Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Driving through an Earthquake and Running from Irene

"When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude."  ~ G.K. Chesterton

How grateful I am that our family went through both the earthquake and the hurricane with out any harm. We actually were driving through the quake and therefore never felt a thing. Our vacation was in both D.C. and Williamsburg. So we were on our way out of D.C. and heading to Colonial Williamsburg when the earthquake hit. Then we were glued to the news while trying to enjoy Williamsburg, keeping an eye on the path of Irene. We only saw some scattered storms while in Williamsburg on Friday night and drove through some on our way back to Reagan Airport. It ended up that our flight on Sunday was cancelled so hubby worked his magic and got us a new flight out on Sat at 8 AM. Way to go EJ!!!! It was wonderful, we got home safe and still had an extra day at home to get unpacked and rested up before reality set in--our vacation was over. Back to the daily routine and hubby back to work :(
We had such a blast in D.C. We stayed at Capital Hill Suites.
 Capital Hill Suites
It was in the perfect location. Right across the street from the Library of Congress, well one of the several buildings, and across the street from St. Peters. It was wondeful just walking a few steps to Mass.
St. Peter's
I took the older two to the Library of Congress and we had a private meeting with the director of Children's Literature. It was amazing. She showed us some rare books that we may never have seen in our life time had it not been for this chance opportunity. I called her on my cell phone from inside the library and explained that we came from Florida to see the library and I was wondering if she could show our home schooled teenagers exactly what she did in the Children's Literature Department. Well, she said "Yes, come on up". We had to go up a hidden spiral staircase to the second floor, it was just like a movie, so exciting. We felt like we were sneaking around doing something forbidden. It is hard to describe, but it was truly amazing. She showed us the world's smallest book. It is only 6 pages long and can only be read with a high powered microscope. It is the story of  Old King Cole. Then she showed us some one of a kind Russian and Japanese books as well as private book collections that various people had donated to the library. She showed us some of the most beautiful picture books for children that I have ever seen. I will cherish this memory forever and am so grateful that I got to share it with our two oldest children. I told them that in life they must never be afraid to "ask". If you want something you simply need to ask politely and the worst that can happen is hearing the word "no". All it took was a simple phone call and we were in a room of the Library of Congress that only a few select groups can see, by appointment only. Pretty darn special!
We went to many museums while in DC and had a great time snapping photos of the kids.
Our Oldest
 Our Two Year Old
Our Five Year Old
 Our Seven,Five and Two Year Olds
 A Very Large Elephant
Our Seven Year Old Loves George Washington
Our Fourteen Year Old

Air and Space Museum
One of the days we took a bus tour of the city and got off at several of the sights. That was the best idea ever. Hubby thought of this one and I am so glad he did. We would never have been able to see all that we did in such a short time any other way.

 Double Decker Tours
Union Station
Union Station

 The White House Off in the Distance

Here is our last photo taken at Union Station before we WALKED back to our hotel. I can't believe how well the younger children did walking as far as we did throughout this entire vacation! Yes we had to take turns carrying the younger two when they got tired but that was few and far between.
The second half of our vacation was spent in Williamsburg. We spent two days walking around Colonial Williamsburg and then a day exploring Williamsburg itself and the campus of William and Mary.

Both of our hotels had kitchens of some sort, one kitchenette and the other a full kitchen. I packed my Tribest personal blender so we had green smoothies every morning!! That was great. We had no problem finding food options for everyone while eating out and we prepared several meals in our room in Williamsburg. Finding fresh organic produce in DC was the biggest challenge. We had to walk everywhere and the small neighborhood market was very limited and very over priced. I did the best that I could and it all worked out fine.
Here is a recipe I made the day before we left for vacation and I never got a chance to post. It is a simple curry sauce served ontop of zucchini noodles. Very delicious!!

Creamy Curry Pasta Sauce
by Elizabeth at

1/2 C raw sprouted almonds
juice of 1 organic orange
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of Himalayan salt
1/2 T hemp seeds
1 scallion sliced thin on the diagonal
1 organic zucchini spiralized into noodles
In a small food processor or blender, puree the almonds, OJ, lemon juice, curry, turmeric, salt, and hemp seeds. Pour on top of zucchini noodles and garnish with the scallions. Enjoy!

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for experiencing our nation's capitol with my family.

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