Kids show at the planetarium

Happy in DC

Sometimes coincidences are quite a pleasant surprise. Take for instance Chloe’s friend Anjali, who not only shares Chloe’s exact birthday, but also happens to be visiting DC from back home at the same time we are. Her and her mom invited us to the Sesame Street “One World, One Sky” show at the National Air & Space Museum’s Planetarium. I think it was quite an experience for both girls, and just the right length for their 2-year old attention spans. Afterwards, they shared a little snack and outdoor playtime (an amazingly sunny 75 degrees for March!) on the mall before parting for naptime.

Thanks Gabriella and Anjali for such a nice playdate in our nation’s capital!

Sharing a snack

Chloe & I in the cockpit


United States Botanic Garden Conservatory

One of the highlights of our trip to Washington, DC (besides spending time with family) was the afternoon we spent at the United States Botanic Garden Conservatory and the National Museum of the American Indian, right next door. Despite growing up here, there are still a lot of places like this that I have yet to explore. There is a cool feature on the Conservatory’s web site to take a virtual tour, but it is not the same as being there, of course. I took a ton of photos with my new camera, everything was just so beautiful. I think the orchids were my favorite, but I also found the spice (vanilla, cacao, allspice, nutmeg, etc) and other exotic plants fascinating.

Parking downtown is always tricky, but we were lucky to find a metered spot not too far away. I would highly recommend the metro, especially if you don’t have a car or want to be bothered with the traffic and parking. Like many of the memorials and monuments in DC, these two were free. I didn’t take many pictures of the American Indian Museum, but if you visit be sure to have a bite at the “Mitsitam” (meaning “Let’s eat!”) café to try the authentic Native foods of the Western Hemisphere. We tried the Tamales de Rajas with Red Chili Sauce, the Black Bean and Beef Paspusas, and Fresh Yucca Fries with Lime and Cilantro.

Click here to see more photos from the Garden Conservatory.


10 days in Northern VA/DC

David and I returned on Monday from a 10-day trip to see my parents and sister in the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia area. We didn’t do as much during this visit as I have in the past, and sadly I hardly took any pictures, even though I meant to.

Mostly we just hung out, eating my mom’s delicious meals and chatting with my dad. David helped around the house, fixing a lamp, laying insulation above the remodeled bathroom, replacing lightbulbs, mowing the lawn. He also helped me go through countless boxes in my parents’ attic of junk I forgot I ever owned – mugs and glassware, books, old magazines, clothes, and other miscellaneous from my past lives. By the end the curb was littered with trash bags, not including the carload we took to Goodwill. Everything I decided to keep (photos, yearbooks, costume jewelry, awards, etc.) fit into a single plastic bin which we replaced in the attic.

There were a few very interesting finds, like my old jewelry box with several pieces of valuables, my old My Little Pony Stable and dolls, and an almost complete (now vintage) Fisher Price Farm and Silo set still in it’s original box. For some reason we had two barns, but only a few duplicate animals. We also found a less well kept Fisher Price Hospital and my old warming plate from when I was a baby, complete with tiny remnants of my last meal. That was really cool. The only thing missing was the sippy cup.

We did go on a couple outings, including a visit to the nearby Woodlawn Plantation, a gift from George Washington to “Nelly” Custis, granddaughter of Martha Washington, and her husband, Major Lawrence Lewis. Washington hired William Thornton, the first architect of the US Capitol, to design the house and provided 2000 acres from his Mount Vernon estate. But the real reason I wanted to visit was because Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House is now located on the same grounds. I think it was moved here in 1964, from its original location, because it was scheduled to be torn down to make way for the Route 66 Interstate. It was definitely the smallest FLW Usonian I have ever toured, at about 1200 square feet, but its design and layout were unmistakeable.

Other outings included a fun evening playing miniature golf with David and Dad, where we each scored a hole-in-one (on different greens) and then enjoyed frozen custard from the Frozen Dairy Bar, where we used to stop as kids. We also took a trip into DC with Mom where we perused the fancy jewels (Hope Diamond, anyone?) and other famous rocks and gems at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. Afterwards we strolled along a gorgeous public garden (I don’t remember the name), and now we’re really looking forward to working on our own garden, now that we’ve returned.

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