A Travellerspoint blog

A new year

and even more new adventures!

You would think 11-degree weather would be conducive to blogging, since I can stay inside, stay warm and blog away, but no. No, Tara and I have actually found a way to brave the usually-below-35-degree weather to continue our adventures! And since it's been so long, we're going to try doing this just like last time: a lot of pictures and short explanations. Perfect for all you busy bodies out there! As always, we miss you all and can't wait to see everyone again! (We'll be in the Bay Area Feb. 16th-20th (ish) and then heading to N. CA and Portland before flying to Guatemala on March 10th.) Enjoy!

Army Navy football game 2008: apparently, this annual game is not to be missed. It was even listed in our 1000 things in the US to see before you die, but perhaps not so much for the excitement of it all, but for the cultural experience. I've never been surrounded by so many military people... While entertaining in perhaps, oh, 60 degrees, not so much in 25. First time I've seen Bush in person, and Tara and I were the ONLY people not clapping for him. *awkward*

A big end-of-the-year highlight was a visit from Aaron and Jeorgea in December! They came and stayed with us for a couple of nights and we tried to show some of Philly's finest highlights, including the Italian Market IMG_1530.jpg in South Philly and Philadelphia Magic Garden, a mosaic-ed house and garden. IMG_1542.jpg IMG_0354.jpg The same artist, Isaiah Zagar, has over 100 pieces covering walls and buildings all over Philadelphia. They're pretty easy to spot! We also took the kids to our local watering hole, known for its strong drinks and giant TVs (it's our favorite place to watch football). This is Aaron teaching Jeorgea a few pool moves. DC_and_Philly_121.jpg

As Christmas neared, a church on the other side of our block created a manger, complete with live animals. We stopped by pretty often, promising the cuties they'd be sent back to open ranges soon enough and reminding them to cuddle on these cold Philly nights. Gotta love the urban backdrop! Philly_chu..als_011.jpg

I worked Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, so we hung out in Philadelphia for the day. After a conference call with the family to open gifts, Tara and I set out to find a covered bridge in Fairmont Park. Didn't find the bridge, but found Rittenhouse Town, a super old town with cute buildings and some kind of history... Fairmount_..day_002.jpg

So this may be my favorite weekend in Philadelphia so far. Well, next to today anyways. Tara and I decided we needed to go somewhere since we had the whole weekend and only a handful left until our departure. It was a toss up between Baltimore and Atlantic City. I don't know how Atlantic City won, but it did, so we loaded up a bag and took off. Oh, before leaving the house, I found a pretty cheap hotel room at a place with a (supposed) amazing view of the water and bay. So we get there, and it's windy and pretty foggy. Well, really foggy. We checked into the hotel and requested a room on the highest floor we could get, you know, for the view and all. It was amazing! Check it out! Atlantic_C..-08_003.jpg An amazingly solid wall of fog! We could've been on the ground floor for all the fog. Sometimes, we're just that good. The rest of the evening in AC was fun and a bit of a trip. This west coast girl is definitely not used to the east coast shore, or a strip of casinos lining it. Atlantic_C..-08_013.jpg Atlantic_C..-08_010.jpg

The next morning we decided we weren't done exploring, but plenty done with Atlantic City, so we headed to 2 battlefields, one in NJAtlantic_C..-08_029.jpg and one in Brandywine, PA,IMG_1577.jpg then to a craft fair, finishing off with a bit of really heavenly wine tasting at a visually breathtaking, but don't take a breath 'cause it stinks to high heaven, winery. Atlantic_C..-08_041.jpg

