Saturday, August 30, 2008

Almost home again

Yesterday we woke up to rain drops again. (this time on my face since the tent leaked again). We stayed in the tent until the rain let up a little and went to pay our respects to those who served our country and their families. We arrived at Arlington National Cemetery with a light drizzle. We walked around paying our respects to all the grave sights that we passed. We also made stops at JFK's and Taft's sight. I stopped to read the little pamphlet that received when we arrived and found out that they average 23 funeral services a day at the cemetery. I was thinking that was a lot and did not want to believe that number. However, while we were there for 2 1/2 hours, we heard 4 different times where the 21 gun salute was given to the solder.

We paid or respects to the tomb of the unknown soldiers, both the common one that everybody knows about and the one for the Civil War.

After paying our respects, we walked to the Pentagon. It started to pour during that time, so we got soaked, but Micah stayed dry in his little rain coat. We got on the Metro right by the Pentagon. We only have distant pictures of the Pentagon since they do not allow photographs around the building for security.
While walking to to Pentagon we stopped under an overpass to check the weather. The rain was not scheduled to stop until Saturday afternoon, so we decided to pack up camp and start heading home. We decided to stop by TJ's Great Aunt's house since we were going to be in the area and since she has been begging us to come and visit her. Unfortunately we got stuck in a few traffic jams and was not going to arrive until 4 in the morning. We called her up and told her that we would just come in the morning. She really enjoyed our visit today and her son took us all on a pontoon boat ride. Micah went swimming in the lake afterwards. We decided not to spend the night at her house and just head home tonight. We both really want to sleep in our own bed.
We had a great vacation and I hope everybody enjoyed reading about our trip. We will be glad to show more pictures, just let us know if you want to see them all.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears!!! Oh My

Today was raining when we woke up so we took Micah to the zoo. I know, a funny place to go while it is raining, but they had shelters for us to view the animals in. Micah enjoyed looking at all the animals and he normally had a better eye then TJ and I as he found the animals a lot quicker in the exhibits. In the afternoon, it stopped raining, so we were able to venture outside to see the tigers, sea lions and otters. The first picture is Micah getting all excited and pointing out the Giant Panda, the second picture is a picture of the Giant Panda.

Yesterday we went to the Smithsonian again. We were unable to view as many things as the day before, since I rolled my ankle on the walk back from the restroom the previous night. All the walking aggravated it and made it swell a little more. Despite the hurting ankle we still walked to see the Jefferson Memorial.

Once we got back from that memorial we had tickets to go to the top of the Washington Monument. All I can say is WHAT A VIEW! This monument was placed at a location and a height that you can see all the historic parts that make up Washington. Especially Arlington Cemetery. I am really hoping that we can go there before we leave.
When we completed the monument we went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. We were not allowed to take pictures while we were there. They created the museum to show what it was like to be trapped within the concentration camps. The design did not let you see any aspects of Washington DC even though you were sitting right in the middle of the city. It was phenomenal and would highly recommend that you go there if you ever get to the city.

After the museum, we walked to the Supreme Court Building again. Along the way we decided to stop at the Natural museum. Micah liked the zoo better than this museum since the animals actually moved. :)

The Supreme Court building was amazing also. Unfortunately the court room closed for renovations, so we could not go in. They have a staircase in the building that does not have a support to it. It had a self support system, so all the support comes from the wall and the step bellow. It was cool.

After the Supreme Court Building we walked to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It is the building where they actually make our currency. We were able to watch some money being printed and learned how it is done. Our tour guide was not the greatest as she got mad every time somebody talked, but it was a cool building to see. We could not take pictures while on the tour for security reasons. They did have a couple of exhibits that we were able to snap some shots of in the very beginning.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Micah visits his future home

Today we went to the Smithsonian and visited some of of national monuments within the area. We started by stopping by the US Capital building. The Library of Congress was near the Capital building also. It was cool to see all the buildings that you only see pictures of. After the US Capital Building, we wondered around the Bitonic Gardens, Native American museum and the air museum. These had a lot of cool things in them, but due to battery power left on the computer, pictures will need to get posted later.

After the museums, we went to the Washington Monument. It looks just like the monument at Bunker Hill, but much taller. We were unable to go up into the monument because tickets were only available for the 9 PM and 9:30 PM tour, and we did not want to keep Micah up that long.

We then ventured to the reflecting pond to view the monument's reflection and to see the Lincoln memorial. The Vietnam and Korean war memorials were near the Lincoln memorial, so we stopped to show our respects to those who searved and lost their lives to give us our freedom.
While we waiting for the Presidents Own Military Band to start playing, we walked to Micah's future home. :) Micah enjoyed climbing on the wall and getting his picture taken. Even at the Capital building, he wanted to walk right in.

We finished our day listening to the band. They were impressive, but I was hoping they would play more patriotic songs with American composeres. Either way, they played phonemically.

