Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Museums and Memorials

We love going to museums in D.C.

Unfortunately we're not going to make it to as many as I would like, but we're here for such a short time, that I should forgive myself.

So far we've made it to the National Air and Space Museum and the International Spy Museum.

The Spy Museum was today, it was the children, and my in-laws. My poor husband had to work.

All of the children enjoyed themselves very much.

The only acceptable photo from both museums
Simon flying a plane.
 I love taking them to museums and watching them discover. I love reading to them and seeing them learn about topics they already love. Especially the topic of spies. The love spies. When I told the kids today that that's where we were going Simon confessed that he wants to be a spy and catch bad guys. It was his first confession like that to us. It was awesome.

We went downtown and saw the memorials on Sunday. It was so nice to see all of them. Some I'd been to, but some I had not, and one I didn't even know existed. And to show the kids, this part of one of my favorite cities in the world, was a joy to me.

The Lincoln Memorial

President Lincoln

The boys resting on the steps of the
Lincoln Memorial

The Korean War Memorial. Notice the reflections
of the stone soldiers in the wall. 

The World War I Memorial. This, I had
never seen before. 

World War II Memorial. This was a busy place. 

The Pacific and Atlantic towers were mini-memorials
for the battles that took place in those areas. 

Washington Monument. It's so tall, you
can't see the top when you're next to it. 

I found this while we were walking.
What a nice gesture. 

The Vietnam War Memorial. I unfortunately forget to
snap a photo until we were far from it.
The thousands of names on the wall are so sad. 
This is one of my favorite cities. I love Washington, D.C. so much because of the history, and the history is right there for you to see. I love it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

I was going to complain

however, I got a challenge from my husband not to. And he's right. I try to live positively. I fail miserably many times, but I would like to teach my children to think that way, so I'm trying to change my own habits.

So, even though at times I was fairly unhappy, I'm going to tell you the reasons I was happy about home leave.

Reason 1: People!

People will always be my number 1, I think. I used to be the stereotypical extrovert that needed to be constantly surrounded by people to be happy. I'm no longer that way, but I'm still an extrovert. I still love being around people so much.

Sisters in Duluth, MN

Cousins playing birthday party games

I hadn't been to Minnesota in over two years when we got back. It was so nice to see my family. Grandparents spoiled their grandchildren, I got to see extended family I hadn't seen since my grandfather died over eight years ago, and husband and I got to see high school friends that we haven't seen in almost as long.

I'm always so excited to see people when we get back. We didn't get to see everyone that we wanted to, but it was close this time around. I've heard stories of people going to a park and inviting whoever wants to see them to come over. That might have to be what we do next time.

Unfortunately, I did a horrible job of taking photos of me and my friends. The few photos I have of people have horrible red-eye and I can't seem to fix it.

Reason 2: Food!

There's nothing like eating your country's food in your country. It's been great and I'm happy to have these experiences before we go to a country where the restaurant selection is quite limited, especially compared to Manila.

FIVE GUYS, Jimmy Johns, El Loro (my favorite MN Tex-Mex), Al Habib in Toronto, Little Debbie, Papa Murphy's, just to name a few. I've gained at least 8 pounds here (can you see why?!). I think it might be worth it.

Now that we're in D.C. for a while, the husband is back to cooking, which he's really happy with. And I'm really happy with that too. Groceries here are so easy to get! I love that I bought zucchini and yellow squash the other day. The right ones, too!

Reason 3: Sightseeing!

We had a road trip. We took a few days of annual leave and went into Canada and saw Toronto and Montreal, then back in the U.S. we went to Maine, Boston, and the Poconos. Not to mention that I actually did some sight seeing in MN when I went to Glensheen for the first time. This place is a big draw in MN due to the murder that happened. The woman that was murdered left her house to the University of Minnesota Duluth and now you can tour almost the whole house. It's amazing.


The boys throwing coins into a fountain in Montreal

The boys on the Eleanor at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Look at this sunset! We were in Wellsley, walking with friends.

The road trip was 10 days of seeing people, places and things, and I can't express how grateful we are to those who hosted us and showed us around. 

Home leave is over, and it's hard. It's expensive, and exhausting. But it's also great.