New Year's in Philadelphia is a big deal. First there's the fireworks New Year's Eve, which Tara and I miraculously made it to, considering it was 18 degrees with a wind chill of 2 degrees. We watched the explosions from a battleship docked on the Jersey side of the Delaware river. Freezing, but fun, and glad we did it. New_Year_08-09_004.jpg New Year's Day is the real attraction in Philly. In fact, there was a bunch of ruckus about some Mummers' Parade possibly being cancelled due to city budget cuts. Mummers? you say. Seriously, who knew about these guys? Apparently, a long time ago, a bunch of working class guys wanted to celebrate New Year's Day in a whacky way so put some dresses on and walked down Broad Street to City Hall. It quickly became tradition and now it's a Philly must see. It's very competitive, complex and was a little hard to figure out, but basically there's 3 divisions of Mummers: those who march all wearing the same dress/bloomers and gold shoes, IMG_1587.jpg IMG_1592.jpg those who wear fancier costumes relating to some kind of theme and belong to a string band that competes at the end of the parade,IMG_1596.jpg and the Fancy Brigade, a dance group who relies more on their props than their dance moves to win the evening contest. New_Year_08-09_055.jpg Talk about a cultural experience! Overall, the Fancy Brigade wasn't as entertaining as it was fascinating. We didn't have tickets, but happened to score some from a guy in line who had extras. He gave them to us for free, provided we promised to cheer loudest for his son's group, which came on last, lucky for us (note: sarcasm).

(We're almost to the end!)

Last weekend, we went to see Aaron and Jeorgea in Brooklyn for one last visit before the big Latin America adventure. We got to their place just as it started to snow, so our weekend was full of snow, slush and icy coldness, but just weatherwise. Otherwise it was full of warmth and love 'cause that's how we roll with the little brother and his girl. We took a short walk through Central Park in the snow (a first for me - to see the park at all), P1010009.jpg including a pit stop at Tavern on the Green where they had giant animals sculpted from shrubs. P1010013.jpg Hello, Edward Scissorhands! We also stopped at a cute little bar for a liquid jacket and even hit Burger Joint, the best little hidden burger joint in town!

That brings us to today. Oh, today was a really good day! Today, we rolled out of bed, once again braved the cold and got to see Barack and Michelle roll by on their way to D.C. I won't go into too much detail here because you can read more on SF Gate's blog that I'm writing for. Here's the site: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/inauguraljourney/index? I think I emailed the link to the pictures to most of my email contacts, but if you're someone I missed, let me know and I'll send it to you too. We had a really good time, met some wonderful people and even got interviewed by a local paper. Here were some highlights of the day: P1010002.jpg 11 degrees registered on the car thermometer. Yessss! IMG_1631.jpg Our new friends, Vannessa and Mike, who we plan on having apple martinis with before leaving PA. IMG_1663.jpg The man of the hour, and Michelle's arm! We cried.

And how can you not finish off an awesome Philly morning without a cheese steak? You're right, you just can't. We tried a new place called Gooey Louie's and I can just bet you'll figure out where the name came from. IMG00113.jpgIMG00114.jpg

Here we are! 3 weeks left in the big little city of Philadelphia. Tomorrow is a very big day, for the Eagles play the Cardinals and should Philadelphia pull through, the streets will be filled with gay laughter and glee. Should they lose, the streets will most likely run green with true Philadelphian blood. Either way, it's going to be a sight to see. So, my friends, even though the picture is in reference to baseball, I leave you with this very Philadelphian sentiment: Fly, Eagles fly! and... IMG_1532.jpg

Much love,
L & T

Posted by lolokirby 14:56 Archived in USA Comments (0)

From hot to freezing in 3 weeks flat

the end of d.c., the beginning of philly and a little portland in between

We're not in sweltering D.C. anymore Toto. No, we're definitely in cold, chilly, windy, sometimes sunny, but usually nippy Philadelphia. Didn't we claim, swear, insist that we would NOT spend three months on the East Coast in the winter? Yes, I think we did. And here we are...

BUT it's not all that bad. We're spending more time indoors now, but it works out 'cause Tara's nearing the end of another term and has a lot of school work on her plate. We're also trying to shed some of those D.C. "let's-eat-out-every-night-because-it's-beautiful-out" pounds, so are cooking at home and hitting the gym more too. Plus our apartment is awesome, so being home is super comfy.

