Showing posts with label Outings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Outings. Show all posts

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year in Review


Mik, Mom, and I started the year with a trip to Walt Disney World with our cousin's family, which we quickly decided will be a new annual tradition.



Mom and I took Mik to his first real concert - Carrie Underwood with The Swon Brothers opening.


Dad and I saw The Oak Ridge Boys at the Barns at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

We also visited the National Cherry Blossom Festival as part of the beginning of my quest to collect as many National Park Centennial stamps as we could this year.


After several months of delays, we finally took possession of Mik's and my new home, Monticello, an 80-foot houseboat in the same marina Mom and Dad had been living in for a year already.

I caught my first (and still only) fish from our boat. And no, I have no idea what it actually was because I then broke my finger when I stepped down to the lower platform to release it and Mom had to get someone passing by to help release it.
I had to have 2 pins put in to make sure it healed straight.


In order to make Mik's room on Monticello usable for him, we removed the very high platform king bed and made the floor all level in his room. There is still a decent crawlspace below where he has most of his stuffed stored (maybe in 2017, we'll get that all sorted through).

Probably favorite photo this year, although the December ice one also taken at the Tidal Basin would be a close second.

Dad and I saw Mickey Guyton and some other artists perform at Pentagon City Mall.

Mom and I took Mik to The Birchmere for the first time and it became also his favorite concert venue.

I went with Dad to Chicago for Memorial Day weekend in order to visit National Parks on the way home and we ended up going on the new ferris wheel at Navy Pier on it's opening day.

We also took Dad's family canoe from one uncle's to another uncle's so that it is one step closer to ending up at the cottage, which is something that Dad has been planning to do for years. We probably would've actually taken it to the cottage if I didn't still have pins in my hand and wasn't allowed to get it wet.

I found a LEGO mini fig National Park ranger at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL and got it for Mik to go with his miniature collection as he no longer has a place for regular miniatures on the boat, but he can still use the mini fig displays he has with baseball mini figs. However, I started taking pictures with it at all the National Park units we stopped at and LEGO Ranger Dan ended up mine and Mik keeps threatening to melt him because it annoys him that I always want to take Ranger Dan photos.


I got the pins out, although it was still over another month of OT before I could really do anything with my pinkie and August before I had most of the range of motion and strength back.

Dad and I saw Kenny Rogers The Gambler's Last Deal tour at the Wolf Trap and, of course, took Ranger Dan since it's a National Park.

I made Mik Jedi Mickey themed cupcakes for his birthday.


After several weeks of messed up deliveries and miscommunication, we got a new washer and dryer, which took quite a bit of maneuvering to get in the closet because it just barely fit.

Mik and I started taking almost daily walks to play Pokemon Go, which has been a great motivation to get him off the boat (at least when the weather isn't rainy or too cold).


Dried out lizard we found when moving stuff in storage. We're pretty sure we had been moving it around since we moved from Arizona.

Mom, Dad, and I saw Billy Joel at Nationals Park after a 2 hour rain delay.


Dad and I saw Lyle Lovett & His Large Band at the Wolf Trap.

Mik, Dad, and I went up to Baltimore to visit Hampton National Historic Site and Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine for the actual National Park Service Centennial.

We took Monticello out on the Potomac down to Mount Vernon.


The almost annual photo of Mik taking a photo of the Korean War Memorial (tradition goes back to 2006 when I was studying at American University and him and Dad visited for Rodeo Weekend and Mik got his first camera).

Mik and I went to Disney World just the two of us for the first time. We enjoyed the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, but the best part was seeing Bedknobs & Broomsticks in the theater as part of a D23 event.


Now that all the renovations on the dome are done, we decided to have Dad take us on another family tour of the Capitol.

To take advantage of Mom being "retired" at the end of October, Mom, Mik, and I began a several week road trip with no particular route in mind other than wanting to get my 100th National Park unit and Goo Goo Clusters. We started in Richmond, where I found a first edition West Virginia guide for my 1940s book collection at Black Swan Books.


We visited Jimmy Carter NHS as my 100th National Park unit.

