Speed Tourism and Ladies’ Night at the Pottery Studio

sugar cube sculpture

After the Natural History Museum we walked briskly through the sculpture garden, which was pretty neat. There was a giant sugar cube sculpture and a silver tree and some chairs stacked up really high. There were a lot more sculptures too but we were on a schedule so we rushed by.

chairs walking through the sculpture gallery

silver tree

Catching the Subway to Paris

Of course I had to take a picture by the scale model of the Paris Metro sign that I have been to in real life.

chomp! ice cream?

By then we were starving so we stopped by a hot-dog cart for a quick lunch. Except Bug suddenly decided she doesn’t like hot dogs and was given an ice-cream sandwich instead. She’s getting away with all kinds of spoiled behavior during this vacation. But then again, so am I.

kidlets at the Lincoln Memorial

We crossed the street to the Lincoln Memorial and took lots of pictures of the Washington Monument and the Reflecting Pool. The funny thing about the Lincoln Memorial is that it’s really big and impressive. They have a sign up that says to be quiet and respectful. You sort of feel like you’ve entered a church with the cavernous stone walls rising up over your head. It’s cool and quiet and filled with whispering people. So when you yell out for your kid to stop running away from you and pose for a photo, you sort of feel like someone who farted really loud in church and it’s embarrassing.

but I don't want to go tahdah!

paper crane

By then we were running pretty late for our scheduled events for the afternoon but I really really wanted to see the Vietnam Memorial since I remember when it was built. I remember reading long articles about the artist’s reasons and inspiration behind it’s design. It’s just as interesting and impressive in person and I’m really glad we took a moment to walk down and really experience it.

Vietnam Memorial

finding names

Bug played her favorite game of finding all the H’s. The wall was actually hot to the touch since it sits in the sun so it was a tricky game for her to touch the wall but not “burn” her finger. It wasn’t really hot enough to burn you but you know how kids can be sensitive.

B & B

Then it was back to the Actuallys’ for an hour of unpacking and some more putting-together-of-furniture for Troy. Then Bethany and I headed out for a “Ladies’ Night” at her old favorite pottery painting studio. (The kids stayed home with Troy for a fun-filled movie night.) Of course we had to stop on our way there for Starbucks so we would be at our optimum creativity levels.

Also, it’s 7 Days again so we snapped a few self-portraits. If you’ve been following my flickr feed, you’ve probably been wondering why there was a sudden explosion of pictures of my ugly mug. Now you know.

Maryland Ladies Night

painting girls

egg art IS BREWING

I finished up the ceramic egg I started the other day. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s fired. It looks soft and pink now but if I remember right I think the banding stripes are orange and pink and the pink I mixed with something else so it might turn into this awful mauve. Who knows. That’s the fun of pottery painting, you just never know what you’re going to get in the end.

And that’s that! Much more to come though!


invigorated hover-girl

I’ve been so busy having fun I’ve had no time to write. Isn’t that how it always is. So how about we skim through my virtual photo album really quick before I forget about all the little stories that have been happening along the way. I’ll try to be breezy.


Maybe you heard from my twitter stream and facebook updates that the neighbors across the street from Bethany set up a SUPER ULTRA DELUXE Bounce House that they just happen to own. No birthday party or baby shower, not even a family reunion. They just set it up because it was the weekend and the sun was shining.

fun fun fun happy bounce girl

Bethany has the best neighbors ever. First there is their giant front yard with a swing set and a slide, then there is this very very very tall tree with really long rope swing. You can climb up the jungle gym part of the swing set, grab onto the rope swing and then fly across the front yard like Tarzan. They also have a bed swing on their porch and a pool in the back yard! Seriously. We might have the beach and coffee shops within walking distance but we’ve never seen anything like this before. I think Bug will never want to leave.

up the steps weeeeeeee!!

Did I mention there was a slide inside the bounce house? Yeah. I went over a few times to check on Bug and the neighbors who were sitting on their veranda style porch watching the kids dared me to take a few turns in the bounce house. So I did. I didn’t want them to think Californians are all wimps or anything. I have to say it was pretty fun. Exhilarating really. When I finally climbed out of that bounce house I felt like I’d downed three shots of espresso. I was very productive with the box-unpacking after that. Just a note, you know, if you need something to help you get through the day.

signs of spring

Speaking of invigoration, the next day I was dragging again. I think I’m having this problem because besides all the fun I’ve been having, I’ve been eating all sorts of yummy baked treats and drinking coffee non-stop so when I crash, I crash hard. I’d sort of hit a wall with the organizing and badly needed a break. Bethany came up with the brilliant idea of taking a walk at a nearby park. It’s amazing how often I forget that a simple outing outside will make me feel like a brand new person.

reflected Bug upside-down Bug

Parks are always a win with kids of course.


pond reaching

Parks are very different here. The trees are very brushy and there is evidence of weather at every turn. For example we were walking along the path and suddenly we came upon a lamp post that was tipped over and just laying there on the side of the path with it’s screws sticking out.

aw, come on! concerned Bug

All of us had to stop for a moment and contemplate it. That would never happen in California. They’d probably close down the park for two weeks for fear some little kid might climb on it and get tetanus or something. But here, I guess light posts falling over is just a fact of life. Snow happens. Or maybe they just don’t fix things as proactively as they do in Orange County where tax dollars roll in at a premium.

dangling feet clasp

It was a fun photo walk. I wish we could go on more. I thought staying here for two weeks would be too long but I could easily stay a week longer because there is so much to do around here.

Bethany's Shoes

Speaking of…


We have seen the sights! We did a little speed-tourism on Saturday.

Bug on the lawn

curly sculpture for my dad

orbiter air and space

We whipped through the lobby of the Air and Space museum on the way to the Natural History Museum. It was fascinating. They had a little kite display going on which was really cool.

frowny face

Bug is trying to copy the face on the kite here. And, yeah, that’s her thing: she looks away from the camera when I ask her to pose. I think she has camera-dismaysia or some other kind of cooperation aversion.

Natural History Museum rawwwrrrrrrr!!!

Next we hit up the Natural History Museum which is just as amazing as everyone said it would be. I’ve never really been to a museum with real giant dinosaur bones before so it was really neat to walk around and gawk. Of course it blew Bug’s mind and I’m sure she’ll be talking about it for years to come.

Crush fascinated

explaining something about brontasaurus

so they're not called Dingle Berries...

For the record, you know those funny little pokey things I’ve been calling Dingle Berries all these years? They’re actually called Sweet-Gum Gumballs. I hate it when Bethany is right—which she always is.

captured by tron Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond is not nearly as big as I thought it would be. It was still pretty fun to look at, if only to see all the other women ogling it. I particularly liked the giant salt molecule blown up that made me feel like I was falling into the land of Tron or something.

There was sooooo much more to write about but I’m going to have to break this post into parts because we are very very late for some other adventures. That and Bug has been interrupting me every five seconds. So, I’ll keep you posted. Hopefully sooner than later!