I guess this entry is another attempt at catching up since it's been over a month since our last. On the menu: our last bike ride, new york and the first penitentiary ever built. Enjoy!

IMG_1391.jpg This is from our last really nice weekend in D.C. Tara and I hit the Maine Fish Market and bought as much as we could carry home, including a giant crab leg, a dozen oysters, a lobster tail, and a pound of tiger prawns. These little guys were awfully cute, and Tara may have ate some, but we let 'em be.IMG_1387.jpg IMG_1388.jpg

We wanted to see Mt. Vernon before we left the D.C. area, so we jumped on our bikes, which were packed down with food, drinks and extra clothing, and made the 14-mile ride there. Once we got to Mt. Vernon, we tooled around the estate, but skipped going into his house because the line was monstrous. My favorite part: talking to the sheep. PA190033.jpg
Tell you what, it was cold on the way there, but the 2nd 14 miles were MUCH colder. Here's one of Tara freezing as the sun set over the Potomac.PA190041.jpgPA190038.jpg

The rest of the time in D.C. was spent packing and getting ready to vacate our little junior one bedroom. Tara left a couple of days before myself to help her sister move from L.A. to Portland and I took advantage of one last day of sunshine to go on MY last bike ride to Rock Creek Park. Rock Creek is similar to Golden Gate and they too, close off some of the main roads for bicyclists, pedestrians and rollerbladers. This is Boulder Bridge, just a short ride into the park.IMG_1439.jpg

Tara and I met up in Portland, hung out with the nephews, parents, and siblings for a bit. We got to go trick-or-treating with the boys, who were, of course, ridiculously adorable. See?IMG00066.jpg But I have to say, I think Rudy the dog stole the show in the lobster outfit Tara and I got him. How funny is that? And he was such a good sport about it!IMG00064.jpg

After Portland, we hit New York for a little less than a week and got to visit with Aaron and Jeorgea, as well as Dawn, Diana and the one, the only, Elijah! IMG_1454.jpg We also did some touristy stuff - went to Tiffany's, watched some breakdancing and walked around Harlem. These guys are the New York All Stars. It's too bad we didn't get video of them 'cause they could sure dance!IMG_1465.jpgIMG_1477.jpg

AND THEN, Philadelphia! We arrived pretty late on a Saturday night, but were VERY happy to 1. find a parking spot in front of our new place and 2. discover our place was as good as we had hoped. It's huge! And yes, we actually have a bedroom and it's NOT in quotes. Sweet! Here's our building: IMG00078.jpg I'll try to remember to take pictures of the interior and post those soon too.

The first weekend we were here, we joined in on the Prop 8 protest at City Hall. It wasn't huge, but pretty impressive for a smaller city. The energy was fantastic and it was great to be able to be a part of a protest even though we're not actually in CA. IMG_1479.jpg IMG_1481.jpg

We also went and visited the Eastern State Penitentiary, which was the first penitentiary ever built. It was also the first penitentiary built in a wagon wheel pattern so one guard could stand in the center, turn around on the spot and see all 8 wards in one glance. It was built in 1829 and hasn't been touched since 1971, so is a *bit* dilapidated, but that's what I loved about it. Even the freezing weather made the day better. The cold and the absolute ruin added to the eeriness of the place and made it beautiful. This is one of the "spokes" or wards from the second story. PB220048.jpg. And another ward that was closed off - check out the rebar separating the two stories. They put that there so the inmates couldn't "mingle". IMG_1507.jpg
This is my favorite picture from that day. They told us that every inmate ate, slept, worked and exercised in his/her cell, so would keep all the materials they needed for their job with them. We could only guess that the inmate who lived in this cell was a barber...IMG_1511.jpg
Even Al Capone spent some time here, but some theorize he actually wanted to stay in order to evade persecution in Chicago. Apparently, he got pretty special treatment, hence the pimpin' pad.IMG_1514.jpg
We also loved this vine that was climbing up the wall and into the shape of a tree. You can't see it very well in the pictures, but it has very tiny purple berries on it. Super cool. P1010054.jpg Last one! Tara checking out the exercise "yard" that was part of each inmates' cell. IMG_1496.jpg

Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures at the Eagles' game on Thanksgiving day, but it was a ton of fun, and a perfect Philadelphian experience. The fans out here are crazy, but completely kind and thoughtful. Weird, huh? We had seats next to really friendly old guys and dressed adequately so as to avoid freezing to death. Our favorite quote of the night, screamed by the nice guy in front of us: "Rip his head off!"

