A Travellerspoint blog

And we're back

but just so we can leave again...

How is it that it's been 2 months since our last post? I know I won't be able to include everything we've done since mid-January, but thought we should at least get something posted before we leave on the Latin America part of our journey. You know, finish one chapter before starting the next and all. Of course, I'm trying to get this done the day before we fly to Guatemala (where it's 78 degrees, BTW) and am in the midst of packing, check listing and double checking, so will provide a fly-by version of our latest adventures. Here it goes!

tshirts.jpg Tara and I decided that we HAD to go to the inauguration since we were so very close to DC and could go and stay with Ruth and Jenny. We had our plan all worked out - how we were going to get on the Mall nice and early with lots and lots of toe and hand warmers - and then Ruth called right before we left Philly to see if I wanted to be her date to the inauguration because she had an extra ticket. How could I say 'no' (I didn't, of course). There's a bunch more detail in the blog I contributed to for SFGate (see our last entry for a link), so I won't double up here. Needless to say, it was amazing, inspiring and a thrill to be a part of Obama's inauguration!swearing_in.jpg You may be able to see Tara in this one, if you look REAL hard. the_mall.jpg

Being the history buffs Tara is and I'm becoming, we couldn't leave Pennsylvania without a quick trip to Valley Forge. And as always, I learned a ton about our country and our history on our mini adventure. Who knew Valley Forge wasn't a battle site? I'm sure lots of people do, but I didn't. This is Tara squatting in the type of "shelter" the Revolutionary soldiers used while they were building log huts, in the middle of winter, barefoot. Seriously. branch_hut.jpg And this is from a church at Valley Forge - not a whole lot of separation between church and state.... soldier_praying.jpg

We also wanted to hit Baltimore before leaving the East side, so spent a day there. We visited the aquarium, where they had an incredible sting ray and turtle pool that was visible from all four floors of the aquarium. We fell in love with their sea turtle who had to have a fin amputated when he was first adopted. And no, he didn't swim in circles, surprisingly enough. turtle.jpg We also walked around the old part of Baltimore, which is really beautiful in a historic and dilapidated kind of way. missing_building.jpg

Our last weekend in Philly was spent with our good friends, Dawn and Diana and their little pumpkin, Elijah, as well as Ruth. It was great to end our time there with people we don't get to see very often. And how cute is this kid? I mean, really!0elijah.jpg

We thought our cross country trip was going to be pretty straight forward and we took I40, in order to avoid snow and storms and all. Lucky for us, we got tornadoes instead! Apparently, Oklahoma City sees a lot of tornadoes, but NEVER in February. It was no joke though - I woke up from a nap in the car to the Emergency Broadcast System instructing us to abandon our vehicle and seek shelter, immediately. We made into the east side of O.C. just in time to see one of the tornadoes that had passed on the west side of town and was not so many miles from us. tornado.jpg We decided to stop driving for the day rather than attempting to drive through the string of twisters making their way across I40 all afternoon. This is Tara outside our hotel room, taking stock of the crazy sky above. tara_sky.jpg

After a quick visit to the Bay Area, and a couple of days in the Sierras with my mom, we made our way to Portland to see Tara's family and complete our packing/planning frenzy. I did take a short trip to Arizona to see my great uncle (Bobby) and cousin (Keith) though. This is us at Roosevelt Dam. uncle_bobbie_keith.jpg And of course, while in Portland, we try to get as much time with Tara's nephews as possible, as they continue to grow at an alarming rate and we feel like we just can't keep up. Kaelan is getting taller and taller, but is still a rambunctious bucket of love with a smile to match: kaelan.jpg Rowan, on the other hand, gets a little more serious every day and his long-lasting endeavor of being the best basketball player ever is going quite well. We went to two of his games and he's out there ballin' better than any other kid on the court. rowan.jpg

And that brings us to now, which is Monday, the day before we jump on a plane for Guatemala! We'll be in there for about a month to explore and take Spanish classes before heading to Costa Rica. Eventually, we plan on hitting Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, at the very least, before coming back in August. We'll try our best to keep this blog updated during our adventures!

Lots of love,

Posted by lolokirby 06:47

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