On our road trip we ended up venturing all the to Oklahoma to go to Pops, which I have been wanting to go back to ever since Dad and I discovered it on the drive moving to Huntsville. Along the way there and home, we visited National Park units and used bookstores, enjoyed Taco Tuesday at Del Taco in Georgia, and stocked up on Goo Goo Clusters in Nashville. We also ended up going to a Dallas Mavericks game for Mik and Mom to work on their goal of eventually seeing a game at each NBA arena.

We saw Brandy Clark (with Mom) and Charles Esten (with Dad) at the Birchmere.

Mik and I went to Disney World for the D23 Destination D event. We enjoyed staying in a Deluxe Studio at the Polynesian and finally eating at the California Grill. We also got to see Moana on the beach there, although we wish we had just waited and paid to see it in the theater for a good viewing experience.

We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner on the front deck of Monticello with a great sunset.

Not only did Mik and Mom finally go see a Chicago Bulls game, but Mik got to see his favorite team (Lakers) play.


Mom and Dad decorated Third Mate and took it in the Boat Parade from Alexandria to D.C.

Mik and I enjoyed our annual tradition of visiting the U.S. Botanic Garden's Seasons Greetings exhibit.

Dad and I checked out Georgetown Glow.

Dad and I stopped at the Tidal Basin to get some cool photos of the ice.

Dad and I visited the Frederick Douglass NHS to get one more centennial stamp for the year (ended up with 42).

That's a Wrap!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

In which a trip to Lowe's turns into a 5 hour outing

Not that a simple project and a trip to Lowe's (or two or three) hasn't ever turned into a whole day thing before, but today it really should've been a quick trip to Lowe's. Well, the Lowe's part in fact was pretty quick other than Dad taking awhile to decide if he should buy more than one toilet seat or check his toilet size first (he only got one and the extra decision time meant we were still at Lowe's when Mom reminded us to get potting soil). It was the trip home that took several hours.

As we turned onto Fort Lincoln Drive, which Lowe's is on, Dad asked if there really was a Fort Lincoln. My response was it was probably one of the many forts that surrounded D.C. during the Civil War. Of course, we then had to look it up and confirmed it not only really was one of those 68 forts, but you could visit the remaining earthworks at Fort Lincoln Cemetery.

Naturally, we had to go check it out. Then it turns out there is much more to check out then the earthworks. There is also a floral clock, a Spring House built in 1683, the Lincoln Oak where Lincoln met with generals, a Federal Boundary Stone, and much more.

Over an hour later we were finally on our way home, but then the 295 had a lot of traffic so Dad decided to get off and take another route home. This resulted in us going right by a used bookstore I had been wanting to check out. Turned out to be a good one even though neither of the two American Guide books were 1940s editions (one was from 1937 and the other was a 1960s update).

Thus, five hours after we left on a quick shopping trip we still weren't home, but we were grocery shopping, which was the other errand we were supposed to be doing on the outing.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015 Year in Review


Several days of snow and geese hanging out by the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria. Mik and Orchids exhibit at National Museum of Natural History and statue at National Museum of the American Indian.


Mik and I visited the National Building Museum to check out their current exhibits at the time, which included the building model exhibit called "HOT TO COLD: Around the World in 800 Feet."

Dad and I went to Mount Vernon on President's Day when the George Washington Birthday Parade in Alexandria was cancelled due to cold weather (Potomac was even frozen)

[Top Left] Mom and I checked out Capitol Hill Books to find some 1940s books for my collection. [Top Right] For Valentine's Day, I took Mik to the Newseum for his first time and he was impressed by the Berlin Wall pieces. [Bottom Left] Mik loves to nap on the Metro. [Bottom Right] I enjoyed see Rosanne Cash at the Fox in Tucson.


I took Mom to see the Oak Ridge Boys at The Birchmere, which has become our favorite concert venue because it's small and it's dinner and a show style.

[Top Left] We got our first Amazon Echo. Mik now also has one in his room. I love it for playing music, but the reason we both love them is that now makes controlling the Hue lights much easier, which we started putting in other places besides just Mik's room. [Top Right] Grumpy statue on our porch covered with snow. [Bottom Left] Dad took us on a private tour of the Capitol for the first time after he started working in Visitor Center. I laid on the ground to get this photo. [Bottom Right] Mom and I saw Angela Lansbury in The Blithe Spirit at National Theatre.

