Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone has a safe celebration!

D.C. Part 2

Wednesday morning was overcast and slightly wet so we decided that it would be Museum Day. We went to the National Museum of Natural History which really reminded me of the movie A Night at the Museum.

We saw the famous Hope Diamond and something even more special to me. Below is a photo of Dan standing next to a Rai stone from Micronesia. My father worked for the government and one of his jobs was to help the governor of Micronesia move to California and set up their embassy. My mom had a great experience over there and has all of these amazing stories. One of the things she always talks about is the stone money. This particular piece is 6' tall, 7" thick and weighs 2 metric tons!

It was still wet and overcast outside so we continued to our first non-Smithsonian museum, the National Gallery of Art (both West & East wings). Below is the East Wing from the Second Floor. The mobile to the right is by Alexander Calder.

I love how art museums are so incredibly inspiring . Here is the stairway to the Mezzanine and Second floor.

The coolest part was the underground moving walkway between the East & West galleries! The West gallery was a lot darker than the East gallery so I didn't really take pictures. We saw paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer that gave me goosebumps. I love to see paintings that I spent so much time learning about in school. I couldn't believe how small they were! I guess the West was our favorite because they had an American Snapshots exhibit that really captured both Dan & I.

We headed back to the hotel earlier than the day before because we were so exhausted. We were waiting for an e-mail from Dan's friend Melanie who teaches in Reston, Va. She and her husband Rich picked us up from our hotel and took us to Tyson's Corner Mall. We ate ate Gordon Biersch for dinner and then had to stop in Urban Outfitters. The ceiling of the mall was changing colors and the moment I took my camera out it went white. :/

Dan, Melanie, and Rich with our lovely hotel curtains as a backdrop.

It was wet and overcast on Thursday as well. The locals said it hadn't rained in 40 days so I was happy that the drought was getting some help. Since it wasn't raining yet, we decided to do as much outside stuff as possible in the morning. We visited Arlington Cemetery via the wonderful Metro. We saw the eternal flame at JFK's grave site. We got onto a bus and it took us to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to see the changing of the guard. Here is a photo of the newer cemetery amphitheater. You can see the original one from before 1920 here.

Another bus took us to the home of Mary Custis and her husband Robert E. Lee. The property was in the Custis family for several years. When Lee switched to the Confederate side during the war, they left this house and it was taken for what is now the cemetery. His once best friend, Montgomery C. Meigs chose his land for the cemetery to get back at him for switching sides. No furniture was inside of the house since they are renovating it now.

We went to the Hirshhorn Museum which is a really neat circular Smithsonian art museum. I was excited to see some amazing work by Georgia O'Keefe. As we were walking to our next destination we had to take a photo of another Art Museum I wish I had time to go through. Now everyone can know Dan's last name is Corcoran. It seemed only fitting to take a photo next to their sign. They had some amazing exhibits with Annie Leibovitz and Ansel Adams. I hope those travel to the SF MOMA!

I had to get a picture with R2D2! I had seen pictures of these on the usps website but I was thrilled to see one in real life!

I was really curious about going to the Daughter's of the American Revolution Library & Museum to do a little research about my maternal grandmother's family. That side of the family can trace back to the DAR but we don't know where we come from before then and that makes me really curious. Of course they wanted me to pay and become a member so we said thanks anyway and started walking to our next destination.

The Department of Commerce building? Not exactly... I wanted to see the National Aquarium of Washington D.C. It was rather hard to find since it was in the basement in this really odd building. I got Jenna a random sign that say "Beware of the Attack Lobster." It reminded me of Phoebe from Friends.

By the time we finished with the aquarium everything was closing up. We went back to the hotel and printed up our boarding passes . Then we had dinner at Fuddruckers which was conveniently next to our hotel. I have to admit I love bouncy balls and have a small collection. I happily added an 8 ball to it while at Fuddruckers.

Friday we woke earlier so we could eat, check out, and spend our last two hours in Washington D.C. before having to catch our flights back. The hotel was kind enough to hold our luggage for us while we walked to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving a second time. It was pouring rain so that was an ideal way to spend the remaining time. But there was a line and I really wanted to see the Jefferson Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial still. We walked in the pouring rain to the first one and got completely soaked. I had a lot of fun doing it! We both had our own umbrella so I had great difficulty in taking photos while holding my umbrella. It was a beautiful memorial!

We trekked on to the FDR Memorial since we were drenched any way. I'm so glad that we did because it turned out to be one of my favorite memorials! It was so long and perfect since Roosevelt was President for three terms. This was the coolest surprise for me. I was taking pictures with a little more confidence. When I got closer and saw beautiful reliefs in the wall.

