dallas

May 30, 2012 - 3 Responses

Hi friends, how are ya?!  Tell me what you did this weekend, I must know.

I did lots of important things, like tanning….

and eating lots of Tex-Mex….

and making a general fool of myself with Les…..

And somewhere in between all of those things, Madison got married!!!!

She looked absolutely STUNNING, and I lost it for real when she walked down the aisle.  Mad, I am SO SO HAPPY for you and Bryce and am so thankful I could be there to celebrate with you two. 

Les and I had some extra time after the wedding to roam around Dallas, and after firmly deciding that we did not, in fact, like Texas at all, I unilaterally chose we wound up at the Sixth Floor Museum at the location of President Kennedy’s assassination.  I was actually really excited to be there, because I had just finished reading Stephen King’s 11/22/63 for my book club.  (Did I tell you I’m in a book club?  Once a month, ten of us get drunk on red wine and talk about sex.)  The book, while convoluted and complicated, is essentially about a time traveling man who tries to prevent the Kennedy assassination from happening.  As you can imagine, the book references tons and tons of details about Dealey Plaza and Lee Harvey Oswald,  and as I was reading, I realized that I knew very little about the assassination.  Essentially, I knew that a president had died, but I didn’t know much about the president himself, or the motivations of the shooter, or the chain of events, or the worldwide repercussions.  So even though I had read the book and enjoyed it, I was really excited about getting some context in which to place the books’ events.

The museum is on the sixth floor of the book depository from which Oswald shot the president.  It’s an all-audio tour, which I really appreciated because it moved you along briskly and you didn’t feel obligated to linger over any specific exhibit.  It was devoted mostly to Kennedy himself, and spent lots of time discussing his presidency and his various policy achievements and failures.  It then moved into a play-by-play of the 30 minutes surrounding the shooting, followed by in depth looks at the worldwide responses and the various conspiracies.  I wish it had delved a little bit more into Oswald and his background, because the book really made him out to be a tortured young man who, while utterly despicable, had a tough life and various conflicting beliefs.  Aside for minimal information on him, I thought the museum was extremely well done, and really a neat place to visit.  Especially for someone who did not live through the event, it did a great job of making you feel the urgency of the afternoon and the following immense sadness that not only enveloped the country, but the world. 

Photography wasn’t allowed in the museum, but here is the original building sign that has been preserved:

(Aside for the sixth floor, the building now houses city offices.  Wouldn’t you find it a little creepy to work there every day?)

Les and I then wandered over to the JFK Memorial, which is, well, unusual.  Have you ever been? 

I suppose the symbolism behind the monument is meaningful (a strong, quiet refuge within which one finds the strength to stand firm and steadfast against the world), but to me it screams 1970s architecture and is less impressive than what I expected for a president with a story as compelling as Kennedy’s. 

Were you alive when President Kennedy was shot?  I think I’ve mentioned it here before, but the 1960s fascinate me and I am embarassed at how slight my knowledge of this event was.  I’ve heard that it was the 9/11 of my generation–people remember where they were when it happened, a moment that signified a shift in the world as they knew it.  Perhaps what I’m even more curious about–were you watching TV when Jack Ruby shot Oswald?  I didn’t realize that the prisoner transfer was broadcast over live television; imagine the trauma young children must have felt at literally witnessing death. 

Anyways, if you’re ever in the Dallas area, I suggest the Sixth Floor Museum as a must see.  That being said, however, it costs $13.50 to get in, whereas all the museums in DC are f-r-e-e, so come visit me first. 

In other news, check out this HUGE-ASS engagement ring that my friend Lis got this past weekend!  Her boyfriend proposed while they were in Paris (awwwww!!) and I swear to you, I don’t know how she can even lift up her hand.  Mazel Tov to you, Lis & Adam, I couldn’t be happier.

weekend recap

May 21, 2012 - One Response

Happy Monday!!  I have a short week coming up, then I’m off to Dallas for a friends’ wedding.  Eeek!!  I hate losing friends to adulthood.

