Washington DC - Take Two

As most of you know, Tyler and I headed back to our nation's capitol last weekend since our first trip was mediocre, to say the least. This time everything was great! We were able to see/tour/do a long list of things and we had a lot of fun too. Some of our favorites were the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the State Department (definitely a secret treasure), Mount Vernon, the National Archives, the Washington Monument, the FDR and Pentagon 9/11 Memorials, the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Center (might be better than the original Air & Space Smithsonian on the National Mall), the International Spy Museum, and the DAR Headquarters & Museum (for me, not Tyler). I know it's hard to believe, but these are just the favorites, not everything we did.

Here a few photos of our little excursion for you to enjoy:

The Washington Monument

The National Cathedral

The Enterprise Space Shuttle is HUGE and soooo awesome! It's hard to describe the feeling you have standing next to a space shuttle.

SR-71, aka Jetfire from Transformers!!

Enola Gay- the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima

State Department mirror Christmas tree and flags

Mount Vernon and back porch view of the frozen Potomac

FDR Memorial

Capitol rotunda w/ the Apotheosis of Washington

The Great Hall (Library of Congress)

Arlington National Cemetery


The Nutcracker. . . .


Last nite I got all dressed up and Tyler took me out to a nice dinner and to see the Joffrey Ballet perform The Nutcracker. It was my first time seeing The Nutcracker, ever, and I absolutely loved it! Tyler may have been a little bored, but he gets the 'Best Husband Award' for sitting through it quietly with me :)

Photos courtesy of www.joffrey.org

I think my favorite part was the Waltz of the Flowers because I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time waiting to hear that familiar music which, to me, is the sound of The Nutcracker. I also liked the pas de deux with the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker Prince, the Chinese dance and the Russian dance- but I really just loved it all!!

Happy Christmas!



JayBay let me do an impromptu photo shoot with them the evening before I flew back to the polar north (I think the high in Chicago today was 13 degrees). The photos were taken at Sunset Beach.

I wanted to capture what they really look/act like 90% of the time. Success.

Groms.... for sure.

The sand was Jay's idea. She's definitely a water-baby.


My fav- and how they really look 90% of the time :)

I love these two little kiddos, even though they are light years behind the rest of us chillons, and I am so glad I got to spend a week hanging out with them!! Shnigs!!


The Aina

On my last day in Hawaii, Mo and I headed up to The Point to see if we could see any whales passing by, but it was so windy and the water was so rough that we just watched the waves crash onto Rainbow Rock over and over again instead. We saw some pretty awesome spray and I snapped a few good photos, even though I was almost blown away standing on the edge of The Point.

Later in the day I headed up to Pipeline and Sunset with the chillons to see the surf. The break was quite a ways from shore so I didn't get many good photos- just a few pics of some surfers on the beach, who just looked so Hawaii-esque!

Laie Hawaii Temple

My trip to Hawaii over Thanksgiving break got me there just in time for the Laie Hawaii Temple re-dedication. The temple has been closed for nearly 2 years for some badly needed renovations (it was originally built in 1919), but the work is finally done and the temple is, of course, exquisite.

The front entrance is my new favorite part of the temple, though I do love the painting of Waimea Falls in the lobby and the gold trim on the outside is a charming addition.