California Dreamin – DisneyLand Adventures

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I’m back – I know you’ve all missed me terribly. All two or three of you that read about my adventures and stop by this small corner of the internet that I call “mine”.
Between being taken down by a sinus infection at the end of the week of May 15th and then leaving for a glorious ten days of vacation in California, I’ll go ahead and call my absence a pretty reasonable thing. I know some people blog while on vacation…but when my family goes on vacation, we tend to be constantly doing something from the time the sun comes up until it goes down…there isn’t usually much time for blogging…or anything else for that matter!
I should note – the next few posts will largely be photo dumps – I hope you enjoy!
On the…plane…again….
High above the clouds…

Smoggy foggy Los Angeles from the sky….
Hey – good to see you again!
My family left on Friday evening and flew out to California…arriving in Los Angeles around 7:00, which to us East coasters felt like it was 10 PM! After cruising (ha…yea right) through LA traffic to Anaheim, we arrived at our first stop on this ten day odyssey: DisneyLand! We stayed at the Grand Californian and spent Friday evening through Tuesday morning in a whole other world – because honestly, that’s what it feels like when you’re at Disney – you know? I love that feeling!
*Inner child explodes with happiness*
We escaped the Abominable Snowman & made it down the mountain!
Climbing the Matterhorn is tough….

I will confess here and now that I am a complete pansy when it comes to rides – I don’t do heights, I don’t do big drops, I don’t do hanging upside down, I don’t do “hang time”…I mean, the list goes on and on. I have not ridden Space Mountain in years and years; I rode it when I was in my early teens and wrote it off completely, but this year it was re-branded as Hyperspace Mountain (Star Wars mania!) and so I decided to give it a go once more. I didn’t want to…seriously…it was probably pathetic how I said “I do not want to ride this…” but I shut up, sucked it up and climbed on board. Shockingly (ha!) I didn’t hate it and I suppose when we return to the Disney(s) again in the future, I’ll give it another go! I’m sure my sister loved having me sit beside her and quietly mutter/sing “Jesus Take the Wheel” as our spaceship banked all the turns in the dark of “space”…hahahaha!

Move along…nothing to see here…
Submarines, Monorails & Mountains…all in a day at Disney!
Ready to dive under the sea and find Nemo…

We battled Darth Vader on Star Tours and followed up with some Bantha Blue French Toast (Star Wars fans out there…) for breakfast before climbing aboard bobsleds to race down Matterhorn Mountain! The Matterhorn easily became my favorite ride at DisneyLand – loved it! We found Nemo under the sea on what used to be the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride; we had a rider along with us who will not grow up to be a submariner, she screamed in terror for most of the deep sea dive and even the sight of Dory could not console her. Oops! We boarded another watercraft, this time to ride It’s A Small World – a ride my Dad absolutely loves – cue the eye roll and sigh. We make fun of him every time we ride this, he thinks we could let it be and not miss anything. But hey – I need to hear that cheery refrain on repeat for a complete Disney experience – don’t you?

This shirt isn’t even ironic for him…
So amazing to look at – very different from Disney World’s version!
Sleeping Beauty Castle – objects in mirror are smaller than they appear…

A huge…or maybe not so huge takeaway from DisneyLand…Sleeping Beauty castle is quite small! I suppose I was expecting something along the lines of the grandeur of Cinderella castle at Disney World and when we rounded the corner of Main Street – we were floored by the size of the castle! I will say it looks larger the closer you get (forced perspective at work…) but from afar…man it seems tiny! After visiting with the grim grinning ghosts of the Haunted Mansion and having an early lunch at the Blue Bayou, which is located in Orleans Square and has a portion of Pirates of the Caribbean running through it, we spent a large chunk of the afternoon in Frontier Land and Adventure Land, we adventured through the Frontier. Okay…sorry…that was cheesy!

The River of the Americas
Thunder Mountain!

We cruised through the jungle and I was sad to see that Tarzan’s Treehouse was closed for renovations…but oh well. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has long been a favorite of mine and I enjoyed every minute of our brief spin through the canyons, mountains and ghost town of Rainbow Ridge and we even took a quick spin through Winnie the Pooh’s vivid imagination aboard some fat little honeypots! We actually passed on Splash Mountain completely on this visit – the wait time was over an hour! We took ourselves and our Fast Passes along to Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye and went along with Indy as he hunted for treasure and dodged spikes, curses, giant balls, skeletons and of course…snakes…and somehow made it out alive, ha! After watching the afternoon parade, we decided to spend the late afternoon in Fantasy Land!

