Thursday, August 28, 2008

Washington D.C.

This is engraved at the top of the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King stood 45 years ago today.

I need to catch up, I know, but I can only do a little at a time, so I thought I'd start with our recent D.C. trip (appropriately on a day of significance - Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous speech).

We were lucky enough to make a trip out to D.C. for a conference Dave was attending while our good friends, the Foxes, watched our children. They are due any minute now with their first baby, so I can only imagine being thrown into the mix of three boys - all at once. No warm-up or anything! We left Friday morning and I walked around Alexandria, VA (where we were staying); it's about 8 miles outside of D.C. It's a beautiful and historic place. Wonderful shops and just perfect for strolling around and sipping lemonade. We were lucky enough to be there with wonderfully mild weather (for August, that is). It was perfect all the way around. Dave was occupied from 1pm Friday until about 10am the next morning. So I felt lucky to have so much time with him.

Friday I passed the time just window shopping around the downtown area of Olde Town Alexandria. Then Saturday I spent the morning researching our area to make final plans for our self-guided tour. We walked to a bike shop after Dave was done with his meetings and rented some cruisers for the day, biked the 8 miles past the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery straight to the Lincoln Memorial and Korean War Memorial.

I really wasn't trying to show my rear, I just thought I would spruce up the shot.

This is our "dream" that we hope to live one day.

Then we biked our way to the other end where the WWII memorial was.
From there we hit the Washington Memorial.
Can you see the Capitol in far distance?

We cruised by the White House and were reprimanded by a security guard for being on the "wrong" side (the sidewalks were jam-packed and we had these HUGE bikes!). Since we were starving at that point, we went looking for food and found an awesome organic sandwich/salad shop. From there our ambitious-nature took hold of us and we decided we would skip the National Mall (where the Smithsonian and other cool - and FREE - museums are, etc.) since we thought we had time to do it on Sunday and headed to Mt. Vernon (G. Washington's estate) sixteen miles south. We hit the Jefferson Memorial on the way (This is Dave doing his best Jefferson imitation); but after that it was a winding and more-tiresome road than we expected, but we made it. Only to find out that it closed 15 minutes earlier (we were too cheap to buy those tickets anyway) This was our way of documenting our effort - we stood in front of this picture at the gift shop there in Mt. Vernon.

We dreaded getting back on the bikes (our rear-ends were already sore from those seats) and rode the 10 miles back to the hotel. We had a dinner date with an old friend and had to rush the shower prep time to make it to D.C. on the Metro within a reasonable time. We were only 10 minutes late, but we were already spent. Not to mention that I couldn't sit down with grace or comfort anymore. It was a lovely French bistro and we LOVED the company, so all in all it was worth all the effort. I am very impressed with the D.C. area.

The next day we slept in (AWESOME!!!) until about 10am. Had our HUGE buffet breakfast (you know, I'm so indecisive I have to eat EVERYTHING). From there we reluctantly got on the bikes to return them (I never sat down for more than 30 seconds on that return trip). Then, because of the time crunch, we just strolled along the water line until it was time to go. We saw an awesome art gallery - or mall that had some awesome stuff.
A lady even enlarged my ring - for free and in a matter of 30 seconds, so now I can wear my wedding band again! Woohoo. I now look like an "honest" woman with my three kids.

We had a great time - even being able to sleep on the plane was fantastic! Thanks Foxes! I missed the boys dearly and felt guilty every minute of every day, but I was thankful to have that chance to be with Dave and see such awesome sights.

Just as a side-note, I thought I would include what Dave thought to be HILARIOUS (he's so sensitive sometimes!). We were riding back from Mt. Vernon and I, being the more aggressive one on the downhill portions, wanted to be out in front of Dave so that I wouldn't be hindered by Dave's more cautious attitude. Well, I paid the price! I was approaching a sharp turn and in my effort to brake, I skidded. So I released and reapplied the brake, only to skid again. I did it one last time in a last-ditch effort to make the turn and skidded out. Dave says I crashed, but I say that I laid it down, nice and easy. I didn't smack anything, I was just completely laid out OFF of the trail. I was laughing so hard that Dave insisted on taking pictures. So here they are, for Dave's enjoyment:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

And We're Back

We are back from a most fabulous vacation in Pismo Beach, California. I'd like to think that this vacation was purely some joyful insight into what and where (?) our future home will be.

We were having so much fun, I don't have as many highlights as I would have hoped from our trip. Few as they may be (for my taste), they are fabulous and probably more than enough for your enjoyment!

The boys were loving the water, but froze after a matter of seconds (it is the Pacific Ocean, you know).

Yes, we were shred-ready and rocked those waves. Heh, heh.

We were nap-free for many days, so JJ found many instances to get his cat-naps in.

JJ couldn't get enough of the sand, as you can see. It was so soft, how could he resist?

Here is one where Dave condones brotherly torture.

This is all about Lathan. Make sure you keep your eyes on Lathan. No peeking - this is not a flattering moment.

We love our Dito and Lucy! Thanks for coming to see us.

This place had AWESOME clam chowder. Since I ate here 3 days in a row, I thought I would document it with my BFF, Betsy. These are our new $12 sunglasses, too. Lovin' it.

This is JJ's cousin and new favorite person. He would take a look at me and shake his head in disapproval. He wanted nothing but Hannah.

This is the clam chowder place on the first day. We were lucky enough to dine with the Gonzalezes. They are an awesome bunch. Thanks for making a pit stop to visit!

Fishing off the pier reaped some rewards, although they were not interested in touching said rewards.

We flew out of Santa Barbara in the evening, so to pass the time, we visited the Santa Barbara Mission (I did a report on this place in the 4th grade, so it was a nice full-circle moment for me.) It's a beautiful place - and not just the mission.

JJ getting in another cat-nap. If you look behind Nana, you can see one of those 6-person bikes. We had it for 2-hours and the boys loved it for the first 20 minutes before feeling the exhaustion set in.

The pier in Santa Barbara. Thanks Nana and Pops! You guys are the best for spending the day with us, only to drive 5 hours back home after dark. Every moment was appreciated. This was by far our best family vacation EVER!