Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Let's Go NATS!

"Take Me Out to the Ball Game"

Washington Nationals vs. Houston Astros

RFK Stadium (and of course Loyal Nationals' Fans)

On our way to the game.

Above: Oh Look! It's Me!......opposite: Melanie, Eliza, Darin

I have a confession to make, which will hopefully not make me seem too un-American...Baseball is not my favorite past time, unless of course I'm watching in live in the Stadium! I've only been to a few professional baseball games in my life. The most memorable...The Chicago White Sox, however since moving to the DC area I've gone to two National's game...and they won both times (I must be a good luck charm)

On the Metro (Eliza, Darin, Annie, Dan) Melanie Metro: Melanie & Freda

We had a great time. Albeit some of the people didn't quite catch the spirit of the game. Poor Annie was trying to get everyone excited and involved, but without much success. Someone on the Metro back home asked her to basically sit down and be quiet. How's that for Team spirit?

Fort Marcy

Heading North on George Washington Parkway, just before the McLean exit there is a small brown sign indicating the entrance to Fort Marcy. Every time I drove by that sign with Mel, we puzzled over just what is Fort Marcy. Well as chance would have it, I took two days off before the 4th of July with the indention of going to Chicago. However those plans fell through and I still had those days off and in need of something to do I decided to take a drive. I head to my one of my favorite drives, the GW Parkway and soon found myself at the Fort Marcy exit. Having nothing better to do, I took the exit. I found myself in a parking lot surrounded by the tall trees common in this area. I decided to walk around, even though I was in flip flops. I found an entrance to a trail with a National Park Bulletin board (an answer to our question, FINALLY!) Fort Marcy was built during the Civil War, along with several other forts to protect DC from the Confederate forces. Fort Marcy was strategically place to help protect Chain Bridge from attack. The land was borrowed from the owner to build the fort and given back to the family after the Civil War. Eventually Fort Marcy was donated as a National Park. It's a beautiful, peaceful place. (Although looks can be deceiving. A little tidbit of information, for those too young or socially unaware to remember, it was at Fort Marcy were White House Deputy Counsel, Vincent Foster, was found after he committed suicide (or was murdered, depending on who you ask.))

I happend upon some random Civil War cannons hiding in the bushes. I can't imagine what it required of the soldiers to build the fort in the first place and then to maintain it in terms of clearing trees and bush. Looking at it today you would never guess that most of the trees and all the bushes were cleared at one time (notice how empty the land is around the fort in the Civil War picture below.) They would have to remove some of the trees to see the bridge and road they were supposed to be guarding. It's amazing how much I felt like I was in the middle of no where and yet, there I was, near several major roads (GW Parkway, Glebe Road to name a few.)

(Picture taken from Fort Marcy towards the military camp. This is a picture of the Fourth New York Heavy Artillery's camp according to this site.)

Fort Marcy is the head of several Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail , leading to Chain Bridge, Turkey Run Park, Theodore Roosevelt Island etc.

It's a beautiful place and I'm going to visit it again and this time I'll take Mel with me. 'Cause I bet she wants to know what Fort Marcy's all about. Hopefully next time I wont happen upon a couple having a 'picnic' in the park.

Ms. Becky Goes to Washington

Once upon a time there was a young girl named Becky who lived in the shadow of the everlasting hills. Becky's beloved older sister Amy had moved from home to the DC area. Desiring to visit, not only her sister, Amy, but also the nation's capitol, Becky ventured forth on a week long vacation...

Yep. It's true. My sister Becky came to visit. I loved every minute of it, even sleeping on our couch...no really....I'm serious if you ever have to sleep on a couch I would recommend our couch. It's the most confortable couch I've had to sleep on.
I took a little time off work to hang out with my sister, but mostly I let her wander around DC alone. I showed her how to get to the metro from my house, gave her my smartcard (or whatever that metro card thing is called) and sent her on her merry way. I heard no complaints, so I will conclude that she had a good time.

Richmond, Weight Lifting Contest, or Virginia Beach?

In March, my friends Annie and Melanie invited me to Richmond with them. Or so I thought, but really it truned out we were on our way to a weight lifting contest (random? Yes.) We (Mel, Annie, Dustin and I) went to support of our friend Dale. So happens that Dale is a amazing weightlifter and won his class. Now after you go a weight lifting contest if leaves you with the desire to do something more. We had travelled close to 3 hours to get there after all. We were so close to Virginia Beach that we decided to spend the evening there. It was beautiful. A little cold, but wonderful. I've never been back to Viringia Beach now the the weather warmed up, but I bet it's hopping with people.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend in DC

I love my friend Melanie Grant. There aren't many people in the world who would be able to stand a whole day with me, let alone a whole day while wondering around in the DC Memorial Day crowds. Mel and I, well we like a lot of the same things and it's nice to have someone who will go to all the historical sites with me. We made a whole day of our tourist activities Memorial Day. Amazing, it really was! I will admit, although I recognize the fact that the United States has it's problems (perhaps more now then in the past) I'm still proud to be an American and still support our armed forces. I am a little awed by the military...a hang on, I think, from spending some of my formative years living next to a army base in Central California. We moved away when I was 8 years old, but I still remember the taps and the t-ball game or practice stopping while they lowered the flag. The pledge of Allegiance was said and My Country its of Thee or America the Beautiful was sung every morning at the beginning of class. Those kind of things had a lasting impression.

