Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sunday favorites

It's Sunday, time to stop and relax and take a trip down memory lane. Chari at Happy to Design hosts Sunday Favorites, a great way to revisit your favorite posts from your archives. Summertime is so busy that it's nice to take a break and share an older post. It's also a great way for your new blogging friends to see some of your posts that they might have missed. This week I'm going to be twice as lazy, er, efficient. This was a guest post written by my darling daughter Cait after her January trip to Washington DC. Hope you enjoying seeing this great city through her eyes! Then make sure to stop by and say hi to Chari at She has a lovely blog and is such a sweetie! You'll be glad you did!


Patrick and his mom, Colonel Figures

Feeding the Sea Lion

Panda playing possum
Korean War Memorial

WWII Memorial

For the first time in my life I feel short!

Stained glass at Mount Vernon

View of the Potomac from Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon

The Three Muskateers at the Capitol

The Capitol Rotunda

Stacks at the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress - Mom's idea of heaven on earth
There he is, the blacksheep of Mom's family - Crime and Punishment Museum
Washington Monument

Isn't this view unbelievable?

I promised my friends from Micasa that my darling daughter Cait would do a guest blog about her recent trip to Washington DC. Little did they know that she would agree to it only on the condition that I play Guitar Hero with her! The things I do for my friends, sigh....
So without further ado, here is Caitlin with her travelogue.

Hello everyone! I just got back from the lovely city of Washington DC on Monday night at around 10:00 pm. Needless to say I was exhausted from a very very busy week of activities, but I did get to see some really cool things and experience some....interesting sights. PS-Feel free to skim, this is a LONG post. First of all let me preface this post by telling you a little about who I was going with and why. I went to Washington DC with my boyfriend Patrick and our mutual friend Anthony. We went to visit Patrick's mother, who is Col Figures of the Pentagon....I could tell you what she does....but then I'd have to kill you : ) Anyways, she actually lives in Virginia in a city called Crystal City, but it's a short metro ride into DC. For the first few days Patrick's mother had to work, so we were left to our own devices....oh no right? Patrick had me make an itinerary for the trip, and the first thing on the list....the National Zoo!!

Tuesday-Our first day was supposed to include the National Zoo and one of the Smithsonian' least that was the plan until we walked in, got a map, and realized that the trail was 10 miles in total. My boyfriend then made a very astute observation...."Wait a minute, it took me 2 1/2 hours to RUN a HALF-MARATHON." We were in for a long day. It was a very awesome experience. Besides my feet and back hurting, it was a gorgeous day, not too cold, and all of the animals were out and about. I took close to 50 pictures that day and got a few great shots of some of the animals. The coolest thing we saw there were the sea lions. We got to see them while their trainers were "feeding" them.....aka playing with them. These sea lions were playing fetch and one was even helping the trainer clean his own habitat. It was awesome. After the Zoo it was already 5:00 and if I learned anything while in Washington it was that it has NO night life to speak off. We decided to head back towards Crystal City and hit the Pentagon City Mall. It was HUGE. And what's worse is that my boyfriend and Anthony came out with nine bags and I came out with none.....there's just something wrong with that. Then we went and had dinner with Patrick's mom at a restaurant called Joe Theismanns which was a 5 star restaurant in a sports bar...the food was great, just definitely a strange atmosphere. We called it a night after that and went home and crashed.

