19 January 2009

Washington DC Prepares for the Inauguration

As a few of you may have heard, there's going to be an HISTORIC EVENT in Washington DC on January 20th. I have no desire to fight the cold and the crowds, but did want to see the city all set up for the inauguration. I rode into work with Kent last week (it's about a 40 minute drive when traffic co-operates) and we went to see where the inauguration will take place. Everything around the capitol building was blocked off so we couldn't get too close, but we still got some pretty good pictures. One thing you can't see too well are the thousands of chairs that are set up.

But as you'll note from the last few pictures posted here, what we mostly saw EVERYWHERE in the city was porta-potties. Rows and rows of them in every open field. (insert corny joke here--"There's going to be a really big POTTY in DC this week.") I've read there are over 3,000 porta potties, and that's still only about one porta-potty per 500 people who are expected to be in DC for the inauguration. See why I don't want to be there? At least the temperatures have warmed up to the 30's today; it was only in the teens on Friday. Kent has inauguration day off from work-all federal employees do--since most of the roads into DC will be closed on Tuesday.

And in terms of history being made, our family chipped away at the Berlin wall back in 1989, so we've had our turn at being present when history was being made. That's pretty hard to top.

This is the stand where the swearing in will take place.

09 January 2009

All Together at Christmas

This sums up the week, Baby's first Christmas
our trip to DC started out with a visit to Arlington Cemetery.
with a stop at the tomb of Unknown Soldiers
Then a stop by the White House Christmas Tree

ending up at the DC Temple, to see the lights

The lights were beautiful. Unfortunately rain cut the visit short.

The next day we went to get family pictures taken. Some of the results are below

Kiera, the star of the week
The whole gang.

Russ, the newest family member, and Adrianne

The "first couple"

01 January 2009

Christmas Time in Historic Virginia

Living overseas for so many years has made us into tourists; we like to go out and see the sights.
There was always lots to see during the Christmas season in Europe, but there are many historic sights that are daytrips from where we live in Virginia, too.

Kent and I have spent most of our weekends and holidays working around the house, but in December I did get out to see Mount Vernon (about 45 minutes drive north) and Colonial Williamsburg (about 2 hours south) decorated for Christmas. Since they were historic sights, to be authentic the decorations used all natural materials. Not quite as fun as a Christmas market, but still pretty cool!


The front of Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon reproduced in gingerbread by a former White
House pastry chef. It's on display in the visitor's center at

I didn't remember that George Washington was buried in this tomb on the grounds of Mount Vernon.

Just wanted to remember I was there at Christmas time!


This lady is blowing a bubble pipe, but I mostly was taking
a picture of the decorations. The pineapple was on many of the homes since it was a symbol of welcome in colonial times.

Each wreath on the doors of the different shops
reflected the business inside. This wreath was on the shoemaker's shop, and had a shoe on it. I thought it was fun the way raw cotton was used to look like snow.

Apparently a Jewish home.

On the door of the music shop

These decorations won a prize. You can't see them
very well, but there were fresh apples in the niches in the bricks on the wall.