Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Day to Celebrate, A Day to Reflect, A Day to Rejoice...

When Christie and I started out on our trip it was with purpose. One year previous her daddy suddenly passed away on her 31st birthday.  The day had started out in celebration, filled with fun texts back and forth and pictures on Facebook, then at 3:30p.m. I had to call my darling daughter to tell her that her daddy had died. I had to call both of my girls.  It was a call that I dreaded. I was not left alone from the time that he died until family arrived.  Everything was a blur after that and it is a blessing that I had wonderful people around me to help. The outpouring of love from my neighbors I can never repay, only pay it forward. 
Dave and his infectious smile

Dave and I had a plan. That plan was for me to retire in December and we were to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC in April.  I vowed that I would keep that promise. I bought my motorhome in November and haven't looked back. 
Isabella "Izzy" my motorhome

This year when late March arrived Christie and I loaded up the dogs and headed east to be in Washington for her Birthday which happened to fall on Easter this year.

Think about it.  Easter, the most holy day of the year. You are celebrating the Risen Lord, your dad's first year in heaven and your birthday all in one day. WOW! Who can say that?
Tulips blooming in the Bishops Garden

We got up and dressed and made our way to the Cathedral only to find that we had to have tickets to get in.  No where on the website did I see where I had to order tickets for Easter Services. Well bummer.  Christie and I took time to walk around the Cathedral. It is strikingly beautiful and built in the old masters ways.  Part of it was under repair due to the damage done to it by the earthquake several years before.  The gardens were beautiful and a delight to walk through.

We then found a wonderful place for an Easter brunch at Chad's Friendship Heights. The table covering was butcher paper and I drew a birthday
Happy street art
cake for Christie.  We started with an appetizer of fresh pita and hummus with a birthday celebratory drink of Samoans. She had smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese with bagels and I had corned beef hash and poached eggs.

Fresh made pita and hummus
Smoked Salmon with Cream
 cheese capers and bagels
After our meal our waiter brought Christie a beautiful blueberry cobbler with hand churned vanilla ice cream bought by him for her birthday treat.  How sweet of him! I guess he was paying attention while I drew her cake on the table. We even saw the Easter Bunny. He gave me a hug when I went back in to get my cane which I was constantly leaving behind.  
Poached eggs with hash
 and potatoes

We went to the Tidal Basin to see if the Cherry Blossoms had started to open.  After searching high and low, we only found one.
No Cherry Blossoms were open

The only Cherry Blossom that was open

We then visited the         Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial which is quite large and the Martin Luther King Memorial which was very impressive. 

 President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Waiting in the soup line during the
Great Depression

The look of despair on the faces of men
who once had everything

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

One of many of King's quotes
at the memorial
After seeing more sites of Washington we went to Franklin's for dinner.  The old general store is over 100 years old, the restaurant is much newer. We started with an appetizer of wings, Christie had pulled pork and I had bacon wrapped meatloaf. 

Pulled Pork, slaw and fries

Bacon wrapped meat loaf,
sweet potatoes,
 Italian green beans

I picked up several gifts for the boys for Christmas which is a good thing.  The only person I have to shop for is my son-in-law this year. 

I wanted my daughter's birthday to be filled with special memories of a beautiful day meant just for her.  I think I succeeded.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Checking Out DC...Ahoy There, Who Goes..

I've been a little remiss in posting my stories, as so much has been going on. Behind I am on photo editing and it is getting the best of me. However, I will persevere and get it done. 

Saturday arrived 4/4/2015, Christie and I had decided to go explore DC. After our morning chores, walking the dogs, picking up poop and knocking off five ticks that had started to crawl up onto Christie's legs...yes, I said the dreaded T word, we secured the dogs, buttoned up Izzy and departed for downtown DC.  

The mission...to find the Washington National Cathedral.
One of the gargoyles is the head of Darth Vader.  
Darth Vader Gargoyle
The rest of DC was built over a swamp. Hetty our Garmin decided to take us the longest way through the most interesting neighborhoods which Christie and I found to be well, interesting...a conglomeration of humanity.  
The architecture was fascinating. We even passed by Embassy Row and saw the Canadian Embassy. The Saudi Ambassadors Residence
Saudi Arabian Ambassador Residence
was a little ostentatious in my estimation. 

On the way to the Cathedral we went by the Navy Ship Yard, there were several destroyers in dry dock being worked on. Boy those are some big ships. My dad was a Navy man and always had a
In for service
healthy respect for those ships after almost being washed overboard during a storm one time. He said that is why you always wore your storm equipment and snapped your safety lines to the railings when you went outside. 

After finding the Cathedral we decided to go to Annapolis where the Navy teaches young men and women to be future leaders in our military. It is an amazing complex situated on the Chesapeake Bay 123 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Annapolis has one of the oldest State houses in the country, left over
The oldest State House in America
from the American Revolution
One of the many boat moorings
                                                            and still being used.  

We wandered about taking in the sights and sounds of Annapolis and discovered there was a tour boat about to leave so we scurried...ha! More like a fast as
Ah, a good cup of Joe!

 I can mosey, to the boat, paid our fee and boarded and found a seat. It was quite a history lesson and a nice but brisk ride. Going out the wind was in our favor but coming 
Sea Gull looking for a handout
back...I had to head below or be blown away. We managed to get some nice pictures as we toured the inlet and even saw the channel marker where George
Washington's ship got stuck on a sand bar and he had to spend the night aboard until high tide the next morning before the ship could float off before making it into the harbor. It now is home to an Osprey nest. We saw some cadets out on the water in their sailboat doing maneuvers. 
Future leaders honing their sailing skills!

Amazing the history in these places...if the boardwalks could only talk and the taverns as well. One of the taverns was over 200 years old.  Oh the
265 year old tavern, oh the stories...
stories those walls were the secret keepers of. 

We spied Alex Haley, author of "Roots" reading to some children.  Haley was a favorite son of Annapolis.
Area dedicated to Alex Haley
As the sun faded into the west,
Time to head back to DC
we headed back into DC to find a place for dinner. Christie searched one of her apps and found a place called Duke's Grocery which is a British Restaurant which is inspired on an East London hangout offering farm fresh cuisine and craft cocktails.  Actually it is a small hole in the wall yuppie bar, but
The awesome burger, double decker!
the food was outstanding. I would defiantly give it a 5 star rating for food and atmosphere. 

After Dukes we walked back to the car where Christie managed to snag a handicap spot and we left to view DC at night.  We went over to the WWII memorial where she went and got some pictures of the memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, Korean Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. I was done for so she parked me and did the sight seeing. I would have loved to have seen it, but it will have to wait until the next trip.
Oklahoma Representation at WWII Memorial

Pacific Theatre Representation at WWII Memorial

Dusk at the WWII Memorial

Center Fountain at WWII Memorial

Vietnam Memorial and Washington Monument
Soldiers carefully walking the rice paddies at
the Korean Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial

We made our way back home to Izzy, did our nightly routine and hit the hay. It was almost celebration time...the countdown was on...sweet dreams, sweet 
baby girl...