So, here we are, all caught up. Oh, one last thing - we bought our tickets for our Latin American trip! We fly into Guatemala in March and out of Argentina in August. I know! It's crazy and we're all amped up over it. And that means lots more travel blogging to come! Lucky you! ;)

Much love to everyone!

Addendum: Allison and Samara also made it for a quick visit from New York where they were visiting Samara's family for Thanksgiving. It was a fun evening, full of taco salad, a chilly walk and Tang martinis!

Posted by lolokirby 15:38 Comments (0)

We're back...

time to catch up!

Okay, okay... so we've been a *little* absent the last couple of weeks. Call it laziness, call it vertigo, call it what you want, we're here to make up on lost time. Since it's been, oh, 6 weeks or so since our last entry, this entry will be more of a photo diary. We're just going to throw up a bunch of pictures and a caption here or there to fill y'all in on the fun.

Here we go! You may want to hold on - there's a lot to come...

8/30/08 DC United (soccer) game. We went with our friends Jessica and Lori and their friends. The final score was 0-0, but the fans were AWESOME!

8/31/08 As always, food is the center piece of all our travels, and this is the amazing rainbow roll Tara got from our newly discovered favorite Sushi/Sake place. Well, at least it was newly discovered in August...

9/5 - 9/7/08 These are from our weekend getaway to Brooklyn to hang with D&D and their new addition, Elijah, to meet Bernadette, and to spend some quality time with Aaron and Jeorgea. A whole ton of cuteness, that's what it's all about. Well, that and some good ass food, of course.
soaked.jpg Me, after getting caught in the rain on our way to the MOMA, which closed 10 minutes after we got there. Ha!
aaronandjeorgea.jpg Aaron was really good at holding still for this picture. Jeorgea, not so much, but we love her anyways.
A perfect Sunday in Prospect Park.
Trying to catch that feeling of a perfect Sunday.

9/13/08 These are from dinner in Alexandria with our friend Margaret and Monty.
Although it's out of focus, it's pretty clear Tara's a natural with that... thing. We went to a place called Gadsby's Tavern, a historical tavern where the founding fathers of the Constitution often had dinner and where George Washington gave his last military address and threw his last birthday party.
The graveyard/garden of George Washington's church in Alexandria.

9/19 - 9/21/08 The Kirbys come to DC!
My folks standing on the top steps of the Lincoln Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background.
The whole family from in front of the Jefferson Memorial with, you guessed it, the Washington Monument in the background. Not bad, eh?
An FDR quote from the FDR Memorial - just makes sense doesn't it? Just like Joe the Plumber, FDR believes in spreading the wealth...
Tara and I in front of an amazing field of wild flowers at the battlegrounds in Gettysburg, PA. I'm totally faking that smile - I burnt my entire thumb that morning with boiling water and I can't wait to get it back on ice.
Some dudes (some of their wives were there too) who spend their free time pretending to be Confederate soldiers.
Who's got some 70's hair? That's right! The best rock climber EVER!
Something said by Robert Kennedy. Rather insightful, I thought.
Just goes to show you how old Arlington Cemetery is...
These are lily pads outside the Native American Museum. Did you know DC was swampland before it was our capitol?

