Sunday, September 9, 2012

No Whining At Vineyards

     We did a second day in Washington DC and SURVIVED!  The National Art Museum was amazing.  Original Van Gogh,  Picasso, Renior, Degas, Monet, O'Keefe....I could go on forever!  I couldn't believe how close I was to these amazing works of art.   Things I had only seen online or in a book, were right in front of my face.  I love seeing the brush strokes, thickness of paint and crackles from age.  I would get my face right up to a painting and examine all the little details....although a security guard did weirdly follow me around for about a half hour, I think he thought I was sniffing the paintings or something :/  It was worth the pain, sweat and a few crabby moments (sorry Dick).  I highly recommend a trip to Washington DC....just remember to wear tennis shoes!!

                                                               Van Gogh- Self Portrait

     Car repacked and back on the road.   A day of sitting in the car as beautiful scenery whipped past was very appealing at this point.  We are headed to Upstate NY Finger Lakes....wine country!  Dick's half of our adventure begins.  We did stop at Gettysburg and tour the museum and had lunch at an adorable Inn, in a stone basement by candlelight.  The Gettysburg Museum had this really cool cyclorama      
http://www.nps.gov/gett/historyculture/gettysburg-cyclorama.htm .  I was amazed it was painted in the 1800's. 



 The Appalachian Mountains are gorgeous.  We came across this covered bridge and I had to get out and take a few pictures. 





Soon we were in wine country.  I love staying in the charming little town of Geneva, right on the shores of Lake Seneca.


We had a great time!  Tasted lots of wine.....bought lots of wine :)  We are back home and glad to see our puppies.  Thanks to my daughter Nicole for puppy sitting and Patty and Mitch for helping out!  I am already thinking about where to go next year....we have a lot of vacations to make up for!!!!!

                                                                         Back Home!

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Scorpio, The Bitch and The Wardrobe

Exit Freer Gallery:

Whoa...it is about 95 degrees and 99% humidity! Now I understand why it was so cold inside! A little heat and humidity, we can handle it. We decide to head over to the Smithsonian Castle, and it was very interesting, showing a little bit from all of the museums and a black and white photography exhibit of the Civil War. Next we head to the American History Museum. If you have never been there before, the Smithsonian grounds and the National Mall are HUGE!

We walked four football fields away to the Museum, happy to be back in the air conditioning. There was so much cool stuff to see! It was the last day the Julia Childs kitchen was on display, so excited I got to see it!!! Most things closed at 5:30....bummer. So we decided to eat lunch at the museum and revise our plans. My feet were starting to get a little sore, so I was ready to take a break.

Revised plans, next the National Archives, then Lincoln Memorial. By now, my bag is getting a little heavy, my feet a little sore and anytime we have to go outside we are hot and sweaty!

From the National Archives, the Lincoln Memorial is a very, very, very long way. We are at the WWII Memorial and I drag my sweaty self over to a bench. By now my feet are pretty sore so I slip my shoes off for a few minutes. My feet are black. BLACK! I now know why the $150 Coach shoes were $30 on sale. I also notice a blister forming on my heel. We see the Lincoln, Vietnam and Korean Memorials.

From the Korean Memorial we are going to head back to the Metro....I let out a little whimper as we look at the map and see how far it is. My blister has ripped open, my bag now weighs about 80lbs and Dick (Scorpio) is not quite as entertaining as he was a few hours ago.

"Which station do you want to go to?" he asks.

"The closest one" I say.

"You pick" he says.

"Just pick a freaking station and If I have to walk one extra step, I will lose it!" The bitch states :)

I stumble and Dick walks, to the station. Ahead of us is a guy about 70 yrs old, limping along and his wife telling him to suck it up or they are going to miss the train. We all head down the escalator and watch the train pull away. Fifteen minutes of standing and waiting for the next one. The old guy lets out a whimper as his wife gives him a tongue lashing. I wanted to give him a hug.

I look over at Dick who is patiently waiting for the next train, carrying my 100lb bag, stopped and got me a bottle of cold water AND saved me a seat on the only available bench around. Lucky to have such a great guy! He calls over to me..."Hey Blackfoot Sweatsalot, I saved you a seat!" What a guy!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Organized Adventure

We split our vacation into two parts. My part was the trip out east and Dick's part is the trip back.

Part one:

We drove following the Mississippi river through Iowa and while it was a beautiful drive, we spent way more time in Iowa than anyone from Minnesota should. We stopped several times, took pictures at all the scenic overlooks...all road rules intact!

On to Illinois! Staying south to avoid Chicago traffic we crossed the state from Clinton, Iowa to Watseka, Illinois. Lots of corn and cows!! Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia....and so on. We talked, we laughed, we sang along to the radio....blah, blah, blah... It was fun.

Arrive: WASHINGTON DC!

We took the metro into the city and the first thing we saw was the Washington Memorial, sticking up above all the buildings...so cool!

It was going to be a nice sunny day in DC. On to the first museum!

What can you say about the Smithsonian besides amazing! We could have spent two weeks there, instead of the two days we had planned. We wandered around the Freer gallery first. Wearing flats, oversized bag containing water, almonds, protein bar, camera, maps and the official DC guidebook, we were site seeing pros....

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dick and Colleen's Great American Adventure

It has been 20 years since my husband and I have been alone on vacation together. So this year, to wrap up a summer of hard work and long hours, we are taking a road trip. We settled on Washington D.C. as our destination.

To keep the peace, we established a few road trip rules:

1. If one of us wants to stop, we stop.
2. Driver controls the radio
3. Avoid interstates
4. Colleen controls the temperature
5. We cannot book a hotel before noon of that day.
6. No chain restaurants
7. No calorie counting
8. Reading road signs out loud encouraged
9. Colleen gets to pick the hotel
10. Turning around for something cool is allowed!

The Jeep is packed....we are off!