Monday, May 26, 2008

International Spies

We had tickets for the International Spy Museum on Monday morning. The website says to allow at least 2 hours for all the exhibits. Well, Rick was entirely fascinated and we were there about 4 hours! Sorry, no pictures were allowed inside. It was so exciting to see the old camera's and gadgets used by the spies of the 50's and 60's. They had stories of real spies as well as the traitors spying on the U.S. We really could have even stayed longer to read everything.

Afterwards, we ate at a cafe outside across from the Museum and then headed to a Science Museum where we learned about global warming and the spread of diseases. Very interesting stuff. She was a biologist so the exhibits are about work she would have done.

We stopped by the new Crime and Punishment Museum with the intention of going but we were both already so exhausted. So we opted to skip it and headed back to the hotel where we slept until 7pm! We still hadn't seen the Capitol so we took off with the hopes we could still make it to dinner somewhere. We got some great pictures and still ended up finding dinner that was suitable, although we really wanted Italian!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Memorial

So after getting my camera (which I will never again put in the checked baggage as I learned it will not be covered in the event of a loss) we set off to visit all the Memorials. It was a perfect day - good thing since we did a lot of walking!

Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials

Vietnam War Memorial. The line to see the wall wrapped around the block. So we just settled for a close-up picture.

There were bikers everywhere. They were parading in the morning and motorcycles were parked any place there was land. Most of them were veterans.

There were also memorials everywhere (how weird, huh? on Memorial Day Weekend...haha)- from a concrete square to flowers at the World War II Memorial representing the state where the veteran served. It was such a great time to be in D.C!

We also visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum where we were in a flight simulator. Rick was the pilot and I was the gunner. We spun all around because we just couldn't keep up with the enemy. The simulator isn't for those with weak stomachs! We were so tired of flying sideways or upside down that for a minute we just quit looking for the enemy and flew level just for a breather - we were probably only upside down for a few seconds though!

Overall the day was great but we were exhausted by the end it all.

D.C. Continued

Saturday morning we have a message that our luggage was delivered to the hotel. Wait, nope, only RICK's luggage was delivered! ahh!!!!! I was so disappointed but still, this isn't the end of the world. I was still going to enjoy the day. We left the hotel a little after noon, had lunch and headed to the city. Rick thought the White House was smaller than it looks on TV and thought it should have had a better lawn than it did. That makes me chuckle. Sorry - no pics, because no camera - it was in my suitcase!

We also visited the White House Visitor's Center (really not worth the time to get in) and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. We really wanted to go to the National Archives but the line wrapped around the block! There are a ton of kids here that are playing in the Memorial Day parade. We loved the museum. My favorite part was the gem and mineral displays - we saw the Hope Diamond and other huge jewels. I was fascinated by this section and the how they are formed. We saw two 3D IMAX shows - Dinosaurs and Sea Monsters.

Luckily, my luggage showed up on a later flight and was delivered to the hotel around 5PM. Yes!! I could get my camera, shower and new clothes!!! We returned to the hotel so I could do just that and then headed to dinner. Rick's hotel was giving away gift certificates for Phillips Seafood restaurant for awhile. Rick saw there was one here so we thought we would try it. Their claim to fame is an all you can eat seafood buffet. The line to get in was really long but definitely do-able. We waited about 25 minutes to get a table. The problem was you then waited in the buffet line about 45 minutes! The food you got at the beginning of the buffet was cold by the time you got to the crab! This of course, was completely unacceptable to Rick (and me because I went to smaller buffets that they had to get other items for us and was sitting at the table by myself just wondering what was going on)! In the end, Rick expressed his sentiments to the manager and he corrected things, in a way. We still wouldn't recommend going during a busy hour!


Okay, so some people may be unaware that for the most part Rick is extremely unlucky when it comes to eating out and traveling. At restaurants or fast food, he always gets bad service, bad food or not what he ordered. Traveling, his bags will arrive late, he'll miss flights, flights delayed, canceled, etc. Well, this trip TOPPED THEM ALL! However, I usually have such good luck that we can balance each other out. Soo....

Friday, a number of events prevented us from arriving at the airport on time - UNLUCKY. So we were worried we were going to miss our flights. Rick went to park and I went in. The attendant said our bags wouldn't make the flight but since we had checked in online and had our boarding passes it was just a matter of us getting through security and to the gate before takeoff. The airline attendants said they would put our bags on the next flight and we would pick them up in D.C the next morning - LUCKY.

