Monday, December 13, 2010

It’s already almost Christmas?

So, while I was taking you on a two month long blogocation, we enjoyed fall here in DC. In a place with as many trees it’s not hard to find some beautiful foliage. The fall weather was amazing, it last until like 2 weeks or so ago, and now it is all the sudden insanely cold. Anyway, how about those leaves.

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My favorite thing about DC is the architecture. I particularly like Capitol Hill. I never get bored of just walking around and taking pictures. It is especially beautiful in the fall.

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In October, Julie’s sister and her family came to town. It was fun to hang out with all of them and host all seven of them in our apartment for a couple of nights. That was a new record for most people sleeping here. It was awesome. We went with them (along with some friends in the picture below (the two in the middle that aren’t kids)) to a pumpkin patch.

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That included a corn maze, apple launchers, a huge inflatable bubble jumpy thing, pig races, you name it.

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We went to see Abe and walk around the monuments. Another place I never tire of taking photos of.

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The highlight of the night was our nephew Ezra. He was his typical hyper-self running around from place to place. He was running along the reflecting pool (the one that runs between Washington and Lincoln) and we kept telling him to be careful. He made it past that pool, and headed up toward the WWII Memorial. Unfortunately, he didn’t notice where the sidewalk turned into water, and went face first into the water. Cory (his dad) did the right thing and whipped out his video camera to film Ezra’s reaction). Poor Ezra was cold, but ran back to the car to get warmed up and was laughing about it later.

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We finished up October with Julie having to work on Halloween. She was one amazing nurse ninja. She knows some pretty cool moves and she is pretty good with a bow-staff.

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I was gonna finish right there, but I know you want a little more, so what the heck. Time has really flown, we’ve now lived in DC for 16 months. There is so much cool stuff in this city. So much stuff that even though we’ve been here for a while now, we haven’t seen yet. This is the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, it looks out over the city. These huge metal things (3 of them) jut up into the air 100 feet or so.

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We went to the Pentagon Memorial – really beautiful and solemn. Each of those benches represent one of the lives that was lost there on September 11.  

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We also found our way out to Roosevelt Island one day. It is a little island on the Potomac a few miles out of DC. In the center is a big circular area with the big old statue of Teddy and surrounding it are some of his most famous quotes.

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Noah and Kristi came through DC in the RV on their way across the country as they moved from NYC to Southern California. It was a nice piece. It was also Noah’s bday so we had a fun breakfast and got to hang out with the kids while before they jetted off in their 5 mpg beauty. McKay was pretty excited to show us around his “house car”.

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We’ve been cooking up storm. Julie is quite the cook. On this particular night however, my friend  and I had to cook our wives dinner because they regulated us in little bowling wager. We cooked up some tasty Chicken Katsu Curry.

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I won’t lie, the finished product was a culinary masterpiece complete with spritzed fresh strawberry lemonade. These guys are awesome. They were also crazy enough to go to the midnight showing of Harry Potter with us. We have been blessed with some great friends out here, the definitely fill the void of not having family super close by. There are so many interesting people out here doing so many interesting things; makes for plenty of great conversations.

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Julie had to work the two days after Thanksgiving, so we stuck around here for the Holiday. We decided (well, I decided) that we’d be crazy if we didn’t cook a turkey. So, although I was dry heaving as I was pulling the neck and giblets out of that turkey as I was prepping it, it turned out quite tasty.

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That brought in the official Christmas season! I love this time of year so so much. We headed out and got a beauty of a Christmas tree, and the music has rarely turned off since then.

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I hope you are having the best Christmas season ever. Remember Him. Let’s share His light.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Have you been to Amsterdam?

I know this was a couple months ago, but looking through the pictures and writing about it on here is reminding me how awesome Amsterdam is. On our way back to DC from Rome, we purposely scheduled a 5 hour layover in Amsterdam. Julie’s brother and his wife lived there a few years ago and we were dumb enough not to go see them. After being there, we wish we could fire up the flux capacitor and go back in time to see them. Anyway, they were nice enough enough to give us some advice and things to see. Their best advice was to just rent a bike and ride around along the canals. I’ve been lucky enough travel quite a bit in my life, and Amsterdam had a feel unlike any city I have been in. Granted, we were only actually in the city for a few hours, but we were both very impressed. The city is laced with beautiful tree-lined canals and beautiful buildings. Oh, and I am pretty sure there are more bicycles than people.

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We were greeted by a sea of bikes when we go off the train. It was literally bikes for as long as you could see. This was my favorite part about the city. People just biked everywhere. It seemed like half of every road was dedicated to bikers, then cars and trams got the other half.

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We found these beauties and took off. Surprisingly we had a lot of energy after sleeping at the airport in Rome and getting on a flight at 6am.

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You got the tram, the cars, and then the big old bike lane. It was awesome. People were cruising along on their bikes talking on their cell phones, no big deal. I saw people doing it, so I thought I would whip out my phone and take a little video. I am not as skilled at one handed riding as the natives of that city. Let’s just say that.

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These canals are so beautiful. Oh ya, there’s the other mode of transport around the city, boats!

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Here I had the the tastiest pastry I have ever had in my life. Croissant, filled with some kind of cream, and fresh strawberries. If I lived there, that would be my breakfast everyday.

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And saw the smallest car I have ever seen.

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Amsterdam seems like a very international city, very livable, and just really beautiful. We are definitely going to need to go back and spend more time. I wanted to bike out to where we could see the windmills and fields, but time didn’t allow. This was a really fun way to squeeze a little extra out of an amazing trip to Europe. I know it has taken a while, but I hope you’ve enjoyed this blogocation that I have taken you on.