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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our Nation's Capital

It had been a number of years since either Brian or I had a chance to visit Washington D.C. I was there most recently in 2003, but for a short trip and didn't get a lot of sight-seeing in at the time.

He and I went for one of my best friend's wedding. She got married on Nov. 1 and we had a few days to walk around Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, we were disappointed to see that some of the landscaping has fallen by the wayside. But the monuments are always wonderful to see and the World War II memorial and Korean Memorial were both new to us.

The Korean Memorial and Vietnam Memorial are quite powerful. The Korean Memorial is amazing because as you walk along the wall, you see pictures of soldiers on the wall, and there are life-size statues of soldiers beside you. If you look closely at the pictures, you can actually see me (my red jacket). So, it's almost like you're walking along next to the soldiers. Very powerful.

You'll also notice the beautiful trees. We went as the fall colors had fully changed.

Also, while we were disappointed by the landscaping around the Washington Mall., we were pleasantly surprised by the public transporation. Those of you who use public transportation, like us, are accustomed to fairly dirty trains. Most often, McDonalds bags and other food items are strewn about the South Shore or the El in Chicago.

But on the Metra, food is forbidden and they take this rule quite seriously. Anyone caught with food gets serious punishment. So, the Metra was surprisingly clean, efficient and cheap. It was also entertaining arriving on Halloween night and see everyone dressed up in costumes on the train.

Here we are in front of the White House.

Here are some pictures of the D.C. Mall. You'll see what we mean about landscaping issues. But at least they're watering.

Anyone out there with a green thumb? Rumor has it the president-elect is hiring. Maybe some new landscapers for the nation's capital? Hmmmmm. On second thought, that's probably pretty low on the priority list.

The nation's monuments look amazing, as always. That's one thing that hasn't changed over the years.

Here's some shots of the World War II Memorial that was finished in 2004. It was the first time both Brian and I had visited it.

Here we are at the top of the Lincoln Memorial looking down on the mall - a favorite view in D.C.

Now, we're at the Korean Memorial, which was one of the most powerful monuments we've seen. There are 7-foot-tall statues of soldiers walking through the woods, and parallel is a black wall with scenes derived from the Korean war that are etched in the wall. If you look beyond the pictures, when there's a reflection you can see the soliders in the background and yourself. If you look closely, in a few of the pictures, you can see me taking the photo. This monument is quite emotional because it gives you the illusion that you're walking next to the soldiers. An amazing memorial.

The main event. Here are a few pictures of Michele and John dancing at their wedding. It was a beautiful wedding in downtown D.C. in a charming bed and breakfast.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More fall fun

Shortly, it'll be Christmastime, so without further ado - here's some more fun fall moments. In our house, where we have hundreds (OK - dozens) of trees - I could post many shots of leaves. But here are a few favorites.

I best be brief since I'm sadly (luckily) missing raking leaves right now to do this post. And as soon as I hit "publish post" I need to dash outside to help.

Obviously, Liz loves raking season. What kid doesn't, right?

The more leaves - the better - Who cares when you're not raking them.

An annual tradition - going to pick out the best pumpkin.

Obviously, a lot to choose from - oh the choices!

Found it! The perfect one.

Daddy - our official pumpkin carver, works very carefully on Liz's pumpkin while she "supervises."

Here she is with her perfect pumpkin.

Don't worry - we still haven't forgotten the post filled with pictures taken by Liz. Brian says he'll do that one (we're waiting -no pressure of course). Here's a glimpse of a great one she got with Brian and I.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Traveling Hedgers

Lately, we've had a number of adventures and I realized I still haven't posted from our trip to Arizona in October. After we went to the big Halloween party, Brian and I flew to Arizona and were there about three days. For me, it was a work trip, but we did have a bit of time to sight-see on Sunday and went to Sedona, Ariz.

While I was working, he did more sightseeing in Arizona - playing golf, watching fall baseball, etc.. But we got one day to explore together.

Neither of us had been to Sedona before. We've been to Arizona a number of times, but this time, we made a point to carve out time to see Sedona. I highly recommend it - even if you're visiting Phoenix or another part of Arizona. This was so beautiful. I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.