Sunday, September 20, 2009

Party in Chinatown

We had a reception with some of Autumn's class in Chinatown on the roof of one of the buildings. Great views of DC!

 Entrance gate into Chinatown.

View from the party!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


As Autumn mentioned we met up with Ron & Julie for the weekend in Pennsylvania. We had a great time, and it was so nice to see someone from home!

Guess where we went?

"A great place to let corporate America brainwash your kids" according to Autumn, but I thought it was nice.

Inside the chocolate "factory".

The mountains in Penn. are so lovely....can't wati for ski season! haha!

Amish Buggy! Just kidding it was only Mennonites giving some tourists a thrilling ride.

Autumn & Julie!

Central PA!

Good morning!  We are in East Harrisburg, PA this morning visiting with my mom.  She's in town for some work related trade show, and this just happens to be super close to DC (about 2.5 hours).  We're going to go into Hershey this morning, then maybe over to Lancaster this afternoon.  Oh the fun!!  :)  Check in later for pics...

In other news the first week of work went well.  Meeting people, learning about the department.  It is a lot to take in, but I think I am getting the hang of it.  We have our bid lists (which I cannot disclose at this time, sorry), so we are trying to decide where in the world to go.  Eric had spouse orientation Thursday & Friday of this week.  He really enjoyed it and learned a lot more about what exactly I have gotten us into :)  Well, I hope everyone is having a great Saturday morning!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Our New Home

Autumn all dressed up for her first day!
Entry & Dining Area


Living Room


Deck...I think we need to request some patio furniture from the leasing office???

Our view....of the cemetary! Uh...this wasn't in the brochure!?! HAHA Oh well, just part of Virginny's charm!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Road Trip Day 6: Cleveland, OH to Falls Church, VA

After a weird, dismal and disappointing night in Cleveland, OH Eric and I prepared to make our triumphant return to Virginia.  It was almost exactly four years ago that we moved out here the first time, but this time we have a purpose for the journey.  We began the day in Cuyahoga National Park, which, like our other Ohio experiences, we found to be lacking.  After Ohio, we traveled through Pennsylvania and Maryland, then through to Virginia.  It is good to be back in Utz and Chick-Fil-A country :)  Here are the sights from the road today...
This is a bridge in the park.  It was pretty, and the mirror image was cool...but should it be in the same class as Yellowstone?  You be the judge!  

More views from the park..still pretty, but...

This is what is known as a "ski hill" in Ohio.  Hill indeed!
This is kind of random, but for everyone's safety please consult the "Shelf Life" column of this spreadsheet before you consider purchasing a gas station sandwich.
 And we've arrived!

That's it for tonight.  We are very happy to be out of the car and moved into our new apartment.  We will post pics of the place tomorrow after we have it all put together.  Have a great night!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Surprise Fireworks!

Cleveland does have one good thing going for it. The surprise fireworks at Progressive Field (across the street from our hotel).

Road Trip Day 5: Chicago, IL to Cleveland, OH

Today we woke up in the wonderful capital of the MidWest, Chicago. After a great breakfast, we headed out across the Great Plains to Cleveland, OH.

We HATE Cleveland.

Oh well, on to DC tomorrow!!!!!
The moon was half-full and quite dramatic set against Chicago's stunning architecture. 

Mmmm...Dutch Babies.....

As its name suggests, the Magnificent Mile is quite magnificent!

The water looked shocking clean and the city was beautiful. 
Art Institute of Chicago was spectacular. The Impressionist paintings and Design/Architecture galleries were our favorites; including some great examples from R. Buckminster Fuller (Bucky!) and Van Gogh!

Autumn & Eric blissfully unaware of where the day would leave them....

Look, we went to Michigan! (for about 10 minutes) BUY AMERICAN CARS! 

