Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bowling and Baseball

This week we were able to check a pretty cool item off the Haselton Family Ultimate DC Bucket List-bowling in the Truman Bowling Alley. I learned that it's actually not under the White House, but the neighboring building, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which flanks the West Wing.

The spots for these opportunities come fast and furious so I was particularly excited to have this come up as a destination for a farewell party for a few of Scott's colleagues.

As pictured, the alley was built by President Truman in 1955 and was remodeled in the 80s, but it was still so cool to be bowling in the same place as former leaders of our country. Henry in particular was particularly stoked, as the boy loves to bowl, and a fun fact for Josephine's life-it was her first time bowling and for her first roll down the lane (albeit with an assist from the bumpers and framed metal "helper"), she rolled a strike. Pretty sweet.

It is not lost on me that we are getting to experience the highlights reel of DC moments during our time here!
As we were leaving, we went back to one of the entrances to the West Wing and took a proper family photo of four, since our last visit, just two weeks before Jo would make her arrival.
The MLB All Star Game is being held at Nationals Field in DC this week, and there are events and fanfare leading up to the series. While we don't have plans to make it to a game, we went down today for the fanfest and took in the sights, threw some pitches, and soaked up the baseball fever, particularly from our boys in blue.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Oh My, It's July

We had the most beautiful weekend here-low 80s, a cool breeze, and nary a drop of humidity in the air. It was heaven! It's the kind of weather that when it happens anywhere, it teases you into thinking it would be a great place to live for a long time. (But I now know you east coast/mid Atlantic weather-you aren't tricking me!)

Last week we took our dear friend and neighbor to visit the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, where we went this time last year, and while it was early in the season for their lotuses and lilies to be in full bloom, it made for a great day outdoors.

I also took Henry to his first live theater experience, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," in Bethesda, MD, (a great production!) and he really enjoyed the entire theater experience-from the live action to the sound effects, lighting, music...and of course snacks. We've also had plenty of water time and a pool playdate with dear friends.

 For the Fourth, we opted to attend the party at the White House again, which was fun, although not nearly as magical as last year. Kids had a great time though and will still be cool to have spent two Independence Days on the south lawn.

As I previously mentioned, this past weekend was spectacular. I took the kids to Seven Oaks Lavender Farm, which is an hour's drive from DC into the heart of Virginia. We picked lavender, Henry had a ball chasing and catching butterflies, we dined on lemon lavender cupcakes, the kids played in a darling playhouse and sandbox, and we watched bunnies prancing around in their pen.

For the nearly two years we've lived here, I continued to be humbled by living in this metropolis but having such close access to country life. It's certainly been great to experience so many options of culture, recreation, and beautiful sights.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Summer in the City

Summer may not officially start until Thursday, but it's definitely in full swing around these parts. You can find us most days at a splash pad or spray fountains, fully clothed, or suited up. Henry in particular has loved Canal Park, which has weekly kid programming (ie goofy magicians and performing artists) so that's been a nice change from the storytime circuit.

We've also been rejoicing for a splash pad that's just opened a couple blocks from our house...and might be daily visitors.

Since this is our second summer, we've ventured back to an old favorite, The Wizard of Oz Park, or more formally, Watkins Regional Park. Henry and I just finished reading the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, so it was fun to see how it compared to the book and of course movie. Also, what a difference a year makes!
My Dad sent Henry and Jo a couple kites and so last week we headed down to the Mall to give one of them it's maiden flight, but first, also took our inaugural spin on the Mall's carousel. (Might I add that is the fastest carousel I've ever been on. I get motion sick pretty easily but it was a first for it to be on a merry go-round.)
Henry was positively delighted to finally get the kite up in the air. Next up, R2D2 will get his orbit.
T-Ball has officially ended, and really, it was such a great experience for Henry. The coach was fantastic, as were the other players and their parents. We ended the season with a parents vs. kids game and BBQ that was such fun.
For Father's Day weekend we saluted our favorite fella with a trip to Quiet Waters Park in Anapolis, MD, and a boating adventure. I felt a little sorry he had to do all of the labor (this coast needs Duffy boats! I should open a business and sell it as a franchise because there is money to be made beyond canoes, kayaks, and row boats.) Henry loved every minute of it, particularly "helping" with his own oar. Josephine was not happy with the life jacket (who likes them?) but we spent a good hour on the water with a packed picnic lunch and everyone had a nap later, a Father's Day win!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Summer Begins

During these recent weeks, we've ventured out to new and old spray parks, enjoyed an evening of libations and jazz in the Sculpture Garden, and had a few bus adventures around the city.