Here is a very touching depiction of men waiting in the bread line during the depression.

I was so glad we fit Friday's morning visit into our schedule. It felt like a complete visit after seeing this last memorial. We high tailed it back to the Metro and then the hotel shuttle brought us back. I was going to change into warm, dry pants and socks when I turned around to find that Super Shuttle was 20 minutes early in picking us up. It was frightening how they pulled up right as we entered the hotel.

To give the readers digest version, we got stuck in traffic for over 2 hours (going in the opposite direction of the airport) and got to the Dulles airport with 19 minutes before our flight took off to Midway Chicago. Everyone was super nice and helpful in getting us to the plane. We ran through the airport to find that the plane hadn't even arrived yet. I managed to fall asleep on the plane and woke with a start as we touched down in Chicago. We arrived late and barely made our next flight back to Oakland airport. Luckily that plane was a little late as well. I got to see my Dad working at the airport before Zena picked us up (thank you) and whisked us home. My not so perfect day got a little yucky when I got my laptop out to find that the back light stopped working. Thankfully I have Apple Care so I hope this will take care of it.

And that is my detailed story of our visit to Washington D.C. If you have read all the way to the end I'm impressed! Let yourself eat a piece of candy tonight. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I'm back from my trip

Part 1 of Vacation to Washington D.C.

I'll skip Monday since that was completely traveling. Dan & I woke up insanely early on Tuesday 7:30am EST so we wouldn't miss breakfast or the hotel shuttle to the Metro. It was on the warmer side and the humidity surely added to that. I took lots of photos at the station and got beeped at by the train for apparently being "too close." This seems to be one of the sub-themes of the trip.

We got off the Metro and walked down the Mall to the reflection pool at the Capitol and took a few photos. It was pretty overcast the whole day, yet it was the best day to take outdoor photos during our visit. We saw a lot of the National Air & Space Smithsonian Museum. For more photos, you can check my Flickr account in the coming days. I didn't realize how small helicopters really are!

Everything is under construction in D.C. because the busy season is over. The National Museum of American History was completely closed. Luckily there were a few items on display in the National Air & Space museum. I have to say my favorite part was all of the Christmas shopping I got done while at the Smithsonian's!

Next we walked to the Hirshhorn Sculpture garden and then the Arts & Industry building. Sadly the latter was closed so I just took photos from the outside. The Smithsonian Castle was my favorite building that I saw on this vacation. We went inside briefly and saw the tomb of James Smithson, the man who founded the Smithsonian Museums. Every building has security with X-ray machines so we didn't go in to see much of the Castle.

My dad is a huge coin buff so I thought it would be really cool to go the Bureau of Engraving & Printing. Apparently in the off season, they close at 3:30pm. We happened to arrive at 4:05pm. Oh well! Continue on to the Washington Monument and had Dan take this photo. We didn't go up into it because it was later in the day and we still had lots to see.

Since we could see it from the Washington Monument and still had time to kill before meeting up with Jen & Bill, we decided to continue on to the amazing World War II Memorial that was just completed in 2004. I can't believe how long overdue it was!

We continued on to the Lincoln Memorial where I took lots of photos. I decided to challenge myself by capturing D.C. from a very different perspective. This caught my eye.

I wish I had a pedometer while in D.C. so I could tell you we walked something crazy like 9 miles per day! On the way back, we stopped at the heart wrenching Vietnam Memorial. I couldn't believe the amount of photos, patches, letters, and stories all over the place. It definitely touched me the most of all the memorials.

We walked back to the closest metro station and then met Jen & Bill in "Chinatown." I adore this incredible "I Love Hambly" heart that Jen made for me. We had a non-stop laughter filled dinner at Clyde's Restaurant. I love how great our waiter's personality was. Not one dull moment! Thanks for an amazing night Jen!

Dan and I got on the metro, then had to run to transfer to the next metro which doors were closing before we got there. Luckily, some guy let the doors close on him which made them reopen and allow us to enter. Once we got to our stop we had to run through the station to make it to the last hotel shuttle of the night at 10:45pm! I'm so happy I ran the whole way because the driver was about to leave without us. This is the beginning of the true theme of our vacation. I hope to make some sort of album, so maybe it will be called Just Keep Running! And until my next post, I leave you with a random texture picture that I took in D.C.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Some tourist photos from D.C.

I couldn't help but share a few photos while we're here. I'm quite happy with my cliche tourist photos. The Washington Monument:

Sunrise at Oakland airport (marsh):

Inside the beautifully lit metro station:

In front of the Air & Space Museum:

I met Jen! I am so lucky to have people to meet on the East Coast. The trip is going wonderfully. Learning and seeing lots!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Norweigan by association

What's your pirate name? Take the test here.

