Thursday, April 30, 2009

in full bloom...

The irises in the front yard are in full bloom. Actually, I have never seen so many blooms and buds on them. I really should have divided them up last fall but never got around to it. So these are the fruits of my non-labor....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

sunday evening...

Hannah had a birthday party Saturday night, so Chris and I spent the evening down at the dock, eating dinner and enjoying the beautiful weather. It was so nice, we returned on Sunday night with Hannah.

Of course, the dog cat was there with us too.

Sunday night
coming back up from the dock
Hannah has her nose in a book
and her dog cat by her side.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

last night...

...about 11pm, lightening in the sky, heading from the tents to the youth center.
Slapped the camera on an old headstone and hit the shutter....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

spring break recap - Tuesday and Wednesday

Tuesday was our last day - another cold and kinda rainy day. We returned to the Natural History Museum to finish it off (seeing the Hope Diamond, mineral exhibits and sea life) then went over to the American History Museum. The lines were very long for the first lady exhibit, the presidents exhibit and Lincolns. So we missed alot here. We ate lunch then went to the National Aquarium. Quite the disappointment after the Georgia Aquarium and the Charleston one and the Newport one....but Hannah wanted to say she'd been.

We finished this up then headed home. We were museumed out or we would have hit the American Indian Museum.

Wednesday we headed home - detouring to Fairy Stone State Park to check out the campground. Nice place, but really a little too far for us.

All in all DC was good. Too rainy, cold and crowded to be great. If I did it over, I would skip the things we have done elsewhere - the Zoo (been to lots), the Aquarium (very so so) and even the Natural History Museum. I would take that time and spend at the American History Museum, American Indian Museum and National Archives. And the Capital Visitors Center. Things you cannot see or do anywhere else.

So we left plenty undone - which means we can return sometime when it is not peak tourist season.

Hannah's camera battery died so she stole my camera. She liked the look of this (american history museum)

The star spangled banner:

Some of the cool minerals at the natural history museum

The hope diamond - hard to get to with the crowd and low lights and rotating display..

Another cool display

The final stop on our DC tour...

The last metro escalator back up to the streets

A few that Chris took:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring break recap...Monday 4/13

Monday was to be overcast and cool but not rainy. We started at the Air and Space Museum. Finally a museum that was not packed which made it much more enjoyable. We toured the entire museum and finished as the crowds were building.

Off to lunch then we walked down towards the Lincoln Memorial - stopping at the WWII memorial, Vietnam War memorial, Lincoln, Korean War Memorial then back up the mall, ending at the Capital. It was alot of walking!

It was now about 4:30 so we went into the Nat. Botanical Gardens till they closed then headed home. The gardens were pretty cool but we did not have alot of time there. Hannah and I took bunches of pictures...but I won't post all of those!

If we had known, we would have gone to the new Capital Visitors Center - we were right there! And we forgot the National Archives. Drat. We missed the Jefferson Memorial - it was just too far to walk. If the weather had been better we'd have rented bikes and toured it all that way. Now that would be the way to go, riding bikes to everything around the mall!

Korean War Memorial

Vietnam Memorial

Lincoln Memorial
View from the Lincoln Memorial

Botanical Gardens

Thursday, April 16, 2009

spring break recap - Easter Sunday

Sunday was Easter! The easter bunny found us with a small bag full of candy (dark chocolate), earrings and some mascara. Nice easter bunny!

Sunday morning - called for a sunny day - so we hit the zoo. Once again via the metro. We arrived at 10am - opening time - and hit the pandas first. There were 3 out in the pens, 1 asleep and 2 very active.

Then we toured the rest of the zoo...but by 2pm gave up on the crowds and went to lunch. After lunch we took the metro to Union Station, walked by Fords Theater and toured the Nat. Portrait Museum. The sun was shining most of the day but it was cool - about 50 and WINDY!!

Easter stash:

I won't post a ton of zoo pictures. But here is one of the pandas:

Just one of the girlie:

Union Station

Hey, look who we ran into!

From the outside. Across the street is the house where Lincoln died, we did tour that.

spring break recap - Saturday

Saturday morning, we hit the Metro bright and early (in the rain) to be at the Museum of Natural History which opened at 10am. We made a bad mistake and decided to do the Imax movie first since the line was short. Not a good decision. First, the Imax theater here in Charlotte is much larger and better. Second, we wasted valuable early time before the crowds really sunk in. By noon the museum was very crowded. By about 2pm we gave up and headed out into the cold rainy weather.

We walked to the Nat. Aquarium but there was quite the line there so we walked on to see the White House then over to the Washington Monument. Here the wind was howling and it was not, well, fun. Hannah bought a hat that said FBI from a street vendor to keep warm. Brr...

From there we went to the Old Post Office to go up the bell tower for a view from the rooftops. Then it was back to the hotel and away from the crowds and into the warm and dry!

Our first ride on the metro....going down.....

Inside the Natural History Museum

Just a view of the ucky weather

Looking the opposite direction:

The white house....preparations being made for the easter egg roll on Monday

Views from the top of the old post office building's bell tower - the 3rd tallest building in DC

Spring Break recap - day 1 Friday

Warning - I took my camera with me to DC and hauled it every day. I took my everday lens (18-70mm) and a smaller lens (50mm f/1.8) for inside the museums. With the crowds, I never really used the 50mm - not enough room. But these posts will be picture heavy..

Note: I wanted to post all 5 days at once...but i can't seem to get the images uploaded very fast. So I will post the days as I get them finished....

So we drove to DC on Friday (before easter) on a cloudy overcast day. We arrived at the hotel in Arlington around 3pm, unloaded the car and headed out to explore. By this time, the skies had cleared a bit and it was the warmest weather we would have - about 70 with partly cloudy skies.

We walked a few blocks from the hotel to the Iwo Jima Memorial then over to Arlington Nat. Cemetary. We visited Kennedy's grave and saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown. We walked around Lee Mansion and then returned to the hotel for an early evening.

Our goal was to have an economical trip - eat dinners in the hotel room (we had a nice little kitchen), lunches out and see all the free stuff we could. So it was home for dinner at the hotel, not dinner out on the town!

The Iwo Jima Memorial - just a few blocks away from our hotel.

Gravesite of JFK with Jackie and 2 of their children.

As we were leaving JFK's gravesite, I saw these cherry trees still in bloom with all the graves behind them - one of my favorite shots of the trip...

Right before the changing of the guard. It was crowded with real flat light and hard to get a good picture.

Heading back to the hotel, the sun was lowering in the sky and lit up the Washington monument with these tulips in the front - it was gorgeous. You can barely see the Capital behind the Wash monument because the sun was too low in the sky to hit it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

family portrait #2...

taken at the air and space museum - a mirror to see if you have what it takes to be a stewardess...

Monday, April 13, 2009

family portrait...

taken in the mirror at the Old Post Office, coming down from the tower.....I think this is one of those mirrors so you can see who is coming around the corner....

Monday, April 06, 2009

today at 5:30pm...

I looked out my dining room window and saw....

hanging out at the shore.

What?? It is our local heron that hangs out in our cove on and off.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

don't you????

Rollerblades + car washing = fun.

But don't ask me what is up with those socks....

Friday, April 03, 2009


You can tell it is spring when....

the dogwoods bloom....

the hostas pop up out of the ground...

the fringeflower bloom....

the trees bud out....

and the giant pile of mulch appears.....