Friday, November 28, 2008

Anniversary Trip | Day Seven

This was our last full day of vacation. We went to Mount Vernon and walked through all three floors of George and Martha Washington's home. We walked all over the grounds and saw his original grave and his final resting place. Mount Vernon is absolutely beautiful.

Standing in front of
George and Martha Washington's house.

The view from the back of the house--the Potomac River.

It's us!

Dana and Charles

Travis standing by a tree in front Mount Vernon.

Later that day we went to Old Town Alexandria for lunch. It's so beautiful, especially this time of year. We had lunch at Union Street Public House. It's a great restaurant and Travis got to eat A LOT of seafood. He loved that. :)

Dana, Charles, me and Travis standing in the
main entrance of the Union Street Public House.

A very cool chandelier in the restaurant.

We ended the evening playing Canasta. We played three nights in a row and each night the girls would win. That just about drove the guys insane! Then, finally, they won the very last game! The guys could go to bed happy.

This was the end to an amazing anniversary trip.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Favorite Picture So Far

Hershey, Pennsylvania

Anniversary Trip | Day Six (Thanksgiving)

Happy Thanksgiving!

We've had a great day relaxing, eating, watching football, eating, playing games and eating!

Dana and Charles' House

Dana and Charles' House

Trees in the backyard.

More trees in the backyard.

Trees at sunset.

Trees at sunset.

A barn we saw on the way to Dana's house.

Buddy the dog.

Cousin Daniel and Uncle Warren

Aunt Joyce and Cousin Dana

Travis watching the first football game.

Travis watching the second football game (Go Cowboys!).

Anniversary Trip | Day Five

Today was very laid back. We got up early and left Philly for DC. We were in DC last June/July and walked the mall, saw all the monuments and toured the Holocaust Museum, so all we had on our list to do was tour the Capitol and maybe the Washington Monument. To make a long story short, we ended up driving around all day and doing a DC tour from our car. I've had a cold all week and it got the best of me yesterday. My sweet husband didn't "make" me walk all over the city. We did get to see a lot, including the White House and the outside of the Capitol Building (from every angle).

The most interesting part was driving around and going to places that you wouldn't normally walk to. We definitely ended up in the ghetto part of DC. I even met Bon Qui Qui (and all of her friends) when we stopped to use the bathroom at McDonald's. WOW ... that's all I can say!

We decided to come to my cousins' (Dana and Charles) house early, but got stuck in traffic for hours. There was a bad wreck and three lanes were closed. We did arrive in time for dinner and stayed up late playing pool and Canasta. It was great to spend time with family.

Pictures taken from the car on our “tour.”

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Anniversary Trip | Day Four (Our Anniversary)

Today is our 2nd wedding anniversary! I’m so blessed that God brought Travis into my life. It was a long wait, but worth every minute. Never forget that God’s timing is not ours and that when we wait for what he has for us that it’s always perfect. Travis is truly my perfect soul mate, and I thank the Lord for him every day.

Today we got up and had a wonderful breakfast in our hotel. We then took the subway to Independence Hall. While on the subway, we met a very nice man and as he was getting off the subway he said, “I hope you all have a fun day visiting Philly.” I said, “I guess the camera around my neck was a dead giveaway that we’re tourists.” He laughed and said, “Actually, it was the map he was reading” and pointed to Travis. This was definitely our day to be tourist.

First, we walked around the visitor’s center for a while and booked a tour and got tickets to Independence Hall. It was raining most of the morning, so I was glad we were doing things inside. We went to Independence Hall and sat through a long (one hour) but interesting lecture given by a lady that looked like Quasimodo without the hump and sounded like she was born and raised in Jersey. Next, we went to Congress Hall and listened to a shorter (about 30 minutes) lecture. It was all very interesting. I wish I’d finished watching the John Adams documentary on HBO. I guess I’ll do that when I get home.

We then walked across the street to go look at the Liberty Bell. If you haven’t seen the Liberty Bell before, I must say … it’s small! I imagined it was about four times larger than it is. We took lots of pictures, including one of Travis licking the liberty bell (Paul’s request).

After all that fun, we went to find a Philly Cheesesteak for Travis. He had found two he wanted to go to before we left for our trip. Then when we got to the city, he asked everyone he saw where they thought had the best Cheesesteak. Just like finding a pizza place in NYC, everyone had a different answer. We finally decided on Sonny's Famous Steaks. It wasn’t one of the ones he found before we left, but it was one that was recommended by more than one person and it was close to Independence Hall. I knew the sandwich had steak and onions on it (if you want onions, you just say “Philly Cheesesteak with), but I had no idea that they used cheese whiz! Apparently, you have had a real Philly Cheesesteak unless you’ve had one with cheese whiz. So, Travis got one with steak, onions and peppers with lots of cheese whiz. I got mine with meat and cheese whiz only. I was good, but not that great. I’m not sure why they’re so popular. Guess it’s just a Philly thing!