Monday, August 25, 2008

On the road again

We left Cheesequake State Park this morning and headed south. We are now staying at Bull Run Regional Park in Virgina. It is a beautiful campground and there are things we like better here and things we like better at Cheesequake. One thing we like better here is that the bathrooms actually have soap dispensers. So now we can wash our hands using soap instead of water and waterless antibacterial gel!!! This place also has laundry facilities, so we did some laundry today and should be all set for the rest of out trip. In case you are wondering, yesterday we did not do any sight seeing and had a day for Micah to take a nap in the tent and spend time outside of the stroller. We did take him to the campground pond and let him go swimming, and he did enjoy that. :-) He also experienced his first s'more last night. You would think that he would like it as he loves every item used to make s'mores, but all he wanted last night was the chocolate.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Critter Invasion

We arrived home from another eventful day in New York City to find that our tent was broken into again by some sort of critter. So, by the time we ate some dinner, did a temporary patch job of the tent and got Micah to bed, it was late and just wanted to go to bed myself.
Yesterday we did more of a hodge podge day in New York City. We ventured driving into the city again and see if we could find a cheaper way to go into the city. Friday, we spent about $40 just in parking and tolls. Yesterday, we did much better and spent about $16 in parking and tolls. We would have only spent $6, but TJ made a wrong turn and took us over an $8 toll bridge and through a $3 toll booth. :-) We had the option to take the train into the city, but we found out it was $11 a person for a one way trip into the city. We took the Staten Island Ferry across to Manhattan. That is the way to go because parking around the ferry is $4 to $6 depending on where you park and the ferry is free. The ferry drops you off right by a subway station, so you can hop on and go. When we got on the subway and we found a cell phone sitting on the ground, so once we got off we found "mom" and gave her a call. The owner's sister works right by where we were, so we just went to her work and gave it to the manager since she was not at work yet. We have never been told "thank-you" and asked "you are doing what" so many times in my life as we did the hour it took us to drop off the phone. Not only did we get to see a part of town that we probably would not have ventured to, we got a free frozen smoothie by dropping the phone off. One of the buildings we saw dropping off the phone was this store all of Hersey products. Need Chocolate???

We also stopped by Times Square. It was crazy busy there and cannot imagine what it would be like on New Years Eve or why anybody would want to be there on New Years Eve. We also decided to see the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Plaza while we were in the area.

The remainder of the day we decided to gear it towards Micah. We stopped at FAO Schwartz and let Micah play with all the toys. He had a great time and did not want to leave. He even helped an employee stock monkeys onto the shelf (even if it was the wrong shelf). The employee was having a great time watching him put the monkey's away that he even started taking off the already stocked monkey's to give to Micah. We bought Micah a couple of toys for being such a wonderful child this week and found some great Christmas ideas.

After the toy store, we took Micah to Central Park. I was thinking that would be a great place to go to let Micah roam around and not have to worry about shoppers. Boy, was I wrong on that. We got to the park and there was street vendors everywhere. Not to mention a zoo, a carnival and gift shops. I guess New York City wants to utilize all their space for shops. We did find a spot to just sit and relax and watch Micah chase around pigeons again.

Friday, August 22, 2008

9/11 Remembered

Today we went to NYC to see some of the sights of the town. We started the day by venturing onto the mass transit system. Come to find out, they are not very accommodating for handicap people on the subway. I know that we are not handicap, but when you are pushing around a stroller, you utilize those bigger entrances and elevators a lot more. We have accomplished carrying Micah and the stroller up and down stairs. :)

Our first stop was to the Statue of Liberty. We learned a lot of interesting facts about the statue itself. One that amazed me was that the shell of the statue is actually the width of 2 pennies!!!

After the Statue of Liberty we went to Ellis Island and learned about how many of our ancestors experienced immigration. Its amazing what some people had to go through just to get here.

While on the island, Micah enjoyed chasing the seagulls and pidgins. He thought it was so funny that they would fly away if you got to close. :)

We then decided to show our respects to those who lost their lives in the tragic event on Sept. 11, 2001. Seeing the spot where many people lost their lives brought tears to my eyes. For dinner, we ate at a restaurant that closed shop and allowed their restaurant to be a medical center for those in need.

After dinner, it was rush hour for NYC and TJ did not want to drive in that traffic (I really don't blame him) so we walked to the New York Stock Exchange building. I can see why they call that the financial center since there was a bank in about every building.

Our last stop for the day was to the Brooklyn Bridge. We decided to walk there to see the Statue of Liberty from the distance.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our next home away from home

We checked out of our hotel in Boston this morning and decided to head south. We are making our next "home" at Cheesequake State Park in New Jersey. When we got to our sight, we found a bunch of workers on it. Come to find out, a tree fell on our sight and they were in the process of cleaning it up. Praise the Lord that nobody was on the sight at the time.

While we waited for the crew to clean up the sight, we took Micah to the campground's playground. Micah enjoyed going down the slides and playing on the swings.

Once we could get onto our sight and start making camp, it did not take long for Micah to be covered in dirt. He felt like a big helper giving Daddy the tent stakes (and pulling them back out of the ground once they were in) and collecting wood for the campfire.