Saturday, February 27, 2010

Baltimore Aquarium

Last Saturday, we drove to Baltimore to visit the National Aquarium. Ryan and I had been here once before, but for a short time on a Friday evening because we were in town for work. Both of us remembered the amazing pool of sting rays, sharks and turtles with the escalator that went back and forth to the levels above the pool.
Still as fun as we remembered, too bad the entire DC metro area decided to come see it as well. At least the Aquarium bans strollers, so instead of getting bashed in the ankles by people not paying attention, we laughed at the escaping toddlers running free. You could tell the parents who were prepared - backpacks for the infants and leashes for the toddlers.

The tropical rainforest was bright, probably still reflecting off the piles of snow outside. Here a sloth sleeps in a tree.

These parrots were alert as they followed a worker around who was holding a food dish.

There was an interesting new exhibit on jellyfish and how the changing currents and ocean temperature has brought them to new habitats with no predators.

More jellyfish.
These jellyfish were kind of strange. They just sit on the bottom and pretend to be anemones.

Too bad I forgot to write down the names of the different kinds.

We decided to go to the dolphin show. The pools in the back held the dolphins not in the show who were getting fed fish. The dolphins who were in the show started doing their tricks on their own in hopes of getting fed as well, but they had to wait.

Posing for the crowd.

The grand finale - a gigantic leap in the air.

As we walked back to the car, we had a visual reminder of how cold and how much snow Baltimore has received - since they had up to twice what parts of DC had received. These ducks are walking on ice in the Baltimore Harbor.

After we made it back close to home, we decided to go out to dinner. Wasn't until we had ordered, that I realized we had stuck with the theme. First we saw fish, and then we got to eat them!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Corcoran Art Gallery

We finally ventured out on Saturday and made it to the new exhibit at the Corcoran Art Gallery. There is still lots of snow piled everywhere.

The entrance to the Corcoran.

The building is very beautiful as well as the contents. The new exhibit was a collection from two sisters from Wales that collected for a few years around 1910. Turner, Monet, Manet and several other well known Impressionist painters was the bulk of the collection. There were a few from later like Degas and Van Gogh. There was another collection displayed from a senator from Montana that was interesting because he collected at the same time as the Davies sisters and had many of the same artists, but the paintings were very different because of the style preferences of the collectors.

We were near the Smithsonian Craft Museum, so stopped in.

The Bureau of Bureaucracy. One of the interesting pieces at the museum. Definitely a small collection, but there are some fun things.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hopefully the last of the snow

The sun is shining and wind had died down, so we headed out to clear off our car. Ryan waited to start swiping snow until I had snapped the picture. The maintenance crew was out removing snow, so we were able to move the car once cleared to the sun and they then plowed out the spot we had been in. This is only the snow from yesterday, the car was snow-free before that.

The trails keep getting deeper!

The icicles hanging off the roof are getting enormous. Check out the one on the left that goes the full length of the building. We're glad we're on the middle floor so we don't have to follow all the advice in the letter from the leasing office - top floor have to keep a close eye on leaks and bottom floors have to shovel out their patios so their apartments don't flood.

I don't know how the guys clearing snow can tell the difference between some of the cars and the piles of snow.

This car hadn't been cleared from the previous storm!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day!

You can barely see the walkway that the maintenance crew had previously cleared because of the new snow. The wind is also blowing, creating blizzard like conditions, that has gigantic drifts of snow everywhere. We're not planning on leaving the apartment anytime soon!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Groceries and impending epic snowstorm

We had a list of a few things we needed so headed out an hour before the storm was supposed to start. Problem 1: you had to wait in line for a cart to return. Problem 2: they still have food but not a lot of choices. Problem 3: navigating the store. That's why I brought Ryan. He mostly stayed in one spot and I brought the food to him.
We're so ready for the snow to be gone!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 7, 2010


So, even though the "storm of the century" was on its way, we had previously made reservations at a Bed and Breakfast ( and had plans to see Monticello - Jefferson's home. We started out just as the storm was starting on Friday, but the entire area had preemptively closed so other than gas stations and a few restaurants, there wasn't much open, even though Charlotsville was predicted to have half the snowfall as the DC area.

Here's our view of Monticello. All we got to see was the sign and then a huge sign that said they were closed for the weather. So, we headed into historic Charlottesville where everything else was closed. About then the B&B called and asked if we wanted to check in early.

We headed that way, and admired the view along the way.

We were upgraded to the Madison room - since the room we had picked you had to go outdoors from the main building to get to. This room was in the main building. The B&B was built by Dinsmore - the same builder that built Monticello and was beautifully decorated. We settled in to enjoy the cable television and the view outside as the snow continued to fall.

The sun porch was the breakfast area. There weren't many other vacationers at the B&B since all had canceled, but it is right across the street from the hospital, so many of the staff who's homes were out of power and a drive through the snow filled up all the rooms.

The Liberty Blue plates featuring Monticello were very familiar since my mom has the whole set.

The really wet heavy snow clung to everything. We enjoyed watching all the unique shapes it made from the warmth of the indoors.

The drive back was not too bad since we were only on main roads and the road crews have been working constantly. We know the parking lot would be bad since there was somewhere around two feet of snow. We lucked out because someone had cleared a spot to leave, all the rest of the complex was still digging their cars out.

Lots of snow!

The view out of our apartment of the pool buildings. Check out all the snow on the roof! It's still below freezing, and sunny! Too bad that everything in town is canceled, including all the Super Bowl parties. As of 10 am Sunday, most of the area schools had already closed for Monday. This is closing in on one of the most snowy winters ever.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More snow

The local news keeps saying that the snow removal budgets for Virginia and Maryland are way overspent. And with the storm last night and another on the way for the weekend, it's not likely to get better. This was a really wet snow, so was fun to look at how it stuck to everything. The trees were all covered this morning.