After surviving our adventure with Indy…
Lindsey & her hero – Mr. Toad!
Snow White Grotto…

I discovered in Fantasy Land that Lindsey was more than a little excited about riding Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride; at one point I heard her quietly whisper to herself and when I asked her what she was saying, she confessed she thought she needed to lower her expectations of the ride because she didn’t want to be disappointed! Ha! We took a spin through Alice in Wonderland’s ride (aboard caterpillars…of course) and rode woodworking benches through Pinocchio’s tale before boarding small boats to cruise through the Story Land Canal ride – which was so cool! The ride was just a simple boat ride through a small lagoon, but it featured incredibly detailed miniatures of so many Disney animated films: Aladdin, Cinderella, Frozen, the Wind in the Willows (calm down Lindsey…) Beauty & the Beast, Snow White…the list goes on and on! I loved it! We had dinner at a buffet style restaurant before trying to find a good spot to settle in for the evening parade and fireworks!

Mack – all in lights!
If you think Disney is letting go of Frozen any time…think again…ha!
Fireworks light the night…whoosh!

The parade and fireworks were new for the 60th Anniversary Celebration and they were pretty amazing – is it sad to say that I don’t have that many pictures of the fireworks because we’d found a bench to sit on and I didn’t want to stand up? Ha-ha…so true! I watched every bit of the parade from a standing position, wedged against people I didn’t know – which is what everyone else was doing – but when we discovered a bench to sit on for the fireworks, it was on! I thoroughly enjoyed my first day at Disney Land and let me tell you…I fell into the bed and died on Saturday night…granted, that whole time difference might have had something to do with it…

The Grand Californian lobby!

So – that is day one – and I assure you, there is so much more to come! Exciting, right?

In Case You Wondered (Food & Lodging)

Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland: counter service; great for a quick meal!
The Blue Bayou in Orleans Square: sit down meal; awesome setting, on the pricier end (as far as Disney is concerned)
The Plaza Inn: sit down meal; buffet style; middle range on price
The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa: one of three hotels at Disney Land; gorgeous…rooms are a bit wee for four (grown) people…but still really lovely!

Five on Friday

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I’m doing this week’s Five on Friday a little differently – I’ll give you five confessions, ha-ha! Obviously nothing Earth shattering, but just something a little different for this Friday post. Sound good? Off we go!
One. I confess I didn’t get to Watson Wednesday this week…I got a sinus infection and in between dealing with that, trying to be at work as much as possible this week and get things together for California…posting a cute little picture of Watson fell by the wayside. However, I will gladly share one now! I was at home most of the day on Wednesday and while I was napping, he sat vigil in the doorway to my room…because obviously he loves me dearly!

Sitting vigil by the bedside of the sick – what a little love!
Two.  I confess I may have a LOT of Nationals clothing. You’ll notice I didn’t say I might have too much Nationals clothing because in my mind, there is no such thing as too much. However, my family had me count the other day and I thought I was almost to an even 20…until I realized the other day I’d forgotten an article of clothing…or two…or three… Oh well – GO NATS!
Forget Gap or Old Navy or Loft…give me the Team Store…
Three. I confess that odd numbers weird me out – badly. I don’t know why, but I need my numbers to be nice, round and even. This is especially true when I’m listening to the radio and adjusting the volume. I will never leave the volume at say…13…or 17…but 14 is fine, 18 is good too. Just no odd numbers. Unless they’re multiples of 5 – a volume of 15 is fine. I know – I’m a complete fruitcake.
Four. I confess…that my fitness has fallen off the map this week! Oops! Between getting some sort of cold/sinus drainage/my body’s revolt against the crazy weather and preparing to be in California…on vacation…for the next week, I just let it slide! I know – no excuse! However, I plan to get right back at it once I get home from the West Coast…but until then…because seriously, who “behaves” on vacation??

Five. I confess I don’t have anything else to confess at present. At least, I can’t think of anything else to confess, ha-ha! So that’s all for this week!

