A Travellerspoint blog

We have landed

finally!

After 2 weeks of driving, hotel hopping and chain restaurants, we have landed in Washington, D.C. in our new neighborhood - Dupont Circle. And we LOVE it! But first, what led up to getting here...
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This is our "kitchen" in our hotel room in Waldorf. We stayed in this mini mansion for 6 days while waiting for our apartment in the big city to become available. Thanks to Yelp, we discovered a fantastic BBQ joint called Famous Dave's - they have 6 different sauces and we went there twice. And while Waldorf doesn't have much to offer other than strip malls, we managed to have a fantastic time on adventures outside of the city limits.

alexandria_.jpg Our first excursion landed us in Alexandria, VA. We actually headed there to try an Oyster bar, but alas, it was closed on Mondays and we clearly hadn't read the fine print online. So we wandered the quaint brick laden sidewalks, perusing menu after menu, growing weaker by the moment until we found an almost too cute French restaurant with a huge outside patio. We enjoyed our chilled white wine, bread, and entrees immensely and kept saying "Seriously? Is this our life? It is!"

living_wall.jpg The next day, Tara did her tour guide/house wife duties and had another trip all planned by the time she picked me up from work. We headed out to Fort Washington with fresh salads, white wine (am I sensing a pattern here?) and bug spray in tow. We got to the national park and it was HOT. Seriously, I don't usually sweat very much and I was drenched by the time we left. Fort Washington is a fort that was built on the edge of the Potomac in order to protect DC in the 1800's. We missed the tour, but it was incredible from the outside too. stairs_to_nowhere.jpg After our picnic, we cruised around the grounds, saw some deer (with unusually long tails that they flipped around like puppies) and got back in the car as the sun was reflecting off the river. Yes, this is our life right now! matchy_matchy.jpg fort_washi.._sunset.jpg

And THEN we went to D.C. the next night to pick up the keys to the apartment and so Tara could try playing with a women's league. Her potential teammates kept saying, "We've never had such an aggressive goalie!" Surprised? We decided to eat in Arlington, VA so we actually had a chance of finding a parking spot. Although we had planned on trying a middle eastern place, we were quickly drawn into Freddie's Beach Bar and Cafe, primarily because it was the most colorful, gay establishment we had ever laid eyes on in such a "normal" looking neighborhood. They were out of the Pinot Grigio we wanted, and of course, we wanted white, so had to go with their only other choice: Chardonnay. I know. freddies.jpg The best part, it was Bingo night, which was run by two very large and loud drag queens. After so much time in middle America, it was great to be surrounded by our people again. The worst part: everyone was smoking. Blech.

Okay, so NOW we're in our apartment. Although thrilled to be in our place finally, we had a lot to do cleaning and organizing-wise. The previous tenant was a slob and we suspect whoever the landlord hired to clean never actually showed up. Check out the amount of lint we found in the lint trap in the dryer. Who doesn't clean a lint trap?giant_lint.jpg But whatever, we like knowing our place is clean, so doing it ourselves isn't the end of the world, and look how cute it is:apartment.jpg We think we may have gone down in square footage from our last place, but it's more than adequate for the two of us. At least it's a junior bedroom instead of a studio. Someday, we'll live in a place where we don't have to "bedroom" in quotes... Our favorite part so far: the neighborhood. We can't get over how perfect it is. We've walked everywhere (in shorts and T-shirts at 11 at night) and the Sunday farmer's market is 2 and a 1/2 blocks away (although it's way over-priced). There are always a ton of other people out and about and we have a very long list of things to do in the next 12 weeks. We're sure it's going to fly by!

Posted by lolokirby 08:50 Archived in USA Tagged business_travel Comments (0)

Greetings

from the other side

ohio_barn.jpgAdmittedly, we don't have a lot of pictures from our drive across the country, mainly because we were pretty careful not to get out of the car when not necessary. We did, however, generate several lists regarding Middle America...