I got the name Captain Ethel Bonney!

Friday night was Scandinavian heritage night in Redwood City. Dan's grandfather was from Norway and the Scandinavian heritage it is very dear to his family. My favorite part was the dessert so I took a lot of photos. At this table is ebelskiver.

I've had this yummy dessert before, but I had never seen Lefse made so I was excited to watch.

These women are making Rosettes. Zena said she'd teach me how to make them for Christmas this year and I can't wait!

And last because its my favorite to eat and say ,Vafler a.k.a. heart shaped waffles. Mmm yummy !I can't say enough that I LOVE dessert! Here is Gerd making vafler.

We went to see our friend Anders and say goodbye since he got a job in Minnesota. He gave us all parting super names. Here is torso women flying with Minnesota man. The first time I might Anders we sat next to each other at a concert. He is 6'4" and I am 5'9". He is all legs and I have a longer torso then him so when I sit next to him he looks really short. I got teased about this for three years.

And I couldn't help but get Dan to take another photo of me acting as Torso Woman...

Dan & I are going to be in Washington D.C. Monday-Friday so look forward to lots of photos! I'm bringing my laptop in hopes of being able to do some research while we're their.

Friday, October 19, 2007

More Halloween pages

Since I got it started, I thought I might as well keep on working on this album. I've still got plenty photos so this is another installment of pages. I scrapped a lot faster last night and I'm really happy about it.

My "corrected" diploma arrived. This time it came with my middle name on it when I made an effort to make sure it wasn't going to be on it. That was the longest 10 days I ever waited for it. ;)

Another chipboard mini album I made for etsy. I am having so much fun with my bind it all! Its 3x3 and only $3!

I watched this really funny video on Emily Falconbridge's blog and just had to share it with you. Be sure to watch the whole thing because its so funny. I am not a rummager. I'm definitely an organizer!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy 32nd Anniversary!

My parents are celebrating 32 happy years of being married today. Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

My bio layout for the EBB Design Team page

Jenna had a visit at the dentist yesterday and found out she has a "highly evolved" tooth. The molar on the top left has an extra part to it. Can you see?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A few fun things

I've mentioned in the past that my mom is big on garage sales, especially ones with any garden related treasures.While she was looking, she came across these cool treasures. Jenna got the range finder by Minolta on the left. The large box-like camera on the right is a Graflex 4x5 press camera. These were used by the "paparazzi" of the 1930's-1950's. It is missing the grain glass so it isn't working properly.

The Creative Memories stuff was at a garage sale two houses down from us. When I saw the herma dotto adhesive runner I made my mom buy it. So glad I did because I broke my pretty purple one on Tuesday!

Since I was gone to my retreat during Zena's birthday, we celebrated this past Sunday at A.Sabella's in Fisherman's Wharf. It is closing on November 4th, so it was her last visit. Her mother took her there as a child. It was a beautiful restaurant with a delicious meal. This was our view from the table.
Helen (Zena's mom) and Zena with her birthday desserts. Dan and Linda were also there but I didn't get a chance to take lots of photos. My favorite was the Crème brûlée.
On a totally unrelated note, you know you have a Taco Bell fiend in your family when your sister returns home from class at 9:30am stating that Taco Bell didn't open at 9am like they were supposed to.

Tonight I had the wonderful opportunity to chat on EBB with Wendy Anderson of Making Memories. I had so much fun asking her lots of questions about getting into the industry.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What I've Been Up To

Where have I been? Working with a really cool kit from EBB. Here is the October Appetizer kit, and this is what I did with it.

I combined a few challenges together for this one. And those black photo corners are made by me!

I embroidered the felt skull myself.

Products used:

PP: Basic Grey Obscure deviant, Bazzil cardstock, Hambly black brick overlay
chipboard: Heidi Swapp Lemonade Stand alpha , American Crafts thickers, KI Memories Love Elsie Roxie button shapes
stickers: Mary Engelbreit Red alpha ,EK Success Sticko Black alpha
stamping: Hero Arts Lower Basic alpha ,Love Elsie Riley icons
Pens: Black Glaze Pen, Zig Millenium pen
Misc: Queen & Co Black Brads ,Red ric rak ,Office Depot Admit One tickets, Cat's Eye Charcoal chalk, Making Memories Black Acrylic paint, Embroidery Floss, Basic Grey Obscure buttons,
Transparency (hand drawn skull), Felt Skull embellishment, hand embroidered by yours truly, photo corners made by yours truly

I'm super excited that I just signed up for a class with Allison Kreft of Hambly! I'm going to be making a 4x6 mini album with their new clearly heavy overlays on November 6th!

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