Jun 19, 2008

A Weekend in DC – Part 2

As I mentioned in my last blog, we didn’t get up in DC for Day 2 of our trip until noon – 9 AM our time. We first walked around the Natural History museum, seeing the Hope Diamond and all the fossils. We then headed to the American History museum. To our dismay, it was closed for renovations, so we headed to the Holocaust museum. I was unimpressed. It was confusing. There was a third level, but it seemed you needed a ticket to get up there, but there was not indication of where to buy or receive such a ticket and the rest of the place was rather blah. For a museum, there was a lot of blank walls. London’s Imperial War museum has a much more interesting Holocaust exhibit. We figured if we hurried, we could get in one more museum, so we headed to the National Gallery. There we saw some Van Goghs’ and Monets’, but not any of their more famous pieces. There was one of Monet’s Lily Pond pieces, but that was about it of what I recognized. At one point, it occurred to me that the Gallery should have the Presidents’ portraits, what Cameron and I recalled as being called “The Hall of Presidents.” We think we heard the term most recently on a Colbert Report episode. When we asked the volunteers working at the info centers, they had no clue what the hall of presidents was, and only one knew where portraits of presidents could be found – the National Portrait gallery. It was too late to try and run over to that museum, so we scrapped the idea and went of search of a place to eat lunch.

We wound up at a tapas Bar called Jaleo (link to web site). I have not tasted some many different flavors in one bite, each time I tried one of the many dishes we ordered. It had been said that the plates were small so 2-3 dishes would be required to feed one person. I ordered 3, Cameron ordered 4. My taste buds were dancing, the food was so delicious. Cameron did the best ordering out of the two of us, but the dish of the day was my discovery. It was a gazpacho, with cucumber in it, making it quite refreshing in light of the hot, humid day outside. I’ll post a recipe I got from the restaurant as we walked out, but we’ve determined this is not their recipe, just a traditional gazpacho recipe. We also had these fresh potato chips with spicy tomato sauce and garlic cheese sauce drizzled over them – a tapas version to nachos, I suppose. This was by far my second favorite dish of the afternoon. My next favorite were the lamb chops Cameron ordered. They had been cooked with just the right amount of rosemary for amazing flavor. We fully enjoyed ourselves at Jaleo, finishing the meal off with some flan. From there, we went back to the hotel, grabbing a bottle of champagne on the way and settled in for yet another nap.

When we got up, a lightning storm had entered the area. Not feeling we should walk the streets in search of a place to eat, in case the lightning brought rain, we settled for a late dinner in the hotel restaurant. We had quite the light show as we ate, but the food was dismal in comparison to our lunch. We grabbed some wine glasses from the restaurant after dinner and headed back to our room where we purchased The Bucket List on pay-per-view. It’s a great movie, one we will buy and recommend. Who can go wrong with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. We enjoyed our bottle of champagne while we watched and tried to turn in as early as we could, but we were only able to sneak in 4 hours before we had to be up to get Cameron back to the conference center and me to the airport in time for my flight home. It was a short trip, but worth it. With all we’ve got going on, we needed some time together where we could just be us.

Here a few more pictures we took during our trip. We couldn't take too many because the battery was low, and because of the move, I didn't know where the charger was. That reminds me, I still need to find it!

That's me on the steps of the Capital Building. This was the backside of it.

We came upon this little sanctuary when we walked to the front of the Capital Building. There was no sign to tell us what it was, but I can definitely see it as a good place to find some peace and quiet for thinking.

This is me in front of one of the santuary's three entrances.

We made sure to take one picture of the two of us. This was on day two before we headed back to the hotel for a nap!

Love always,

Jun 17, 2008

A Weekend in DC – Part 1

Sorry for the delay in blogging. Everything in our lives right now revolves around the Fremont or Elk Grove house. We did another U-Haul trip on Sunday and still didn’t get it all out or all cleaned. Tonight is pretty much our last chance, so wish us luck!

Any how, I know you are all anxious to hear about the spontaneous DC trip! What I can tell you straight out is that there was a lot of sleeping going on, as Cameron and I both were lacking when I got there. My flight out was met with a ton of turbulence. So much so, that the flight attendants were forced to stay seated for a good hour of the flight. On top of that, my flight from Long Beach to Dulles was delayed an hour, so I got in an hour later than expected. Cameron was already in class for the day when I arrived at the National Conference Center. Luckily getting there was easy, thanks to modern day technology and is accessibility. GPS navigation has become cheap enough that the Dollar Rent a Car place offered it for only $12 a day with the rental car. This was music to my ears at 7 AM Friday morning, East Coast time. I simply set it up, entered in my destination and I was off. The model they use is the same model our friends Matt & Lynde have, which Cameron and I have borrowed from time to time, so knowing how to work it was easy. Not that the touch screen button options are hard to figure out. We definitely need to get one of these handy little devices soon.

When I got to the conference center, Cameron stepped out of class to meet me. After parking, he showed me to his room and where the all important Diet Pepsi could be located if I got up before he was done with class. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I got back to his room and crashed, crashed hard. I barely noticed when he came back to the room during a break. When class was through, Cameron joined me on the napping front since he had barely slept the night before. I attribute this to the noisy AC unit in the tiny room. One person can barely move around in it and two people cannot move around it without someone walking on the bed. Cameron continued to snooze after I got up to get some work done. When that task was completed, we both got ready to head to the city, but first, Cameron wanted to take me to the outlets nearby.