9/23/08 Tara and I took a field trip to the Library of Congress, where we used the underground tunnels to get between the library's buildings, read/looked at the draft of the Bill of Rights, got Library of Congress library cards (strictly for research purposes), and wondered at the most beautiful building we've seen since we've been here. Check out that ceiling!LOC_ceiling.jpg

9/25/08 My favorite picture of the entire batch - Tara officially graduated from ref training and can now wear her uniform, whistle and referee patch with TRUE authority. tara_the_ref.jpg

9/24/08 Okay, so it's kinda hard to tell in this picture, but the profile closest to the wall/doorway is that of Barack. Tara called me to tell me she thought Obama was at the Mayflower down the street just as Lindsay was arriving for the weekend. Duck threw down her stuff and we ran down the street to yell, "YES WE CAN!" with the rest of the Obama-loving crazies. obama.jpg

9/27/08 After a day of studying and kickin' it on the couch, Tara and I decided we needed to check out the crab scene. Maryland is supposed to be famous for blue crabs and we wanted a REAL crab shack, so an hour drive later, we were presented with this:
And then we did this:
and ended up with this:
crab3.jpg. It was so great - table after table lined with brown paper, mallet wielding locals and pieces of crab shells flying everywhere!

(Almost there, just a little more!)

10/11 - 10/12/08 These are from a trip to Leesburg, VA and Thurmont, MD we went on last weekend. Geez, was that just last weekend?
We started off the fun with a giant corn maze (or maize, as it was called up there in the country). You may have to look really hard, but Tara's hiding in the corn... We also went on a haunted ghost tour of Leesburg that night, but it was more of a short session in parapsychology. I didn't feel the ghost we were supposed to touch, but Tara may have. Either that, or her hands were tingling due to bad circulation.
tara_and_t..tryside.jpg On Sunday, we went on a 16ish mile bike ride around Thurmont, MD to see some covered bridges. The ride was incredible! And wonderfully hilly, not too steep, not too easy and amazing colors everywhere!pony.jpg On our ride, we saw THE tiniest pony ever. Seriously! You have to look really closely, or you may miss him!
the_best_bike_ever.jpg Oh, the trusty steed, taking a break by the barn.
walkin__the_bike.jpg So, Tara likes to pretend that I had to walk my bike up the hill because I couldn't ride it, but the trusty steed's chain locked up on the way down the first hill, so I didn't even get a chance to try going up!
great_falls_preview.jpg We stopped by Great Falls on the way home since we had visited a couple nights before on a moonlit walk. It was pretty at night, but even better in daylight!great_falls_creek.jpggreat_falls.jpggreat_falls_slow_mo.jpg

Congratulations! You made it! (And so did I, miraculously enough...) Thanks for keeping up with us and our adventures! I promise to be better about updating our blog, but can't till November, as I just met our monthly uploading limit with this entry!

Love to all of you!

Laurel & Tara

Posted by lolokirby 17:35 Archived in USA Tagged gay_travel Comments (0)

Revenge of the Nerds

A whole week of geeky entertainment and fun!


Okay, okay, so the crazy, one-event-a-night lifestyle finally caught up with us, so we're down to about two outings during the week and our usual weekend adventures. And this week was the nerdiest yet...

First of all, we met some friends (Ruth and Jenny) at Nellie's, a gay sports bar in the U Street neighborhood, for some hardcore "smart ass trivia". Unfortunately, we didn't win, despite our pocket protectors, but we sure had a good time. Here are some of the questions we got right:

Which NFL football player played himself in "Something About Mary"? (yeah, yeah, it's an easy one)
If you're about the drink the penultimate beer in your bucket of beer, which one are you going to drink? (There are 5 beers per bucket.)

One we missed:

Which element is designated for the 10th wedding anniversary AND makes up 90% of an Academy Award?

But our favorite round was "Canadian, dead, or both?" in which teams had to decide if the 12 famous people were Canadian, dead, neither or both. THAT was fun.

