Friday, December 31

Last Virginia trip pics

Here's the last random bunch of photos from our trip!

First, here's an official pic of the National Archives building.

And here's my pic, admiring the decorative carving (the molding?) on the tops of the pillars. I would have been more impressed, but this same style of leaves was on every single pillar on every single building in the area. Must have been the same company did all the construction.

Alex enjoying the Metro under DC. Notice the bored guy in the background. Everybody was so very, very bored.

Flying over Colorado at sunset. I thought the light slanting across the mountains was so pretty, I had to get a picture.

Tuesday, December 28

National Archives

Today we went downtown in DC and visited the National Archives. We got to see all the documents, like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I wish I could have stood there and read them, but there were a jillion people crowded around every display.

They also don't allow flash photography, so I don't have any pictures in there.

We walked a block or two to a sandwich place and had lunch, then got back on the Metro to go home.

I'm such a travel noob. Airplanes? Fun! Metro lines? Fun! The kids were enthralled on the way out, but on the way back they were tired and didn't enjoy it as much.

Going down underground to the metro station is like some creepy version of Disneyland. Everything is dingy and run down, and there's whooshes of air as the trains go by, and roars and whistles and shrieks.

Then you get inside a train, and it roars and bellows, screams and grinds, and generally sounds like the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, only with reverb. It would be scary, if not for one thing:

You are surrounded by the most bored people on the face of the earth.

People who are falling asleep, they're so bored. Bored people with newspapers, or ipods, or laptops, or big fat books, or anything portable they can amuse themselves with. The ones who don't have those things just sit and doze. A lot of folks enjoyed watching Alex and Holly, who were so excited about the trip. I think they livened up the trip for at least a few people.

So we came home and took naps. I wish we could have hiked around DC more, but doing foot-tours with small children, as well as being six months pregnant, just isn't very fun. We'll have to come back once everybody's older.

And tomorrow, we're homeward bound. Trains today, planes tomorrow!


Here's a sample of our present-opening carnage.

It's amazing how fast all those toys get scattered throughout the entire house, despite my best efforts to confine them to one room.

Thursday, December 23

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Everybody's posting posts about Merry Christmas, or baking, or decorating, or all kinds of other things.

What do I post about?

Why, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Hazy Annex!

Alex was impressed.

This is the SR-71 Blackbird. Incidentally, it's the one they used in Transformers 2, because they filmed that bit of it in the actual museum. They even had a TV off to one side, playing the clip. It was funny to look around and see all the exact same planes the actors were running around in.

We dropped in to visit the Space hanger, and the space shuttle there.

The space shuttle is big.

Alex was all set to jump the fence and go climb into one of the planes. We had to let him know that the planes were all locked and we didn't have the keys.

We went up into the seven-story-tall observation tower, too. Here's the view looking east, toward town, I think. Anyway there was no airport in that direction. This museum is right by Dulles Airport, so we got to see big passenger jets flying in and landing.

Holly really liked the museum, too. But she kept wanting to take off on self-guided tours, so she had to get carted around.

She and Alex were sick of the stroller. I hope they sleep really good tonight, because they hiked all over that place.

Tuesday, December 21

Fun in the mall

Well, we finally got the Christmas tree decorated. Isn't it pretty?

We trekked out to a mall with a Lego store in it. Here are the munchkins building Legos at one of the tables set out for the amusement of young customers.

Outside in the main drag, we found a unique mall vendor cart: one filled with figurines all hand-carved in Israel. Alas, I didn't think to ask what kind of wood it was until it was too late.

I don't buy things off mall carts. But these wood carvings absolutely blew me away. Look at the Last Supper.

They had a Nativity creche, too, but not only did I not have enough money, but I'd have to get the thing home somehow, too. I wish I could have taken pictures of everything on the cart. They were amazing.