Memorial Day was cool and drizzly here, but we still opted to get outside and checked out the Franciscan Monastery, a beautiful church with even more beautiful gardens.

Later that day, despite the May gray, we opted to officially welcome summer by barbecuing, tossing water balloons and lighting some sparklers. Someone was particularly excited about the pyrotechnics.
Another special someone celebrated a birthday this weekend, and was treated to both a piano and recorder serenade. We escaped for an amazing dinner together, barbecued with neighbors who also share a birthday, and I managed to surprise him earlier last week with a beer garden happy hour with his coworkers. Was a really great celebratory weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Royally Good Week

Like many Americans, I caught the royal fever this week (who am I kidding-I've always had it), and as such, found a fun pop up bar and had a jolly good time, despite standing in line for 40 minutes to get in. I didn't do that in college, so I figure, in some ways it was a rite of passage. We enjoyed drinks such as the Markle Sparkle, American Princess, and Kensington Garden Party. Of course we couldn't leave without paying our respects to the bride and groom and ladies of Windsor.

The kids and I also visited an old favorite that we haven't been to in months-the American History Museum. We are big Sesame Street and Mister Rogers Neighborhood fans in this house, so this mini exhibit was of particular interest, maybe to me even more than the kids. Henry just about died seeing the Batmobile.
Last week was entirely rainy and full of thunderstorms which on one level I love, because thunderstorms are still a novelty to me living here, but it does make it hard to get outside. When the storms finally subsided, we went puddle jumping along the Mall.
This last weekend was a big weekend of firsts-Henry lost his first tooth, played his first game of pin the tail on the donkey (which was hilarious to watch), and went to his first MLB game-the Dodgers at the Nationals. It was such a fun and memorable experience to do that with just him, while Josephine hung back with neighbors. We even ran into one of his t-ball teammates at the gate. He desperately waited to catch a fly ball, yelled in support of the Dodgers, enjoyed popcorn and ice cream, and probably most of all, the Jumbo Tron.

While our weekend was really special, I do feel compelled to say that it was still sober in the aftermath of the Texas school shooting. It's hard for me to fully embrace happy occasions following such tragedy. Enough is enough. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

May Days

DC is alive with color as spring has sprung and azaleas are blooming at the Arboretum, and the peonies in people's yards.

We had a delightful picnic at the Arboretum last week and were even able to catch a frog chorus in one of the ponds. A highlight for any four-year-old!

We also made a trip to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to see if their water lillies and lotuses were in bloom yet, but alas, we have to wait a few more weeks. (A flower blooms after so many months of winter and you hit the ground running!)

Henry has started swimming lessons and we've made a few return visits to old favorites as of late-the Post Office Museum and Hirshhorn storytime.

This past weekend, the European Union hosted it's annual open house with it's embassies and I was really excited to take Henry on a day date to this part of DC. I had visions of visiting a few with Henry but it was so crowded, we waited an hour just to get into Ireland, that we headed to a pub after for lunch and enjoyed Dupont Circle on the beautiful day. Was really cool to walk past all of the different countries buildings and see the celebrations happening, if we weren't able to get inside them all.

We heard rumors from passerby that Belgium was serving beer and chocolate-we were not disappointed by the cheese and crackers!

For Mother's Day, I was treated to a wonderful breakfast and dinner, and a few new adventures in between. We went for a drive and stopped at the Albert Einstein Memorial, which was a first, and checked out a local beer garden that's been on our list for a while.

Twas a winner of a weekend!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

T-ball Life

We are officially a t-ball family and one person in particular is setting out his uniform at 9 am on game days.
As anyone who has ever watched t-ball knows, it's basically like wrangling cats. But, his coach is awesome and the kids have made great strides at each practice and game. I also have a newfound respect for the little brothers and sisters of the world that have little to know interest in watching the game, and so time is divided watching the cats on the field be herded, as well as the younger siblings who want to be on the field too.

One of our favorite places, the US Botanic Garden's Children's Garden, has finally reopened for the season and we've made it a mission to go enjoy the planting, digging, watering, and picturesque views before the summer visitors descend upon the city.

We also recently checked out a great little participatory farm, Oxon Hill Farm, where visitors can milk cows, feed chickens, go on tractor rides, and romp around among the beautiful grounds...all only a 15 minutes drive. The kiddos especially loved the chickens and rather friendly roosters.
With the t-ball games at different parks, we've been able to check out new, undiscovered playgrounds and have found some winners (and well, losers...the Parks and Rec Commissioner has never left me) and the kids have enjoyed discovering the new stomping grounds