A Fish Fry in the Rain

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I know you’re looking at this post and thinking one of two things: one) why does the title mention a fish fry when this will obviously be about baseball and two) wasn’t there just a post about baseball a few days ago? Well dear reader – when the Nationals play the Marlins, we hope to have a “fish fry” and yes, I went to not one but two Nationals games in one week. My joy truly knows no bounds.
Scherzer Poster – Love it!

The view from my lunch post.

This game was a make-up of the game we were originally supposed to attend on April 9th…however the weather couldn’t decide what it wanted to do back in April and it was snowing/sleeting with winds blowing at something like 45+ mph…so it wasn’t a good day for baseball. This past Saturday though, it started off as an absolutely beautiful day for baseball…sunny, fluffy white clouds and 75…basically made for sitting at the ballpark, munching on some peanuts (and Cracker Jack…) and watching the boys of summer!

Contemplating baseball…definitely…
Admiring the field.

The line-up for Saturday’s game…stretching along the wall…
The Espi Beard lives on…even if it’s not on the jumbotron!
…take me out to the crowd….

We invited our friend Doug along for the day since we had an extra ticket and the drive into DC was surprisingly easy; not too much stop and go traffic, which is pretty close to a miracle on any given day! We had lunch at the Budweiser Brew House, formerly known as the Red Porch, but since Budweiser is a big sponsor this year…there was a name change! The food is still good and you can still sit right on the field and watch batting practice while you eat your meal, so that’s really all that matters…at least to me.

I ducked into the Team Store to grab t-shirts for Lindsey and I – since we’d played witness to Max Scherzer’s history making 20 strikeouts earlier in the week, we had to have the new t-shirt that says “Strikeouts are sexy”. Ha-ha!

Peering out from under the Budweiser Terrace…
I do love the ballpark!
Cheese! It’s baseball time again! Yahoo!

Our seats were a bit higher up than I’d normally choose, but they were purchased as a part of a holiday ticket package, so we’ll be sitting there two more times this season. Hey – a seat in the ballpark is a seat in the ballpark, right? The usher in section 226 was a lively one, giving everyone a high five before showing them to their seats, dancing with the music and just generally being awesome. She scored awesome points from us because when she saw that we were on row T…basically at the top of the stadium…she told us to take the three seats on the fourth row and as long as no one claimed them, we could stay parked right there. Guess what? No one claimed them! I couldn’t have been more pleased since I already felt like we were sitting up in heaven…but then again, I think we all know I’m only slightly obsessed with my Nats.

From Section 226 all the players look like ants…
Getting in a warm-up before the game.
O Say Can You See…

Saturday’s game was at 1:05 and was game one of a split double-header against the Miami Marlins. The game started with a bang…literally…as the Marlins got in a one run homer in the top of the first, but the Nationals would get that back and more in the bottom of the first. The Marlins pitcher walked the first three batters to load the bases and then Murphy hit a sac fly to tie the game up, followed by Zimmerman’s sac fly that made the game 2-1. Harper stole third base and then raced home on Werth’s single, making the game 3-1 before the inning would finally end. The Marlins fought back again in the fifth and scored a run on a double, making the game 3-2…but the Nationals fought back yet again with Taylor singling, promptly stealing second base and then racing his way home on Rendon’s single, making the game 4-2!

Let’s play ball!
Bases loaded for Daniel “Hits” Murphy…bring on the runs!
An amazing blue sky – perfect for baseball!
20 K’s = $20 Tickets…on the silly blurry jumbotron…

The weather was holding…but about the time that score went to 4-2, the ever darkening skies began to creep closer and closer to the field… The sixth inning started with the wind whipping and the Marlins whipping a hit, followed by an RBI that made the game 4-3…and as the sky opened up and the rain started to fall, causing most people to retreat into the concourse, Wilson Ramos again made it a two run game by smashing a home run out to center field and securing the score at 5-3.

Dark skies on the horizon…
Teddy took the win in this running…go Teddy!
The menfolk discussing….who knows what?
The rain getting closer with each inning…
Retreating under the overhang for the top of the sixth…

Watching the seventh inning unfold from under the concourse, the Marlins struck yet again…a lead off double and an RBI single once again put them within one run of the Nationals, who would score no runs in the seventh and the game would be at 5-4. The wind continued to whip, the rain continued to pour and we all figured surely they’d just call the game – right? A game only has to make it through five innings to be considered official; just 4.5 innings if the home team is in the lead, so why were they continuing to play in the downpour? We ended up moving around the field in an effort to find a better viewing spot; it’s always so ironic to end up watching a baseball game at the Park…on a TV under the stands. All the action is literally feet away and you’re watching the game on a TV. Oh gee.

