Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Saturday, March 22, 2008

To Sum Up

10 Things to Remember when Visiting Washington, DC:

1. Walking a mile uphill always seems longer than going down.

2. Avoid pulling your metro ticket out of the machine when it jams, otherwise you will rip it in half! However, this results in many interesting conversations with the metro guards!

3. When wanting to go to a lower level, don't attempt to go down an up escalator.

4. Always read the side of your shuttle bus before boarding to avoid going to the wrong place.

5. If you've been proven to be bad at directions, don't assume you're right when traveling from point A to point B.

6. Giving a twenty cent tip to a cab driver is not acceptable.

7. Never carry two cups of coffee while walking down the street on a windy day. Unless you have a plastic bib on to absorb the splatter!

8. Don't bother taking your leftovers from a restaurant back to your hotel with you when you have no fridge and are leaving on a plane the next day.

9. When the sign says "no flash photography" it's best to not then take a picture directly in front of the security guard.

10. Always check the time before getting up to take a shower, lest you find yourself showering at 1 AM!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Our last full day...

This morning we left our hotel bright and early in order to get in line for tickets to tour the Capitol....and nearly blew away frozen solid! Though the temps were in the upper 40s to 50s, we had 20mph winds that were COLD. And we didn't bring our jackets. Silly us. But we survived, and while we waited in line, we made friends with the lady in front of us, named Anita. She was super nice and visiting from Texas with some friends, though she was the only one planning on touring the Capitol. We chatted about all of the DC attractions that were our favorites, our jobs, where we're from, and the cool museums and tourist attractions that were in her area. We ended up getting the same tour time, and so we were able to talk more then, and she even gave us her address and phone number in case we ever need a place to stay in Texas! Good ole southern friendliness to the tee. :) Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of her, so if we ever do visit her in Texas, which is pretty unlikely, I wouldn't remember what she looked like anyway. But it makes a good story!

As I said, we visited the Capitol today, and it was awesome! Once the sun came out, it helped warm us up and it made for a kodak moment. Check out this picture I took -- it looks like a postcard!

After the Capitol, we went to the Holocaust museum (which is incredible, but also quite depressing) and then swung back around to the National Archives for a second look. Tomorrow it's back home we go -- assuming we don't get stuck in a snow storm!

Below are a few more sights from our day:

Hmm...does this statue have a thinking twin, or is it just me? :)

Thanks to Anita, we got a picture of us together in front of the Capitol! yay!

For those of you who don't know, this is a glimpse of the
Capitol's rotunda...beautiful....

Another note to Lucas: this fountain was running....
...but no coins were in the bottom. Sorry!
The brownish colors are dead leaves....too bad for you! :)

Do you see a resemblance? This is one of my great ancestors,
Samuel Adams!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Moo-lah & Megan

As you can see here, today we visited Joe's long anticipated place: the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, or in other words, the place where the money is made!! We had to get in line first thing this morning, and due to God's providence, we received the last two guaranteed tour tickets. God is awesome, isn't He? Anywho, we had a great time, received one of the brand new five dollar bills as change (as shown below) and even found out that Joe is worth $1,700,900.00!!

After marveling over the money (marvel is Joe's word for the week here... :), we headed out to Washington's National Cathedral, the place where President Woodrow Wilson is buried, as well as the site for performances of choirs and organ recitals. It was amazingly awesome...we even got to hear the beginning notes of an organ demonstration, but couldn't stay for all of it, unfortunately. Let me share a few of our favorite views:

<--The Majestic Washington National Cathedral Amazing.

<----Beautiful archway

<----Check out the gorgeous stained glass rose window! After marveling :) at the Cathedral, we headed over to Arlington Cemetary, where my cousin Megan works as a chaplain's assistant. It was great to see her in uniform and we even got a chance to observe her working at a funeral! (she's the one on the left) She arranged for her supervisor, Sgt. Shayne Hyde, to give us a personalized tour of Arlington. It worked out great since it had started raining in the afternoon and the ground was very soggy. This way we were able to stay warm and dry in a nice van. Thanks Megan!!

Doesn't she look sharp?

