Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snow in the TriCities

Back in Richland for Christmas. We appreciate the dry snow that can just be swept off the driveway even more after experiencing the Falls Church wet, heavy snow. At least we missed out on the East Coast storm. You can see from the picture that we got "a lot of snow" - at least by the TriCities scale! Ryan takes his new Christmas gloves for a test run.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Zoolights in DC

We ventured out on a cold (for DC) night. It was just below freezing with a breeze blowing. The Christmas Zoolights was set up at the zoo and we hadn't yet been. At the pedestrian entrance, there, there is a long ramp with lights all along the way pointing to where the ticket entrance was. There was also a zookeeper at the very front to give encouragement to keep going. Both Ryan and I thought he was just a bum sleeping on the bunch till he started talking. He was well bundled for the weather. There were other people, but no crowds, so we got to take our time and see the animal exhibits that were open and enjoy the lights. The zookeepers in most places were very friendly and pointing out where the animals were sleeping. The nocturnal animals were just starting to wake up. Many others were enjoying dinner.

The main entrance with the pandas.

One of the last chances to see all three pandas. We had a great view of the male, female and baby (here). The baby was sleeping, so it was easy to get a good picture. The other two were pacing too much.

Panda lights.

Porcupine taking a nap.

Since the Zoo is run by the Smithsonian, they have lots of species we are not used to seeing. A tailed porcupine here.

This hummingbird stayed in one spot for the picture, but didn't stay still. The wings looked like they moved. Lots of the lights were animated.

Ryan looks at the Grand Caiman iguana.

The reptile exhibit was in an amazing building.

The lights for the fly turned on and off. In the background, you can see one of the many trees that was lit up as well.

The same lizard as the lights above.

This big lizard moved his head back and forth. We didn't see the actual Komodo dragon, but the zoo is proud of their breeding program.

This picture is a little hard to see, but it is one of the apes on his back snoozing away. We spent some time in the ape house. Was fun to try to find all the sleeping apes and orangutans. Many of them had blankets and they were snuggled under them. One of them was only pretending to sleep - Lucy. She was enjoying interacting with people too much and had broken from the usual routine of sleeping as soon as the zoo closed. The orangutans have an amazing transit system where they head over to the "think tank" often to work on computers and other scientific studies.

Drinking fountain by the tigers and lions - they were all put away for the night, but there were still lights near their exhibits.

Anteater lights. The ants "walked" down the hill.

The largest animal lights were the elephants. I think they were life sized. Was a great night at the zoo.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Still snowing

The weather was predicted, but still unexpected, since it was 65 and sunny on Thursday.
Snow is starting to build up, and it is still coming down.

When my parents were here, my mom decided to feed the squirrels. This one keeps coming back to check if there is something new. I finally caved and fed him some more nuts.

It's snowing

It is snowing!
Pic from Melany camera 10 min after the Iphone pic below.
Now it is stickig to the ground 2-3 inches forecast.

Pic from Iphone

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 3, 2009

National Christmas Tree Lighting - Dec 3rd

I was greatly surprised that we won the lottery of free tickets to the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the White House lawn. There were two types of tickets this year available through the lottery for the publick - seated for 2800 people and 7000 standing tickets. We got seated tickets! We were able to take two other coworkers from Richland who are also here on assignment with us, Kathy and John.
Made the trek through the security lines. Since most everything was prohibited, the lines moved really fast. Walked around the tree and the 56 smaller trees that were represent the states and territories.
View from our seats of the White House. We could see the gigantic group come out of the White House and get in the motorcade to drive over to the stage. President Obama and family and Vice President Biden and grandkids had the best seats of all - right on the stage behind the bulletproof glass that served as a windbreak as well. The weather was pleasant, but the breeze made it cool down fast after dark.

The magic moment. The Obama family pushed the button to turn on all the lights.

Day at Air and Space Dulles (way delayed)

A few weeks ago Melany and I went to the Holiday craft bizarre in Herndon. We decided since we were there we would go to the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles. They charge 25 to park your car but then the museum is free. They built a large hanger to hold all the big planes that wouldn't fit down town. The higlights for me were the Air France Concord, SR-71 Blackbird, Enola Gay, and Space Shuttle Enterprise (it never went to space but did test flights to be sure the shuttle could fly in the air).

Sine we wern't planning on going Melany didn't bring her camera so I used my iPhone to take some pictures.

Melany wanted a picture to document we were there which then prompted me to go take Pics.

The enterprise

Model of the Mars rover (it is way smaller than it looks in pictures)

Enola gay

Air France concord and pan am dc-9

Blackbird sr-71

After we were done sight seeing we stayed and watched Where the Wild things are in IMAX (way fun). It was a long but fun day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 27, 2009

Paul and Sharon Visit DC for Thanksgiving

Just a few of the pictures from Paul and Sharon's visit to spend Thanksgiving with us in DC.

Sandy Boulevard from Portland is in the American History Museum.

Crossing the mall, looking at the Capitol Building.

Outside the Smithsonian Castle.

Another view of the Capitol.

Park across from Melany and Ryan's apartment.

At the National Geographic special exibit on the Terra Cotta Warriors from China.

The Washington Memorial at Sunset.

World War II Memorial on the Mall.

World War II Memorial on the Mall, in front of the Washington state column.

World War II Memorial on the Mall, in front of the Oregon state column.

Apartment complex where Melany and Ryan live.

Ryan gives a sermon in the Williamsburg first Anglican church.

Trying to decipher the map outside the Capitol Building in Williamsburg.

The demo in the Blacksmith shop at Williamsburg.

The spinning demo in Williamsburg.

Inside the museum exhibit on quilts and quilted clothing in Williamsburg.

The Bed & Breakfast that we stayed at in Williamsburg.

A well in Williamsburg.

Actual food prepared as a demo in the Williamsburg kitchen for the Governor's Palace.

Rosemary from the Governor's Palace kitchen garden.

Here comes the Governor in the recreation of Colonial Williamsburg.

The cabinet maker's workshop. Five woodworkers are employed here to keep all the woodwork of Williamsburg in working order and make harpsichords.

Silversmith workshop.

The House of Burgesses in the Capitol of Williamsburg.

Parts of DC Downtown was blocked off for the State Dinner.

Inside the Library of Congress.

Capitol Visitor Center.

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum - the moon rover.

Glen Echo Maryland, near the Clara Barton House. Mount Vernon cook pot outside the Colonial chocolate making demo.

Mount Vernon, George Washington's home.

The 16 sided threshing barn at Mount Vernon's pioneer farm.

A rare 18th century breed of pig still at Mount Vernon.

The former White House pastry chef made this giant gingerbread replica of Mount Vernon this week to kick off the Christmas season.

View of the Capitol over the Potomac River from Old Town Alexandria.