The rain…and a home run from Wilson Ramos….arrive in the bottom of the sixth!
Watching Harper bat from the cover of the concourse…while the rain poured…
No-Hitter Number Two…
No-Hitter Number One…
Max in Motion…pictures courtesy of being in motion around the concourse to find better baseball game viewing…

Shawn Kelley pitched for the Nationals in the top of the eighth and kept things scoreless for the Marlins, while the Nationals added a run in the bottom of the eighth when den Dekker reached on an error, allowing Taylor to race home and make the game 6-4! Jonathan Papelbon came in at the top of the ninth…amidst the puddles collecting on the field…and worked around a leadoff hit and two walks to secure the game for the Nationals. We fried the fish in the downpour, winning this game 6-4 and allowing everyone to head for home happy…albeit a little bit soggy…

Watching the game through the window of the PNC Diamond Club. *sigh*
Curly W! In the rain! 
Waving good-bye to DC for the day!

So – two games in one week. Awesome! Recapping two winning games in a week…even more awesome! It will be a few weeks before I’m back at Nationals Park for another game but I’m sure I’ll find plenty to “talk” about between now and then!

Watch Me Pitch….Watch Me KK

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Baseball – my favorite pastime and one I finally got to share with my sister this past week! I bought tickets for this game way back in March; for one reason and one reason only, it was Bryce Harper MVP Bobble-head night. I didn’t know who was going to go with me but I knew someone would and I was going to get my bobble-head. I was thrilled when Lindsey’s leave schedule worked out so that she could go with me!
As the game drew closer, it unfolded so as to be a pretty amazing match-up; Max Scherzer (Lindsey’s new favorite player) would be on the mound for the Nationals and facing off against him would be the Nationals former pitcher, Jordan Zimmermann…now with the Detroit Tigers. Jordan Zimmermann has started the 2016 with an unbelievable ERA; it’s been hovering around 1.00…yes, you read that right. Max has gotten off to a rocky start and would be facing off against his former team; the Nationals got Scherzer from the Tigers in 2015. Interesting match-up, right? Definitely! 
We have bobble-heads – score!
Jayson Werth…larger than life…
Dusty Baker – love this guy!

The constant rain in the DMV area managed to slack off before we joined the line of people waiting to get bobble-heads outside the Center Field Gate…and when I say line, I mean…who knew that bobble-heads brought out so many people?? Admittedly this is the first bobble-head game I’ve been to, but holy cow…all of the people were at Nationals Park at 4:30 in the afternoon! We had planned to eat at the BrewHouse but the wait time was an hour and fifteen minutes…and I’ve literally never had to wait before. We made a quick return trip to the Team Store for Lindsey to pick up a new pair of socks – her feet had gotten wet walking to Ice Cream Jubilee and back – and then we grabbed some supper at Shake Shack and took our seats!

What’s that on your socks there?
Oh…the Unanimous 2015 NL MVP? Nice!
The man the bobble-head was modeled after…

I would say we weren’t 100% prepared for the temperature at this game – I only had a light jacket and Lindsey had on shorts. Once the rain had moved through, the temperature hovered around 60 and there was a pretty nice breeze. Lindsey was pulling those socks up as close to her knees as she could to cover those exposed legs…it was crazy. VA weather y’all…it’s nuts. The usher for our section was super zealous…always saying “where are your tickets…where are your tickets???” every time you went anywhere – whoosh! Lindsey and I took in the warm-ups on the field, watched the video meant to get you pumped…which I love…and Lindsey feels ends rather anti-climatically. Oh well. Soon enough Ben Revere stepped in against Jordan Zimmermann and the game was underway!

