Hopping and Hoping

September 2 started off as just an ordinary day.

It was swelteringly warm, not unlike the days leading up to it. I woke up a little later and lazier than usual, but it was nothing that disrupted my body’s natural sleep cycle. I led myself to the bathroom, washed my face and brushed my teeth, and dawdled around on the computer. Per the usual.

Ordinary pre-breakfast routine aside, September 2 was actually a very special day on my calendar. It marked 9 months since S and I became official “boyfriend-girlfriend.” 🙂

To start off our monthiversary right, we leisurely headed out to breakfast. I’ll admit that this was my first time eating out for breakfast in New York City since I’ve been here a year ago. As a freshman I always made a bowl of oatmeal (sound familiar?) or grabbed a bite from the dining hall, from which we were required to purchase a meal plan. This was my boyfriend’s second time eating out in the AM. Naturally, we were pretty clueless as to where the best breakfast hotspots were. Too bad we were already standing out on the busy intersection in front of our dorm–away from our computers–by the time we realized this dilemma.

Enter the lifesaving Yelp app! Accessed through my BF’s phone, this handy application can list restaurants and other search results based on proximity to the user’s current location. GPS on phones are pretty amazing! 🙂 We decided on a cute little cafe (name forgotten) that was highly rated and just steps away from where we were standing.

I forgot to snap pictures, but my boyfriend had the prosciutto and egg sandwich and I had the truffle mushroom bruschetta. They were delicious but I wish I could have swapped my baguette bread for whole grain. Also, the “salads” that came with both meals were really disappointing. Let’s just say limp shredded cabbage drowning in balsamic did not give my carnivorous boyfriend a good impression of vegetables! 😕

After breakfast was a pit-stop at Trader Joe’s for some snacklets to bring along (Just Mango dried mango slices, a few fruit leathers, Larabar, Clif bar). I was still hungry after my uber tiny bruschetta breakfast, so I supplemented with a purchased snackie. Cashew Cookie Larabar to the rescue!

I surprised my boyfriend with a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. The whole thing is pretty much a tourist attraction, dotted with business commuters in the AM and PM rush hours, but I figured it’d also be perfect for two frugal college kids like us since the ferry ride is completely FREE! 😉 All we paid were the $2.25 subway rides to and from the ferry station.

The sun made the water sparkle!

When we arrived at the Staten Island station, we found the cutest pigeon. It flew from one of the exits and HOPPED down the stairs, one by one. I couldn’t resist pulling out the Canon. :mrgreen:

We got out of the station and with nothing planned, we decided to just walk around.

However, we realized that it was just way too hot to be walking around, so when we saw a sign for a free shuttle bus, we hopped on without thinking. We actually did not know where the bus was taking us, but I guess that’s just part of the adventure!

About a half hour later, we arrived at what turned out to be the College of Staten Island, a CUNY school. We wanted to stay on the air-conditioned bus, hoping that it would continue to loop around the island until it reached the ferry station again, but according to the driver this was actually the last and only stop. It was nice to see what a real college campus looked like, very different from our school “campus” in the heart of Manhattan!

About an hour later we found ourselves on the ferry back home to the city. This is my favorite scenic photo of the day, mostly because my boyfriend said it looked “fake.” 🙂 This, my friends, is the beautiful Manhattan skyline.

Throughout the bus ride back I had nibbled on finished the entire bag of dried mango (without guilt because 1. there was no added sugar, sulfur, or preservatives, and 2.my boyfriend did not really care for its taste and texture at all), but by the time we reached Manhattan it was around 2:30pm and we were both ready for some “real” food. After discovering Dumpling Man’s $3.50 “after-school” special did not start until 3pm, we decided to go to Hummus Place across the street.

We were both repeat visitors of this popular vegetarian joint, so we were familiar with its tasty lunch special: one hummus + one appetizer for $7.50.

I had the Hummus Mushrooms, which consisted of sauteed mushrooms, onion, olive oil, and various spices, sitting on a bed of homemade hummus.

My appetizer/side was the Health Salad: diced cucumber, tomato, onion, and parsley, with a light yogurt sauce.

BF got the Hummus Masabacha: homemade hummus featuring whole chickpeas, olive oil, and spices.

and for his appetizer/side he chose the falafel, served with tahini and special green sauce.

Our meals came with a basketful of warm pita bread (2 each). I liked how we had the option of whole wheat without having to specially request or pay extra for it.