As promised, Colleen and I partook in DC’s free Yoga on the Mall event this past Saturday, and we decided it was completely average.  We are glad we went, but it was hot and steamy on the grass and the speaker system was tough to hear for those of us in the back.  Colleen chose to play photographer for a few minutes during a particularly boring sequence…

Following our hour of yoga, we went back to Colleen’s apartment and got ready for a birthday barbecue.  I sadly did not get any pictures with hostess Ali, but she did make this delicious monstrosity of an ice cream cake that I feel compelled to share.

It was HUGE and negated any of the water weight I had sweated out during yoga.  You win, ice cream cake, you win. 

Have a great week and Memorial Day weekend!!  No matter what you do for the weekend, my only wish is that you spend minimal time in traffic.

obx beach trip

May 18, 2012 - Leave a Response

I’m a little late on this, but a friend (hi, Ali!) dropped a not-so-subtle hint last night that my blog didn’t have quite enough “action.”  It’s funny because I feel like my life is really busy and I never have that much free time at home (during which I would, presumably, blog), but looking back at this past weekend I spent approximately 14 hours hung over on my couch in a sea of Chipotle burrito wrappers….sooo, yeah.  More blogging action, coming right up.

How has your spring been going so far?  Mine got a whole lot better when BFF Leslie and her mom rented a beach house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina at the beginning of May.  So anxious was I for a break from the city and the crazy-ambitious ladder-climbing Washingtonians that I took time off of work (a rarity!!) to drive down a relax for the second half of the week. 

Since it was before prime beach season, it was gloriously uncrowded and luckily the weather was perfect.  I now feel 9 billion times more attractive than I did before I left, one of those weird female things where being tan somehow eliminates all cellulite and turns pimples into cute little freckles. 

Here are a few photos from the trip, if you care to see…

cue jealousy right…now

…and again

me, beales, les

a cloudy sunset

being mysterious in front of the sunset

a little friend i made!

snuggling

It’s been pretty busy ever since we got back, and I already feel like my summer plans are stacking up left and right!  I’m headed to a wedding next weekend in Dallas, and then a few weeks after that Lisa graduates (um, what?).  This weekend Colleen and I are participating in the annual Yoga on the Mall event, trying to get our ohms on while chilling in the shadow of the Washington Monument, followed by a barbecue with none other than the aforementioned Ali, who I will be sure to snap a picture with so she can get her official blog shoutout.

spring garden tour

April 23, 2012 - Leave a Response

It’s crazy to me that as I write this post, it’s in the forties with an outside chance of snow later–blech.  Get me back to bed.

On Saturday, it was sunny and gorgeous and surprisingly, just on the verge of being humid.  I had stumbled across some article advertising the annual White House Spring Garden Tour, and quickly harassed asked my friends if they wanted to go.  Long story short: most said no, two said yes, alarms were set, hangovers ignored, blah blah blah helllooooo garden party.

We showed up at the little visitor’s kiosk at EIGHT AM to get our tickets, and were astounded to see a line of extremely motivated tourists winding through the streets.  Luckily, after stuffing their tickets into their fanny packs, the rabid tourists sped away on their Segways to go snap up all the dehydrated ice cream from the Air & Space museum so that they would have enough sustenance tonot walk upthe metro escalators.  Ahem.

Guys, this tour is pretty legit.  I can understand why so many tourists seemed to plan their vacations around it–you can literally step right up to the White House.  Despite the fact that it must be the biggest security nightmare of the year, it’s a really amazing way to feel a connection with the daily, more mundane aspects of the President’s life.  The lawn was littered with pretty, educational signs showing past presidents and their wives planting trees–did you know that almost every tree on the White House grounds is commemorative for something?  It’s weird to think that if, say, the Oklahoma City bombing had never happened, this pretty whatever-tree behind us here wouldn’t exist.

lis, me, colleen

Look at this view!!  I had no idea that the monuments all lined up like this. 

