Saturday, April 30, 2011

D.C. First 3 Days

We arrived on Wednesday morning 4-27 after flying a red-eye flight on Tuesday night.
We took a 2 hour nap, then got ready for our first day in D.C.

Brian and Betty swooped us up in the Volvo, in front of our hotel at 11 am.

Betty had discovered a free organ concert at the National Cathedral, and Carl loves organ music.

We walked through the Cathedral, which felt like being at Notre Dame in Paris.

An organist gave a brief explanation about this organ, then played 3 songs - Carl was in heaven.

Inside the National Cathedral.

After the mini-concert, the Tracy's took us to their condo in Silver Spring, Md, showing us the neighborhoods in route. Then we went to McGinty's Irish Pub, Brian's hangout, and had a beer.

We then walked to Jackies for dinner. I had pork chop and "fiddlehead ferns" which tasted sort of like a green bean. All very delicious.

After a fun first day, we caught the Metro back or our hotel. Washington, D.C. has the best public transportation, so easy to get anywhere.

On Thursday morning, we took the Metro to the Capitol stop and met Betty and Brian for a tour of the Capitol. Betty had arranged a private tour for us through our local Congressman's office in Glendora. A young man from Claremont, who is an intern going to Dartmouth, gave us the tour. We walked from Drier's office building, through an underbuilding tunnel and came up inside the Capitol. This is looking down on the new Capitol Visitor's center.

I'm standing on the center of Washington, D.C. George Washington decided that this is the spot, the city was divided into four quadrants from there.

Our tour guide, Raza.

Looking up in the Rotunda.

All of the other tours had about 50 people in them.

This is the tunnel under the Capitol. We went through metal detectors and they looked through our purses.

The 4 of us in front of David Drier's office. This does not mean that I like him.

We walked to Old Ebbitt's Grill for lunch. Carol had suggested that we eat there. The oldest pub in DC.

I had a crab cake. Yummy!

After lunch, Betty and Brian went home. Carl and I walked about. Saw the White House from outside the fence. Betty tried to get a tour for us, but we were not allowed in.

We walked to the Smithsonian American History Museum. Here are the Ruby slippers from "The Wizard of OZ".

This is the dress that Michelle Obama wore to the inauguration. We saw all the First Lady gowns.

We were both exhausted.

This is a zoomed in photo of the Capitol building from the other end of the Mall.

The Washington Monument behind us.

That evening, Carl and I ate dinner at Ruth's Chris, overlooking Reagan National Airport and we could see all of DC, from the 11th floor restaurant.

We went to bed early, because Friday was THE WEDDING!!!! I was up at 5 AM and turned on the TV. Just then I saw Prince William being driven to Westminster Cathedral. Carl woke up and we watched it all. A great moment in history and a really good feeling, with all the other bullshit going on in the world.

Friday was Carl's big day out. We took the Metro to the Tracy's condo and borrowed their car. Then we drove to Baltimore to see the Coast Guard Cutter that Carl was on for 2 years. It was one of those moments, lump in throat.

This is the radio room where Carl worked for 2 years. He communicated in Morse Code.

This is the USCGC Taney.

We have been lucky so far with great weather.

Today is Saturday. We walked to the Corner Bakery for breakfast and we'll be getting ready for the Azalea Party, leaving at 2:30. I'll take plenty of pictures of the flowers for the next post.

We are having a super vacation so far and are finally adjusting to the time change.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We Made It

It's 5:20 am California time, 8:20 DC time. I've been up all night. We were able to check into our room early, so now it's nap time. Brian and Betty will pick us up at 11 for a full tour day. Going to Congress.

We flew Virgin America, a nice airline, LAX to DC, nonstop.

Will continue this blog as we do exciting stuff.

TBC (to be continued)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mr. Bunny at the door

Happy Easter one and all!

I was preparing for our annual Easter Breakfast with the gang and the door bell rang. It was too early, people weren't coming until 9 am. Lili barked and ran to the door. I opened it. It was Mr. Bunny, standing there, all alone. He brought the newspapers for us. I welcomed him to the center of our table, where he has proudly stood for at least 5 or 6 years, or maybe more.

The Azalea's are in full bloom, it's Springtime.

I cooked up 2 pounds of bacon.

Brandie with brother, Troy and sis-in-law, Janna. All of them in their Angel's red outfits. They're headed to the Anaheim Angels game right after breakfast. That's Mr. Bunny on the table. He lives at Teresa's house during his off-season.

Carol and Joni, comparing drinks.

Teresa in her Easter lavender top with matching earrings. The food was awesome, I'm still stuffed and it's already 1 pm. We had bacon, ham, potatoes, tortilla casarole, English muffins, fresh fruit, 2 custom cinnamon rolls, brownies, coffee, bloody Mary's, Mamosa's, and last but not least... Easter Eggs.