We pretty much stuck to our own hummus variations but shared the salad and falafel. I loved the salad: it was bright, fresh, crunchy, and just a little creamy without being heavy. It tasted great, especially when I mixed some right into my hummus plate. I also tried two of my boyfriend’s falafel. It was amazing, just as I remember the first time I had it. The creamy tahini and tangy green sauce complemented the fried chickpea balls perfectly. The soft, still warm pita pockets tied everything together. It was a wonderful meal, just as I had hoped. I loved it so much that I ended up taking some of my hummus, salad, and one pita back to the dorm. I love leftovers! 😉

That night we picked up some more groceries and decided to cook dinner at home. We stayed in the dorm and stir-fried 1 egg (organic and cage-free), some veggies, mushrooms, beans, and tofu with tomato sauce, and enjoyed it over some pasta and leftover brown rice. I also grabbed two kale leaves, washed, tore, and spun them, for a little leafy green action for myself. I don’t think I can go a day without kale.

After annoyingly poking my boyfriend with a handful of kale, he gave in and let me release my handful into his bowl as well. 😈 You know you’ve got a good guy if he’ll eat something his girlfriend wants him to eat, even if he detests it. 😉

We had sweet corn on the side and tons of hot pepper flakes (of course) for self-shakin’.

I may have liked dinner better than lunch simply because I got to cook alongside the guy I love. 😀 ❤

After dinner, we plopped onto the bed and watched Food Network. After digesting for a bit, we stopped by our favorite Sundaes and Cones to share an ice cream cone: 1 scoop Black Sesame and 1 scoop Tiramisu. I think I hogged most of the sesame ice cream. 😉 It’s SO GOOD, one of Sundaes and Cones’ specialty flavors, along with Honey Ginger, Guava, etc.

Halfway through the cone, I realized that I forgot to snap a photo of it, but did not rush to take out the camera. I don’t even remember if I had even brought it out with me. It was just one of those times where no matter how good the food looked, the person I shared it with and those moments enjoying it were so much more important. Ya know?

Just sitting on that bench and eating ice cream together made me happy. It was the perfect ending to the perfect day–everything I had hoped for, and more. 🙂

Anyway, enough loveydovey-ness from me. Here are some general questions for YOU:

Do you like to “doggybag” your meal from a restaurant? I do! If I enjoyed the meal then, I know that I would love it again the next day or the day after that! And recently my Tupperware has gotten a few uses from leftover dorm meals already. Leftovers of all kinds are so convenient for a busy college girl like me. Even a little of this and a bit of that can be bulked up into a complete meal with a salad or some grains!

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Mine has to be that black sesame! It’s one reason I can’t be completely vegan. 😛

What’s the strangest/ funniest/ cutest thing you’ve seen a wild animal do? Did you watch that pigeon hopping video (above) or not? I hope I didn’t wait 30 minutes for it to upload for no reason. 😉

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7 Responses to Hopping and Hoping

  1. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan says:

    There is a restaurant called HUMMUS PLACE?! Aaahh! I was already dying to visit New York before, but that cranks it up yet another notch! I think I’d have to go with the Hummus Masabacha and falafel, exactly what your bf selected!
    Congrats again on your anniversary :]

  2. Aww what a nice day! Happy 9 monthiversary 🙂

    Once again, I’m super jealous I don’t live in NYC. Amazing hummus!!

  3. Oh, so fun to spend the entire day together! Looks like (and sounds like) great food and better company. I’m glad to hear you two like to cook together,

    I love leftovers, too – especially out here in the midwest portions are too huge to eat at once, so taking half home is necessary. I try to remember to take my own reusable boxes, too, even if I look goofy doing it.

  4. Gillian says:

    Haha I’m always trying to get my boyfriend to eat Kale!

    And I love black sesame soy milk- would love to try the ice cream!!

    Gillian
    http://www.gillianyoung.com

  5. Jenny says:

    I did indeed watch the video. I always love finding those tame chipmunks in places they are used to people – and they come up really close to you for a snack. And we always scream, then laugh when we see rats in NYC. Speaking of NYC…I’m coming for a couple of weeks in November! So excited! I was looking up new restaurants since we’re going to be there so long, and I actually had the Hummus Place on my list!

    I, unfortunately, never have leftovers at a restaurant…ahem…but when my kids do, we definitely love having them for the next day.

    Have you been to Lula’s? I really liked their twist cones. Maybe you should tell them to come up with Black Sesame flavor. 🙂

    Happy you had a happy day with your honey! 🙂

  6. Happy anniversary! I think it should be everyones personal goal to make sure all celebrations include hummus!

  7. If you want to play, I gave you a Most Versatile Blogger award on my site, come over and check it out.

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