We all noticed immediately that the gardens felt completely secluded from the city.  They were quiet, and there were actually a fair amount of places tucked away that would be completely hidden from any public eye.  In our little pamphlet we read that President Ford had built a swimming pool somewhere–and even though we looked, we didn’t see a single sign of it.  Sneaky sneaky, Gerald. 

This is the Rose Garden, site of some press conferences and countless photos of pensive, pacing Presidents.  (Alliteration!) 

Oh heeeyyyyy, Barack.  Let’s hang out because literally, I’m on your balcony.  Whattup.

The Presidential/National/Royal Band was on hand, playing all kinds of patriotic songs and even a little jazz.  Without a doubt, they put the party into garden party. 

We stopped by Mrs. O’s vegetable garden, which I actually found fascinating.  It was small, but our trusty pamphlet said it produced over A THOUSAND POUNDS of produce it’s first year.  One third of all the produce goes to a local charity that helps feed the hungry here in Washington.  In a little corner of the garden were plants that had been grown from heirloom seeds sent over from Monticello.  What a neat way to incorporate a little founding father action into your veggies. 

Oh look, Barack, now I’m standing on your putting green. 

lis, colleen, me

I am happy to say that my hair was doing a really lovely thing where it greases itself back so as to suggest that I am bald with a seven inch forehead, so we will never discuss these photos again.  But on another note, how pretty are my friends? 

Okay, enough about the friends, back to me, this is my blog, no?  I spent the rest of Saturday deep conditioning my hair (no joke, takes two hours), realizing that I need new clothes for spring (just kidding, Mom), and aggressively pursuing a new man who may or may not now be my boyfriend.  You will never know because then I would have to show him the above pictures in which I imitate a greaser with a never-ending forehead. 

Have a great week.

discovery

April 17, 2012 - 2 Responses

It’s been, ermm, a while since my last post and all I’m going to give you here is one teensy photo.  Sorry.

I snapped this picture of the space shuttle Discovery on it’s way to a new home in the Smithsonian from the window right outside my cube.  

I hope everyone is having a lovely April.  My March was pretty rough so I really appreciated the fresh start and warm weather that April brought.  Time to bust out the SPF moisturizer, baby!

oak hill cemetery

February 27, 2012 - Leave a Response

As I start gearing up for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler round two (hopefully followed by a half marathon in Charlottesville a few weeks later!), I’ve been doing a lot of running along the Rock Creek parkway.  One of my turn-around points is this quaint little bridge, and a few weeks ago I noticed for the first time that the bridge actually lines the back side of a cemetery.  On each of my runs since then, I’ve been looking closer and closer trying to get more details of what lies behind the ivy-covered cemetery fence. 

Simply looking was not enough to satiate my curiousity, so I embarked on an intense Google search for more information.  The cemetery is actually called Oak Hill and is a sprawling, romantic place that was established in 1848 by Mr. Corcoran (of The Corcoran Gallery fame, which, p.s., has a STUNNING Degas exhibit in town right now).  The website describes the cemetery as “a major example of the 19th Century Romantic movement, the natural and not formal English garden, an acceptance and blending of nature rather than a geometrical imposition.” 

Of course, I had to visit.  I went on the first Friday I had off that offered decent weather, and was lucky that my friend who owns a real camera was interested in accompanying me.  (No more iPhone pictures, yay!) 

{click on any of the images to make them bigger!}

Oak Hill is beyond beautiful.  It has all these cracked stone paths and crumbling gravestones, and I think because it had been sunny all week, teeny little flowers were starting to bloom all over.  It was quiet in the way that places warranting respect tend to be, and I felt my mind immediately go calm.  There were intricate wrought iron benches tucked away throughout the cemetery, and I could easily picture myself on one of them, curled up with a book on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

In an eerie way, I find cemeteries to be very romantic.  One gravestone of a soldier who had died in the Civil War was etched with: “For all eternity, I will love you.”  What a searingly beautiful tribute to your relationship–we should all be so lucky to have someone write that on our gravestones! 

Even wilted flowers seemed so tender resting on a tombstone, a remnant of a visitor who had been thinking about someone they lost. 

