Damien’s First Soccer Game and 11th Anniversary

Damien had his first and second soccer games this week. I was super nervous because his first game was on a Monday night, at a soccer field he’s never been to before, on the first day back to school following spring break…Recipe for disaster! But Damien likes to surprise me and he was PERFECT. He was very motivated and even when he wasn’t playing, he cheered on his team from the side. I was very proud of him. Unfortunately though he is still really disinterested in participating in soccer practice. He refused to practice on Wed, but was on his game when it came time for his second game today. Damien’s skill on the team is that he’s good at kicking the ball away from the other team or blocking them from scoring. I just wish he’d cooperate during practice!

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The Langley Crush group huddle! Damien is jersey 2. 
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Photo time with my super star!
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Working hard!

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From Damien’s second game. Great effort 🙂
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Grabbing dinner out Friday night. I love these guys 😀

This Friday was our 11-year wedding anniversary. We wanted to do something special so we went out for dinner at the Ruth Chris Steakhouse in Virginia Beach. I’ve been hearing great things over the years about their delicious steaks so this seemed like a great excuse to try it out. It’s a la carte and the portions are “family-style” for sharing. Scott had the bone-in filet and I had the petite filet and we shared lobster mac & cheese, bbq shrimp, grilled asparagus, and white chocolate bread pudding. Everything was so good and that lobster mac & cheese was the best dish–YUM!

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Ready to head out to dinner. Courtesy of Damien

Katrina likes to lay on my lap from time to time, but she’s been EXCEPTIONALLY cuddly since we’ve been back from our DC trip. She loves me <3 C01C02 C03

Washington DC Trip – Day 2

Since the Smithsonian Museums didn’t open until 10am, we slept in and had a nice, slow morning. We were ready early enough to walk around the museum area and take some pictures while we waited.

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Hot coffee on a cold, windy DC morning. I think this is the Hirshhorn Museum.
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Smithsonian Arts and Industries building. It’s been closed for years.
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National Museum of African Art
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Smithsonian Castle / Visitor Center
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Pretty tulip garden! Across the street is the US Dept of Energy. Kind of a cool building since you can drive underneath it.
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We discovered that the Smithsonian Visitor Center opens at 8:30am instead of 10 like the rest of them.
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The Visitor Center was neat because it had a taste of all the different museums in one building.
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Back to walking around outside. Here’s the Hirshhorn Museum’s Sculpture Garden
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Another view of the sculpture garden
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Now it’s time to see the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum!
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And wait in line for 15-25 min…We had to wait for the doors to open and then it took about 15 min to get through security
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Finally inside!
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Waiting for the Highlights Tour to begin
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The Voyager. This plane was the first to fly around the world nonstop without refueling. It took the two pilots 9 days, 3 min. And the pilots had to stay in a partial laydown position the whole time! Yikes…
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Cal Rodgers’ plane that took him across the US from coast to coast back in 1911. Pretty interesting story!
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The Wright Brothers’ exhibit. This is one of five of their bikes known to be in existence plus one of their planes with some of the original pieces.
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So much to see!
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A predator. This is more the type of plane that Scott has dealt with
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Going to try the F16 Flight Simulator. He said it was fun 🙂
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While Scott was busy pretending to be a pilot, I wandered around. Do you think I could pass the Stewardess test? lol Is my smile friendly and sincere? Nope? Oh well…
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I like the coats
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One of the Trolley drivers said the American Indian Museum had great food so that’s where we headed for lunch. The museum doesn’t have corners because of something to do with the American Indians’ beliefs with spirits.
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The best part of the trip! Scott got a buffalo brisket burger with chili-seasoned fried and a banana bread cupcake. I got the Indian Tacos (with buffalo chili over fry bread) and an apple tart. So good!
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We didn’t stay in the American Indian Museum for very long because time was running out and we were already pretty tired.
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Walking by the Smithsonian Natural History Museum on the way by. I wish we had the time to go inside.
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Finally made it to the Smithsonian American History Museum!
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BUT there’s a line…And we didn’t know it at the time, but once you get inside the building, you’re only half way through the line. It took about 30 min to get in and we missed the Highlights Tour 🙁 What made it take so long was they had to go through every pocket of every bag instead of having the scan machine like some of the other buildings. Ridiculous. We did get to see the Star Spangled Banner which was cool. Very big.
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A model of a home in the 1760s
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Scott said it’s like looking at his house from Maine lol
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The parlor area
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Scott testing his laundry drying skills. He earned “professional” but complained about his forearms burning afterwards lol
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The kitchen area
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From inventor Ralph Baer
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Ralph Baer’s workshop from 2003
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A “futuristic” car from 1948. Only 51 were made and it wasn’t a success.
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Scott’s favorite area 🙂
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An old computer mouse design
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It’ll be crazy to see some of the stuff we use today in museums.
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Technicolor!
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Electric car
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The museum had so many displays about cars, traffic, interstates, etc. so you could see its transformation throughout the years.
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Seeing this is so interesting to me. So simple. And just today Damien has told me he’s bored…
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We only had about 30 min to look around the American History Museum before the long walk over to Union Station to head home. I found some more cherry blossoms along the way 🙂
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Union Station
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Bird hanging out with us while we ate McFlurries waiting to board the train
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All settled on the train. After a short nap, I read most of the way back while Scott watched videos on his phone.