This is Megan and her supervisor, Sgt. Hyde....
he was funny :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

As for today, we allowed ourselves to sleep in just a tad, to make up for our extra long day yesterday. Our activities included a visit to the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Union Station, and the National Archives. Quite packed, really! We had a fabulous time today, and enjoyed slightly milder weather, though our legs still ached...but we didn't slow down because of it! Here's a few snaps for those who are interested...and because I don't have time to blog more, so pictures will have to suffice! Enjoy!

It's supposed to look like he's holding the Supreme Court in the palm of his hand...
but it didn't turn out quite right. *shrugs*

This is the bottom third of the spiral staircase in the Supreme Court.
Way cool....though we avoided walking up or down it. *grins*

That's right -- we saw the Magna Carta at the National Archives today!
Sweet!! No flash photography was allowed, so this is all I have to show of it.
We also saw the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

This is a section of the mosaic floor at the Library of Congress.
The whole building was beautiful...

Unfortunately, I couldn't capture the majestic Grand Hall of the Library
of Congres completely...but this gives you an idea of what it was like...


Due to an extremely long and quite exhausting day yesterday, I missed a post. Sorry to disappoint y'all. I'll try to make up for it today with an 2 posts. :-D

We are learning of all sorts of new muscles and tender spots on the lower half of our bodies, due to excessive walking and standing. Whooooeeee! It's not slowing us down, though...we refuse to be held back by a few sore muscles!!

Anywho, to catch you up on what we've been doing, yesterday we got up the earliest of our stay so far, and were out the latest, so that was stretching. It was worth it though, as we had a chance to go up in the Washington Monument, visit the museum of Natural History, and take a 3 hour twilight tour of the monuments. It was a day well spent.

As always, here are a few visuals:

Don't I look fierce? *evil laughter*

This is the loooong line I stood in to get our tickets to go up
in the Washington Memorial. I guess they made a mistake in the
lining up process, and so they had to back up the line. But it didn't
take long to go through. And I made friends with an Asian lady and her son
who were there from Pennsylvania, so it was all good!

Look! It's Joe! Doesn't he look good in front of the white house?

In contrast to Joe's casual looks-like-it's-a-warm-spring-day apparel,
it was actually FREEZING yesterday. Well...compared to the 50-60 degree
weather we had before. After shivering for 2 hours and drinking some
hot coffee, I finally warmed up and our walking kept me warm the rest of the day!

We knew before we came to DC that the National Museum of American History
would be closed, but in the name of tradition we snapped another "sad Joe" pic.
However, I think he looks more angry....or drugged. Not sure which...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

you gotta be silly sometime...

As Joe is demonstrating in this picture, we visited the Woodrow Wilson House...and took some politically-incorrect pictures. We couldn't help ourselves. We're on vacation. And we have no kids. So we can be big kids everywhere we go!! Anywho, we absolutely loved the Wilson house. There were only about 12 other people there with us, and our tour guide was fabulous. He shared so many descriptive stories and was very animated and passionate about the information. Of course, Joe already knew most of what he shared with us, but it was all new for me!!

As you can see here, I had the unexpected privilege of playing Woodrow Wilson's piano in his parlor room. It was such an honor...though I must confess, I had a minimal repetoire memorized, so I resorted to playing my own little ditty. My piano teacher would be so to all you pianists out there -- memorize and keep it sharp! You never know when you'll have a chance to perform...

In addition to the Wilson house, we visited the FDR memorial, and took some fun pictures with various statues. Like I said earlier, we just couldn't help ourselves!! Here's a few to make you laugh...

Me and FDR are chums now! ;)

Joe fits right in with these men, doesn't he? *wink wink*

Yes, I purposefully look like a freak in this picture. I was
trying to show by my face that I hate war too...

Joe and I couldn't get past the fact that millions of tourists
come to the FDR memorial to....pull his finger. Tee hee hee!

Not only am I chums with FDR, but I became pals with his wife too! ;)

We realized we had no pictures of us together, so we snapped
a silly photo here. You can see the Washington Monument in the background.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Moving Monument

When we visited the Vietnam Veteran's memorial today, we heard the history behind it, and I felt it warranted a post all it's own. So here's what I remember from the story...