Daniel Murphy was the first Nationals player on the field to warm up….
The view from Section 227 – Row D
Jordan Zimmermann back on the mound at Nationals Park – just not wearing the right colors…
Zimmermann on the throw…Harper ready to run…Murphy at the plate…

Max made quick work of the Tigers in the first inning and the Nationals struck early in the game; the first inning to be exact. After Revere flew out, Rendon doubled and then Harper singled, moving Rendon to third. Murphy continued his hitting streak by singling and sending Harper to second and Rendon on home…Nationals up 1-0! Zimmerman grounded into a double play to end the inning and the ballgame progressed accordingly…some walks on the part of the Nationals; Max Scherzer would not walk anyone this game…but more on that later…and of course, there were pop outs, fly outs and a strike here or there. Max Scherzer allowed a one run home run to Iglesias in the third and things were all tied up after the first three innings: Nationals 1 and Tigers 1.

Run Presidents Run!
Abe takes the win!
Ace Pitcher Extraordinaire – Max Scherzer!
Former Awesome Nationals Pitcher – Still Awesome Tigers Pitcher – Jordan Zimmermann!

Jordan Zimmermann came up to bat late in the third and received a standing ovation from the Nationals crowd; Jordan holds so many Nationals records…including the first no-hitter in Nationals history, it was touching to see Jordan step back from the plate, whip off his batting helmet and wave at the fans. It was also touching…in a wholly different fashion to watch Max strike him out. Ha! The game moved through the next few innings with more outs being recorded…obviously…but most importantly, by the time Max was through the top of the 6th inning, he had 13 strikeouts total from 20 batters faced; he was up to just 77 pitches and 62 of them had been strikes. In the bottom of the 6th, Rendon singled, Harper was walked and Daniel “Hits” Murphy did his thing as clean-up batter and singled, sending Rendon home to make the score 2-1 at the end of the sixth. When Max took the field at the top of the seventh…there was a collective buzz starting at Nationals Park…

Keeping track of the K’s in the stands…I need to be friends with these people.
Danny! Espinosa! Look out 
Mr. Max Scherzer…surpassing the Nationals record for strike-outs in a game…previously held by…Max Scherzer!

Scherzer collected K’s number fifteen and sixteen in the seventh inning and Danny Espinosa padded the Nationals lead in the bottom of the seventh with a solo shot homer that had everyone in the stands on their feet! Max was back in the eighth to get strikeouts sixteen…seventeen…and eighteen in the eighth; once he surpassed seventeen, he broke his own record for strikeouts in one game. He acheived seventeen last season with the Nationals…but I guess that wasn’t enough for Mad Max, because he blew right past seventeen, on to eighteen and then…well, then the eighth ended with the game at 3-1. It was at this point that people in the stands really began to buzz… Would Max come back in for the ninth? How many strikeouts could he get??

Mad Max takes the field for the ninth…and to make history!
Three outs later – the Nationals win!
The Nationals get the Curly W & Max gets 20 K’s!

Max took the field in the top of the ninth and on the first pitch of the inning allowed a one shot homer to make the score 3-2…but Nationals fans were unfazed. We knew we were watching history unfold and everyone was on their feet for the entirety of the ninth inning… Max got strikes nineteen and twenty, then got the third out on a grounder to end the game and secure the Nationals win; along the way joining only three other pitchers in the history of the MLB to get twenty strikeouts in a regular nine inning baseball game. To say the crowd went wild would be an understatement – with each strikeout, things got even crazier and when it was all said and done, I’d wager there wasn’t a person in those stands that wasn’t on their feet through that final inning – and rightly so – what an amazing moment!

Max receives congratulations from Tanner Roark and Stephen Strasburg…
A Curly W in historic fashion – yes!

I proceeded to take about ten pictures of Max talking on the jumbotron to Dan Kolko – so you’ll have to check those out below. It was pretty awesome to hear Max say that with the fans on their feet behind him, he had everything in the tank for the 9th – it was absolutely a memorable game and his interview after the game was a perfect cap to the win!

How do you feel Max? Ha-ha!
Feeling good about those 20 K’s…no doubt about it!
Max said he had everything in the tank with the fans behind him, cheering him on…
Always awesome Max – always!

I was completely thrilled that this was the game that Lindsey and I got to go to together – once it was over, we were chilly and starting to feel a little tired, but completely energized from watching such an amazing victory! After the game, Max Scherzer cemented his place as Lindsey’a favorite Nationals player and we made the journey home on a post game high!

