some yummy Mexican food.  We ended up walking through the village, dreaming of our future brownstone on Perry Street.  We could be Sarah Jessica Parker's neighbor!  We conveniently walked past Magnolia's Bakery, which of course meant we needed to stop by and get a cupcake.  Definitely a wise decision.  It was great catching up with Bryndee and hearing all about her life in NYC.  She is one great lady!

Saturday we got lucky and won lottery tickets to this great show:

The show was very creative and well written, although I've decided I am more a musical fan than a play fan.  Nonetheless, definitely a hilarious show worth going to.  Other highlights of the trip included seeing this pretty lady!  We got tickets to see Newsies Saturday night and I couldn't wipe that smile off my face.  I LOVED it.  I loved the dancing, the music, and set--I want to go again.

I can't forget to mention that we stopped at Shake Shack before I left the city.  Nothing like ending my trip with  a good burger, fries, and chocolate shake!  Kristan and Bryndee were great hosts.  I can't wait for their visit to DC :)

Until next month NYC...the Mickelsen clan is getting excited to spend Thanksgiving with you! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

#26 Take a Road Trip

Another item on my 30 before 30 list was to take a road trip this year.  Labor day weekend I made that happen!  Matt and I jumped in the car and headed to Asheville, North Carolina, home of the lovely Biltmore Estate.  This estate is the former home to George and Edith Vanderbilt.  It was absolutely gorgeous there!  The drive from DC to North Carolina was also quite scenic. We were surrounded by intense beauty the entire weekend.

Saturday morning we woke up early to begin our day tour of the Biltmore.  The grounds of the estate cover 8,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Matt was most likely sick of me taking pictures every other minute, but seriously it was the best place for a photo shoot!  The home was built in the late 1800's where George, Edith, and their daughter Cornelia resided.  There are over 250 rooms in this mansion. It took us 3 hours just to complete the inside tour of the home.  Some of my favorite rooms included the library, breakfast room, and Edith Vanderbilt's bedroom.  Also included in the home was a bowling alley, indoor swimming pool, and gymnasium which was pretty unheard of for the time.  The audio tour was totally worth the ten extra dollars.  It provided great detail of each room, and personal stories from the Vanderbilt's journals.  Other than the kitchen, most rooms in the home were designed for leisure (library, banquet hall, billiard room, breakfast room, music room, tapestry gallery, library, etc.  Not a bad a life!

 After we finished our tour of the home, we stepped outside to explore the EIGHT gardens surrounding the property.  We definitely got our work out in on Saturday after walking through acres of land.   The gardens and grounds of the Biltmore were the work of Frederick Law Olmsted; designer of new York's Central Park.  We learned on the tour that Olmsted considered the Biltmore his crowning achievement.  In addition to the Gardens, there was also Antler Hill Village to tour.  This part of the estate included a winery, museum, gift shops, and some yummy restaurants.  You can also pay additional money to bike, kayak, river raft, ride horses, etc.  We took our road bikes and had every intention to bike, but by the end of the day we were too exhausted to get them out.  The Biltmore is also an awesome concert venue!  While we were there, Foreigner was preparing to perform later that evening.  I was singing, "I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE, I WANT YOU TO SHOW ME" all weekend long.  

Overall, we had a great day touring the Biltmore.  I would definitely recommend visiting the estate.  We concluded the evening watching college football at a sports pub.  We were both pretty starving and tired at this point.  College football was a perfect way to end the evening.

Day two of the road trip we decided to go to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to see the Smokey Mountains.  Again, another beautiful day and beautiful drive.  It now makes perfect sense as to why they are called the Smokey mountains.  Fog hangs low over the mountain range that gives it a smoke-like appearance.  

The town itself kind of cracked me up.  I swear every corner had a Waffle House, a place to take old-fashioned pictures, mini golf, or some kind of air gun store.  We decided a ride on an Alpine Slide in the Smokey's was a must.  We took a tram, and then a chairlift up to where the alpine slide was.  Matt was convinced he could beat me down the mountain, but I am pretty sure you know how that went down :)


Do you like how I look like a homeless girl in these pictures?  Our original plan was to take our bikes and go on a ride in the mountains.  We ended up going on the alpine slides first, and then it rained so we didn't get to  bike.  Thus I am prancing around in my t-shirt, bike shorts, and Matt's Cal shorts all over TN.  Classy.

