Sunday, February 13, 2011

Birthday Week

Last week, my mom surprised me by coming out to visit (from Northern California, not just some short drive).  I knew my sister and Joelle were coming out to visit, but I didn't know my mom would be coming along with them too.  I love surprises so it was a very nice treat!  It was their first time in the DC area, so we did a lot of touristy things and took a lot of pictures.  During their visit, we saw some monuments & museums, but it was the conversations during meals, zumba, silly games, and quality down time that I enjoyed the most.  

It was just me and my girls for five days.  I'm so happy they made it out here.  Here are some picture highlights...


This was a nice start to my birthday week (we had too many "birthday" dinners).  They left late on Monday night and I miss them so much!  I'm so happy they came out to visit.

On Friday, we celebrated my 31st b-day with some friends in Old Town Alexandria.  We had dinner at BGR - The Burger Joint.  YUM, try to the Wellington, Ashley says! After that, we went to the Flying Fish for DJ Old School Dance night which turned out to be not so much dancing. We had a great time just hanging out. If you are ever looking for some great Karaoke though, go there on Saturday nights. Yeah!

Last night we started our Valentines Day celebration with an indoor wine and cheese picnic.  We also had olives, fig spread, salami and crackers....but best of all, we had made-from-scratch carrot cake (Thanks, Ashley)!  Yummmm....

Overall, a wonderful birthday week!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winter Snow

January has come and gone and we're in the middle of February.  WOW it gets cold in DC!  But instead of complaining about it, Ashley and I ended up really liking it.  When we see FB status updates from friends in Boston, New York, Minnesota, Colorado and their constant sub-zero weather...we really have nothing to complain about.  I think the coldest it got here was 9 degrees and that was including wind chill.  It also only lasted for about a week.  For the most part it has been a mild winter and the weather has generally been in the 20s to the 40s. Oh and we got snow a couple of times this winter which is still wonderful.  There are few things more peaceful than watching the snowflakes tumble to the ground.

This month we were able to see how money is made at the BEP...that's the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, not to be confused with the the Black Eyed Peas who headlined the Super Bowl halftime show.  It was an interesting little tour.  We got a sneak peak at the new $100 bill set to be circulated soon.  No samples though.  The picture shows that Ashley's about as tall as $1.5 million dollars in stacked hundred dollar bills.

We also visited the Hirshhorn museum.  Again, a smaller museum, not so intimidating.  The highlight was Hans Op De Beeck's exhibition of Staging Silence in the Black Box. You can see it on his website (click on Art Works/2009/Staging Silence).  It's projected on a large screen and is really cool in person, a must-see if you're in DC.


Earlier in the month, we headed  to New York...mainly to visit friends.  Ashley's old dance company, Backhausdance (watch this), was performing as part of the 2011 APAP conference.  It was nice to see them perform at the city center.  It was also cool to hear Sonos sing.  Still the highlight was catching up with friends from home - conversations, dinner, drinks, late night snacks, brunch, etc.

A picture of the company taking class in their teeny tiny NYC apartment living room to warm up for their performance.

Sunday morning brunch with Tawny, Jeremy, Avi, Jenn, Amanda and Liane.

We also got to meet two very cute new babies from two different couples in our small group bible study.  Zera Grace is John and Anne Marie's baby girl (born in January, pictured below) and Joey is Matt and Amanda's baby boy (born late December, no picture).

We also went on a spur-of-the-moment wine tasting at Sunset Hills vineyard on a snowy Saturday.  We had a great time with great wine and live acoustic guitar music playing in the background.  Thanks Ryan and Kelsie for being spontaneous with us...taxes can wait.  Everything was covered with snow and the view was amazing.  For a little while there, we didn't think our Honda Civic could make it up the long, icy driveway, but Ashley did a good job making sure we did.  

This is what the vineyard looks like without the snow.  I can't believe I didn't take a picture when I was there.  It was gorgeous.

OK...that's all for now.  Tune in next time for an update on my mom's surprise DC visit in early February.