We saw an old couple wandering the cracked paths, him in a three piece suit and a cane, her in a lovely black pillbox hat and gloves, and simply observing them, I felt like I was infringing upon the most private of moments; they had an obvious connection to the cemetery and I couldn’t help but wonder who they were visiting. 

I am in no way an expert on cemeteries, but it seemed to me that Oak Hill had some extraordinary details in its’ graves, perhaps because of the era in which it was founded.  I particularly loved the gravestones that had been worn away by rain and were thus unreadable, they lent such an air of mystery to who was buried there.

I was drawn to the intricacies of the stones, and wondered if such handiwork can still be found in headstones today.

Death is actually what I am most afraid of.  I try to never think about it, because it makes me extremely anxious.  It’s funny a little because doing things where I have a chance of dying, like skydiving, doesn’t scare me at all; rather, I relish those activities.  But the actual thought of being dead is really tough for me to wrap my head around.  Sometimes I think about my life and how it is so much to lose–it scares me and I start to worry a lot. 

Just a little pause for introspection here, sorry.

This is the Corcoran mausoleum (the guy who founded the cemetery, if you remember from earlier). He lost almost all of his sons in WWII. The mausoleum was designed by one of the architects of the U.S. Capitol.

I thought these flowers in the tree were so striking, such a pop of color against all the gray. I wonder if someone planted them in the hole, or if the seends were blown there over time and grew all on their own.

Oak Hill has a very eclectic list of people who call it their final resting place. Notables include Jefferson Davis and his infant son; Bettie Duvall, a confederate spy who hid messages in her hair; Joseph K. Barnes, the surgeon who attended President Lincoln on the night of his assassination; Joseph Henry, who discovered electromagnetism; and Dean Acheson, President Truman’s Secretary of State. Unfortunately I didn’t print out the cemetery map beforehand, so I didn’t actually get to see any of these graves. Next time, though.

Do you enjoy spending time in cemeteries?  I’ve been thinking about Oak Hill ever since I went, and I’m surprised by how much I feel like I miss it.  I bet that would change if I was actually going to visit someone, but maybe not. 

I hope you enjoy your week.  It’s been staying light outside later and later, which THRILLS me.  I think spring is just around the corner.

great falls nature walk

February 24, 2012 - Leave a Response

One of my favorite things about living in DC is, ironically, how easy it is to get out of.  The city itself is amazing, with nooks and crannies and political heavyweights hiding around every corner, but sometimes all I want to do is drive and be surrounded by silence and non-smoggy air.  This past weekend we had beauuuuuuutiful weather, and so my friends and I decided to take advantage of it and seek out some nature.

Luckily, we did not have far to go.  The national park of Great Falls is physically located just outside of DC, so after a short drive we made it to one of the most relaxing parks I’ve ever been to. 

Great Falls straddles the Potomac, so one side of the park is in Virginia and the other side is in Maryland.  It’s really interesting because just a few miles downriver, as it crosses under DC’s plethora of bridges, the water of the Potomac is muddy and brown and most likely full of bodies.  But as it plummets over the falls, the water is clear and a beautiful sea-foam green that is apparently going to be a huge nail polish trend this spring. 

The three of us picked a path and walked alongside the river for a good while.  Notable sights included the first brown poodle any of us had ever seen, owned by the most adorably foreign German family; tons and tons of rock climbers who were all drastically handsome; a BLIND woman hiking the trail with her stick and a touchingly attentive daughter; and multiple tweeners in bikinis sunbathing on the, cough, Maryland side.    

I really do feel so lucky that I have such easy access to amazing outdoorsy parks like Great Falls; it allows for such variation on weekends when I can go to a heated political conference in a drab, enclosed office building on Saturday, and then spend hours outdoors listening to a rushing river on Sunday. 

PS-Look at that SKY!!!!  Not a cloud to be found.