So, that got me in the mood to get a little nerdier and partake in "Secret Agent Day" put on by an organization called Things To Do. It was a whole day, noon to six, of following clues to "chase" a spy all over Washington D.C. Tara had to study, so I went solo and was put on a super stellar team of super anal, but very fun, and competitive "young professionals". It was a scavenger hunt more than anything, but it was great fun, and exhausting. I sweat a lot running to make it to each check point by the deadlines. Think Amazing Race on a small scale minus the dangerous tasks - we just had to find things and take different team pictures. This one is of us with 1. a Dubliner waiter and 2. a piece of Obama paraphernalia, as two of our teammates are frantically searching for 3 articles where "Canada" appears in the text. dubliner.jpg The grand prize for the winning team was free entry to Oktoberfest at the German Embassy, a black tie, fancy pants gala. And need I tell you which team won? I thought not. Sauerkraut accompanied by an open bar, here I come!

On Sunday, we took a *little* break from all the learning and went white water inner tubing in Haper's Ferry, West Virginia. Talk about beautiful! Check it: tubing_self_portrait.jpg The Potomac was a little murky, but the rapids were awesome. Well, they were when we were finally able to paddle out to the current that led to the rapids. Nothing too major, but a ton of fun. We stopped on a big, flat rock in the middle of the river to have a picnic lunch, which was kept very cool by our floating cooler, and then hit the rapids again with gusto. We even saw an unknown bird dive into the river and catch a fish!

harpers_fe..m_above.jpg After we pulled ourselves out of the river, we dried off, changed and headed into Harpers Ferry proper for more historic enlightenment and some dinner. We stopped at every plaque to read about the founding of the city, which originally only had 3 houses, and the adventures of John Brown, an abolitionist who attempted to secure Harpers Ferry's armory in order to rise up against slavery just before the beginning of the civil war. Sad story, really, as the folks who were supposed to meet up with and help John Brown, didn't all show up... There's more to the story, but we'll let you do your own research, or you can email Tara and she'll tell you all about it. In fact, she learned a bunch just from the back of the menu at dinner! tara_resea..n_brown.jpg We also took a walk around town and followed a historic trail into upper Harpers Ferry where we checked out the remains of an Episcopal church that was destroyed during the Civil War, harpers_ferry_church.jpg as well as Jefferson's Rock and the local cemetery. old_church..ortrait.jpg

Like John Brown's story, not all ends well... Tara and I both failed to aptly sunscreen our legs before basking on our backs in inner tubes and subsequently have been slathering aloe vera on the worst sunburns either of us have had in YEARS. But, as most of you know, I always like to look on the bright side, so I find comfort in the fact that I've acquired a new pair of thigh high stockings!

Posted by lolokirby 15:48 Archived in USA Tagged gay_travel Comments (1)

The Good Life

even more food, fun and phenomenal adventures!

Hi everyone! It's been two weeks since our last update, so there's a lot to pack into this entry! Last we checked in, Tara and I had just moved into our apartment (and cleaned it) and we were getting ready to figure out our new neighborhood and also to go out of town just one short week after moving in. but before that...
food_line.jpg we hit some monuments and memorials on our bikes. Well, we didn't actually HIT them, but we cruised by and checked them out. We stopped and saw our buddy Abe, the Korean Memorial, the WWII Memorial, the Washington Monument (which you can't not see from everywhere), the FDR Memorial (which is where the above picture is from) and the Jefferson Memorial. The FDR Memorial was our favorite - it's amazing and includes an outdoor "room" corresponding to each of his terms in office. fdr_waterfall.jpg A ton of FDR's quotes were chiseled into the walls and it was pretty unnerving to read them and know how far we are from what he tried to teach us about equality and justice.

jumping.jpgThe rest of last week (8/4-8/8) was fairly mellow as both Tara and I had weekend plans. I flew back to CA early, early Friday morning to attend Chris and Connie's wedding. I got to hang out with my family and watch my friends, who've been together for TEN years finally get married. It was fantastic, as we spent some time jumping off rocks and swimming at Salmon Lake with the rest of the wedding crowd on Saturday before the wedding.

And here's Tara, to tell you about her weekend.