The design for the Vietnam Memorial was designed by a 21 year old Asian-American girl named Maya Lin. The U.S. government asked for ideas for a monument dedicated to the soldiers who served in the Vietnam war. After going through thousands of memorial suggestions, the 8 judges unanimously voted on Maya's idea. At first, many were upset -- they thought that a black wall symbolized defeat, and that the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was thereby a mistake. Some Americans thought Maya's idea was inappropriate and even demeaning to our country, since it was designed by someone of Chinese ancestry, though she possessed American citizenship.

However, the work began of building the special "wall". One of the conditions for the design of the monument was that it had to fit into the layout of the land. Where the wall is placed now is on what used to be a gentle sloping hill. In a way, the wall symbolizes the wound that was made during the Vietnam War, similar to a knife cutting into the gentle slope on that landscape, as so many soldiers were lost. The Wall acts like a bandage, holding that wound in and supporting it.

Unlike what many people think, the wall's list of name's does not begin at either end, but rather in the middle. Maya wanted the soldiers that died at the beginning and at the end of the war to be together, and so the names start in chronological order, at the center of the wall and curve across to the end. No rank or order is listed, so that all are represented as equal human beings, and everyone who visits the wall can identify with each name listed. Maya chose granite because of its weatherability (if that's even a word) that will last for hundreds of years. In its polished reflection you can see yourself within the names inscribed, symbolic of how each person is effected by this war, whether due to soldiers one knew, or due to the freedoms we enjoy because of our soldier's bravery.

Finally, each of the names inscribed on the wall have one of 2 shapes after their name. The first, a diamond, represents those who died fighting for our country. The second, a plus, represents those who were missing in action. To this day, there are still 800-some names with the plus sign following their name. If any soldier who was missing in action was ever found to be alive, a circle would have been placed around that plus. However, that sign has never had the opportunity to be used.

All in all we found the Veteran's Memorial to be very moving, and we loved the symbolic imagery behind it. It gave me a renewed appreciation for the price that so many men and women have and still are paying for our country. Praise God that we can live in the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.

DC Day 2

Today was spent doing lots of walking....we were pooped by the time we got back to our hotel! Some of our day's activities included strolling along the mall, eating at Hard Rock Cafe and checking out various monuments.

Unfortunately, Ford's Theatre was closed for renovations until sad!!
So, to carry on with tradition, we once again have a shot of Joe being sad in front of
Ford's Theatre, poor Joe!!

At the World War II memorial, we each posed by our respective state.
I didn't include Joe by Minnesota, since I have
so many pictures of him already!
We tried to take our own pic for Wisconsin...hence the goofy new profile pic.
Guess I should have asked someone to take our picture for us! ;)

Friday, March 14, 2008

For the sake of all who want to know how our little getaway in DC is are some pics from our adventures at the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian "Castle"Information center. :) Enjoy -- and watch for the specific references to certain friends and family members back home! ;)

This is the Smithsonian "Castle" Info center. Isn't it cool looking?

And check out the ceiling inside!!

In case you can't read the sign over Joe's shoulder, it says that the Coin exhibit
behind him had been closed. He was soo sad!!!

Hey Lucas -- note that the water fountain is NOT running...and there are
NO coins in the bottom. Toldja so!! ;)

Joe thought the little guy in this model plane looked uncomfortable...
check out his leg position!

This is for Lindsay and Elaine...Ray Charles tuxedo and sunglasses
and Coltraine's trumpet! Sweet!

It looks like Joe is holding Babe Ruth's autographed cool!

For Elaine: a Julia Child original recipe!

For Mom and Grandma: the original 60 minutes stop watch.

Don't ask me what he's doing...I'm just married to him...

More proof of spring - cherry blossoms!! Hopefully there will be
more blooming during our stay!

For those of you who don't know, John Adams is one of my here I am "with" him :)

I don't know about where you are, but here it's....

SPRING!! Praise the Lord!! Today we had 60 degree weather and clear skies for most of the morning. What a blessing for our vacation plans. :) I took pictures just to prove it to you...enjoy!