My overall impression of Washington DC is that it’s not for me. There were SOOOO many people everywhere that it was hard to really get to enjoy anything. It seemed to mainly be school-aged children on field trips. The security checkpoints were inconvenient and I wished I would have known about them ahead of time since they weren’t included in my planning. The trip felt rushed at times and I still didn’t get to see everything and what I did get to see was competing with other tourists and then time to move on to the next thing. I guess I just didn’t know how to plan properly for it. If I ever go back, I’ll plan better. I’ll end with the positives of the trip. The train was nice. In contrast to DC, there wasn’t ANY security for the trains. I didn’t even have to show an ID card. The seats were comfy and I enjoyed the freedom to move around. The DC mall area was clean and well-kept. I LOVED all the flowers and greenery. Almost all of the people we encountered from the servers to the tourists were nice (for the exception two security people and the traffic/car horns). The weather was acceptable. It was a little bit windy and chilly at times, but we missed most of the rain. And lastly, I got to see our Nation’s Capitol up-close! I can at least cross it off my list of places to see. ‘Merica! 😀

And thanks again to Robbie, Naomi, and Sarah for opening up their home to Damien for the trip. He had a GREAT time!

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A very spoiled Damien eating pizza and homemade M&M cookies. They said he was well-behaved so I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Washington DC Trip – Day 1

Scott and I went on a two-day adventure to Washington DC this week while Damien spent some quality time with his Uncle Robbie, Aunt Naomi and Sarah during his spring break. Scott went to DC on a high school trip but didn’t remember anything nor does he have any pictures and it was my first time visiting. We packed a lot into two days, but we didn’t even come close to seeing a fraction of the city. Too much to see! It was also Scott’s and my first time riding the train which turned out to be an enjoyable experience. Scott and I didn’t want to drive in DC at all and while it did take us a lot longer to get there and back, our commute was stress-free.

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6am and ready to start our journey!
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The view from the train wasn’t particularly interesting, but I didn’t experience any motion sickness–yay! Oh and Scott is a lousy train companion–he slept the whole way up!
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We arrived at Union Station and grabbed a quick lunch before setting out on our trolley tour. We tried the Old Town Trolley orange loop which worked out well because it took us to different locations and offered live narration. Plus you could hop on and off at whatever stop you wanted.
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Our first stop–the Capitol building!
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Under construction, of course
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Had to pour out our water before entering the Capitol building. We also weren’t aware that you can’t see any of the cool stuff without being on a tour and the tours didn’t line up with our schedule.
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We walked through the tunnel that goes from the Capitol building to the Library of Congress across the street since we had already bothered to go through security.
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Our view of the Library of Congress book section…Through these two windows…
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Outside the Library of Congress
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Photo op with Scott in front of the US Supreme Court Building
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So far we haven’t seen anything exciting, but I did rather enjoy all the pretty landscaping.
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The Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial as seen from the Trolley
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The Lincoln Memorial. One of the best parts of the trip
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Abe and Me 🙂
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From inside the Lincoln Memorial
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Scott with Abe
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A nice view of the Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
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The Arlington Memorial Bridge over the Potomac River
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Rest and water break before the next Trolley arrives
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The only unobstructed view of the Washington Monument I could get, as seen from the Trolley
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The White House – South Lawn. This was what I was most looking forward to seeing, but as you can see, you can’t get very close and there are TONS of gates, barriers, and security all around. It’s also sandwiched in between a bunch of other buildings on the East and West sides.
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The White House – North Lawn
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This is one of the buildings that blocks the view of The White House from the sides. It’s an office building for staff. It’s HUGE.
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DC street view with a Secret Service Police car!
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I’m sad that I missed the Cherry Blossoms in the height of their blooming, but there were still enough to enjoy
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Madam President Whitehill and her trusted advisor LOL
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I liked the design of this building. Very pretty in the sunlight. Plus a Washington Monument photo bomb
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Another DC street view
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Outside of The White House Visitor Center
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Inside The White House Visitor Center
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View from inside the Trolley to our next stop. You can kind of see the top of the Capitol Building over the white van
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The National Archives. I couldn’t take any pictures of the inside. Security was annoying to get in, but then there was a huge line to see the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Constitution. We waited in line about 20-30 min. Then there wasn’t any sort of order to the madness so you kind of had to squeeze in where you could to see the documents. The handwriting was pretty faded.
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FBI Building. Just walking by…
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At this point we’re super tired and famished so we grab some food at the Hard Rock Cafe.
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Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Block. When he was still alive, he said he wanted his memorial to be no larger than his desk and plain so this was what was built in his honor on the front lawn of the National Archives building.
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Walked back to the hotel room. I think it was around 6pm. What’s crazy is that most of the buildings and stores close very early. Even the CVS downstairs closed at 7. Not what I was expecting from a major city.

At the conclusion of day one, I wished we didn’t have to lug around our backpacks everywhere. The hotel check-in wasn’t until 3pm so we had to endure. The hotel room was acceptable and SUPER close to the Smithsonian Museums, but it didn’t have a bathtub to soak my tired body and you could hear the sounds from the hallway as though it was in the room with you. Looking forward to day two after some much needed rest.