Saturday, March 15, 2014

Happy 6th

Today Matthew and I celebrate 6 years of marriage! Most of our celebrating was done earlier in the week in D.C. (we've decided trips for special occasions are the best). So today we went to an old favorite restaurant of ours, Chili's. We really missed having one of these close by when we lived in Seattle. It is one of the redeeming qualities of Rochester. We even ate for practically free since we used some of our Discover Card cash back bonus on a gift card! Here's to many more years, many more travels and great food along the way!

Friday, March 14, 2014

E Takes D.C.

For Spring Break, Matthew and I decided we needed another adventure and headed to Washington D.C. for a few days. A few weeks before our trip I realized that my cousin and his family live right outside D.C. so I asked if we could come visit and they happily took us in!

Matthew and I love traveling and we are hoping to infuse that love into E, so we are starting early! It has been about 10 years since I was last in D.C. and Matthew has never been, so we were excited to explore!
E's 1st road trip!
We wanted to leave fairly early because we knew we would have to stop every 3 hours or so to feed our tiny human. Lucky for us the weather was great so we had no delays. E did fantastic traveling! This makes us so excited for continued travel.

E took the wheel for a bit
With Dad's help of course

When we arrived on Friday, we spent the evening talking with Yvette (Aaron was still on his flight back from Utah).

Saturday morning Matthew, E and I headed out to the D.C. Temple. Since Matthew had never been to this specific temple and I had, we decided that I would hang out with E in the Visitor's Center while Matthew participated in an endowment session. The Visitor's Center was pretty cool. There were several interactive displays including a room playing videos about the experiences of several different missionaries that participated in a YouTube video series called The District. I actually had recently watched this series, so it was kind of cool to follow-up with what has happened since they returned home.

While we were waiting for Matthew, E and I also took a walk around the temple grounds and took pictures. I think we got some good shots! It was a little chilly, but otherwise beautiful day!

After Matthew finished the session, we headed over to Antique Row in Kensington, MD to have lunch with our friends Andrea and Yandary (Matthew and I know Yandary from our days the the 38th Ward in SLC and Andrea and I took some college courses together when we attended the U of U). We had lunch and then enjoyed some good ole antique window shopping.

We got a kick out of Yandary's
phone case
We spent the rest of our afternoon and evening hanging out with Aaron, Yvette and their three Mouseketeers. We went to the park and E experienced her first swing ride. Then we had an awesome dinner of Chicken Cordon Bleu that Yvette prepared and stayed up talking and playing a few games of Mario Kart that Aaron managed to set up on his Mac.

Sunday we went to church and again spent time with Aaron, Yvette and the family. Yvette's sister Katherine and her family even joined us for dinner (Katherine stayed with my family in Vegas for a few months a few years back).

Monday is when the real tourism began. Yvette dropped us off at the train station and we took a train to The National Mall. At the top of Matthew's list to visit was the National Archive to see the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

After the National Archive we decided to find ourselves some grub. We used our handy dandy Yelp app and found a restaurant that focused on healthy eating with and Indian flare. It was yummy!

After lunch we headed towards the Air and Space Museum. Wow, there was so much to see. We could have spent the whole day, maybe even week in that museum alone. There was so much to see. We started off by looking at early missiles, the Hubble Telescope, old astronaut suits and lots of other space displays. While Matthew was reading up on the Hubble Telescope I went to give me feet a break and another family was gathering near me. First a grandfather came and sat down next to me and then a dad with his daughter. The dad was tickling his daughter and allowing her to hang on him. When he put her down she hopped into her grandfather's lap and let out a big sigh. Then I said something about it being hard work to be carried around and tickled. The grandfather and dad laughed and it started up a conversation. They asked how old E was and then they explained their family lived all over the U.S. and had gathered in D.C. to spend time together. After asking where they were all coming from they asked a few questions about where we were from and we soon realized that we were both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's cool to find how small the world really is.

