Thursday, August 30, 2012

It feels like home.

When Tyson unlocked the door to our basement apartment Sunday night, he came back outside where I was waiting for some help with our church bags & Taryn and said, "It smells amazing inside!"
I had prepared a pot roast and left it in the slow cooker for the duration we were at church and for both of us, that smell means home. It's a classic comfort food recipe that we both enjoyed, especially on Sundays, growing up. Preparing it yesterday was like giving our little home our stamp of approval. This is our house now, and we are making it our home.

While we were assembling the last items for dinner, we talked about how we are so happy we are here. We both recounted instances during the 3 hour block of church of how we both became overwhelmed with the feeling of, 
"This is where we are supposed to be," 

We love our ward and we love the area where we live.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Newseum

We heard about the Newseum in D.C. and how awesome it was but couldn't believe it cost $19.95 per person! Luckily for us we were able to get in free thanks to my sister's roommates- perfect timing! After walking through the museum we thought it would definitely be worth the admission price because it really is a great interactive place. 
Front pages of newspapers from all over the world are sent to the Newseum every day before dawn and displayed inside. They hold the newspapers dating back to the 16oo's and more! The museum also holds the Pulitzer Prize wining photos from several decades which will make you cry. They have captured moments from history so well. Of course, there is so much to see that it's hard to fit it all in!


Chilling in her stroller. We love that she rests on that bar and watches the world around her  as we walk around the city

One of those rare moments where we had someone who could take a picture of us! (Thanks, Brittany!)


We explored the Old Post Office building too which gives you the best view of D.C. for free! At the time, the clock tower was the highest sky scrapper of D.C. at a whole 12 stories :) I think as I get older I become more and more afraid of heights. Being up there- and it's not even that tall- was a bit scary to me. Maybe it's all the wind too?

Thanks, Brittany, for inviting us to come with you!  
There is still so much to discover. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

And now my sister lives her too!

 It took my sister all of a week to book her flight, find housing, and move back East after hearing us talk about the great area in which we live. 
Talk about spontaneity! 
It was all about good timing and we are so excited to have her around these parts. We've been having our own little adventures with her as we discover more of the greatness around us. Like today, we took the Metro into D.C., picked a Smithsonian Museum to visit and spent our time casually walking (and chasing Taryn) around the Natural History Museum. I have to admit, I really doubted the sound of this museum but boy, was I proven wrong the instant we walked in. My eyes lit up and so did Taryn's. It's a great place to take children and there's also the Hope Diamond on display which I have always wanted to see.
 It's a lot of fun to have family living near us again! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We went to the Zoo!

Going to the Zoo on Saturday was so perfect. It didn't start to get crowded until 3pm when we were leaving-awesome! There is so much to see and there were a lot of animals out and about playing around. Taryn said "WOAH!!!!" so many times as she ran up to the glass to greet the new animal she saw. Being around other kids doing the same thing was such a kick for her. Taryn practiced her animal noises all day long and we had a great time as a family there. 

Watching the otters- they were so entertaining!

The Great Apes exhibit (you can see the orangutan- moving fast!)

 This butterfly was just about 2 inches from Taryn's face. She loved it!

 Don't worry-Taryn didn't actually touch the cow (despite what Tyson's face says)

 The largest escalator I think I have ever been on at the Woodley Park National Zoo metro stop. Going up, I actually got weak in the knees looking back down (ya- scared of heights over here!) We agreed that it would be the best slide ever if it weren't for the circles on the slope (meant for people just like us with those thoughts). We joked about how crazy it would be if it broke when we came back. And it did. There is NO WAY to get down it with a stroller. So we waited in a long line with all the other stroller go-er's for the elevator up the street. Opps, guess that was our bad for jinxing it :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes

 So, we live in a pretty cool area. There's about 1 billion things you can do here. And if you know us, we want to see it all. So what do we do before Tyson starts his internship this week and then school shortly after? We make the most of our time together and see all that we can, of course.

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Julia Child's Kitchen (good timing for her 100th Birthday!) I spent a lot of time here, reading the spines of the cookbooks in her kitchen, staring at the never ending pots and pans she owned (it made my collection look like nothing!), and loving that fact that she entertained guests right in her kitchen where all the action was happening. What a great idea.

 Although we have seen many locomotives in movies, we never realized how gigantic they really are until Tyson stood next to it (He's 6'2!)

Pictures of the Historic Route 66 which we drove a portion of on our great trip back East! Ahh, memories :)

I passed the test and was asked to join "Rosie" as a new "Riveter"


The museums are great because they are very kid friendly. There are displays to play with and interactive areas like Mr. Potato Head building next to the original "Muppets". There was so much to see! I was touched with deep emotion as we entered the special "Star Spangled Banner" exhibit. The flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the amazing lyrics is displayed for all to see. What and amazing history we are apart of. As the music played in the background you could read the words, and it touched my heart.
We're looking forward to going back several times with visiting family members!

