Sunday, September 22, 2013

Daddy Daughter Double Dating: In which the Travelers Begin Their Journey to D.C and the Adventure Begins

It has been said by some that adventure is a wonderful thing...which is just what we found to be awaitin' for us when we landed in the Albuquerque airport Tuesday afternoon on the first leg of our journey to D.C. What do ya know, of all the random things, the BWI airport had been struck by lightning and it was indefinite as to when we would be taking off again.

 The crowds lining up at the desk to try to figure out an alternative were huge...but to us girls, who were both thankful that the dads were in charge of all the planning, got to sit back and enjoy an unplanned tour through the airport.

...for to panic would have been a waste of strength...or so we thought, deciding instead to sit back, enjoy a lengthy lunch at Quizzno's, and laugh about the preposterousness of this delay. Not but an hour had passed when we found out that we would be boarding within the next two hours...relief! (the only difference now being that we would arrive at 10:00 instead of 7:00 P.M.)

And then... no sooner had we taken off then we had landed...and we were the car, driving to our destination....and catching ourt first glimpses of D.C.
The Sights: towering buildings, busy traffic...
The Feel: of thick back East air...
The Sounds: Honking cars...and that constant sound up front of a single voice saying, "Recalculating...recalculating!"...and the dads up front whispering back and forth trying to figure out how to get to our hotel from here, "Maybe we should have turned off at that exit!"..."or perhaps the one we just passed up."
And then that Feeling: that we've taken this U-turn three or four times, and that this 45 minute car trip is starting to feel rather like an hour long one :) 
Those were our first impressions of D.C as we rode through the night, looking for our hotel, and seeing for the first time that spectacular view of the Capitol dome, and the Washington monument standing tall in the night...

And since we kinda had a thing for adventure, it managed to follow us into the Metro at D.C....we had asked the hotel workers that as we had to be at the capitol at 10:00 A.M. for a tour, what time would we need to leave to be at D.C.  They responded with the shocking number of 7:00 was not till we were trying to find our way through the Metro to our destination that we finally understood what they meant...we were tourists, and we'd need every minute of those three hours...well, almost :)

We arrived in the busy streets of D.C. with enough time to find our way around, and take a short tour of where we would be staying for the next two days...

Then 10:00 came and it was time for our tour...and here we are at Jamie Herrera's office, our congresswoman....she wasn't there that day as she had more important things keeping her busy (like a baby)
(here we are in her office :)

D.C. had no idea what they were getting themselves into allowing two very gingery red-heads into their territory!!! (they should have known, it was an immediate recipe for danger)

And here was our tour guide...he took us through an underground hall to reach the different buildings, built specially for the workers there to keep away the reporters :)


The Capitol balcony is often used for speeches, but fortunately for us, there were none going on that day...and we got a personal tour out there where a spectacular view of D.C. awaited us...

....of course, the Washington monument had to be under construction while we were there, and was all covered in scaffolding due to an earthquake...It was still a spectacular sight though!

For those of you who expected us to come back as learned historians, we did learn one very interesting fact about the painting of the signing of the Declaration...for whatever reason, it's artist had decided to paint Jefferson's foot stepping onto Adam's...I'll never be able to look at the picture in the same light again :)

The library of Congress was spectacular...with it's intricately carved pillars, beautifully painted ceilings, and floor to ceiling book shelves!


...and then there were the two very old Bibles, the Gutenberg and a handwritten Bible from the 1400s..Sadly enough, the tour guide was strangely mislead in his teaching. He had just finished describing the history of these Bibles when he began pointing at the drawings on the ceiling and described the history of before man could sadly depraved man is, believing such lies. They are as spoken of in Romans 1, when they suppress the truth: "20 For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things." 

A highlight for me was the Holocaust museum. I could have spent all day there...partly because I've read so many accounts on it. Besides the videos playing, it was so silent you could hear a pin drop. The museum was spectacular, containing tons of real footage and a room full of recordings with survivor's accounts.

(The Below pictures have been pulled from the internet as you are not allowed any photography inside the museum)

In one room, there were floor to ceiling pictures covering the wall and reaching down for two stories. There was also a boxcar you could still walk through, and one of the crematoria ovens.

One room was full of just the shoes of those that did not make it out...I was again reminded of the depravity of man. 