Sunday dawned bright and beautiful, we went to a greatly reduced ward (many members of the ward were at Duck Beach for the weekend) and then after church we ate some food and took off for the metro to head up to DC. As we walked out to my car a few rain drops fell and I looked up. A very foreboding sky met my glace. By the time we got the metro, about 4 minutes later, the wind was trying to blow us away and rain got serious. But we were not to be deterred. Wet or not we were going to the Memorial Day concert. Apparently the worse of the storm passed while we were safe underground in the metro, but the rain hadn't stopped by the time we emerged. We were soaked by the time we got to the line to go onto the Capitol lawn. We got lucky. Because of the storm the place had been evacuated and many people had left...if that hadn't happened we might not have gotten in. The concert was fantastic. On our way back as we crossed on the streets near the Capitol building a group of police stood looking as if they were going to stop people at any second...Mel and I hesitated and then took a step into the street...no sooner had we done so when one of the police turned around, jumped in front of us and yelled "STOP!" Startled we stopped. He laughed and said, "Just kidding," and allowed us to go long our way. Who knew that the Capitol police were such comedians?
The next morning we got up at a reasonable hour and Sunday night's storm was just a memory...the day was beautiful. We headed out to the Arlington Cemetery. I admit as we saw people sitting next to Friday's freshly dug graves, most them solders coming 'home' from Iraq, crying, it was a little to much for me. It breaks my heart to see people suffering and in pain and it doesn't help that I'm a crybaby on normal occasions...I cried.
After Alrington Cemetery we headed into DC, us and a couple 100 thousand people, to see the parade.
I've only posted a few of the millions of pictures Mel and I took, but it will give you and idea how everything went down :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's a Truth Universally (in my Universe) Acknowledged...That I am a Cheesy Girl

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife."

-Jane Austen (Pride & Prejudice)

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

I confess! Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors and Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are two of my favorite books. I'm a girl. So sue me!

(Sydney, thanks for the link to this quiz. I have faithfully passed it on to some of my friends :))

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Everyone's Doing it

So I did it. I started a blog. My talent for writing is non-existent, but giving into peer pressure…. Not that I have anything amazing to say, but it's a great way to keep my friend posted on this fantastic time of my life. Besides haven't we all secretly hoped that we could be 'published?'

I moved to Falls Church VA (about 12 miles outside Washington DC) about 10 months ago. Honestly I can't believe that it's almost been a year. You know what they (the elusive 'they') say "Time flies when you're having fun." And fun has been had! Take this picture for example. One night we (meaning my friends Freda, Jules, Emma and I) decided to go to a jazz bar in DC. Freda in her typical flamboyant manner insisted that we all wear hats. Getting to the jazz bar was an adventure in and of itself. Saturday night in DC the streets were packed. Freda's amazing parallel parking skills saved the night, squeezing into an "available" parking spot, which of course was several blocks to our ultimate destination (HR 57 ). Oh why did I wear heels? Along the way Jules and Freda made a new friend, who was a little wasted. She told Jules to make time for her girlfriends and to stop thinking about her boyfriend (since Jules had a boyfriend at that time.)

Finally, we arrived. We pay our $8 each and go in. It's a little crowded. Hmm. Take the closest seats. Sit through a song. Bad seats. No wonder no one was sitting there. Stand up. Move to new seats. Which of course are at the front. Uh...The whole room's staring at us. What? What's the deal? Sit through a few more songs. Not bad. Freda and Jules on a mission for food. Tap, tap, tap. Someone's tapping on my shoulder.

"We were just wondering why you are all wearing hats?" he asks.

Uh...Because Freda told us to? "Oh no reason, we just all wanted to wear hats."

Nods approval. "Very cool." (you have to admit we all looked FABULOUS!)

"Thanks." I turn to look at Emma with the look of 'did that really happen?' Emma shrugs and we manage to hold in our laughter until the band starts again. Freda and Jules return and seeing the looks of mirth on our faces query "What happened?" The story and laughter were shared. Also during the course of the night someone asked us (in this case meaning Jules, Emma and me) if we were sisters. Because you have to admit...one of these is not like the others (to quote my friend Freda.)

(Left to Right: Freda, Jules, Me, Emma Lin)

Oh, and least I forget, on the way back to the car we were asked if we knew the words to the Ghostbuster theme song. Of course!

If there's something strange in your

Who ya gonna call?

If there's something weird and it don't look

Who ya gonna call?
I ain't afraid of no ghosts

I ain't afraid of no ghosts!
Good Times had by all.