Our flight from Seattle to Detroit was a red eye and we did not get any sleep whatsoever! Not that we would have anyway- (just couldn't get comfy on a full plane!) but there was this single Mom with an inconsolable baby... I felt bad for the both of them - but also for the rest of the passengers! It also made me very thankful that not only is my daughter older, she is a great traveler - always has been! We changed planes in Detroit and flew in to BWI in Baltimore around 9ish on Monday morning... we were feeling pretty exhausted and once we gathered our luggage and caught the train to downtown, we were then left to wander the streets, looking for our hotel! Luckily it really was only a few blocks away and they let us check in early - which meant sleep - glorious sleep! We spent our first day there, after napping, walking around Inner Harbor in Baltimore. That was fun and a great little area... We began to get text messages and phone calls in the late afternoon from friends and family - concerned that we may have been in DC that day - using the Metro system that had the accident. We were not anywhere close to DC on Monday and had no pans of using that particular system while traveling around - but we DID need to use the light rails and other trains during our trip - so I purposely did not turn n the news or read the paper... I have an active imagination and do not need any extra visuals to help out!
Tuesday and Wednesday were our planned days to go in to DC... we commuted via the Marc - which was about an hour ride into Union Station. Wow... Union Station is pretty impressive on its own! A huge hub of activity and buzz! We managed to get almost everything on our list done while in DC! We saw the Capitol (but not inside!), the Washington Monument, the White House, the World War 2 Memorial, the National Archives, the Lincoln Memorial, the Holocaust Museum, as well as most of the Smithsonian's! We didn't get to take in the National Zoo, the National Aquarium, or the Library of Congress. We would have liked a bit more time to drink in the art and to wander some of the Gardens - but we had full days and all had a great time! My top three favorites were definitely the Lincoln Memorial, the World War 2 Memorial, and the Room of Remembrance in the Holocaust Museum.
On Thursday we could have taken the train in again - but decided to explore more of Inner Harbor and just take it easy! We ended up taking the water taxis all over the area - including going to Fort McHenry - where the Star Spangled Banner was written. Pretty cool! We loved Fells Point - a quaint little port town with tons of history and, of course, crab cakes! We did a bit of shopping and finally (FINALLY!?!!!) found a Starbucks! Yeah - day FIVE... and I finally got to have coffee?! We also heard of Michael Jacksons' death... which left my daughter in tears... even surprising herself! We were fans BEFORE the renewed frenzy after his passing - but it was sort of a joke before... I mean - people made fun of her... and now everyone has his songs on their ipods!
Friday we rented a car and headed to PA! Wow - Washington State is a green state - but nothing like PA! It is gorgeous and lush there! We drove to Hershey and met up with the Sisterhood! My group of girlfriends I 'met' online via SparkPeople.com! We had become fast friends and chat online every week and after about a year, finally decided to plan a Scrapbook Retreat so we could all meet in person! Most of them are over in the other side of the country - so it made sense to meet over there... 10 of our 12 were able to make it and we had a BLAST!!! Not much scrapping got done - but still?! Actually there were a handful of productive scrappers - you know who you are! - but most of us just enjoying chatting in person and hanging out! As much as we would love to do it once a year - realistically it is more likely we will do it every other year, or every three years!? We'll see... we will definitely do it again though! Chatting online now - though it is more fun - is just not the same!
While I was with my girlfriends, the fam' traveled to New Jersey and New York for some sight seeing. Yeah... it was stressful and almost deadly - but they made it and even ended up having a pretty good time! It was great that the two of them got to spend some one on one time together! They got to see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State building, the New York skyline, take the subway and have breakfast on 33rd & Broadway and walk around on the New Jersey Boardwalk! They gladly headed back to PA on Saturday afternoon to check into a hotel and catch a movie and just unwind! They came to get me on Sunday - just missing most of the Sistahs (or is that Sissers?)... thanks again Robin for staying with me! We hung around the area for lunch and a bit of roaming and then went back to Baltimore - ready for our flight home on Monday! I DID get to see fire flies on Sunday night... no pix sadly - but still - that is one thing I wanted to see that I was doubtful was going to happen!
Our flights home were nicer - quieter... and even after having car trouble on the way back home - we were so happy to BE home again! We left our hotel Monday morning at 9:15 Eastern time and crawled into (our OWN!) bed around 4am Eastern time! It was a LONG day!
So - we are back home - and back to our normal life - which right now is full of changes and challenges, but we are so thankful for the great vacation and memories made! Now we are faced with car shopping, job hunting, and refocusing on projects at hand! I will be jumping into that Wedding album job next week and have completed five themes/books for Hoorray.com so far! Look for Hoorray to relaunch the new site soon - featuring digital scrapbooks where you simply drag and drop your photo's - quick and easy! I just completed a Friendship Cafe book that I am really excited about, as well as a PuppyLove book for you dog lovers out there!
I will include just a handful of my favorite pix from our trip...
Enjoy - and Scrap Happy!
The White House
KK @ Lincoln Memorial with WA Monument in background
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Crops
I love these girls!!!
Lastly - as I posted in my last update - I read the Operation Beautiful blog and decided to play along... so here are a few of the Post It's I left along the East Coast...