"We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses.
We are shoes from grandchildren and grandfathers,
From Prague, Paris, and Amsterdam,
And because we are only made of fabric and leather
And not of blood and flesh, each one of us avoided the hell fire." Moses Schulstein

Here is one of the many pictures that daddy took of the Jefferson memorial....probably a good half of the 850 pictures taken on this trip have this monument in it :) But one has to capture it at its many angles...

Of course, I was thrilled to find that when we reached the Korean War Memorial, the crowds were mostly Asian...I wanted to join one of the Korean tours being given, even if I didn't understand what was being said :)

I feel like for most of these pictures, my captions should be, "Here we are in front of this memorial, and if you'll look here, we are standing in front of this tall building, and here we are again." :)

The Vietnam wall seemed to go on forever with the names of the men who had given their lives for our country...50,000-60,000 lost their lives in that war. Both the Coders and I had a specific name we were looking for , which made it special...

The WWII memorial was spectacular!!!

So ya' we fit a lot in the first day, starting at 7:00 in the morning...But it was a day not soon to be forgotten!

The last place our weary feet carried us was to the White house...(and no, you can't see Obama's face through the window) God was very good to us as the shooting that took place near the Whitehouse, inside in the Navy yard happened two days after we had left D.C. 
Foot sore and bone weary, we stopped at the nearest restaurant we could find and fell into the chairs...though getting back up again was to be a different story entirely :)

To Be Continued....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Summer Family Camp...and I'm off!!!

As you can tell, I'm kinda on a roll with these slideshows, but when you have a dad that takes 900 pictures on a single vacation, it's a nice way to consolidate the memories into a few minutes...I decided to throw one together of this year's family camp since I shall be absent in D.C. *huge grin* 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Another Year at Manzanita!

The Lord has blessed us with another wonderful year together as a family at the beach...what precious memories they are! Ania informed us that it was Esther, her stuffed dog's, first time at the beach, which made the trip even more special :)
The beach, as always was picture perfect, the weather, just lovely. One of the days, the fog was so thick on the beach, we felt like we were in a couldn't see but a few feet in front of you. The night times, we would fall asleep to the pattering of the rain outside our window and the distant roaring of the ocean.
There's nothing quite like reading your Bible by the beach, or a walk to the ocean when it's pitch black outside, the only light illuminating the beach being the stars filling the sky overhead and the small campfires lit along the beach.

It was our intent when we got there to spend the mornings running on the beach. Somehow, instead, we ended up providing the local coffee shop with its business for this year by our frequent trips there. As mornings rolled around, it was always a pleasant treat to head to down town Manzanita and get a cup of wake-me-up coffee, and then sip it with the view of the ocean before us. It was there that Leisel made the mistake of ordering an espresso instead of an Americano...they handed her a very tiny cup of almost undrinkable strongness :)

The cabin provided a crowdedly cozy atmosphere bringing us all closer together...there's no escaping each other there :) The best times were when we were all cozied up in the cabin playing rather violent games of catch phrase. We did fit in our annual game of Acquire too...Mom and dad providing the entertainment with their "intense" competition. 

Our cinema series this year was Dicken's Martin Chuzzlewit, and Austin got to see The Parent Trap for his first time...gave him some wonderful ideas for tricks to play on his sisters :)
We got some reading together that there isn't normally time for in our busy schedules...Most of us got our special time with Daddy, getting to catch him up on all that's going on in our lives...and sisters, who have been seeing each other rarer and rarer got some much needed talks...over a cup of the local coffee, of course :)

We accomplished all of the family traditions that are the staples in our vacation....including a few others that were added to the bunch ;) The normals are the breakfast at Wayfarer and the trek down Canon beach, the annual visit to Freddie's for the unneeded addition of more sugar to our diet, Farmer's Market in downtown Astoria where each year we purchase our bags of kettle corn, and the fireside roast by the beach...
We found that the visiting of antique shops to be quite a dangerous past time as we usually ended up leaving with unneeded little trinkets that we could have lived the absolutely adorable coca-cola glasses that some of us girls left with.
This year, Astoria was putting on a Civil War reenactment on our last day...they played out a whole battle, and like Austin informed us, "What boy wouldn't like that?"
And as always, these times fly by way too quickly...and each time, it gets harder to leave and face real life again....where everyone goes there own ways, with their different schedules and work. But Praise be to Him who gives us the time that we do have!
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.James 1:17

I put together a slideshow with pictures from all of the above mentioned events...
Hope y'all enjoy ;)