Don't judge but we ended the day with dinner at the Waffle House.  It was only appropriate to dine there while visiting the South.

I can't get over how beautiful this part of the country is!  Our labor day road trip was a success--we explored somewhere neither of us had visited, we didn't get sick of each other, and we experienced a fine dining experience at a Waffle House.  I can now check this one off the list and am that much closer to reaching my 30 before 30 goals!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Some days I think I'm ready for a dog...

Would I get another Jack Russell Terrier???   Maybe someday when I live in my own place, or have a family of my own.  For now, I'll have to suffice with good memories of Molly, my childhood dog.  Or maybe my parents should just get another dog?  Les and Jared??

Sunday, July 29, 2012

#27 Beach day at Rehoboth

If I had to choose my absolute favorite way to spend a Saturday, a beach day at Rehoboth would be right up there.  Since I've lived in DC, I've made it an annual tradition to go to Rehoboth at least once each summer.  Thus, it made my 30 before 30 list (or really 30 things I want to do in my 29th year).   Rehoboth beach is located a couple of hours north of DC in Delaware.  Our beach group included my good friend, Shandi, Brian & Katie and some of their friends.  We left around 6:30am, to maximize our beach time.  Per the usual, we stopped at Sonic for breakfast and vanilla cokes on our way there (visit #1).  After a day on the beach, Shandi and I decided to hit up the Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth.  This is another reason that makes this trip so great, a little shopping at J Crew and Banana.  I came away with a couple of "back to school" necessities.  

After a little shopping, Shandi and I went to Outback for dinner.  The unfortunate part of this meal was when Shandi found an open staple in her sweet potato.  Yep, you read that right.  Luckily she didn't swallow it.  Both of our meals were complimentary.  Seriously, how does a staple get into a potato?!  

We headed back to DC that evening with of course, another Sonic run (trip # 2).  More vanilla coke were needed.  After we got our drinks we decided ice cream was needed.  This time, I decided to go through the drive thru, which made this my 3rd transaction at Sonic in 12 hours.  Kind of ridiculous.  We don't have Sonic in DC, and you just can't get a fountain drink like they make em' at Sonic.  


Shandi & Michele in our beach gear

I made Brian do a photo shoot with me on the beach.  He was not pleased. 

The heavens parted when we went to Sonic for the THIRD time.  

Two very happy girls. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

#28 "I'm Sailing!"

For my 29th birthday a kind boy took me sailing on the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, MD.  This has been on my wish list of things to do since I've moved to the area!  We decided to make it a day of all things Annapolis...unfortunately we didn't run into James Franco or Tyrese while there.  We did however, get the opportunity to tour the US Naval Academy. 

The funny thing about this day was it was another 100+ degree day, but that didn't stop us from spending the entire afternoon and evening in Annapolis.  After our US Naval Academy tour we stopped for ice cream cones and did a little window shopping.

At 6:30pm we boarded our boat for a two-hour sail around the Chesapeake.  It was great to be out on the water and I even got to steer the boat for a bit!  I kind of felt like Bill Murray on, "What About Bob," when he screams, "I'm Sailing!!  I sail!"  Yes, I in fact can now say that I've sailed.

We finished our day like true Marylanders, hush-puppies, and 10 medium-sized crabs at Cantler's Riverside Inn.  We worked for every piece of crab meat we ate, and managed to devour all 10 crabs.  Thanks Matt for a fun day in Annapolis! 

Friday, July 20, 2012


Attend a Nat's Game

There isn't anything more American than attending a professional baseball game on the 4th of July!  We braved the heat and survived--I think it reached 104 degrees!  I don't follow baseball closely, but love going to a game, singing take me out to the ball game, and eating myself a tasty ballpark dog.  I wanted to be sure to get a game in at least once this season, especially because we have a good team this year!!  Number 29 on my list, check!