Okay so if you think getting over the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Bridge on a beautiful summer Saturday sucks, try it on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the Delaware shore. I went to meet Elijah, Dawn and Diana's new baby boy. What can you say about a 6 week old? He eats, sleeps and...well...you know the rest. But man is he cute! elijah.jpg And D & D as moms...pretty cute too, but that's no surprise. I can't say that Bethany Beach is my favorite place, but there is something to be said for an ocean you can actually swim in. Unless there is thunder, lightning and golf ball sized hail, as there was that weekend. Nonetheless, it was good times and a good start to me and Elijah's relationship. tara_and_elijah.jpg But the real story here is my drive home. I was supposed to pick Laurel up at the airport Sunday night as she returned home from a quick and crazy weekend in Cali. I left Bethany Beach at 7 for the 3 hour drive back to DC so I could pick her up at her 10:30 arrive time. This just happened to be the day that a truck drove off the side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. I got home a little before 1am. And Laurel was already home in bed. I'm so over the car! But just getting starting with Elijah!

(Laurel here) Yeah, arriving at the airport without a ride home late on a Sunday night kinda sucked, but I made friends with a nice guy on the shuttle on the way home and got some more inside tips on D.C., so it all worked out in the end.

This week has been just as jammed-packed with fun. Despite the late night arrival Sunday night, Tara made it to a soccer game Monday night, then met me and our friends Ruth and Jenny at Screen on the Green where we got to watch Superman on the Mall. screen_green.jpg It was hard to hear the dialog, but it was incredible to sit on a lawn at 10 at night and only need a sweatshirt (we had a bit of a cold snap). Plus, who can beat a movie with the Capitol building in the background?

Got haircuts on Tuesday.

Wednesday, we were off to two farmer's markets before riding our bikes to Tara's soccer game.

Thursday! We don't have pictures from our Thursday event, but it was great, in such an urban way! There's a hotel in Adams Morgan that has Code Orange Happy Hour on Thursdays when the public can pay $15 to enjoy the hotel's pool, hot tub, sauna and locker facilities, and they throw in a specialty cocktail too! So we kicked it poolside with a bunch of families from the hotel and a few other Code Orange participants. Then we found a yummy New Orleans restaurant where I had the best meal I've had since we got here.

We ended the work week with a Washington Nationals baseball game at the new stadium in Southeast. We didn't realize the Nats aren't so good, but we had a good time anyways. The ballpark is all aglitter and brand spanking new. Even the park employees are shiny! 0815081923a.jpg We chose Friday's game specifically because there were fireworks afterwards. We asked the bouncer/ticket checker lady during the game where we should go for the show, and she told us to go to the other side of the stadium. When we asked if we could go on the field, like we do at home, she laughed and told us we were in the ghetto now. Hmmm... we didn't quite get the connection, but got that the field was off limits. The fireworks were a little on the weak and short side, but again, it was great anyways. It's hard to complain when we're so lucky to be here and having so much fun!

Okay, we're getting there. I told you, 2 weeks is a lot for one entry.

Yesterday, I got a bad massage, which is too lame to detail here, and then we went to the zoo. It's a good thing it was free 'cause all the animals were hiding or napping. We did get to see some elephants and a great hippo, but this is the best animal I got a shot of all day - my own little monkey! monkey.jpg Isn't she adorable?

And today. Today we slept in (thankfully) and took a late afternoon paddle on kayaks around Roosevelt Island on the Potomac. watergate.jpg That's me in front of Watergate, where the magic happened. We also saw a bunch of ospreys and a blue heron that ended up hanging out in a tree for awhile. AND I got to sign with one of the employees at the kayak place. He was signaling and not talking, so I tried signing and it worked! It's been awhile since I practiced, so I was a little nervous, but he was great and let me take my time.

Okay, okay, that brings us up to the present moment - Tara and I are watching some Olympics and trying to wind down in order to get some sleep before we head into another fun-filled week. We'll be back with more soon! Much love to all!

Posted by lolokirby 04:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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