Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Catch Up

I called this entry 'Catch Up' as I have a couple of days to 'catch up' but also today we spent the day 'catching up' with a great friend who used to live in Brisbane. Katie and Thomas moved to Toronto just over a year ago and we haven't seen them since they left so as the trip from Toronto to Washington is not as long as from Toronto to Brisbane they decided to pop on over and see us. So great to catch up. Funny how you see a great friend after a year apart and it seems like you only saw them yesterday. I love that. 

But let me 'catch up' on the last few days...

So Saturday afternoon we arrived in our hotel. Its a hotel this time with breakfast included (first thought is the food). Its very nice.

Then Sunday we headed off to church. It was the First Baptist Church of Glenarden. It was awesome! I could count the white people on one hand. Three of them were us!! Great atmosphere. 

All male choir and boy could they sing.

Then the football on Sunday afternoon. We saw the Washington Redskins play the Cincinnati Bengals. The game was great, I think. From this picture you can see our seats. 

I think that's the field down there!

Yes, they were the cheap ones. Our view of half the field and a big pole show that. The cheap seats meant that everyone around us was more interested in drinking than the game which proved for some added entertainment as a few fights broke out and people were dragged out of the stadium by the police. Had to catch some pictures of that!!

Fight, fight, fight...

Had to wait till the end to see the whole field. Good game though.

The next day, Monday, we had booked a tour of the Capitol Building. Very interesting. Here are a few pics I took.

We got to sit in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Those rooms are so much smaller in real life than they look when they are filled with all those important - running the country - kind of people. Sorry no photos as the security is very strong and no cameras allowed. :(

Some more pics of the Capitol Building and the surrounds.

Library of Congress

Ahhh... maybe it's not that big after all.

Then today was the day we caught up with our friends, and found a great coffee shop that does good coffee, hard to find here. We wandered around George Town, went suit shopping for Alex, lunch at Malaysian restaurant and ice-cream at Ben and Jerry's. All round great day really.

Off to visit some of the Smithsonian's tomorrow.

Until next time...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Take me back to the ball game

We got up fairly early Friday but didn't get going to soon because some members of the family (not me) had downloaded the new operating systems for their apple products over night so we had to discover what it did. So a lot of time was spent asking Siri stupid questions and laughing at her answers. When we finally got on the road it was off to Harvard University we went.

After passing another cemetery (smile),

we joined on a tour of the campus. 

So much history in that school and so many beautiful buildings. It was really interesting. 

Statue of John Harvard.

Then, as its all about the food, we had to go somewhere for lunch. Of course! I over heard a lady asking our tour guide where Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage was. Intrigued we followed the directions and found it. It was packed. 

We had to wait for a table and were served by Mr Bartley himself. 

All the burgers had weird names. The waitress said the iPhone was the most popular. I had the Tom Brady (quarterback for the New England Patriots - the football team of the area) personally I'm not a fan of Tom Brady but his burger was great. Caitlin had the Joe Biden and Alex the Wes Welker (another footballer for the Patriots). 

The photo really doesn't show the chaos in the place. But it was definitely an experience.

On the way back home we stopped at a great Farmers Market that is on Fridays and Saturday in the city. 

Picked up all these goodies for only $5. Unbelievable!!

Then it was home to get ready for the Game. We were off to the baseball. Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. 

All I remembered about Fenway Park was what I saw in the movie Perfect Catch (Fever Pitch - in the US) with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon and the big green wall dubbed the 'Green Monster'. Being there was so cool. I sat next to a guy named Jim O'Connor who said he had been coming to this field since before I was born. It was great. He filled me in on some rules I didn't know and provided some entertainment with us 'crazy Australians'. He was a New England Patriot supporter and tried to convert me but I won't hold that against him. We cheered our little lungs out but nothing could help the Boston Red Sox win. 

Panorama shot with the new iPhone systems upgrade
 on Alex's iPhone. Pretty cool, I guess.

The Sox went down 4 - 2 against the Baltimore Orioles. Then it was back on the Subway with thousands of other people for the ride home. They were packing us in like sardines, but we made it.

Today, Saturday, we are heading off to Washington DC by train. So far we are halfway through our 8 hour trip and I am still convinced that the train is the way to go. Bit of reading, some lunch in the dining car and a bit of sleep. Bliss!!

Unitl next time...

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Freedom Trail

We have been in Boston for 3 days now and it has been very good to us. The weather has been perfect. Let me try and remember what we have done.

We arrived here Monday and that day I talked about last time, Tuesday was a rest day, sort of. We slept in, nice. Then had breakfast/lunch at Joe's American Bar and Grill on the waterfront. Very nice and relaxing. 

View from our table
Then a bit of a walk and explore of the city. Found a lovely little cemetery or burial ground that has a few of the founding fathers buried there. I love looking through old cemeteries so I dragged the family along to take some pictures. 

Then a little stop in Boston Common the oldest park in the middle of the city. Sat by the fountain and watched the pigeons. 

Oh, there is only one pigeon here. I'm sure there were more.

We finished the day with a ride on the subway and dinner in China Town. Yum!

Wednesday we hired a car for our first time, this trip, driving on the wrong side of the road, well just the other side it's not wrong over here. It's just the left turns and roundabouts that get you. So weird!! 

We needed to hire a car because we were heading to New Hampshire for a canopy zip lining tour. If you have never heard of zip lining well you need to try it. So much fun. Basically it's flying across lines, like flying foxes, that are suspended above the tree line and you are just held in by a harness. The longest line we travelled on was 830 feet long and 170 feet high. They have little platforms around the trees and you go from tree to tree on the lines. There were 9 zip lines, 2 suspension bridges (those were a little scary) and 3 repels (where you lower yourself down a rope). I thought I would be more scared but the instructors were very good and once you are up there, if you dont think about the heights the views are breathtaking. 

This took up our whole day as the trip in the car to get there took 2.5 hours and the tour was 3.5 hours. So after the trip home again, it was very late.  New Hampshire is such a pretty state, if we had known about this resort we may have stayed there a day or two, but it was still nice to look at.

Today, Thursday, we started off slow, after the adrenaline rush of yesterday. Found this great place for lunch. When we got there the line was out the door. So they must be good right? The line moved fairly quick and once inside Casa Razdora's we could see why the long line up. Great food but also great service, which we haven't seen a lot of here. These guys were very friendly and happy to help and even checked if we enjoyed it all the while the lines were out the door. This pizza was only half of what we ordered. We had pasta coming too. Obviously we totally underestimated the serving sizes :)

Then after lunch we jumped on a trolley tour of Boston to see the sights, including a couple more old cemeteries and a few old churches. There is so much history here, sometimes it's s bit too much to take in.

Then it was a stop by Quincy's Market for dinner. Clam chowda again for me. LOVE IT! But not before a little silliness!!!

Until next time...