The Last of my DC Trip

My sister and I spent two days in Washington DC after leaving Charlottesville. We had a good time. Here are some pictures.

We went to Mount Vernon - the home of George Washington.

After visiting Mount Vernon we headed into downtown via the Metro.

We visited a couple of the museum then walked the monuments and memorials.
 One of Amelia Earhart's planes.
 Daniel Radcliff's robe from the Harry Potter Movies. He is short, by the way.
 The White House.
 The DAR building.
 Technically Caitlin and I qualify for the Daughters of the American Revolution. And we might just do it.
 We discovered this vent and Caitlin did her Marilyn Monroe moment.
 This squirrel ran down the tree and towards me expecting food. He wasn't the healthiest of squirrels. Kind of scary.
 The Vietnam War Memorial.
 The Lincoln Memorial.
 The Washington Monument. They are renovating things on the mall and putting in a water system that will better use the resources and reduce waste. I guess the reflecting pool is part of this revamp. I'll be excited to see it when it's done.
 Caitlin at Lincoln's Memorial.
The Korean War Memorial.

The next morning we spent time at Arlington Cemetery. We saw the house, the Tomb of the Unknowns, watched the changing of the guard, and wandered the cemetery a bit. There was a funeral going on. It was very touching.

The tomb of the Civil War Unknowns.

 We were able to watch two wreath placements ceremonies while there. It was interesting. Teenagers these days don't really understand properly dressing up. Good grief. Their skirts were barely past their bums.

The next thing we did was head to the Old Post Office Pavilion. You can't go up in the Washington Monument anymore. Which makes me glad I did when I was young. So we went to the Old Post Office. You can go up to the 12th floor and look out from the bell tower. It was cool. 

The Smithsonian Castle.
It was a good trip.

I was home for two days before I headed back to China, where I had a great two weeks with a routine and a few adventures before I was off for another grand adventure. I'll start blogging about that tomorrow. It's a long one with lots of fun and family.



Have patience while I play catch-up. For the last two and a half weeks, I've been traveling around China with my family having adventures and seeing cool things. I will finish Virginia this weekend and start on all the China adventures next week. It was a wonderful two weeks. So many pictures and good laughs. I'm excited to share all my adventures!


Father's Day

I know I'm posting a day late, but here it is.

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful father. I got to spend just short of 29 years with this wonderful father of mine and I miss him tons. Love you Dad. I hope your legacy shows in your children and that we pass it to your grandchildren.


Happy Birthday Grandma

The biggest reason we went to Virginia was for my grandmother's birthday. We had most of our family there. We were missing just 5 people, my mom, my brothers and two cousins, and the 3 that have already passed away.

My Aunt Georganne and her husband Andy hosted. They have an amazing yard about 30 mins. outside of town. Andy works as an estate manager for the former residence of Mr. Kluge that is now owned by the University of Virginia. That man can grow grass like nobody's business.We had lots of my grandma's friends come.

 Her cake was beautiful. My Aunt searched hard for food grade pansies for the cake. They are my grandma's favorite flower. It was very yummy cake too.
Blowing out the candles.

 Opening her book.
My cousin gave my grandma this nice blanket with all our names on it. It has Arave and my grandma and grandpa on the apples at the bottom and then on the branches are the names of her kids with each of her grandkids names. It was really nice.

My Aunt Jennifer sent invitations out around January and with her invitations she sent out a page to a scrapbook and asked everyone to make a page about my grandmother and how they know her or some fun memories. It was a great idea and turned out beautifully. These are some of the pages.

Some of my families pages.

This is the page that one of my dad's cousins did. His daughter is the same age I am. I'm not sure what freaky kind of face I'm pulling, but there you go. I was probably about 10 at that time. Jessie and I had a lot good times back then. How many of you can say that you are good friends with your second cousin? I am.

I know you are all jealous that I was so cool at age 10 and you didn't know me then.

It was good to be there for my grandma. But it was very hard. Because of her family of 7, including her, she has lost her husband, one son and one daughter to very weird, nasty, horrible diseases.

But I look at her legacy of strength and fortitude and I am amazed by her. She was convert at age 20. She's always done what the Lord would have her do. She has remained faithful through all her trials and continues to amaze me. I love her so much. I love you grandma. Happy Birthday.


Monticello Part 4

The Dome Room portico.
(photo from last year when I went with my grandma).
First off, the reason there is a door there, is because of ...symmetry. You guessed it. It has no other real purpose. It opens up to the portico above the west porch. So if there is space there, it would make sense to store stuff here. Right? Nope. It was furnished with a couch and a desk for two of Jefferson's granddaughters.

I can only imagine there were stairs to get down there, but now there aren't.

One of the granddaughters, Virginia Randolph, wrote this in a letter in 1823:

"I have never told you of the nice little cuddy that has become my haunt, and from which I am now writing. do you recollect the place over the parlour Portico into which the dome room opened? since the columns to the portico have been completed, Grand Papa has had the great work bench removed from it, and a floor layed, Cornelia ’s ingenuity in conjunction with mine formed steps from the dome into this little closet with a pile of boxes, and having furnished this apartment with a sopha to lounge upon, though alas! without cushions, a high & low chair & two small tables, one for my writing desk, the other for my books; and breathing through a broken pane of glass and some wide cracks in the floor, I have taken possession with the dirt daubers, wasps & bumble beas; and do not intend to give it up to any thing but the formidable rats which have not yet found out this fairy palace."

She wrote that at age 22 to her fiance. Apparently she and Cornelia really enjoyed themselves up there. 

I think that's kind of fun.


Monticello Part 3

The Dome Room. This is my favorite part of the entire house. I love everything about it.

This particular window has a mirror on the bottom half because of the roof line. It also helps reflect the light really well. Why a mirror and not just a half window you say? Because that would not be symmetrical. Symmetry was Jefferson's favorite architectural character.
Don't you love the yellow walls. They are exactly the color of my kitchen at home. Sometimes I have a dream of painting my whole house this color. Don't worry. I won't. But I want a quilt of this yellow and various blues for my next bed spread. Blue and yellow are my favorite color combination right now. Happy colors.
The Dome Room skylight is a single piece of hand blown glass from Germany that is 48 inches, 4 feet, across. The glass that was there in Jefferson's time was made in Boston and never lasted very long with out cracking.
 Beautiful moldings. The floor moldings are actually like 28 inches high. They seem disproportionate to the room, but they are actually proportionate to the room in regards to the rest of the house. Because of it's very high ceiling, 36" I think, they actually fit right in.
The third floor hallway with the entrance to the Dome Room on the left.

Next post I will show you the portico and cute little story that goes along with it.