Carl stopped chewing and posed for his Easter portrait.

Even Lili enjoyed some bacon crisps on her dog food.

Mr. Bunny wanted a picture with me and Carl.

After the party, the flowers should open up right when we leave for our trip to Washington, DC.

We painted calla lilies for our last project in the watercolor class.

This one is the second attempt.

I planted cilantro and basil a couple of weeks ago and they are starting to grow.

I hope everyone has a nice Easter and enjoys time with their loves ones and friends.

Happy Spring!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Toooo-Lips and Purple Apples

I finished 2 paintings that I've been working on in class. This windmill is from a photo I found online, tulip fields in Holland.

In class we did a project using the "vanishing purple" process. You paint in all the shadows with purple, laying down your values, darks and lights.

After, you paint color and the purple shows through as the shadowing. Pretty cool!

This week we will be painting Callalilies for Easter.

Taaaa Daaaaa,


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Thursday's Tourists

Our good friend, Peter, made a stop over in Los Angeles on his around the world business trip. He had one full day to hang out with us, so we decided that he should see the good stuff in LA and Hollywood. We caught the Metrolink train from the North Pomona station at 11:30, arrived at Union Station Los Angeles around 12:30. The train station is old and glorious in Art Deco design. Pete inside the waiting area at Union Station.

After showing him the sights of the station we walked across the street to one of our favorite places, Olvera Street. We had planned to get taquitos but changed our minds for the full sit down lunch with Margaritas at one of the restaurants in the center. We had an outside table so we could watch the people. The place was packed. Turned out to be opening day of the baseball season, Los Angeles Dodgers playing the San Francisco Giants. There was a shuttle bus from Union Station to the Dodger game so Olvera Street was full of people eating and drinking wearing their Dodger Blue outfits.

This is the entrance to Olvera Street. For those who have not been here, the center of the street is filled with stores selling authentic "hecho en Mexico" wares; hats, sarapes, sombreros, marachas, candy, food, chachkies galore. Mariachi bands stroll the streets, playing their wonderful music.

After lunch we went back to Union Station and caught the Red Line metro to Hollywood and Vine. The metro station is right under the new W Hotel, a really swank place, where the music and movie stars hang out. Pete and I did a quick tour of the lobby and lounges there. I probably would not recognize a famous person if they were right in front of me. Carl waited outside looking for the usual action on the streets. We headed across the street to the "FROLIC ROOM", right next to the Pantages Theater.

Something about this little bar, we have so much fun there. It must be the drinks combined with the best Juke Box in the West. You have a sense of going back in time to the old Hollywood days - you just sit, chat and drink.

This is it! Just one single bar, a cool bartender, Mike, the Angels game was on TV, right before the Dodger's game. We had a couple of drinks, then decided to walk up Hollywood Blvd, to Highland and show Pete the Kodak Theater and the crazies who hang out there.

Across the street from Hollywood and Highland center you can see the Hollywood sign on the hill in the background.

Pete with the Hollywood sign behind him, only it's too bright to see.

The streets were being closed off because they were going to film a TV show that evening, "Wonder Woman". I didn't even know that show was on TV. It's a remake of the old show.

Pete is in front of the ticket booth at the El Capitan Theater. There was a line of people waiting for the Jimmy Kimmel show. We were asked if we would like to be in the audience, but we didn't have the time, would miss our last train home.

...and all the stars that never were are parking cars and pumping gas ! ! ! The Hollywood characters, Spiderman and Captain? something, pose with tourists for a buck.

In front of the Chinese Theater, Helen Mirren had placed her hands and feet in cement 4 days before. It would have been great to see her in person. They are waiting for her cement to dry before placing it.

I had to take a picture of these strange looking mannequins in the window of some hip looking shop.

They look like something from an old circus or fun zone, like I should be shooting a water pistol into their mouths.

Here's the Hollywood and Vine sign as we walked back for dinner.

We ate at Musso and Frank Grill. From 1919, the oldest restaurant in Hollywood. The best quality food and ambiance; industry people gathered at the bar making deals and schmoozing. This is our table, don't we look famous?

Here's a short video of our dinner plates. Yummy!

After dinner we made one more stop at the Frolic Room. I only had a diet coke then. During that day I had.... a Cadillac Margarita at Olvera Street, a Bloody Mary, a Corona beer, and a shot of Silver Cuervo Tequila at the Frolic Room, a Vodka Tonic with dinner and That's It! I'm surprised that I didn't feel like crapola the next day. We caught the Red Line back to Union Station and the last Metrolink train back to Pomona. Rondi was kind enough to pick us up at 10 pm, and Sean was nice to take us there in the morning.

We had the perfect one-day vacation, right in our own town.

Adios, Kathy