Security took 5 minutes to get through and we ran through the airport (as the gate was at the very end) and arrived at the gate 10 minutes before scheduled departure - only to find the doors closed. After a minute an attendant came out and said she had given up one of our seats and the flight only had one seat left. What?? We were checked in and verified that we were in the airport 30 minutes prior to takeoff - UNLUCKY! However, we were able to get re-routed on another airline since they were not supposed to give up our seats that early - LUCKY!

We arrived in D.C an hour later than originally planned. We went to get our bags but as the last bag was pulled off, we realized ours were definitely NOT there - UNLUCKY! We headed for the hotel in hopes they would both arrive on the flight that was arrived at 2AM. We were SO tired by this time and had planned on taking the Metro directly to our hotel. By the time we got up there we had a 15 minute wait for the next train and then it was going to take 25 minutes of travel. We had already been told the hotel was 3 miles from the airport. Would a taxi be faster? No, we left the Metro station only to find that it would cost nearly $20 to go 3 miles. How could we justify that when the Metro is only $2.70 for both of us. As we headed back to the Metro station, we almost cried when the train left with only 5 feet between us. We had missed it! So in an effort to save time and just get to the hotel, we had to wait another 20 minutes for the next train. But we finally arrived at 12:30AM at the Hilton. I was just grateful to be done with this day. Even though I didn't have luggage, I just wanted a bed - because, mind you, I'm fighting a sinus infection too!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lake Austin

Rick is a part of the Business Traveler's Association. They hold various functions throughout the year so that members can network with each other and have fun. Annually they take a dinner boat and tour Lake Austin. The lake is gorgeous and it's one of my favorite things to do here. Mostly, because we get to drool over the scenery and beautiful homes. So I thought I'd share some of the pictures of homes and such from this year's trip two weeks ago. We leave for Washington, D.C. on Friday for a busy and adventurous Memorial Day weekend. Yea! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My, My, My...

Oh my, it has been an interesting week! My home computer decided to crash on me this Saturday. No, I didn't download anything new, open any foreign emails, etc. I merely walked up to my computer and noticed a bazillion error messages. So I restarted it only for it to tell me it was missing some files. It would start but then freeze after a few minutes. After scanning for spyware and viruses and after 4 reboots from it had had enough and would no longer boot at all. Obviously, I was flipping out. The thought of losing all my files was just too much.

Let's add to the complexity. Rick came home that evening to surprise me with a brand new 22" widescreen monitor. It's beautiful! But that only made me even more upset that I may not even have a working computer at all. Come Sunday, Ryan came over and did what he could to get it going again. Fortunately, that process brought my computer back to life in perfect working condition. However, unfortunately I lost all files in the process. A friend from church sent me a link to a program that scans your disk for old files it thinks aren't there anymore. It's been running since Sunday. Luckily I've been able to recover most pictures and music files. Documents and other such have not had such luck in returning to life. The process is taking so long just because my external hard drive fills up with garbage pictures and music files from websites and such. I have to clean it up and then start the scan again. Grrr...

So onto baby news! There is none. Except that I've added a poll to the right - Do you think it's a baby boy or girl? I think it's going to be a boy. Rick hopes for a girl. Papa (my dad) thinks it's a girl...everyone has an opinion. So let's see if majority wins in this case! We won't know until the end of June (if baby cooperates) which leaves us with about 45 days of voting.

In other news, we are leaving for Washington, D.C. next weekend. I am SO EXCITED! I haven't been there for years and Rick has never been. We plan on cramming in as much as possible while there. The following weekend I will be in NYC visiting my friend, Franca! I can't wait!!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A New Post!

Yes, after 7 or 8 months we finally have some blog-worthy news. Normally we lead quite boring and routine lives around here, but we think that's all going to change shortly!

We have finally told our immediate families and have started on the extended so we thought it would be okay to share it with the world now!

The baby is doing well with a solid heartbeat of 160bpm. The little monster already sleeps with his arm over his eyes - just like his/her (???) dad does. We won't know whether it's a girl or a boy until the end of June and about half tell us all the signs it is a girl and the other half all the signs I have that it is a boy. Guess we'll have to see! But just to be generic I'll be using the male pronouns. It took us a while to get him to move his arm so we could see the face. If you look closely, you can see the palm of the left hand (especially the thumb) just under his nose as he was backing his arm off of his face. That streak next to "Profile" is the little foot moving like crazy. We were able to see the heartbeat (as well as hear it later) and the results of the screen were all normal.

It finally became real that we were having a baby once we had the sonogram because Kristina was spared all morning sickness and felt pretty normal for being pregnant. It took Rick a while to believe we were FINALLY expecting a little one - he made me take multiple tests and then wanted the doctor to test again!

So here we are now just waiting for the next phase of our family to begin!