Middle America has an abundance of:
[*]white people
[*]corn
[*]semi trucks
[*]amazing lightning storms
[*]water towers
[*]large margaritas (served complete with an olive - yes, an olive- and a shaker 2/3 full with the "rest" of the margarita)
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[*]cows
[*]canned mushrooms
[*]pro-Jesus, anti-gay signs
[*]XXX adult stores
[*]american cheese
[*]potatoes
[*]humidity
[*]salt (see picture of Tara's swollen ankles due to intake of said salt)

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Middle America does not have a whole lot of:
[*]toilet seat covers (none sighted from Wyoming to Ohio)
[*]diversity (in people and food)
[*]rest stops when you need them
[*]Yelp representation
[*]fuel efficient vehicles
[*]and, quite frankly, a sense of humor

Reaching Chicago basically ended the list making, as we felt as we had finally reached some semblance of our reality. We stopped in Pullman, a southern suburb of Chicago that was originally erected by George Pullman in 1881 in an effort to create an ideal city. We won't bother you with all the details, but google it if interested because it really is fascinating, in the nerdiest way possible. In a nut shell, Pullman tried to create a Pleasantville of sorts, but it all fell apart following the Depression and a railroad strike. The original buildings are still there and people live in what once was the "colonial townhouses and apartments", "executive apartments" and quarters for the "craftsman". The picture below is of the colonial apartments on the edge of the "market square".
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So, 2,800 and something miles later, we have touched down in Waldorf, Maryland where I will be starting my contract on Monday. My company is putting us up in a La Quinta 'till August 1st, when our apartment in D.C. is available. It's certainly not as exciting to land in a hotel for a week, but it's got a fridge, air conditioning, and internet, so I think we'll survive.
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Posted by lolokirby 03:27 Archived in USA Tagged gay_travel Comments (0)

Day...?

Starting to lose track

trell_rowan_bball.jpgThe days are starting to blend together and we're having a lot of those "Was that just this morning?" moments. It's been great, though, spending some quality time with Tara's family, whether it's been playing soccer/tennis/basketball with the boys (not at the same time), chowing down on some summer grub in Trell's backyard, or doing handy work around Peggy and Michael's new house. Tonight's our last night in Portland and we'll be hitting the road early, early tomorrow to head to the big D to the C.

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Posted by lolokirby 23:26 Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Day 4

and accident free!

dinner_in_the_garden.jpgWe made it up to my parents' house in Sierra City without running the giant truck off the road or across the tiny highway into another car! AND we almost got all of our stuff into one storage unit. That's what we should have pictures of - leaning towers of boxes, tools, snowboards and laundry hampers - but instead we have the fun ones. After unloading that truck, we spent the evening on the couch, slept in this morning, figured out how to get ALL of our stuff back into the car, and then had dinner and went for a boat ride on Sardine Lake with my mom. We also made a pit stop at the falls that feed Sardine where we scattered Zach's ashes (my little brother who died when I was 10). It was great to spend some time up there before hitting the road again. We head to Portland tomorrow to see Tara's family and do some tax-free shopping! IMG_0644.jpg IMG_0624.jpg

Posted by lolokirby 03:21 Tagged boating Comments (2)

Day 1

Not exactly how we wanted the day to start...

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So, we got up early Monday morning and picked up our truck. Originally, we had reserved a 16-footer, but down sized to a 12-foot beast. However, when we picked up the actual truck, it was 16 feet long. We thought maybe that was a good thing, since we actually had A LOT of stuff and didn't know that it could fit into the smaller one. So it's all good. We drove to Shawna's shop, picked up Tara's extremely heavy, but very hip, old school Pepsi machine and headed to the house. I pulled up after grabbing some breakfast and Tara was standing in the driveway, arms hanging at her sides, staring out at the street with a very, very sad look on her face. Apparently, when they say 16 feet, they mean it. Tara thought she had plenty of room when she pulled into the spot in front of the house, but no. The rear bumper of the truck clipped our neighbor's car. Really, not how we imagined our day starting out. It really sucked, and Tara felt really crappy. Of course, now it's all fine, following calls to the insurance company and advice from my dad/attorney. And you know what? We really did need all 16 feet after all...

Posted by lolokirby 05:00 Tagged packing Comments (1)

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