Enough said!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Road Trip Day 4: St. Paul, MN to Chicago, IL

We left St. Paul and headed out for Wisconsin (America's Dairyland) and then off to Chicago for the evening. After some misguided attempts at cheese factory tours and a side venture to Wis(consin) Dells, we made it to the Windy City in time to have dinner at Rick Bayless's (reigning Top Chef Master) restaurant, Frontera Grill. Delicious Mexican food...let's hope it's not our last!
This is NOT a cheese factory. It is in fact a cheese/sandwich deli! Thanks a lot Google! Oh well, it was still a nice visit to Chad and Marth's hometown of Eau Claire (French translation..."clear waters"), and we got garlic cheese curds out of the deal....yum!

Yet another NON-cheese factory! Just kidding, they did have a cheese making facility at this lovely cheese chalet, but they weren't making cheese today, so there was no free show! Best curds that we've tasted to date! The secret ingredient....PRIDE! haha! Just a little Wisconsin cheese humor!

"Paul Bunyan: All You Can Eat! Cookin' Shack" in our newest favorite vacation destination for the ultimate in family friendly Mid-Western fun....the Wis Dells! 

Chicago at last! The view of Lake Michigan from our room!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Road Trip Day 3: Rapid City, SD to St. Paul, MN

We got up extra early today (5:00 am!#%$!&*!!) and drove out to the Badlands National Park....sleepy!
Barren and beautiful..Badlands!

These are just like super-cute gophers! They probably wreck havoc on local farms and yards, but out here, they are loved by all!

More Badlands!

Window trail in "The Wall"

And Minnesota and the land of corn! 

We met up with Jacquelyn and Jude, went out to dinner and stayed the night. We had a great time as always! Thanks for the hospitality guys! Love you!

Wow, it sure is early...

We're up!!  Yikes!!!  We are going to head over to the Badlands and watch the sunrise there.  Did I mention how early it is??  Not sure about the internet situation at Jacquelyn's tonight, so there's a chance that we won't be able to post, but we will certainly try.  Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Road Trip Day 2: Billings, MT to Rapid City, SD

Today was a fun and interesting day on the road.  We got to go to my (Autumn) 2nd favorite state, Wyoming, first.  All of the Yellowstone direction signs were kind of torturous, but we made it :)  We have been pleasantly surprised by South Dakota so far.  It reminds me a lot of NE WA in the Black Hills.  We are in Rapid City now, and the view east appears to be very very flat and brown.  Tomorrow we get to go to the Badlands, then onward to St. Paul to see Jacquelyn.  Now for the pictures from the road....
Saw this beauty at a gas station in Billings this morning.  This local said to me, "Check out this Praying Mantis!  I think I'm going to take it home to the kids!!"  That really happened, LOL!

 This is part of the monument at Little Big Horn Battlefield.  An overall very disturbing place...will not be visiting any other battlefields anytime soon.

Jewel Cave, SD.  There were crystals everywhere.  Very cool.

Flow Stone in Jewel Cave...I think we've had enough caves :)
Us at Mt. Rushmore.  Such a strange thing, the blasting of President heads into was interesting though.

See you tomorrow from the road!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Road Trip Day 1: Kettle Falls, WA to Billings, MT

Today we left Kettle Falls and started the road trip. Pretty uneventful through Spokane, Idaho and Montana except for a little detour to the Lewis and Clark Caverns near Bozeman. Tomorrow will be much more exciting in....SOUTH DAKOTA! haha!

Autumn is such a spelunker! 

Inside the Lewis and Clark Caverns near Bozeman, MT

Us outside the caverns! We're just happy to be out of the car!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lazy day with Cathy & Rich

Black clouds and rain kept us inside for a very relaxing day with my mom, Rich and the chickens!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Party Day at Julie's!!

R2 in his new home.

The party was tons of fun. Thank you to everyone for coming to see us off, and to Julie for hosting!

We're In Kettle Falls

We arrived in Kettle Falls Thursday evening, and spent the past few days with family. Big going away party tonight!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hiking on the farm!

View from the top!

Autumn & cute!

TO:  Anyone who thinks they can get away with riding motorized vehicles on unauthorized paths...WE'RE WATCHING YOU!!