Thursday, September 23, 2010

our vacation

Day 1
Flying out:
We planned on leaving our house by 5:30am, running a few guns up to my parents since we didn't have the gun safe here yet and then get to the airport in time for our 8:30 flight.
I realized I had not taken my pager back to work... even though it is with me every single day of the year, occasionally someone will need to borrow it, (because we only have 3) and it I had left it home for a week it'd be my tail.
So a last minute detour to Keller, to drop it off with Candace was added to our agenda.
The storm that barrelled through, did not make the list however --nor did the wreck the stopped traffic from Southlake to Grapevine.
We took back roads to the airport but slid our card 5 minutes too late.  If it is less than 30 minutes before your flight, you've missed it.
So $150 more, and 3 hours until the next flight-- we had time for breakfast and airplane watching with Maddox.  He did so great and was quite a hit with his toy airplane.  An older man who worked for AA even bought him a little red matchbox car!  He loved it!

We had an easy flight (Maddox slept over an hour of it) and found our car rental place without issue.  Getting out of the airport-- not such an easy task.  My Iphone maps sent us on a crazy path into a parking lot without an exit.  Lance's fit, competed with some of Maddox's 2 year old tantrums, when he saw that it was going to cost us $5 to get out of the parking lot.  Luckily his wife explained the issue to the attendant and she let us out free of charge.
A nice man pointed us on our way and before we knew it we were chatting with Kristen...
Dinner at a burger joint and relaxation is all we did that Tuesday.
It was nice.

Day 2
Kristen kept Maddox and they had a great time back at the house. See her blog: HERE about their time while we were away.
We had plans to get on at the metro and ride it into DC for a day of exploring.  No parking spaces kept that plan from coming alive, so we decided to drive in.
What a joke!
Getting a parking space in DC is virtually impossible.
So we went to the Arlington National Cemetery, where we could park.  And we really enjoyed it.
I'm not a history buff, to be honest it bores me to my core, but I have to say that I loved learning while we were there... I'm not sure if my age or the fact that no one was making me learn... either way, it was an interesting place.
We saw a funeral while there, complete with a band and a gun salute.  Though honorable, it made me sad.  Actually 20 minutes into our walk I was crying looking at ALL of the headstones.  Literally miles of fallen soldiers, peoples babies.  The area that is still mostly dirt, all new graves-- hurt my heart.  It made me realize how I take for granted my freedom... how someone else's son has died for me or my government.  It made me a little ill.  

The changing of the guard was impressive.  They do it 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  Even when the cemetery is closed, no matter the weather; even in snow and rain storms.
We called Lance's great aunt and uncle while we were there to see if we could get some insight on the city, we ended up going to their condo and doing dinner.  We had SUCH a fabulous time catching up with them.  And we learned alot about them too.  They were hilarious and super-interesting!

Day 3
We went to an apple orchard.  If we wouldn't have insulted the owners, we would have taken pictures of their anti-government signs to portray the people that they were.  They were NOT fans of Kristen's gas guzzling Tahoe, and even asked if she were going back to Texas!!
Despite the long walk, through the hippie-owned orchard, I truly enjoyed it!  I know the babies loved picking their own apples off the tree-- and throwing a few they found on the ground as well.
We decided to take our packed picnik back home and eat it there... there was just something that told us they'd rather us do that!!
$3 in apples (that we never ate) was all we spent for a few hours of fun!
Kristen downloaded my pictures at the end of each day so she was able to get her's and mine up.  She's got some really good ones since she is fabulous behind the camera (and computer while editing) so I'll link you to her pics from the orchard too: HERE

Day 4
A day in D.C.
We paid $60 to tour the city, and it was $60 wasted.  We ended up walking from site to site and the free tours from the Park Ranger were far better from the man on the microphone!
But no hard feelings, Lance was scammed $5 for a fake map of he city-- you live and you learn!
Most everything else in the city is free, so no biggie!
I have so many pictures from this day... I'll post a few.  I'll try and make them different from the ones I posted to FB.
Dinner time:  I was on E and we needed to eat now.  Lance kept making me walk a "little further" because he knew there was a good Mexican Food place just around the corner!
We forgot that in Texas, our Mexican food is actually Tex-mex, so it was a little different than what we were use to.  The chips and salsa was more like chips and burning hot liquid.  It didn't have tomato chunks in it, and was soooo hot.  We ordered something similar to fajitas here.  It was expensive and different but nonetheless, it was really good.  I'm glad we branched out!

After dinner we started back to the metro.  And we got lost.  The thing about DC is that nothing is really all that close to the next thing.  The entire mall is miles long... and we walked it all! We were told that it is not the safest city to be in at night, so I started panicking!  The crazy lady who got an inch from my face yelling the F word didn't help.  And Lance kept reading the map like I was fine... Although oddly enough I was... she was yelling and cursing and not making a bit of sense but it was like she was looking right through me!!
I guess every town has their crazies...
And I have to admit I loved watching them during the day!
You have to admire their passion.
But at night, I was thankful to see the metro!  And ready to get back to Kristen's so I could see my baby, and hear all about their day!!

Day 5
The couple that we stayed with have been our friends since our engaged days in the Watermark apartment in Roanoke.  They had just got married and we got married while we lived there.  We have literally watched each other become wives, start careers, buy houses, have babies, go through major life changes, and have coached each other through hard times and cheered for each others good times alike.
So we were excited that Kent got to come home for the weekend so we could all hang out together, just like old times.
We decided to go to Mount Vernon and see George Washington's mansion.
Again, I'll link you back to Kristen for more pictures.  She's great I tell you! Click here

Day 6
Leaving day.
We got up that morning and Kristen took some family pictures for us.  She did an awesome job!  I love them all.  Especially since it had rained that morning so we were limited as to where we could sit and about 10 minutes into it, Maddox decided he was done.
In case any of my family want to order any, or you want to see more; I'll also link you to her website. once again, HERE
The password is Erwin1
After pictures, we loaded up and headed to the airport.  We were going to make SURE we didn't miss our flight home! 
[Well, Lance was willing to miss it to go to the Cowboy game there Sunday night, and Kent actually was able to get a hold of some box seats through his company but since it was such a late game and we wouldn't have made it home until 2:00 and then he'd have to be up at 5:00 for work, we passed.  Maybe next time?!]
Here are some shots of goodbye!
Lunch and then a gift from Daddy (a new airplane-- an Airforce One to be exact) and finally we boarded for home.
We were the last people off of the plane, which was cool because we got off with the pilot.  They offered to take him to the cockpit but he thought they wanted to take him airplane from him, so he declined the offer!
Home at last.

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