My Family!!

My Family!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Annual Trip to DC

I mentioned before that Foster and I have made a tradition. The past 3 years we have gone on a romantic trip to our nation's capital. There is something extra special about being a soldier and seeing all of the history behind our country and being in the middle of everything we are fighting for.

We were doing really well on timing on our trip there until we hit the mountains.
Traffic was AWFUL!!!

We only had 120 miles left to go, but it took us 4 hours!!! We were really bummed, because we were supposed to get military tours of the Pentagon, it is a little better than the civilian tours, because they take you to a few different places, and plus, Foster's friend worked there, so we would get to see him there. Instead, we net him out for dinner when he got off work. Foster and he played rugby together in college, and he went through the program Foster is debating applying to in the Army. It was a lot of shop-talk, but it was nice to meet him and get a glimpse of Foster's past.

Later that night we made our yearly trip to the National Christmas Tree. We had our picture taken with Santa, and that night pictures were open to all age groups!
this was taken with our camera, we have the copy of the real one taken

We were so excited! We got some beautiful pictures, headed back to the hotel, had a few glasses of wine, and headed to bed. We had a full day planned for Friday, and had to start early.

Our first full day was packed. We had a tour of the Library of Congress. I would have to say it is the most beautiful building in DC. I have been to nearly all the buildings, and the art and architecture of the library beats them all hands down. Here are just a few pictures.

After the library, we were off to our state representative's office. We had a congressional tour scheduled of the Capitol building. I got to talking to the aid about submitting my letter to Congress about changing stillbirth leave and she gave me great advice, so after the lame duck session is over, and our new members take office, I will be sending my letter.

We sat in on both a House and Senate session, and I was really disappointed that the Bush tax cuts had already been voted on, because I was hoping we would catch the vote, but it had passed at midnight the night prior. Too bad, that would have been real history in the making. Foster really enjoys watching the sessions, because he feels like he is actually taking part in our government. I think we all take it for granted, and maybe instead of complaining all the time about our politicians and the decisions they make, more citizens should take advantage of the fact that this is still our nation, and we can be a part of it! Even if it is only as spectators from the balcony.

Before heading back to the hotel, we had time to take the metro to one of our favorite spots. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. I took a TON of pictures, but here are just a few.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Each time we go, I find new beauty in this place. I was thrilled because once again we were there right after the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. If you remember, I mentioned that Foster and I got married on her feast day, 12/12. She holds a special place in my heart. She is also one of the "pregnant" Marys. The bow around her waist signifies she is pregnant with Jesus. We stopped in her shrine, I lit a candle, and said a few prayers to God for Rosie, our future children, and asked for Mary's intercession. I searched for the perfect necklace of her, but I failed miserably. I had one image in mind, and was really disappointed the the Basilica did not have a nice necklace. I wanted a necklace before we get pregnant again, because I was hoping to wear one through the next pregnancy for a little extra hope and faith that Mary would help watch over us next round. I know, it sounds like one of those "goofy Catholic things", but it brings me reassurance and piece of mind, so please don't criticize.

I even tried to find one at the local holiday bizarre, and came close, but the artist said he would make a custom designed piece for me. It would cost close to $200, but if I couldn't find something else, I would be willing to pay it.

That evening we went to our favorite restaurant in DC. Honestly, I don't even know the name of it, but it specializes in Greek and Lebanese food. They are  unique in the fact that each plate is small portions. Enough for two or three bites for each of us. We ordered 6 different plates ranging from lamb to veal sweetbread. Most of the dishes were amazing. Foster and I were not too fond of the duck we ordered, but hey, we only had to have 3 bites of it. We had a few drinks, but saved the dessert for the hotel. My "cake lady", as she has so fondly been named by family and friends, made our anniversary cake. Cake Lady is a nurse practitioner in my ER, and she makes cakes as a hobby. She took on the challenge of making her first wedding cake for my big day. It was BEAUTIFUL!!! However, the top was a little too big to freeze and save for a whole year. It would have taken up the entire freezer and we would have had no place to put meet and such. So, she agreed last year to make us a 1 year anniversary cake. Instead of recreating the original flavors, Foster wanted to have German Chocolate cake, so we did. It was AMAZING!!!!

We toasted to our first year of marriage, ate, and made the big plans I had been looking forward to the whole trip, meeting my best buddy from my online support group.

We were supposed to meet them in Baltimore, but we found out Friday night that the MARC train does not run on Saturday and Sundays. We were really disappointed, because we had no back up plan. However, Mrs. Strength and her hubby said they would take the two hour trip into DC because that is how much she wanted to see me! I was so relieved, because I had been looking forward to this encounter for weeks, and was seriously crying at the thought of not being able to meet this amazing woman in person.

Since our plans for Baltimore were scratched, Foster and I decided to go see the war memorials again. Last time I went, it was dark and raining. This time it was cold, but at least I could see everything, and I could take my time because I wasn't trying to stay dry. There is something so surreal about standing amongst these memorials that were raised in honor of the soldiers who fought and died for this country.

I love how you can see the Washington Monument reflection in the Vietnam wall!

Dave goofing off and joining the men in line during the Great Depression

He is all proud of himself because he cut in front of everyone! lol

I HAD to pose with the women in the military monument!!

After a lot of walking around, we stopped by the Smithsonian of American History to check out the First Ladies' Dresses since the exhibit was closed last time we went and then it was off to see Mr. and Mrs. Strength.

I was afraid Foster would be uncomfortable because he can be weird around strangers, but he actually was really talkative. He seemed to really hit is off with Mr.Strength, and started getting a little TOO talkative after a few too many beers. Oh well, we were on vacation.

Unfortunately, after about thirty minutes of being there, Mrs. Strength started to feel nauseated and light headed. She was not feeling well at all. I was worried for her, and felt really bad, because she had made such a long trip and was not even able to enjoy her meal. We made the best of the circumstances, and it was just great to spend time with her in person for once. We talk on the phone all the time and text back and forth, but just getting to sit next to her was awesome.
My best buddy!!

Before leaving DC on Sunday, Foster and I headed back to the Basilica for Sunday mass. It was awe inspiring. Such a beautiful setting for mass! I said a little prayer while we were there to God to help us conceive, but if we were not pregnant this month, I asked that He not get my hopes up, and let my monthly visitor show up on time. No joke, as soon as I stepped out of the pew, she showed up!! How funny is that?!?! I guess it just goes to show that I am not in control of any of this. It is all in Gods hands, and Foster and I will do what we have to, but we are going to have to put faith in God that he knows the right timing for Rosie's sibling.

Here is my favorite picture I took:


Lori said...

That Santa was AWESOME! We had friends come into town from Pensacola and they went to DC for several different days with their 8 year old friends told Santa their daughter's name, but he TOTALLY KNEW they were from Pensacola--without being told! Ella was SURE it was 'the REAL Santa' and the pictures were great!

Love seeing the area through your eyes! It's beautiful, and we don't take advantage of it as much as we should! Sorry you had such a blizzard through which you had to navigate, but glad you did so safely!

Holly said...

I made it through the whole post! You took a lot of great pics. The cutting in line pic made me laugh!!

The library in DC is really beautiful! It doesn't even look like a library at all.

I'm glad you were able to meet up with your bestie. :) But sorry she wasn't feeling well!

butterflymom said...

What a beautiful trip...and how great that you were able to meet your "best buddy" in real life. ((hugs))


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