You can see a few rock climbing lines here, I was shocked by how flimsy the trees–saplings, really–were that the climbers were tying their ropes to. 

les & me

The Maryland side!!!

colleen, les, me

christmas snapshots

December 19, 2011 - Leave a Response

I’m about to dive into my monstrous pile of clean clothes in an attempt to begin the holiday packing process, but thought I’d share a few photos of my supremely festive weekend first.

I think winter has finally found DC, as it has been CHILLY here for the past week.  I can’t wait to be back in the Bay Area where, according to numerous Facebook statuses, it’s mild and not too windy.  Crossing my fingers that the cold doesn’t travel with me when I head back on Thursday.

les, beales, me, thiel

On Thursday, my friends and I ventured to the White House to see the National Christmas Tree.  According to legend the news, this particular tree came all the from the Sequoyah Forest in Northern California.  On its long journey, it made numerous pit stops where children were invited to sign the protective covering over the tree, which I think is a very sweet tradition.  (Fun Fact: in this picture, I was convinced that that beautiful orb right by the Monument was the moon rising–nope, it was just a spotlight for the tree.)

We also grabbed SIXTEEN DOLLAR DRINKS at the Willard next door, which were quite tasty but still not worth SIXTEEN DOLLARS.

Also at the Willard (where the lighting was really bad, apologies), I saw my first gingerbread house!  I’ve been surprised by how hard these are to find in DC, since it seems like even homeless people in San Francisco have them.  This one, while not the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen, reminded me of all the ones Lisa and I used to see when we would go to SF for a weekend with our Grandparents.

les, thiel, SANTA!, beales, me

We found Santa’s Workshop right next to the Christmas tree, and took a hasty but memorable picture with Santa.

Yesterday, we went to Zoo Lights, an annual event where they decorate the Zoo with millions (??) of lights.

It’s almost embarrassing how much I, a 23 year old, enjoyed Zoo Lights.  The whole zoo is pitch black besides for the lights that they have on the trees and on displays, so you really get the full effect.  At one point we walked by a row of trees whose lights were flashing in time to music!  It was amazing.  I then and there decided that when I have enough money to contribute regularly to charity, the Smithsonian is going to be one of the ones I support.

zebra!

 How great is this???

chameleon!

And this!!  I mean, WHAT?!?!?!  They made a chameleon eating a fly out of lights?!

wolf!

A lonely wolf!

panda!

And of course, the Zoo Lights wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory panda.

I also finished up my Christmas shopping this weekend, so I am now officially EXCITED for the holiday season.  I’m going to throw on Love Actually while I pack up my suitcase and prep for the rest of my short week.

I hope you’re enjoying (read: not stressing) this last week before Christmas, and I’m sending you Season’s Greetings from here in Washington DC.

georgetown flea market

December 12, 2011 - 3 Responses

Happy Monday–only 11 days until I board a plane to go home for Christmas!!  Can’t wait to see my parents, my kitty, Caitlin, and my humongous collection of stuffed animals and American Girl Doll accessories.

This past Sunday, fellow Pleasantonian and my neighbor Rachel and I went to the Georgetown flea market to scout out vintage goodies and potential Christmas gifts.  I had been wanting to visit the flea market for a while, but in true female fashion, didn’t want to go by myself (at least for the first time!).  Rachel is just about done with her finals, so she took the morning off from studying and we drove down Wisconsin to check it out.

First things first–we found FREE parking right across the street!!  What?!?!?!  I literally didn’t know that this city had an inch of parking that didn’t cost you $45 to use!  It was a Christmas miracle!

Secondly, the flea market was awesome.  I like Eastern Market as much as the next preppy-but-likes-to-think-they’re-unique-and-buys-secondhand-items-on-a-very-rare-occasion girl, but sometimes it’s a little too artsy and antiquey for me.  I much prefer junky and unrefined, because it’s so much cheaper and also easier to put your own personality into it.

I didn’t see anything that I had to have, but Rachel found a vintage print for her kitchen and a cool book for her mom.  Here are some pictures–

There were TONS of beautiful old Christmas ornaments, and the boxes they were kept in reminded me of the ornaments on our tree at home.  They even looked like the orbs that my parents got when they were in Germany–super sparkly and delicate.