Monday, December 20

Road trip through DC

Photo dump post! I know I took pictures of the same things everybody takes pictures of, but I tried to get some other local stuff, for flavor. We were driving the whole time, and I was sitting in the back seat, so some of my perspective is wonky.

This is Fort Washington, seen across the icy Potomac river.

Some pretty houses in Alexandria.

Lincoln memorial (I think).

Jefferson memorial (I think).
 Washington monument.

One of the Smithsonian buildings, I think it was the art gallery.
 This was just down the street from it, along with a lot of other crappy modern art. I'm sorry, but if even the malls around here didn't want it, the US government shouldn't have wasted the money on it.
 Capitol building.
 The scariest block in the whole area: the EPA, the IRS, and ... I forget the third, all right in line with each other.
 Pretty architecture in the area.
 Spotted in Georgetown. I'd like to go back and walk through Georgetown someday when it's not 28 degrees. It's like a giant outdoor mall.

Saturday, December 18

O Christmas tree

Yesterday we hauled the kids out to the park in the housing complex.

Ryan hauled them on the sled with a rope.

At the park, they played on the slide and swings like it wasn't 20 degrees in 2 inches of snow.

Houses across the park, all snowy, under a clearing sky. How I miss my Photoshop, because the sky was really vivid blue.

By the time we walked home, the sun was out and it felt gloriously warm on our backs. We went inside and had hot cider and cookies.

Today, after a long and arduous search, we got a Christmas tree. Here are the men of the household, hauling in their kill.

And here it sits, awaiting lights and ornaments. Alex looks happy about the tree, but what he was really happy about was the newly-activated cuckoo clock in the corner. He sat and watched it for an hour and a half.

Until this happened.

Friday, December 17

Let it snow!

First, here's some pics of the munchkins in their outfits to get their pictures taken.

Alex in a suit!

Holly in her fluffy jacket. Alas, I wasn't quick enough with the camera to get the one in her red dress, but it's really cute, too.

Yesterday, it started snowing about 9 AM. I went out and creaked around in it (I forgot how it makes that funny creaking sounds when you walk in it). Here's some bird tracks in the early layer.

This is a few hours later, after we had about an inch. The kids thought it was great.

Grandma and Grandpa had picked up this sled-dish, and we amused ourselves by sliding down the neighbor's sloped driveway. Even Mommy did it a few times. Then Mommy realized that she's pregnant and probably shouldn't be sledding.

Wednesday, December 15

A nice, quiet day

Yesterday, the kids and I just stayed home all day. It was nice to not have the stress of travel and appointment deadlines.

Here's the munchkins, playing in the dollhouse. I arranged all the furniture for them, and they were happy for at least ten minutes.

In the meantime, I did laundry. The washers are located in the loft between the bedrooms, so getting the laundry in there is a breeze. Alex sat and watched the washer and dryer spin. He was fascinated.

Right before we left, I dug out this little book of Robert Lewis Stevenson's childrens' rhymes. Alex just loved the picture that went with the one that starts,

"What are you able to build with your blocks?
Castles and palaces, temples and docks.
Rain may keep raining and others go roam,
But I can be happy when building at home."

It has some great pictures of these block castles and things. Alex aspires to build a castle, and keeps trying and trying.

Monday, December 13

It's cold in Virginia

Especially when you're originally from California. This snow dusting persisted in the shade all day. I think there's still some on the porch, dry as sand and just as grainy.

It was nice and warm in the mall. I did not shop in this store, although I was sorely tempted by memories of their catalogs.

My son in a wig. He looks thrilled, don't you think?

Small things

This morning, I went downstairs to find Alex, all by himself, looking out the back window at his grandma's bird feeder. It was loaded with goldfinches, who at this time of year, aren't very gold.

Later on, ever breakfast, I let him play with my camera. He snapped all kinds of odd, blurry photos, but this one actually came out with a kind of candid charm. And you can see me, for once.

Maybe I'll let Alex be our photographer.


Related Posts with Thumbnails