Monday, June 28, 2010

After a long absence.... where we've been.

After a fairly long absence of almost a month, it's about time I show my face here again and explain where I've been. As a "careful" blogger, I don't like to post when I am off on an adventure, however it's always fun to post shots of where I've gone when I get a chance to travel. Most recently our travels kept us in the country and yet not officially in the States. We left on June 7th for the District of Columbia... aka Washington D.C.

This was a special adventure for Ed and I since he had NEVER been there (shocking for a History/Government teacher, isn't it!?) and I hadn't been in the city since a 1 day fly-in visit with my dad back when I was in 8th grade! (too long ago to admit to a date on that one!) So off we went. This adventure was to be a total public transport one once we got off the plane. We decided to use trains, the bus, and our feet to get us everywhere once we landed at Dulles airport. We scored a great hotel just blocks from the Mall (the State Plaza Hotel on 21st and E streets) and we had a blast. For the next several posts I will show you shots from our trip.

Day one: we flew and then got into our hotel. By 2:30 we were on the Mall.... we call this MONUMENT DAY... and boy, did we see them all!!!
First stop, the Vietnam War Memorial. There really aren't words
to describe the way this wall full of names of the fallen impacts
 the visitor as you walk down into the trench and are engulfed
by the thousands of names. There were several spots on the
trip where I found myself moved to tears. This was one of them.

One rose of remembrance.....

Next, onto the Mall itself, as you come out of the Vietnam Memorial,
you arrive at the base of the steps to the Lincoln Memorial. Look left and
the Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument will the view with the Capitol
in the distance.

One of my heroes...

Ed on the Mall. This history teacher was grinning
all week long!

Next, the Korean War Memorial. This one has a more
human face to it in the larger than life-sized soldiers
hiking through some unknown Korean battlefield.

It captures the essence of youth, duty, courage, and fear... all rolled
into one!

A little further on, we came to the WW2 Memorial. 
It is massive in size and full of quotes honoring those
who fought in the Asian and European Theaters of the War.
There is no way to capture it adequately in a single photo.

We walked around the famous Tidal Basin to get to the
Jefferson Memorial. Some shoreline restoration was going 
on but it is still quite accessible and impressive. In the spring this 
monument is surrounded by the famous Cherry blossoms.

Ed's hero, the big guy T.J. himself!

I captured this shot of the Washington Monument while 
standing at the WW2 Memorial. We didn't wait the 2-3 hrs. to go UP the thing
but decided to enjoy it from ground level.

Using a good zoom lens, I captured this shot of 
the White House from the Jefferson Memorial! It 
got me high enough to look over the fence and see it.

The last stop of the Monument & Mall day was to 
stroll past that famous home on Pennsylvania Avenue.
 We didn't reserve the tour tickets 4-6 wks. in advance but
instead gawked through the fence like real tourists!

While peeking through the fence, we spotted
 a fellow in what looked like a chef's coat
 watering the Obama's veggie garden. This was 
the famous "green" patch that got a lot of publicity back
when it was planted in the spring. I guess Michelle
doesn't have time to water and pull weeds... that's 
funny, I don't have much time for it either at my house!

I keep teasing Ed about this shot... I call it his,
"dream residence" shot.... hmmmm..... you never
know...... :-)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Paddle, Paddle, Kick, Kick.....

Syd enjoyed her first foray into the pool on June 1st.... especially when Papa took over the floating & "motor boating". I love how she's holding onto his thumbs in this shot so had to post it!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Joys of Clean and Clutter-free!

I don't know how you spent your Memorial Day Monday.... hopefully, with family and friends. Ed and I got bit by the "toss-it bug" and went a bit crazy in our garage. (Perfect location for a hot day's work in Missouri, right?) Anyway, we hadn't seen the surface of Ed's work bench in about 8-10 months so we got insanely curious as to whether it was still actually there. We looked and dug and (lo and behold!) we FOUND it! Three to four hours later, we even found vast amounts of the garage FLOOR!

Now I must say, we've never become like those "hoarders" you see on those cable TV shows... we've always been able to get the car into the garage and such. But we tend to let clutter just sit and then it makes us feel like we live in some kind of pre-Martha Stewart sort of cave. I firmly believe that decorating and home magazines put in those photos of rooms and homes to make folks like me feel guilty. No house in those magazines is "real" or really "lived-in". Ed and I have the "lived-in" look down to a science. But just like women who want to look a bit more like those air-brushed beauties in the fashion magazines, we covet a bit of "Better Homes and Gardens" in our house. It's all the same thing!

The mood continued into the first day of June. I attacked a second clutter spot... the kitchen sideboard/desk! Oh what a joy to toss old restaurant menus, gas receipts, and junk mail that had become firmly entrenched and to actually see the nice wood SURFACE of the desk. I even cleaned out the INSIDE and discovered I had enough rolls of tape to last me till Christmas of 2015! 

I wish I had before and after shots... but I didn't think to take them.... believe me, the areas circled in yellow on these are new lands... places of clear serenity just daring someone to put down a tool or a piece of junk mail!  Stay tuned... who knows what zone I'll be tempted to clear out tomorrow! I must act on this mood while it lasts! The trash man is sure going to be surprised this week!