Grandma Came to Visit

December 31, 2010 at 10:26 am

Happy New Year’s Eve! Chad and I have fabulous plans to go out tonight while the grandparents watch the kiddos. Tomorrow is our 17th wedding anniversary, so we will be celebrating the holiday as well as the anniversary by going out to dinner, going to a comedy club for the show and midnight celebration, then spending the night in a hotel. All bets are off for food and alcohol consumption tonight! :)

But, I still feel the need to back up and try to un-blur the last few weeks. So…in order for Chad and I to have our awesome weekend in D.C., my mom came to visit for a week. The boys were so excited, plotting weeks ahead of time all the ways they were going to take advantage of her.

Of course Chewie wanted in on all the love. Please ignore the totally wrecked house in the background.

We left our little camera with Mom while we went to D.C., so she took a few photos to document their weekend.

They attempted to put together the gingerbread house that our neighbors gave the boys, but the icing didn’t turn out well, so they ended up just decorating two house-fronts instead of an actual house. It’s all good…

They also went to a PTA event and decorated gingerbread man cookies.

They talked her into taking them to the mall so she could buy them stuff (greedy, greedy kids…right before Christmas!). They know Grandma is a pushover.

She also took them to the Saturday Morning Market and to Denver Park with our neighbor Joey Z. and texted me cellphone photos of those outings.

Once we got back from D.C. Mom and I got to spend several fun, crazy days together. She helped me make bourbon balls and macaroons. She went to the gym with me twice. She and I went to a jewelry close-out sale one of my friends was having. One of my favorite things about having a grandma visiting is that someone else was around to help with homework! You know how much I hate homework.

On her last day in St. Pete she even got to go on a school fieldtrip with Mack’s class.

It was a great week with Grandma. Thanks so much, Mom! Love you.

We went to D.C.

December 30, 2010 at 2:50 pm

The past few weeks have been a blur of activity. It feels like I haven’t been able to catch my breath since I got on the plane for D.C. three weeks ago. Three weeks? Wow. I think I have to blog it all, just to un-blur it.

So, getting on the plane. They made an announcement at the gate that we would be heading to Dulles on the one and only Oprah Farewell Season plane.

Apparently, the big benefit of this is that we all were given cards on the plane with a code to allow us to go online and enter for a chance to win like a gazillion flight miles on the airline, courtesy of Oprah. Too bad I have no idea where that card is now.

When I arrived in D.C. Chad was still in meetings for work, so I had a few hours to fill. I had wanted to go for a run outside in the cold for the novelty of it, but the area our hotel was in was very industrial. There was really nowhere to run outside near the hotel. It was all highways and construction. So, only slightly daunted, I ran on the treadmill in the hotel gym. I actually did this twice while in D.C.! And it sucked both times! But I did it. Although I have been neglecting the blog the past few weeks, I have been updating my Still Running page.

Anyway, that Friday night we had dinner at Chad’s boss’ house, which was fabulous.

Then Saturday we took the hotel shuttle to the metro station (we were way out in Tyson’s Corner area) and headed into D.C. As you can tell from our attire, it was COLD. Especially to our thin Florida blood. We had a pretty long ride into the city, but we enjoyed it. I think the metro is cool. I’m such a dork. We got off at the stop for the National Mall, as it was too early for the museums and we wanted to walk a bit.

It was cold and foggy on the Mall so early in morning.

Really the first order of business was to find some breakfast. We walked quite a bit looking for the perfect place. On our quest we walked through the plaza at the Ronald Reagan building and I had to have a picture next to this cool rose sculpture.

Finally, we ended up at a great place called The Corner Bakery and had an awesome meal.

Then we headed to the Smithsonian. We really wanted to go to the National Museum of American History to see the popular culture gallery, as it had been closed the last time we were there.

We really wanted to see Archie Bunker’s chair.

It’s amazing, right? My favorite part of this museum was the exhibit of all the first lady’s inaugural gowns.

It is so cool how fashion is so evocative of an era. I took pictures of all of the gowns, they were so fascinating. Poor Chad was standing outside the gallery being bored forever, but I couldn’t get enough of the details.

Another highlight of this museum for me was seeing Julia Child’s kitchen.

I don’t know why it seems sort of freaky to me. Like a movie set after seeing Julie & Julia. I think I need more saute pans.

After the American History Museum we decided to walk by the White House before looking for lunch.

Here’s Chad with the Washington Monument and the National Christmas Tree behind him. And some scary-looking dude guarding the hideous tree, I guess.

We have always wondered why this tree is so ugly. It’s the same ugly tree every year. When you get close to it, it looks like camouflage netting thrown over a wire clothes-hanger sculpture. Is it tradition to use this ugly tree? No budget for a nicer tree? There was this huge queue to get close to this thing. Why?

Next we had lunch at Cosi, which is always good, then walked to the National Portrait Gallery, which had been recommended to us by Chad’s co-workers. The building itself is just gorgeous inside.

We didn’t have much time, so we just stuck to the contemporary gallery so we would recognize the people in the portraits. It was very cool. I took lots of pictures of the portraits, which disturbed Chad greatly (but there was no sign saying not to!), but I’m sure you are bored with this post already.

So after the portrait gallery we hopped back on the metro and headed back to the boondocks. The company Christmas party was Saturday night and it was really nice. I deviated from The Plan and had quite a few cocktails (hey, I ran on the treadmill, twice!) and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Here’s a grainy, dark cell phone photo of us from the party:

Sunday we spent a few hours shopping at Tyson’s Corner Galleria (I think that’s what it was called), a big shopping mall near our hotel, then headed to the airport to return home. It was a great weekend away for us. Thanks Grandma for watching the kids! A post about that is coming up next :)