As the Nationals radio announcer, Charlies Slowes is fond of saying “remember where you are, so you’ll remember where you were”… I was sitting in Section 227, Row D, Seat 1 with my best friend and little sister sitting beside me in Seat 2 when Max Scherzer made history at Nationals Park. Not bad…not bad at all.

I’m Still Here….

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So – I’m still here. I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth or anything…but my little sister was in town last week and seeing as we are both big bad grown-ups now (cue hysterical laughter) and don’t see each other on a daily basis…I took off work Wednesday afternoon through the rest of the work week and just decided I’d take off from blogging too. I spent time with my little sister and my family and it was oh so delightful. 
And now I’m back – for this week at least. I’m California bound in t-minus four days and some odd hours, but for right now that’s neither here nor there…so, let me get back to this past week and all it’s delightfulness… Also – spell check is informing me that delightfulness is not a word, which is pretty disgraceful in my eyes. Oh well. Onward!
This is what dedication looks like…or something like that…

I should start this post off by saying I took something like…0 pictures from Monday – Wednesday morning…oops. I actually had to work and I guess I was wrapped up in that. The only picture(s) I have from the earlier part of the week is my rapidly progressing bruise on my thigh…courtesy of being too engrossed in baseball. Oops. 

Monday night I was watching the Nationals game and after about an hour and a half, I handed the control of the TV over to my Mom and later, seeing that she was still watching Dancing with the Stars, I went upstairs to get ready for bed. I had my phone to keep my updated on the progress of the game and didn’t think much of it… Until shortly after 10 PM when my entire family started screaming from downstairs in tandem with my phone suddenly going nuts… I dove off the bed and headed for the door, smashing my leg into my bedside table in the process. By the time I made it down the stairs to see the replay of Clint Robinson’s walk-off home run (and Harper’s ejection from the game) my leg was already turning a deep blue. Awesome! Hey – the Nationals won though!

Introducing Lindsey to the cult of Ice Cream Jubilee…
Bryce Harper MVP Bobbleheads? Check! Times Two!

It rained and rained and on Wednesday when I woke up – it was raining. Which was especially crummy since Lindsey and I had tickets to a Nationals game on Wednesday night. I left work around 12:30 and had time to eat and change before we set out…in the pouring rain…for DC and the baseball game. It poured all the way into DC and we had to set out with umbrellas on our trek to Ice Cream Jubilee…but no sooner had we gotten our ice cream and sat down to enjoy it, the rain started slacking off and was gone! Hallelujah! 

It was a bobblehead giveaway night – Bryce Harper – and let me tell you; those bobbleheads bring out the people! We joined the line of people waiting to get in, got ourselves each a bobblehead and perused the Team Store before realizing the wait time for the Brew House was an hour and fifteen minutes…we passed on that, grabbed some food from Shake Shack and settled into our seats to watch Scherzer and the Nats take on Zimmermann (a former Nats pitcher) and the Tigers. Of course I’m dedicating a whole post to the game…so to make it concise…Scherzer was ON FIRE; striking out 20 with 119 pitches, his performance Wednesday night allowing him to join only three other pitchers who have ever done that. Basically – it was an amazing game! Glad I got to experience it with Lindsey!

Mad Max feeling it after striking out 20!
Celebrating an awesome game…a historic game…and of course, a Curly W!

Thursday was lovely – Lindsey and I slept in, I was able to leisurely sip some coffee and take my time getting ready for the day…that’s always so nice, right? We decided to have lunch at Pavemint and then head across the valley to Luray and investigate the caverns. Lindsey and I have always been big fans of caves…our parents aren’t as interested…so we figured we’d take Thursday to do Luray Caverns without pestering them to go cave hopping with us, ha-ha!

Lunching at Pavemint
A very deep lake…or a very shallow lake? You decide…
Getting a little bit silly under the Shenandoah mountains….

Our tour guide was…a little intense…to say the least. And as always, there was that one family that just didn’t seem to know how to behave – but then, isn’t that always the case? We had plenty of fun taking in all the underground sites and sounds; Luray Caverns has a stalactite pipe organ and they turned it on and it played a hymn in the caves, so that was pretty cool. We cruised back home through the valley, taking in the sunshine (wait…what’s sunshine…huh???) and the clouds rolling across the mountaintops.

