A Wonderful (and exhausting) Visit

March 25, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Charissa arrived on Monday, and we hit the ground running. We took a rainy tour of Old Town Alexandria, popped into the Torpedo Factory to admire local artwork and dry off, then spent the afternoon indoors admiring big ol’ airplanes (and a space shuttle!) at the Air & Space Annex at Dulles. Tuesday, up bright and early, we took the train down to the White House, and were rudely escorted off the premises right as Charissa was taking her shot from the front lawn. We’re still not sure why…The photo might not turn out, but the caption should be amusing. We hit the highlights: Washington Monument, WWII Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Natural History and Modern Art Smithsonians. On a lark we stopped in at the National Building Museum gift shop, and they had some really great baby and kids toys there. Who knew? Liam had just about had it by 3:30, so we headed home for some much-needed rest for our aching feet. After kiddo’s bedtime, Charissa and I went to The General Store for dinner, a tiny little home-cookin’ place by my house that my yoga teacher recommended. Best. Fried. Chicken. Ever. And the mac n’ cheese and corn bread hit the spot, too. We finished with a chocolate pecan pie that I’m still having dreams about. Next time I go (and, believe me, there will be a next time), I’m going to give the highly-recommended shrimp tacos a go.

On Wednesday, up brighter and earlier, we secured Liam in my new Boba and took the Metro down to the Newseum, a new museum all about journalism that I’ve been wanting to visit. They had some really cool exhibits that appealed to us J-schoolers. (Charissa went to KU, and I went to MU, but we still manage to be civil) We saw a giant hunk of one of the Twin Towers, another giant hunk of the Berlin Wall, and Ted Kazinski’s actual cabin. We even got mistaken for high school students. I’m guessing the teacher thought Liam was a backpack, lol. Liam snacked most of the time, then fell asleep and drooled all down my back. But he woke up in a cheery mood just in time for burgers at Matchbox, my #1 burger place. Charissa and I enjoyed our sliders and onion straws, and Liam chowed on garlic mashed potatoes and corn puree, then smiled and waved at every single person in the restaurant. We took a quick stroll through the Portrait Gallery (where Liam instead screamed at everyone), and popped into the Spy Museum gift shop. Then we headed down to the Mall for some dessert at the Native American Museum, Charissa tried motherhood for awhile with Liam in the Boba (ha ha), and we took a refreshing stroll through the Botanical Garden to admire the Orchid display. Again, Liam made his opinion known at 3:30, and we made it home before the evening rush. We ended the night with some sushi in downtown Silver Spring, and Charissa boarded her flight first thing Thursday morning. She’s got a long trek home, and I’m glad she took all the trouble to come visit us. We had a stupendous time!

I’m resting up as best I can this weekend, and then I’m off to KC on Monday. In the meantime, Liam is enjoying his new rocking chair, a gift from Ma-Ma and Pa-Pa Texas (Kentucky?) that arrived this week. Our shorty’s still a little small for it, but that doesn’t stop him from playing with it. Thanks, guys!



Saturday, new book review, movies

February 4, 2007 at 3:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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What a fun day I had yesterday! I met my Mizzou friends Jeremy and Sara for an outing in Alexandria. Although it takes me an hour by train to get there, it was totally worth it. We had lunch at The Fish Market. J. and S. ordered these comically huge beers, and I think we ate our weight in fried seafood. Yummy! After gorging ourselves, we headed over to the Torpedo Factory, a working art studio and gallery. Had great fun talking to the different artists and seeing such a diverse group of artwork. I even almost bought a lithograph print–it was really cool and purple and asian-looking–but someone had already bought it. I gave the artist my number so I might be able to get a similar one later.

We spent our evening drinking Guiness at this Irish pub none of us had ever tried, called O’Connell’s. Although it only opened last year, it seemed really authentic–both the bartender and our waitress had genuine Irish accents. We snagged a seat in the “confessional”, a tiny alcove at the very front of the bar that afforded us an excellent window for people-watching. And fancy, fancy restrooms! We might have to try eating here next time we’re down this way, and hopefully James will get come, too. I think he’d really like this place.

After happy-hour at the bar, J. and S. graciously invited me to their place in Arlington, where there was much wine-tasting, Wii-playing (contagiously fun!), and overall merriment. I got to meet their cat and dog, and see some of the artwork they had recently purchased.

I’m a little worse-for-wear today–ended up missing yoga class this morning. But that’s ok. It was totally worth it.

New Book Review
Check out my book review of The Bear Went Over the Mountain. Some other good reviews on here as well.

Rented a bunch of movies this week. My favorite was An Inconvenient Truth. I’ve never been much of an environmentalist, but this movie made me really sit up and think. I tried to take some of his projections with a grain of salt, but that aside, it’s still a very powerful statement about the effect pollution is having on the environment. This isn’t just “save the whales” stuff–these things can affect everyday people, too.

I also enjoyed Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, a satire about a guy frozen for 500 years who wakes up to discover the world is run by idiots. Because those are the people having all the kids now–like Darwin’s Theory, hee hee. It wasn’t as good as Office Space, but it’s worth check out.

The Aristocrats left me disappointed and annoyed. It’s a documentary about a joke these comedians tell over, and over and over ad nauseum. It’s a terrible joke, and i found the movie, while funny in parts, mostly just tedious. Some people I know loved this movie, but I’m not one of them.

A Memorable Weekend

May 30, 2006 at 6:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Had a blast with James and his dad this weekend — saw lots of museums, and ate like sultans. Here are the highlights:

  • Friday night gumbo was a huge hit. Bob’s plane was delayed, and dinner was ready just as he walked in the door. We used Andouille sausage this time, and it made a huge difference. Best gumbo yet, and I’m gonna be eating it all week long, heh.
  • Holocaust museum on Saturday was sobering, as it was the last time I went. This three-story room of photos was particularly sad. As were the ashen shoes.
  • Fantastic lunch at Matchbox in Chinatown. Highly recommend the mini burgers with onion rings, and their apricot ale.
  • Stopped in at our local Scottish pub for dessert and drinks. Diet went out the window this weekend.
  • Hit the National Gallery Saturday to admire the famous landscapes and portraits, then mosied over to the Museum of the American Indian, which was a total bore. Much better native american exhibits at the natural history museum in NY.
  • Dinner at Heritage India at Dupont Circle hit the spot. Lots of interesting non-traditional Indian fare on the menu. I had a particularly yummy dish with mangoes and spicy chicken on salad greens.
  • Monday we spent in Alexandria, mostly wandering around the waterfront. Had lunch at The Fish Market, and I finally got to eat some fabulous crab cakes. Thanks, Todd, for the recommendation!

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