They were your typical outlets. We’d stop into stores we are familiar with just to look at what they had and also get out of the humidity. We also popped into unfamiliar stores to look for a shirt for Cameron’s nephew Connor to wear as our ring bear. No luck, unfortunately. After the little shopping trip and exercise, we both realized we were hungry and wouldn’t last the hour drive to DC. So, using the handy GPS device, we searched for nearby delis. We chose one that was called Poolesville Beer Wine Deli. A glass of Chardonnay sounded like a nice idea with a yummy sandwich. We thought it was 5 miles away. We miss read that – it must have been 15 and we had quite the adventure in those 15. The GPS took us on this small country road, or so we thought. At first, we were only following cars – we hadn’t passed a car on the road yet, which would be a little difficult being that the road was narrow. Then a flood of cars from the other direction came at us. Where had all these cars come from, there wasn’t a metro area in site? Then we rounded a curve and saw it, the Potomac River and the Ferry we would have to take to cross it.

We started laughing the second we saw it – were we really going to have to take this thing across? Where are the bridges? How do boats travel across the cable that tows the Ferry from shore to shore? The last question is still unanswered. The only thing we could think of was that the cable, when not towing, lays low in the water. As for a bridge – there was no bridge. We would take the ferry.

We made it!

When we finally got to the Deli, there wasn’t one. It was a listing for all the shops in this small town’s one shopping center, which included the Town Hall and Blood Bank! There was a place to purchase beer and wine – the liquor store. The deli was good, though I had didn’t get to enjoy a glass on chardonnay with my Panini. Oh well. We then made our way to DC, where we enjoyed another nap in the hotel room.

We finally got up at 8 PM and walked over to the Capital Building, as it was only 3 blocks away. From there we strolled on down to the Washington Monument and the World War II memorial. By this time it was about 10 PM and we decided we should find a late night diner to eat at. We walked for ages in search of any thing. How could a metropolis like this not have late night dining? We hadn’t even come across a bar when we finally happened by a McDonalds. We debated on walking just a few more blocks in hopes of finding something better. But we decided against it, we had walked this far and found nothing what would 3 blocks difference make? A whole lot. After we finished eating at McDonald’s, we headed toward those 3 blocks since our hotel was in that direction. Soon we came upon tons of late night restaurants, including the Hard Rock cafĂ©, which is on the corner near Ford’s Theatre. Oh well. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying wine and margaritas in the hotel bar and chatting with the bartender. We stayed through him closing the bar down. We finally got tired at about 2 AM and headed to bed. We wouldn’t get up until noon the next day. Mind you, this was only 9 AM to us. Cameron was still on West Coast time too.

Until next time,

Jun 5, 2008

Change in Plans

I'm currently sitting in the San Jose International Airport awaiting a red-eye flight to Dulles Airport. It all started yesterday morning to me waking up to a text message from Cameron at 7 AM - at least it was 7. The morning before I got a text at 4 AM! He forgot about the 3 hour time change between California and Virginia. Any how, the text asked if he could find a decent priced ticket, would I come to Virginia for the weekend. I told him to find a ticket, convinced he wouldn't find a ticket less the $900. He did. Cameron spent the next hour convincing me to throw responsibility out the window and come visit him in Virginia. He'd get us a hotel in DC and we could spend half of Friday and all of Saturday wandering DC and just spending some quality time together. Things have been so crazy lately, spending real time together has been on the backburner. So I cancelled my hair appoint, rescheduled my ring appointment and told my mom to have a nice weekend to herself and here I am, Thursday evening waiting in the bar of the airport for my flight! I did pack the camera so I should have some fun pictures after this weekend. Thanks Lynde for checking in on the babies while I'm gone!

Jun 3, 2008

Are we done yet?

For me, life seems to be in a constant state of transition. I have yet to stay more than 2 nights in a row at the new house – I feel I’m spending most of my time back in Fremont in the old, pretty much empty house. Depressing, really.

I am glad we allowed ourselves ample time to get everything out and clean in the Fremont house – we need it. We have until the 18th to be out. What doesn’t help is Cameron is in Virginia through the 12th – I dropped him off at the airport early Sunday morning. But this training was scheduled back in February and his job depends on his attending this training.

Basically, this weekend was spent half unpacking in the Elk Grove house and packing and cleaning at the Fremont house. The Fremont house is pretty empty now, and the cleaning has started, but there still seems to be a long way to go. I’m not sure my body can survive. Currently, I’m living on Pepsi and Red Bull to stay awake at work and needing Advil as often as allowed to keep my body from stiffening up, but that only relieves the pain I am experiencing a little. When all this is through, I’m getting myself a pedicure, manicure and massage!

Luckily, next weekend when I come up I won’t be alone – I’ve enlisted the help of my mom for a round of cleaning and company. I’m not fond of staying in a house alone and definitely not when it’s almost empty. Every creak and moan the house makes, wakes me up. I have Mel with me, but she seems to be a pretty sound sleeper and lately, a dreamer. I wake up at least once a night to her half-barking in her sleep, moving her paws like she’s chasing something.

I can’t wait until we’re completely done with the Fremont house and we are all under one roof for more than a few nights. And when I say all I mean Cameron, me, Melody, Jake, Kelsey and Spaz. Poor Spaz has been left behind in Fremont the whole time. He will have to wait until Cameron can get another strong person down to Fremont to move the cage, which likely be part of the last load. We’re going to need one more U-Haul load to get it all out – man we’ve accumulated a lot of crap! We’re looking forward to liberating ourselves of some of it.

Love always,