This is the new background for my phone!  I don’t think anything says Christmas like a big box of shiny ornaments.  My favorite one was the solid teal one right in the middle; it looked like something straight off an Anthropologie tree.

We found a teensy table piled high with breads from a little farm out on the Eastern Shore.  The guy was really friendly, and told me all about his baking techniques, his dreams for his farm, his love life, his daughter’s volleyball games, the gloves he wants for Christmas, and the new tiles he’s installing in his bathroom.  Way too much information, yes, but his breads were DELICIOUS.  Since I was stuck there in a 35 minute, one-sided conversation, I took advantage of the opportunity and scarfed down the equivalent of two loaves of his amazing Blue Cheese Walnut bread.  He also had a really dark German rye bread that my dad would have died for; unfortunately, he doesn’t have a physical shop, instead choosing to only come to the flea market on Sundays, so I won’t be able to bring any home next week.

I found these adorable little bud vases, which I thought would be perfect for the top of a dresser, maybe to hold makeup brushes. 

I also found this little plate? statue? of everyone’s best bud Mao, tucked casually between a vase and a salt shaker.  I could just imagine sneaking it onto my sister’s nightstand while she was sleeping–imagine waking up next to this guy watching over you!  (P.S. Happy 22nd Birthday, Lisa!  I promise I won’t actually do this to you.) 

This amazing frame was something that I actually DID really want, but unfortunately it wasn’t for sale.  Some lucky guy had just bought it, and when he saw me with my hands all over it, he freaked out a little and ran away with it.  It was huge–almost as tall as me, and would have looked amazing unframed on this one wall I have that’s the size of a football field.  I’ve been looking for something to put on it for over a year now, and am slightly heartbroken that I couldn’t take this frame home with me.

There were tons of creepy hands all over the place, but I could get better costume jewelry from my Grandma any day of the week. 

Isn’t this old flask really pretty?? I bet it holds way more than present day flasks do, but I also bet that it wouldn’t fit into any of my boots or the waistband of my jeans. 

Rachel and I both thought that this old collection of crystal glasses was beautiful, but neither of us really had an occasion to use them.  I felt like chugging the gas stations finest $4.99 bottle of wine out of these highballs would be criminal, so I left them for a more cultured customer.

Um, gross, right?  I saw a bunch of kiddies clustered around a table piled high with frames, and the last thing I expected to find in those frames were creepy crawly bugs.  Dead, preserved insects make me kind of squirmy inside, so even the pretty butterflies he had out didn’t appeal to me.  The children, however, thought the giant scorpion was great, and a girl next to me ended up buying one for her environmental scientist sister. 

Oh yeah, I wasn’t quite done–here’s a tarantula, no big deal.  Yum. 

This nutcracker cutie caught my eye, how festive is he?!  I looked in the back for the little thing to make his mouth open, and surprise–

–he was a beir stein!!  AMAZING.  I literally think there would be nothing better in the entire world than seeing my dad drink eggnog out of this guy on Christmas morning while we opened presents–imagine all the photo opportunities!  Unfortunately, I had no clue if this was good quality or not; I know my dad would not want to include this in his stein collection unless it was actually German.  The painting looked less than professional, and the sweet lady was asking a little bit more than I would have paid for it.  But Dad, if you would like to unwrap this on Christmas, let me know and I’ll go back next weekend and try and get it!  (Other opinions on getting this for Dad are welcome.)

I also found this adorable mini set of mid-century style furniture; I know there’s currently a world-wide obsession with couture dollhouses, and this set would be unreal in a doll’s office area. 

rachel & me

Rachel and I of course took the obligatory we-were-here photo as we left, and I actually think it turned out really cute.  I got a great deal on my J.Crew heart sweater (and I had a gift card!), and I can’t wait to wear it every single day from now until Christmas.  It’s the perfect holiday sweater!  Also, guys, Mrs. Obama wore it in a pink/orange color to a basketball game a few weeks ago which practically makes us best friends.   