The last “touristy” thing we did was ride the Duck. It’s this ridiculously looking thing shaped like a duck and it drives on land and in the water. It was fun, but I couldn’t take any good pictures out of the plastic windows. I did get a good one of our driver with a plumber’s crack. A four-year-old little boy told him, “Hey driver, did you know your pants are falling down?” As cold as it was, I thought he’d be able to feel the chill. Guess he was well insulated. ;-)

By the afternoon, I was ready for a nap. So we went back to the hotel. Travis went driving around trying to find landmarks he wanted to see (mainly, the football and baseball stadiums), and I took a nap and a long bath in the Jacuzzi tub (I love that tub!)

We then got ready for our anniversary dinner. Travis found a wonderful restaurant called Moshulu. It’s right on the water. It was so much fun to get dressed up and have a very nice dinner. I took a few pictures, but they don’t do the place justice. If you’re ever in Philly and you want to have a nice dinner, I highly recommend this place.

And the rest of the night was just as wonderful, but I’m not going to blog about that. ;-) Let’s just say, “We lived happily ever after ….”

PS - I have a lot more pictures of the architecture and of us to post, but I am spending time with family and I haven't finished editing them. I have some good ones. I just wanted to upload some of the "funnier" ones. Check facebook tomorrow. :)

(Note: I wrote this yesterday, but didn't get to post it.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Anniversary Trip | Day Three

We left the wonderland of Hershey today. I did have one funny story about Hershey that I forgot to add yesterday. When we were getting out of the car to go to the park, we were watching all the "locals" getting out and putting on their hats, golves, scarves and coats. Travis and I couldn't decide how much we should put on. We both had on layers, so we kept going back and forth on whether or not we needed coats, hats, etc. Finally, I decided that my thick sweater (with a long shirt under it) would be enough to keep me warm. When I got out of the car a man turned to his family and said, "See, she's from Maine. She only needs to wear a sweater!" I laughed and said, "Actually, I'm from Dallas. Our rental car is from Maine. We've been watching you and trying to decide if we needed a coat!" It just made me laugh because they were watching to see how many layers we put on because they thought we were from Maine.

So, back to today. We headed towards Philly, but we took the scenic route. We went through Amish country. This part of Pennsylvania is very beautiful. We saw a lot of laundry hanging outside houses; some of the houses were very beautiful. One wouldn't expect to see laundry hanging in the front yard.

We stopped at an Amish Village (very touristy) and passed a man on a buggy, a boy on a skate/bike and a school with Amish kids (see pictures below).

Next we went to Valley Forge and visited the Washington Memorial Chapel. We also went to a used bookstore behind the chapel. I bought two really old books and a book on CD (The Dip by Seth Godin) all for only $6!

Next we went to the Valley Forge Visitor Center and watched a (boring) movie about the revolutionary war in the winter (yawn!). We then drove around Valley Forge, but some of the really good parts we wanted to see were closed for restoration.

Then we made our way into Philly. Right before we got to the heart of the city, we stopped to get gas. An older lady stopped Travis and asked him for directions to The Full Moon Saloon (I'll get back to that in a minute). It's so funny, because we've had at least three people stop us to ask for directions. I guess we look like we know where we're going.

We got to the city. I love Philly. It's a beautiful city full of all kinds of amazing architecture. There's so much history here. There's such a great feeling in this city. We asked our concierge for a good local place to eat. He recommended Portofino (Italian). It was really good. I really wish I had taken my camera. It was a really cool restaurant. The manager was so friendly. He was from Jersey. The owner even came over and gave us his business card and talked to us for a while. He had a very thick Italian accent ... he kinda reminded me of a "godfather" type of guy. They gave us a free dessert with a candle on it for our anniversary. It was very special.

After we were finished eating, we asked one of the waiters if there were any fun places to go on a Monday night. After telling us about every club in the city (man, did he know Philly or what??), we asked him about the The Full Moon Saloon. We had just happened to pass it on the way to the restaurant. Well, he looked at us like we were from Mars. He said, "That's a gay bar! Do you really want to go there?" We just laughed! We told him about the older lady asking for directions to the place. Needless to say, we did not go to the Full Moon Saloon!

We left and started to walk back to the hotel to get our car and stopped at Starbucks and walked through Macy's. We ended the evening by driving around the city in the rain listening to jazz music. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Oh - and we love our hotel (HUGE jacuzzi tub--enough said!) and this area so much that we've decided to stay here an extra night instead of staying in DC. We'll just go to DC on Wednesday. I'll have to post pictures of the view from our hotel suite tomorrow. We have a view on three sides. Our suite just might be larger than our apartment!

Tomorrow is our actual anniversary and we're going to dinner on a boat! I'll blog more tomorrow.

(For all the pictures, check out my facebook page.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Anniversary Trip | Day Two

We had a really fun day today. We went to Hershey Park and Hershey Chocolate World. We also met a friend for dinner and saw the "Sweet Lights"—Hershey's version of Christmas lights—with our friend Tom.

All of the roller coasters were closed, but we rode all of the "smaller" rides (some two times in a row!). We also determined that we will not bring a baby to an amusement park, especially when it's below freezing! Every baby we saw was screaming. I guess people up north like to take their babies out in the cold. Who knows.

As cheesy as it sounds, we just really enjoyed spending time together and being in a place that we were experiencing for the first time together. It really doesn't get much better than that. :)

Philly is tomorrow. I'm sure it will be more exciting.