Friday, November 04, 2011

where you at?

Well, after a nice respite from blogging (not intentionally, just preoccupied with work and other things), it’s time for like 4 months of out lives in one blog post. Fall has been awesome here thus far – we’ve had some great visitors, and the weather has been quite beautiful. The leaves are just hitting their peak right now. I was driving up the Baltimore-Washington parkway today just dumbfounded at how beautiful the trees are. You see, the highways out here are nothing like the ones in the west – here you are constantly surround by trees and you can’t see anything through them or above them – as opposed to the west where there are huge old billboards and mountains. Anyway – the are just amazing right now. Get ready for a speedy look at what’s up around here lately.

We spent a bit of time in July at Bear Lake – I can’t believe how beautiful that place is. I turned 28 while we were there. Julie stuck with her awesome tradition of creatively illustrating how old I am (in the past she’s done it with doughnuts, waffles, candy etc. – this one was awesome and apparently the grandkids all really liked playing with those cups afterward.


Every sunset at Bear Lake replaces the one from the night before as the most beautiful one you’ve seen.

We spent a lot of time walking around the monuments. I love that about DC – they are so unique and make this place different to any other city in the US. There is almost a spiritual feeling around them. The Founding Fathers were amazing men – living here has helped me learn more about them and what they did for us.


FDR Memorial – my favorite at night with all the water.


The newly finished MLK Memorial. This bust of him is surrounded by powerful quotes from his many great speeches.


We went out to the Air and Space Museum near Dulles for the first time with Kelsey, Garrett and their little dude Hudson. Garrett was here interning this past summer and we had a lot of fun with them. Kelsey was in Jerusalem with Julie and me. Kelsey and Julie told everyone in Jerusalem that they were cousins and we all believed them – they are like sisters from another mother (did you see the Modern Family this week where Phil uses that phase? it was awesome).


Kelsey and Garrett found this place and showed it to us – The Franciscan Monastery. It was beautiful.


For Labor Day we went up to NYC to hang with Tal while Anita was visiting her fam in Switzerland. It was so fun to be in the city with Tal and have some fun times that included a nice piece of brunch, going to Smalls with Tal (great little Jazz club in the village), helping Tal transport a couch to his new apartment, tasty food, great talks, and several trip to the US Open. I LOVE the US Open – and Julie does too. We’ve now been 3 out of the past 4 years – and it just gets better every year. We pulled a Noah and got in (thanks to Tal), then at the night session we worked our way down (thanks to Tal) to the front row for the last set of the greatest tennis player of all time’s match. It was so cool to watch Fed from about 10 feet away. I am pretty sure he just floats, his feet don’t really touch the ground. We even saw him throw down with an in between the legs shot. The match finished at about 1:15 am, but it was well worth it.


Gotta love this iconic shot as you walk across the bridge from the subway to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center.


Julie came down to Fort Lauderdale with me for a few days for a work conference. We stayed at a cool hotel right on the beach, ate some really good sushi, and got up to watch the sunrise a couple of times.

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Josh came through DC on his way home from Ethiopia. We got to hang out for a few days, as he showed us some of his old stomping grounds from when he used to live here. While in Ethiopia, he contracted an eye condition that made him squint and something grew out of his head – as illustrated below. Isn’t that awesome (he really is fine, in case you were worried, these are just the random photos I caught on my phone).

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Next, Julie’s parents came to town. It was so fun to see them. We took them to Les Mis at the Kennedy Center – it was the 25th anniversary tour they are doing and it was really fantastic. It was fun to be there with Julie and her Mom who are both big Les Mis fans.


A trip to Ford’s Theater. We’re pretty in to the Lincoln assassination right now after Julie read “Manhunt” and we watched the new movie “The Conspirators”.  You should check them out.


A beautiful night on the Tidal Basin. There was a thick fog surrounding us, something I haven’t experienced there yet. Kind of fit in with the eerie Halloween time of year.


We also took at trip down to Monticello with them. None of us had ever been there. Thomas Jefferson was an amazing mind…never stopped thinking, designing, writing, conjuring up ideas, and building up his Monticello. The leaves were beautiful – the Virginia countryside is quite beautiful.


The farm where all of the food for the large crew of people living at Monticello was grown.



There was an apple orchard just a few miles from Monticello. Julie’s mom is a legend for her apple pies. What better time to try one out? Kathy made us a wicked awesome pie. It was a little late in the apple picking season, so here Julie and Kathy are trying to figure out how to get the apples from the tops of the trees.


Here was the solution, which worked rather well considering Julie isn’t the tallest girl around.


Lastly, we went down into Charlottesville to complete our Thomas Jefferson day at the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson designed a beautiful campus there.


I think the idea was to have all the professors and students living in close proximity to each other and to the classrooms. It has since expanded, but this main part still has professors and students living in it I think.


So, Julie’s mom is an Apple Pie master – her dad, is a BBQ master. Or I should say a “Serious Barbequer” – see his book below. He marinated, rubbed, glazed, garnished some rib-eye steaks over the course of about 24 hours and they were seriously tasty.


Our friends Steve and Jesse came over to help eat all the food with BBQ’d, and to chat about Brazil. Steve served in Montes Claros on his mission – which is the same area where Mark and Kathy spent much of their recent mission to Brazil. We finished it off with a hot apple pie that has me reconsidering my stance as a “cake and cookie person” over a “pie person”. It was so fun having Mark and Kathy here – Julie truly has some amazing parents and it was fun to try to soak up their wisdom and awesomeness.


Brace yourself. Then came Halloween. Some of our friends hosted a party – so we went all out. We won the “Scariest Costume” award. Not exactly what we were going for, but let’s face it, we looked creepy. If you don’t know who we are supposed to be, then you need to slap yourself.


We had the Nutcracker cast there, Gadhafi and his bodyguard, some of the Occupy Wall Street people, the Bachelor was there, and a lot of other awesome costumes.


Including one of my favorites – the LORD OF THE RINGS!!! Honestly, I can’t stand those movies, but Steve pulled it off very nicely. If you look closely you can even see the ring around his neck.


My head kind of changed colors as the night went on. But check out this ham head that Jesse made. It was so creepy and awesome at the same time.


On actual Halloween, Julie was working – a fun day to work at a Children’s Hospital. Check out her awesome costume.


She is helping train a new nurse right now that is taller than her, so Mario and Luigi were a perfect fit. Isn’t Julie awesome, I mean, look at that mustache she wore all day. She is without a doubt the best nurse ever. I can’t imagine a person that is more knowledgeable and so good with kids.

So, there you have it! It’s been a crazy few months. Life is good here in DC. Come visit.

And P.S. stay tuned for another Blogocation as we are headed here:

here (Yangshuo):

and here:

For Thanksgiving we are are heading over there yonder to see Julie’s brother and his fam. They’ve been living there for 5 years or so, but are moving back to the US next spring. We’ve been planning on going forever, and the time is finally here. Can’t wait!! Stay tuned.