Have a great week!!

morning run

December 9, 2011 - One Response

I started my three day weekend off today with the most amazing morning run I’ve had in a long time.  Sometimes there’s nothing quite like waking up early, throwing on some layers, and hitting a great trail for a long, sweaty run–it’s so satisfying to feel your whole body rise to the challenge of a tough workout.  I love feeling my heart ramp up at the beginning of the run, slightly unsettled by my brains’ ambitious plan, but slowly calming down as my muscles warm up and my blood starts flowing.  It’s kind of amazing when you stop and think about everything that has to come together in the human body in order for it finish a quick 6 mile run: lungs, heart, brain, muscles, joints, sweat glands, plus every little thing in between.

I picked one of my very favorite trails to run this morning, the Mount Vernon trail that stretches right along the Potomac.  It’s completely flat and outrageously scenic, two things that help a run feel significantly shorter than it is.  I don’t usually have my phone with me, but I did for some reason this morning, so I stopped frequently to capture a few of the sights I was seeing.

Pretty monument–and you can see the Jefferson Memorial on the very right side of the photo, the big round dome thing.  You can also make out the 50+ tour buses waiting in front of the monument–the bane of all DC drivers.  That one other tall spire in the background is actually the Old Post Office Building, the second highest point in DC.

 

Another monument picture–isn’t the sky beautiful?!

Here’s the Arlington Memorial Bridge, if you drove over it towards the left side of the picture, you’d be in the middle of Arlington Cemetery (still haven’t been there!).  The white squarish building to the right of the end of the bridge is Mr. Lincoln, and the whitish blob right behind the bridge is the Kennedy Center.  Right to the left of the Kennedy Center you can just barely see the National Cathedral (haven’t been there, either!), which is close to where I live.  You can’t see it in the picture, but on my run I could actually see the spires that had broken during the earthquake.

More bridge!  Think of how amazing this would be at night with Lincoln and the monument all lit up.

Another thing I love about this bridge is that it seriously has the BEST statues at each end.  On the Lincoln side is War and Peace, I think, and they’re these stunning golden gods with staggering war horses next to them.

Hey there, Mr. President!!  I’ve always loved the Lincoln Memorial because if you look at the back of a penny really, really close, you can see a teensy little Lincoln etched into the copper (brass?  What is a penny made out of??).  Think of all the billions and billions of places those little Lincolns have been!!

This is at Gravelly Point, one of the best places in the entire city.  (It’s technically in Virginia, but literally a 40 second swim away from the Jefferson Memorial.)  It’s no more than 30 feet away from the runway at the Reagan National Airport, and it’s the coolest feeling to be chugging along the path and have a huge airplane come in for a landing right over your head.  The plane is so loud it consumes you for a few seconds, and you feel the engines in the ground under your feet and smell the gas right as it passes you.  The whole 5 second experience is intoxicating.  (When it’s warmer, I want to go to the park and lay on my back in the grass and just watch the planes land, one after the other.)  I swear the people in the plane could probably see the color of my eyes from the comfort of their seats.

It’s really easy to imagine how, on 9/11, no one thought anything was unusual about the plane that eventually hit the Pentagon, because the planes fly so close to it as is.  They come in so low over both the bridges, and then suddenly swoop down into Reagan at the very last second.  The Pentagon is catty-corner to the airport; I bet people just thought it was a little off course or something before realizing what was about to happen.  Sad and scary.

I stalked the plane to its gate–and was close enough to see the people getting off the plane!!  Watch your backs, tourists! Heehee.

One last one–and I obviously didn’t see this on my run even though I would have LOVED to–just because it’s the most amazing picture I’ve see all week.  If this doesn’t make you smile in the slightest, there is no hope for you.

I know my Hoos got crushed by Virginia Tech a few weeks ago, but this little guy is all set to go for our upcoming bowl game.  Wah-hoo-wah, baby!!!

Hope you have a great weekend!  I’m off to check out a cool Degas exhibit and hopefully buy all my Christmas presents in one marathon trip.

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