Once we got home, we grilled and just sat around for a little bit before deciding to go grab some custard from Spelunkers – a place in nearby Front Royal. Watson even got to come along and for the most part sat at the table like he had some manners…he may have climbed onto the table a time or two…but really, who can blame him? There was custard involved and it’s hard to be patient when you just want a teeny bite.

Caves are cool, right?
Clouds spilling over the mountains on the ride home….
Talk about a gorgeous rainbow!
Waiting patiently for a bite of custard on Thursday evening…

Friday morning the sun was out – at least, I think that’s what that big ball in the sky is called…although having not really seen it for something like 15 days…I can’t be 100% sure. We decided to head over to Hagerstown and do some shopping…at least, that’s what the three ladies in the family had in mind. My Dad had another plan but was vetoed on account of 1) shopping…duh and 2) the weather was shady at best; literally, we had no clue if the sun would actually stay out. Outdoor activities didn’t seem like the best plan.

We had a pretty big breakfast before leaving the house, so we shopped till we were about to drop…ha-ha…and then Lindsey found a barbecue place on her phone called Hempen Hill BBQ and we headed over for an early supper. It was basically to die for – everything was delicious and they even had bakery fresh desserts that were made on site – so of course, we got dessert! We made it home in time to watch the Nationals game on TV (they won!) before crashing for the night.

I can’t even tell you what this thing is anymore…
A seriously killer cupcake – chocolate peanut butter – yes ma’am!

Saturday morning we parted ways for most of the day – my Dad and I went into DC for a Nationals game and my sister and Mom stayed in town to go to a tea that my Mom was in charge of putting on at her church. Yes – I went to two Nationals games in the span of four days – best week ever? Quite possibly. When can I do that again?? Hopefully soon…

The game started beautifully – sunny skies, fluffy clouds and a breezy temperature of around 75. Basically perfect baseball weather. Sadly, because the sunshine hates the DMV, it was not meant to last and by the sixth inning, the temperature had dropped about fifteen degrees, the wind was whipping napkins and straws and all manner of trash into the air and onto the field and then…the torrential downpour broke open on the field. We watched the final innings of the game from under the concourse, on one of the hundreds of TV’s positioned near the field…as the puddles gathered on the field, the team played on…and eventually got another Curly W! Of course, as soon as the game ended…so did the rain!

From blue skies to a torrential downpour…blegh…
Scenes from Saturday at Nationals Park!
The Washington Monument without a single soul in the frame = miracle.

We all ate out together at Joe’s Steakhouse – it was all pretty delicous – and then; of course, we all just relaxed after a long day of baseball and tea and such… Sunday morning my little sister went to Sunday School with my parents before we all piled into the car to make the journey to Reagan. It got a little crazy when we discovered that the exit was closed and a detour through even more DC traffic was required – suffice it to say that the drop off at the airport unfolded much quicker and more haphazardly than we’d planned. Lindsey got off just fine though and we made in to Manassas to meet up with friends so my Dad could take some graduation pictures and then we closed out the night with dinner at a Mexican restaurant.

Lindsey & Watson snuggles!
Carrying the most important parts of any successful travel plan – petit fours & kleenex….
A gorgeous Sunday afternoon with that weird ball of light again….

And so – you see – I was busy doing all those awesome things this past week. So, I couldn’t be bothered with taking a moment away from all of that. However, all good things must end and the past week is done with, memories filed away to be pored over for years to come…and now, we look ahead to this week and what it might bring.

Watson Wednesday

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Excuse me….are you talking to ME?

I’m pretty sure this picture has already made it onto the blog earlier in the week – but this just had to be my picture for today’s Watson Wednesday. His face is too good and he’s much too cute. Love this little stinker!

Paging the Sunshine…

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It rained ALL week. If I honestly had to sum up the past week in one sentence – that’s the sentence. It just rained and rained and rained…and oh wait, yes – it rained again for good measure. I am looking back at the past week and honestly; I don’t think I did too much. Rain has that effect though…of making you just want to sleep and be lazy. Not the best combinations…but you know…
He’s just so good looking. Man.
Working out is hard. Water breaks are not.