These three pictures were from the entrance of the museum:

Apollo 11 Command

 An Assortment of rockets that were a part of the "Space Race"

The Hubble (test) Telescope
A collaborative mission between the US and Russia called
Apollo-Soyuk Test Project resulted in 2 spacecrafts
docking together in space for 2 days to allow US and Russian
crews to conduct experiments together
The black screen is a solar panel

Early astronaut suits:

Apollo Lunar Module (#2)

After the space tour we headed towards the Wright Brothers' display and then to the display of American Flight history. It was fun to see all the old school planes and learn about where these historic pilots/inventors came from and how their adventures/ideas unfolded.

1903 Wright brothers' glider

Lindbergh plane

As we were exploring the museum E got hungry, so I found a less crowded spot and nursed. While I was nursing there was an announcement over the PA system saying that the museum was closing. I didn't want to interrupt the feeding and because I was using the Moby wrap to nurse I was able to walk out while nursing! It was kind of cool and I know Matthew was impressed.

After E finished eating we walked to the Capitol. Matthew insisted we try to get in, but once we got closer and saw the stairs blocked off, I convinced him that it was impossible. After the Capitol we headed back to the train and our gracious hosts' home for the night.

The Train Station
Tuesday morning we first stopped off at Aaron's work because he said he could bring us to the roof for a view of the city. It was an great view, but would have been better if it was a clearer day. We spent the rest of the day visiting all the memorials we could get to. I think we may have made it to all of them, at least the most well known ones anyway. On the way back to Aaron and Yvette's home, Matthew and I stopped at Chick-fil-A for a late night dinner. I had never been before and boy have I been missing out, it was so good!

View from the roof of Aaron's work:

US Marine Corps Memorial:

View of Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial from
US Marine Corps Memorial


Washington Monument:
It was closed, otherwise we would
have gone in
World War II Memorial:

There were different scenes like this around the whole memorial

 Vietnam War Memorial:

Lincoln Memorial:

This is a view from the backside of the memorial. The
Potomac River was the border between North and
South during the Civil War
Earlier in the day, while we were wandering around, Matthew got a text from a friend back in Rochester saying we should check the weather before traveling back home in the morning. When we took a look at it we realized that a blizzard was headed towards Rochester. We talked with Aaron and Yvette about it and they told us that we were welcome to stay another day it we didn't feel it was safe to drive. We decided we would wait until the morning to decide.

 Korean War Memorial:

DC War Memorial:

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial:

The quote on the memorial says, "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." I love how they set up this memorial to visually represent this quote!

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial:

  Thomas Jefferson Memorial:
This is a view from the MLK Memorial
This is a view from near the FDR Memorial

If you look closely you can see the Washington Monument,
the Capitol building and the Jefferson Memorial
The Capitol and Jefferson Memorial
Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial

A beautiful sunset:

View from the Jefferson Memorial
When we got up on Wednesday, Matthew checked his weather app and learned that not only would it be snowing in the Rochester area, but there was a high wind advisory almost the entire drive back. Needless to stay we decided to stay in DC one more day. We hung out in the morning doing laundry. Yvette and I went to the park with the girls while Matthew did some homework.

Yvette practically forced us to go to lunch (for our anniversary) and leave E with her. It was the first time we left E with anyone else and we missed her, but we really enjoyed the food. We went to a Greek restaurant that Yvette suggested called Plaka Grill. Matthew got the Moussaka and I got a Gyro. It was spectacular. They had the best calamari that I have ever had, the dipping sauce that they make to go with it was amazing! For dessert we decided to go the non-traditional route and get something other than Baklava. We got this yummy pastry called Galaktoboureko. It is an orange custard wrapped in phyllo.

That afternoon Matthew and I watched the girls while Aaron and Yvette went to look at a house. It was fun to watch the girls ogle over E and dance with Matthew. He was so good with them. It makes me excited for E to get bigger so I can hear her giggle and dance with her daddy.

When Aaron and Yvette returned we helped all the girls to bed and stayed up talking about this, that and the other thing for a bit. It was really fun to spend time with them. Matthew and I both agree that the best part of our trip was the time we spent with them.