Wednesday-Air and Space Museum. We woke up super early this morning and decided to try and hit two of the Smithsonian's starting with the Air and Space Museum. After getting lost a few times and getting blown over by the RIDICULOUS wind we finally stumbled upon the massive building. This place was HUGE. There were about 5 REAL planes hanging from the ceiling on one half of the museum and on the other half there were about 5 missiles hanging from the ceiling. It was definitely a site to see. We ended up spending most of our day there as well. There was just so much to see. We saw an IMAX movie called 3D Sun narrated by Al Roker and my friend Anthony and I jumped into a flight simulator where he was the pilot and I was the gunner....we shot down six enemies which looking around was a pretty pathetic score....oh well, I tried. After the Air and Space Musuem we decided to go out back to the National Mall and get some good pictures of the Capitol and Washington Monument. We then got back early and went and met Patricks mom for dinner. For New Years Eve we went to Alexandria and did First Nights Alexandria which was a huge street there that was shut down with lots of local music artists and activities such as comedy and magic. We had a blast! We went to a church service where Washington and Robert E Lee attended and then we went and saw a Barber Shop Quartet. Since Patrick's mom treated us to a very nice dinner, Anthony and I decided to buy her a nice dessert. We went to this resturant called Cozi where they had mini butane burners so you could make s'mores at your table. We rung in the New Year there.

Thursday-Mount Vernon! Today was the day we traveled out to Mount Vernon and spent the whole day there. It was extremely beautiful, they have done a wonderful job preserving that building. We got a private tour of the manor and we got to travel around the entire property and see all the crops, side buildings, and gorgeous views. We decided to hop the bus back to Crystal City so we could grab dinner and go see Seven Pounds (btw-excellent movie, I definitely recommend it). However the bus was insanely packed. Apparently everyone wanted to leave at the same time and we had to pack in with about 30 people STANDING for 2o was pretty awful. We got a good hearty dinner to recover and walked the 2 miles to the movie theater.....because the metro wasn't running....kill me : ) We survived and hit the bus on the way home.

Friday-White House! I'm not going to lie to you, the White House was the biggest let down of the whole trip. It was pretty boring. We only got to see the ground floor and the 1st floor which were all the historical things you could have seen online. Also it was a self guided tour which made it even more lame. After the White House we went to hang out at the apartment until our Capitol tour at 2:00. We got there a little early and got in an earlier tour group. On the way we spotted the Library of Congress and decided to hit that after the Capitol. The Capitol was super cool! It was a guided tour of the building and we got to see some really neat sights including the center where all the points of DC meet up and the old Senate Chamber. We then took the tunnel to the Library of Congress and we were just amazed. We got there just in time for the last public tour and we were taken aback by the beautiful mosaics and sculptures in the building. It was one of the most beautiful buildings I had ever seen. I got my mom a coffee mug and a "passport" which is essentially a library card. We then went and saw Union Station and headed on home.

Saturday-Today we decided to go to the Eastern Market, get some good seafood and see Crime and Punishment, a museum there with exhibits on criminals, laws, all the torture devices you could imagine. It was pretty gruesome, but super interesting. The Eastern Market was SUPER cool. I got a really beautifull Billie Holiday painting and we bought Patrick's mom a photograph she really liked as a thank you. I also got my dad some pistachios because they are his absolute favorite. The seafood place was called Legal Seafoods and it was EXCELLENT. Definitely best crab cakes in Washington. After that we rushed back to the apartment and got changed to go see an off-broadway production called Next to Normal. It was surprisingly good as well.

Sunday- Our last day : ( We woke up early and went to our Washington Monument tour. The tour itself was kind of disappointing, essentially all you did was go up the elevator and get off but the view was definitely worth the wait. It was incredible to be that high up and see three different states all from one building. Afterwards we went to the National Portrait Museum and had to do a quick skim of that so that we could get back to the apartment with enough time to metro it over to the airport. We got to the airport with plenty of time and realized that our plane was delayed an hour.....which totally killed our layover in Atlanta...only 50 minutes. We were told by Airtran that we would make our flight, buuuuut that didn't happen. We missed it by about an hour. They couldn't get us on another flight confirmed until Tuesday morning. So we got a hotel Sunday night with some meal vouchers and stood on stand by ALL day Monday. The first flight was a no go, and on the second flight only one of us was called. At that point I went and talked to customer service and got Patrick and I's seats upgraded to first class on Tuesday morning just in case we didn't make the last flight, which was not looking promising. However, at 8:50 pm they called our names and even got us seats together! It was a long flight home through extremely bad weather, but we got home safe and sound to meet our friends and our luggage (the most important thing at that point)!