My Dad returned late Sunday night/early Monday morning from visiting MS to help my sister pack up her house and he returned bearing gifts. The above pictured ESPN MLB 2016 Preview Edition – which I could not find for the life of me in the Northern Virginia area but my sister managed to snag in MS. Thank goodness! Lindsey also found a pretty amazing mug that describes my usual state when coffee is not present – I’ll ask you excuse the tragic dark circles under my eyes in the picture below; I slept…well…not great almost all week last week. Not sure what was up with that!

The under eye circles are a real thing – yikes!
A promise that perhaps one day it would stop raining? I suppose…

I did still manage to get some walking/jogging in but in was sometimes superseded by the crappy weather. My Dad and I had good intentions to walk on Tuesday evening but only got about a mile into the walk before the rain started…and I feel like I’ve shared this already on here….but I can’t for the life of me think why I feel that way? Maybe not! Anywho, my Dad brought along an umbrella just in case and we all three ended up trying to crown under it to keep from getting drenched as we raced back up the hill to the house! Oh wait – I definitely mentioned this in my blog post on Friday. Oh well, ha-ha!

We managed to pick up where we’d left off on Wednesday and went almost three miles when it was all said and done. The ground was absolutely saturated though; my new sneakers came out of it all a little worse for the wear and I swear Watson actively sought out every mud puddle he could find and raced through it with wild abandon, his feet required a thorough wipe down after we got back to the house. Which confused him – he thought he should just be able to race through the house, spreading his joy and muddy feet everywhere. He did get rewarded on Thursday after our walk with a lick or two of my Popsicle…which honestly, gives him so much joy.

Over a week of rain = rushing river(s)…
What do you mean my feet are too muddy to go in??
Who are you looking at?
Popsicle’s are delicious…

I was able to leave work early on Friday – thanks to my delightful boss! My Dad and I went out to dinner at Longhorn (I guess I should mention that my Mom was in Las Vegas with my sister, looking at houses…) and then perused Books A Million for a while. I found a book on MLB Ballparks that was awfully tempting but they only had about two or three pictures of Nationals Park and honestly…I love baseball of all kinds, but if I’m going to buy a book about ballparks as a whole, I need Nationals Park to be represented more strongly. Priorities people! We closed out the night watching Ant-Man in preparation for seeing Captain America: Civil War on Saturday and I went to bed shamefully early…like…before 10:30 because I like to sleep.

Friday night snuggles… Snuggles are SO rare…
Saturday afternoon goofiness…

Saturday I slept sort of late…not even till 8:15…oh well. I sipped my coffee and watched Outlander before getting out to get in a 2 mile walk/jog. Once I returned home, my Dad was rearing to go to a Civil War battle reenactment; the battle of Front Royal to be more exact, and so I quickly got ready and we were out the door shortly after noon. We watched some goofy men reenact the battle and holy moly…the guns were SO loud and there were people everywhere! After the battle ended, we had lunch at Element – a new place in Front Royal that has a lot of promise, but it’s obvious they are still working out some kinks! The sun finally showed it’s face on Saturday and I have never been so happy to see sunshine in my life! 

Which means my Dad and I spent the afternoon in a dark theater – ha-ha! We went to a late afternoon showing of Captain America: Civil War (it was a very civil war kind of day apparently) and had dinner at Five Guys before coming home.

I’m not sure what the strange yellow thing in the sky is…but I like it…
Wake up – the movie is starting!

I can’t believe it but somehow I don’t have a single picture from Mother’s Day – I don’t know where my brain was at! We picked up my Mom and sister from the airport around 10:30 and went to brunch at McMahon’s Irish Pub – it was absolutely delicious and I’m still sitting here in complete disbelief that I don’t even have a picture of the beautiful, fluffy meringues or a goofy shot or my sister and I at the table. I don’t know know what was going on! Too busy enjoy one another’s company for phones perhaps? *gasp*

We stopped on at the model home en route to our house; they will be breaking ground on my parent’s new house in two weeks, so they wanted to show Lindsey what it will look like. I spent the afternoon watching Nationals baseball (thirteen innings and a loss…so sad) and getting in a 3 mile walk and we closed out Mother’s Day with pizza and relaxing. It was all very low key and maybe that’s why there are no picture? I have no clue!
And now we are at Monday once more – and I find myself paging the sunshine again because it’s raining again! Based on the weather forecast, it looks like we will be seeing rain for the foreseeable future…the whole week looks damp…well, except for Wednesday. Thank goodness – rain isn’t good for baseball….you know?