We also went to the Eastern Market to have lunch and ate the best sandwiches from Market Lunch. I would highly recommend "The Crab Cake" and "The Cod." The flavors were just spectacular. Really, we licked our plates after. Spacing can be limited for seating but they have a great overflow area so Taryn ran around with other kids and ate her lunch later. It all worked out great. There is a lot of Italian influence here (and all over D.C./VA). I was really excited to see I could get special items here to that I have only known in Italy!

So excited for a treat!

D.C. is beautiful. We've made mental lists of so many places to see and eat at. It's really exciting to live in the area we do because I feel like I could never get bored. To top it off, almost all of it is free!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child

Yesterday was the 100th birthday of Julia Child.
While in Arizona, I borrowed my in-laws car to run an errand by myself. I was listening to NPR on my way back home and they played a segment of one of Julia's shows. Hearing her voice made me tear up. You could just hear the joy in her voice and understand what kind of a woman she was. For me, listening to her talk about things of the kitchen made me want to rush home and whip up a 7 course meal including with the most amazing dessert you've ever had. This is a woman who continues to inspire. She makes me proud to be a woman of the kitchen and a Bachelors of Arts Degree holder of the Culinary Arts.
Thanks Julia. In honor of you, some fun culinary school memories.


Ice Cravings
Wonderful friends
circa 2008

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

More on biking. Our way of getting around town. And visiting the Local Farmer's Market

We biked a portion of the Four Mile Run Trail which is a 7 mile paved bike trail last week. The trail runs parallel to a stream where we have seen people practicing their fly-fishing. It leads right to the Giant grocery store which is perfect! I've already tested the bike trailer for normal grocery loads and it works great. 
I tried a Costco run just the other day with Taryn because it's not even a mile from my home- another plus- but I don't think Taryn was to happy to share her front two seats with a big package of toilet paper :) She was fine once we got going and with some planning, big pick ups can be made on Saturdays while Tyson is here in the mornings to watch Taryn.**

Some funny comments we've heard so far as we bike:
 A little girl in a jogging stroller saw Taryn and screamed, "Woah! That looks like fun!"

One lady in the Costco parking lot said, "Oh, That must be hard on your legs!"
(Actually, it's not. The trailer is a breeze to bike with and the only time I really feel a difference is when I am biking up the very few and small hills with a load of groceries. )

A hard core biker stopped by us as we waited for a light to change on the street and said, "How cool! (with the biggest smile on his face) Are you guys on your way to work? Or just out for fun?"
It was all about having fun :)
Have you ever seen the shared biking/driving lanes in VA? They are HUGE! One of the many reasons it's such a great biking community. Our trailer fits the designated area perfectly and I don't have to worry about overspilling into the car lane. 
Our biking adventures will continue as we learn more about the area!

The Tuesday Farmer's Market
For dinner last night we ate Mango Peaches and a delicious Summer Carrot bread all bought from the weekly local Farmer's Market down the street from us. Tyson, knowing that he won't be able to always go with me, made a "Wish List" of what we will buy next week. I had never seen a Purple Sweet bell pepper before or the unique Celosia Flower. The tomatoes were gorgeous and the berries looked to perfect to eat. We promised to buy our bread there for our soup bread bowls once the weather gets colder- just to be able to try them! All the breads looks so good. We listened to others as they sampled the delectable creations from other purveyors to know what was good, what they keep coming back for, and the top sellers. The samples of cheeses, salsas, breads, fruits and more were so good. Too bad I forgot my camera! 

**Some states require that children in a bike trailer wear helmets (like California) and some don't (like Arizona.) We have yet to find anything saying it's law in Virginia. This was the only bike ride we did (98% on trails) that Taryn did not wear a helmet. When we first tried the helmet/trailer combo, Taryn's head was forced down so her chin was touching her chest and she couldn't move her head. By the next ride we figured out that we needed to put a pillow behind her so she could move her head around and not get hurt. She's been with a helmet ever since! I feel much better having found a solution and knowing that I can bike on streets now.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Arlington County Fair

Going to the Arlington County fair felt like it made everything official. We are residents of Arlington, VA and we love it!
We had free samples of "Frush" yogurt and "Front Porch" ice cream. We also daringly tried the deep fried Oreos- what's a fair without eating something deep- fried right?
They were pretty good.

Taryn is still too small to ride almost all rides even with an adult so we took her for a ride on the carousel. She cried when it was time to get off because she was having so much fun.
The funniest "ride" we saw was the "Bubble Kids." We could've watched them all day long. 
We learned that Arlington, VA is the most "bike friendly" county and that a good majority of people choose to bike to work. We live next to great trails and there is never a lack of bicyclists on the road. We're happy to use our bikes and become apart of the biking community. We're also happy that there is a sweet Mount Vernon Bike Trail that goes over the Potomac river into D.C. so Tyson can bike over 12 miles a day to and from school/work. What a great way to fit in your daily workout!

*You probably noticed Taryn's nose and forehead in the picture above. She had a good little fall down some concrete stairs. The guy behind us in church on Sunday said, "Our little boy just did the same thing! It won't last forever- so document it!"  Funny guy.