All in all it was a great trip and I would definitely recommend a trip to everyone who is interested in history and beautiful buildings....oh yeah, and GREAT food. Hope this satisified everyones interest in the can tell I'm her daughter right? Can't stop talking : ) Have a great year everyone!



Cass @ That Old House said...

Caitlin did an excellent job as guest blogger and travel writer! DC is great fun -- although I have memories of being hopelessly lost in Cyrstal City several times, and once ending up on the grounds of the Pentagon and being chased off by a HUGE armed guard with a very large gun, yelling, "Turn that minivan around and get out of here!" Since we had kids in the car, we did just that. Glad Caitlin had a good time, and boy this brought back memories!

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

I love DC. When Legare did a semester internship several years ago, he worked on Capital Hill for a Congresswoman from California. Part of his job was to go through the training to be a Capital guide so that he could take constituents on tours when they came to visit. When I mentioned that it must be a wonderful feeling to walk up to the Capital every morning for work, he replied...The good feeling never goes away...

Lori E said...

Wow I got tired just trying to keep up from home. Busy trip.

JennyMac said...

Love DC and love the stained glass at Mt. Vernon. DC is one of my favorite cities and so much was covered in this post. Fantastic.

Lady Katherine said...

Caitlin wonderful, what memories you brought back to me on my trip there a few years ago! This was a wonderful Travel Tour!

Lynn said...

Thank you for that lovely trip down memory lane!
Great job, Caitlin!
Your pictures are exceptional, too!

Cindy said...

Great JOB! I so enjoyed the pics and awesome commentary! Cindy

squawmama said...

Great post... Loved the pictures and the journal...


Chari said...

Hi Kathy...

What a grand trip! I loved seeing Washington DC through the eyes of your beautiful daughter Cait! By the way...Cait did a fabulous job as guest host on your blog!

I've never been to our nation's capitol and would love to go...but I must admit that my itenerary would have to be at a slower pace than Cait and her friends! Hehe! Loved seeing all the photos...I just get goose bumps when I see so much of our great country's history...the buildings, the memorials, etc. Please tell Cait...thank you for sharing her trip with us and thank you for joining in with Sunday Favorites today!

Warmest wishes,

prof en retraite said...

Hi Kat and Cait! How fun to see the Washington trip again! Now I want to go there even more!! I scrolled down to have another peek at Sax! My staff sends their regards!! Baby Kitty thinks she's pretty! Have a great week!...hugs...Debbie

DesignTies said...

Great guest-post, Cait!! You had a fantastic trip to DC, didn't you?! I'd definitely like to go to DC one day...

Kathy ~ I'm so happy you like the colour I chose for my stacking tables! Truth be told, I used the paint I purchased to paint the front door... yep... it's exterior paint! I figure it'll make the tables even more durable!! Well... that's what I'm telling myself anyway ;-) Energizer bunny, hey? You should see how much time Brian and I laze around the house!! HaHa!

Hope you're well...

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Kathy, what a fabulous repost.. I remember this form the first time, Caitlin did a wonderful job of being a guest blogger..
You are so right the turkeys seem to hide around the first of November.. then about the middle of December they notice the turkey feeder is out and corn is on the ground for them and the hunters are all Amazing how they know all that isn't it?
hugs ~lynne~

The Muse said...

Washington is one of the most wondrous cities...! sorry to hear that the White house was not as WOW as it could have been...In days of old...there were more rooms open...perhaps one day they will be again.

And I too agree, the Library of Congress is phenomenal!...

So happy to be back again and reading blogs..great job Cait!

Bill said...

Thank you for (re)posting this!
Wonderful pictures that bring back special memories of trips I've taken to DC over the years. Awe-inspiring images!