Oh Hi Ohio!

About a year ago, I started a coding bootcamp. Last week, I went RubyConf, an annual conference for users of the programming language Ruby. I applied to attend as a RubyConf Scholar, which is a program set up to pair first-time conference attendees with Guides who will mentor them and get the most out of their conference experience.

RubyConf 2016 was held in Cincinatti, Ohio. I have never been to Ohio before, and I was a little nervous because I didn’t really know what to expect…

Well, I had an incredibly lovely time!

The conference itself was great. I made a lot of great Ruby friends and heard some really amazing presentations about the language and about being a programmer and developer. Since I’m new to the field, it really does help to hear about people’s experiences with being new and becoming better.


The founder of the Ruby language, Yukihiro Matsumoto, aka Matz!

Can I also just talk about Cincinnati? I’ll be honest: I was not expecting much from this city.

But wow, the city is pretty.



I did a 7AM 5K run (haha, I know) that wound up being more of a 4.9K sunrise stroll along the riverfront. As I walked from Ohio into Kentucky and back, I was totally blown away by how gorgeous downtown looked in the golden dawn light.

A week before the publishing time of this post, I was sneaking off on my own to find the bench swings that I walked past during my 4.9K walk. As you might know, I’m a sucker for a swing. Smale Riverfront Park is a super lovely spot and well worth a visit. I could’ve sat on that swing for hours and hours basking in the sunlight…

This is the actual view of the “Sing the Queen City” sign


Are you watchig Westworld by the way…?

Also of visual interest is the Contemporary Arts Center, which is hard to miss thanks to its colorful facade.


Cincinnati recently underwent a beautification project that, I have to say, really nailed it. A lot of buildings that previously looked really run-down have been transformed by some amazing murals.


By the way, I ate a lot of good food while I was in Cincy.

However! The crazy chili — a more liquid consistency, a touch of cinnamon, just meat, and served over noodles! — was not my cup of tea. But at least I can say that I tried it!

My anniversary and Ben’s birthday were actually both over the weekend that I was in Cincinatti. I felt so guilty leaving Ben during this special weekend, but he really wanted me to attend this conference.

Bu what made me feel most guilty was just how much I wanted to share Cincinnati with him. I wish I had a day not at the conference that I could’ve spent walking around and exploring just a teeny bit more. Even just enjoying the view from my room could’ve used a few more hours. I guess I’ll have to come back with Ben in tow!


What conferences have you enjoyed attending?
What are some spots I should visit the next time I visit Cincinnati?
What are some weird regional foods that you’ve tried?
The chili was definitely out of my comfort zone. And can I confess something? I’ve never had Philly cheesesteak, despite having lived fairly close to Philly for most of my life! I’m not a cheese fan, so I’ve never felt so compelled.

MegaDon4Ever! | Spring Break 2016

Last time on Spring Break 2016, we visited the beautiful Griffith Observatory, where I tried to get my fill of starry space stuff before heading to Koreatown to hang out with some friends from the Internet! It was a night of food and karaoke that I am so grateful for.

In case anyone forgot why we were on the west coast to begin with, the day of Don & Megan’s wedding finally arrived! We slept in a little bit on Sunday and then headed out for lunch and photos of the Arts District, since we hadn’t really hung around during daylight hours yet.

We were pretty starving, so we went for Umami Burger for lunch. We don’t have Umami in DC yet, but I’ve had the famous burger in New York before and I liked it there. Maybe it was because I was crazy hungry, because this burger was sooooo satisfying. It was juicy but didn’t make a complete mess, which honestly does ruin my burger experience if I end up having to eat burger remnants off my place with a fork. In shame.2016-04-10 14.08.45 2016-04-10 14.09.06 2016-04-10 14.09.20 2016-04-10 14.09.25

Then time to indulge in my vanity and embarrass Ben by taking a lot of photos with the awesome murals around town.DSC00684 DSC00689 DSC00692 DSC00699 While taking these photos, a man started approaching us, which got Ben really really nervous. I tried to stay calm but we were both pretty scared that a strange man was walking towards us and there was no one else around us. As it turns out, the man was notified of our presence because we set off the alarms at the warehouse where we were taking photos. He was homeless but the company that owned the warehouse was paying him to do security because people had been stealing copper and other scrap metal. His name was Anthony and he was so so kind to us, so friendly, and so appreciative of our time. He told us about how he was an injured vet, offered to introduce us to his pit bulls, and gave us more blessings than we deserved. Ben wanted to take a photo with him to preserve the memory of meeting this kind soul, but I felt weird and exploitative about that so I quietly rejected that idea, gave Anthony a hug and some money so that he could afford to buy into low-income housing, and walked away feeling really good about the whole interaction. It was even better considering how scared we were when he approached us! I hope he’s doing well now.DSC00703

The Wedding

Oh yeah, we had a wedding to attend! We did our long schlep (just kidding, it was literally 2 blocks away) after primping a little bit for the wedding. The Millwick was such a great venue, very LA, open, organic… And you know what? When we got there, the sun came out. And stayed out. Don and Megan were really worried about having to rent a tent for the ceremony and as it turns out, they didn’t need one. The weather finally cooperated and was perfect for the wedding. Here are a few photos from the lovely evening, provided by Anna Delores Photography.

They did it!
Dancing back down the aisle to “I Believe In a Thing Called Love”
The big combined family!
Megan’s mom giving her toast/roast
Groom + mom and bride + dad dancing
This shady photo of me getting funky
The ringbearer and his dad. FUN FACT: Multiple people asked me if this was my son during the evening. HE IS NOT.

We tried to go out for karaoke afterwards, but since Ben and I had an early drive out to Anaheim for Disney fun, we left before the newlyweds were able to join the crew. It was a great evening for MegaDon4Ever (Megan + Don) and we were so happy to be there to share this special day with our friends.

Watch yo self
Bridal Vegas crew!
How many people can we fit in a photo???

Next stop: DISNEYLAND.

We’re wrapping up Spring Break 2016 posts, can you even believe it? What have you been liking about them so far? What do you want to see more/less of?