Mom, Dad, and I visited National Harbor on Easter mainly to check out the Peeps, but also because I had been wanting to ride the Capitol Wheel.

Mik and I saw Opening Day this year at National's Park and enjoyed trying out the new grilled cheese concession stand.

During Grandpa and Jeannie's visit, we went to the National Cherry Blossom Parade, National Cherry Blossom Festival, and the Udvar-Hazy Center.

We experienced some of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's death events. Mik and I saw Lincoln's carriage at the National Museum of American History and the reenactment of Lincoln's last ride. Dad and I saw the beginning and end of the Lincoln Tribute event at Ford's Theater, which reenacted Lincoln getting shot and the updates throughout the night until the announcement of Lincoln's death in the morning.


Dad, Mik, and I spent a few days in Shenandoah National Park and also went to the Natural Bridge, Washington, and Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

Mik and I went to Disneyland in May, since we were doing the D23 Expo this year and got Premier Passes and there's now a Hyatt Place close enough to walk from where we can use Mom's Hyatt points. Ended up also being there for the start of the 60th Anniversary celebration and did the 24-hour event from 6am, although we only lasted until about 2pm, but that's longer than Mik ever lasts in the parks even when we start at 8am.


I spent most of June at the cottage in Michigan.

Mik turned 21 and got to celebrate three times. First was with Dad, who took him out to dinner on his birthday. Mom took him out for lunch a few days later when she got back in town. Then when I got home from the cottage I made him a pina colada mug cake.


[Top Left] Dad and I watched the Capitol Fourth rehearsals, which included Alabama. [Top Right] Mom, Mik, and I watched the D.C. fireworks from the boat, where Mom and Dad now live. [Bottom Left] Mik got his own Amazon Echo. [Bottom Right] Dad and I went to the Star Wars Day game at Nationals Park.


Mik and I went to the D23 Expo. This time we managed to get Sorcerer tickets, which made a huge difference. The past two Expos we mainly did everything in a day and never tried to even do the presentations. This time we spent most of the entire four days there and did went to quite a few presentations. Mik's favorite parts were seeing George Lucas and Johnny Depp at the Disney Legend's ceremony and the Disney Interactive presentation. My favorite part was seeing Richard Sherman perform a song during the Disney Legend's ceremony.


Mom, Mik, and I spent Labor Day weekend in Illinois and Mom and I happened upon Norway, Illinois.

Mom and I went to the Brad Paisley concert at Jiffy Lube Live. I didn't like the venue, so we didn't actually stay to see him perform. However, we really did enjoy the radio fest before the concert that included Rainey Qualley and saw Mickey Guyton perform, who was the person I really went to the concert to see.


For my birthday, Mik, Mom, and I went to Nashville. We saw the Opry at the Ryman as well as the Grand Ole Opry House, where we also saw the Oak Ridge Boys for the Opry's 90th Birthday Bash Concert. Mik only went with the the Ryman show, but he loved Nashville for the food, Goo Goo Clusters, and the car museum.

I spent a week in Paris with my godmother. We climbed to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, which I have been wanting to do for years after only going to the first floor back in 1999. I also finally got to Disneyland Paris.

In Paris, I also found the same spot to take a photo as the only photo I could find of me from my first Paris trip in 1999.

Mik and I fit in one more Disneyland trip while we had Premier Passes this year since we had DVC points left for the year and wouldn't be able to do Disneyland again until at least next D23 Expo. Plus, Mickey's Halloween Party is way better at Disneyland than the Magic Kingdom, although Disneyland Paris does have the best Halloween decorations.


We took a day trip to see the last of the fall colors on Skyline Drive.

Dad and I put up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving.


Dad and I decorated the boat for Christmas.

We went on a 4-day Bahamian Disney Cruise on the Disney Dream, so we've now been on all the Disney cruise ships.

Mik was hesitant to go see the National Tree after the state trees being all the same looking last year, but I convinced him to give it another try. He really enjoyed it now that it was back to the traditional style of having ornaments made by people from each state/territory.