Sunday, November 15, 2009

Teddy Roosevelt Island

Today Cayne and I took a drive down George Washington Memorial Parkway to Theodore Roosevelt Island. This is a National Park we've wanted to explore for a while, but felt like we needed a car to get there! We walked all around the island in the Potomac enjoying the views of Arlington, Georgetown, etc and watching the Coast Guard helicopters patrol the Potomac.

Then we came home and I started cooking our early "Thanksgiving" dinner. We had Duck with orange sauce, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cloverleaf rolls, and cranberry sauce, all with a delicious Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Pelligrino. Everything was delicious and we topped it off with pumpkin-spice cake (baked in a pumpkin-shaped cake pan) for dessert. We will have leftovers for days!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Orleans

I went to New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, and enjoyed the city. Although I have no burning desire to go back, I think it is a great place to visit at least once. The food is amazing and the music is great. Here are some (crappy iPhone) photos if you are interested.

It's Autumn, Fall, and Halloween

Today I woke up to leaves. NOW I understand why Americans call it Fall and not Autumn, all to do with this crazy process of leaves falling off trees. Who would have thought such a thing was possible?

Yesterday Betsey took me to a haunted forest. We had to keep calling out "tippy toes" so that the 4 year old we were with I wasn't too scared. It was a lot of fun, normally I'm not one to appreciate screaming children, but somehow last night it was OK.

Tonight is my first REAL Halloween. We are armed to the teeth with candy, but Betsey wont let me have any of it :(.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Work, work, work...

We've been keeping ourselves busy with work for the past few weeks. Cayne has just left for New Orleans for an Anesthesia Conference to demonstrate (and hopefully sell) their software. So he's been busy designing updates to the software and adding new features, etc. in preparation for this.

I'm working with the graduate students to prepare for our November 10th Research Symposium where they get to showcase the research they've been working on to the entire NIH. I'm also getting ready to attend 2 conferences: the GREAT Group in St. Louis later this week and ABRCMS in Phoenix November 4-7th. And we've been interviewing for our new position in the GPP -- hopefully that search will be finalized soon!

I recently got a Montgomery County library card so that I can take advantage of "checking out" audiobooks (anyone who knows me know I'm not likely to read a library book) and this gives me something to listen to while waiting for the bus to/from work. I've been trying to listen to leadership and management books to gear up for supervising someone new at work. Not that I haven't supervised in the past but there are some pretty interesting theories out there about how to be a "good" manager that I wouldn't have thought of.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

September Update

Now that it's October and we went almost the whole month without a single post, I thought I'd give a brief update on what's been going on with us.

We are pretty settled into the new house. Granted, one bedroom is still a wreck but by the end of this month, it should be set up as a guest bedroom/Betsey's office. We got a new sofa from Macy's that we love so my old Sealy Futon will no longer be our only seating arrangement. Right now the futon is in the dining room, waiting to be moved to it's new home -- the future guest bedroom. But we have to take it apart to get it down the hall and into the room. And we have to clear some of the junk out of the way in the room.

The same day we bought the sofa, we bought three area rugs from Lowe's. It was a bit of a hassle getting our Lowe's order delivered (I think they called 6 times telling us our order would be delivered the next day and 5 times the next morning saying our order wouldn't be in for a couple weeks). But now we have something on our floors that will be much more pleasant than hard wood once it gets cold this winter. We also got a grill from Lowe's and still need to find somewhere in the area where we can fill up the propane tank. I'm looking forward to having Cayne grill steaks and burgers, etc for our dinner!

Our major September excursion was to Siesta Key, Florida where we attended Chris and Christine's beautiful beach wedding. We had a blast in Florida and Cayne even got me to go swimming in the ocean. For those of you who don't know we well, I haven't been in the ocean past my ankles in over 15 years. It was OK mainly because all the Germans were as afraid of the stingrays as I was. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


As Betsey already mentioned, we went to Annapolis recently. It was generally a fun day out, good food, weather was OK, lots of people, etc.

I took a few photos with my iPhone, enjoy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Busy Weekend

This past weekend Cayne and I decided we needed to really get moving on some upcoming travel plans and on researching some new gadgets we wanted to buy. Since it was raining when we woke up on Saturday, we figured it was the perfect day to spend getting some of these tasks accomplished. Turns out it was a good decision because it rained almost non-stop all day Saturday.

We were able to book tickets to Florida for a friend's wedding at Siesta Key, get our hotel, and a car rental for a much cheaper price than we expected. We're both looking forward to spending a few days on the beach in September!

Cayne also bought us a Garmin nĂ¼vi 755T GPS with a Friction Dashboard Mount for our new car, after researching all sorts of navigation systems, this seems like the one that will work best for our needs. I'm looking forward to the fact that it tells you which lane you need to be in! We'll see how much we like it once it arrives.

Sunday, we drove over to Annapolis and strolled along the marina, the Naval Academy, and the shops on Main Street. The weather was beautiful and the town was very active. We stopped for an early seafood dinner at Pusser's Caribbean Grille (they have delicious Mojito's, which makes sense because Pusser's makes great rum).

The real winner this weekend was the cheap airfare I found to New Zealand for our wedding celebration. We were able to book tickets for the two of us on Expedia for basically the price we had been seeing for 1 person. I'm not entirely sure how it happened but the tickets are confirmed and we'll be spending Christmas and New Year's in New Zealand! Now we just need to get our airfare to Sydney (and a hotel in Sydney) for Jono's wedding and we'll be set.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The new baby

We made it home in one piece! Betsey got first driving honors, and is really wrapped in it.

New Car

Tonight Cayne and I are heading to the Saturn dealership to pick up our new Aura XE. We were able to get a great deal on this one (thanks, Dad!). We're both very excited to have our own set of wheels! For Cayne, it is his first ever brand new car.

For me, it's been really nice to be car-free for the past year and a half -- there have only been a few times where I really wished I had a car. Living in the city, it made much more sense to not have a car (especially with the parking prices in DC). The public transportation system here and Zipcars make it so much easier to not need to own one. That said, now that we are in the suburbs, having a car is much more necessary -- just for getting to a grocery store or pharmacy, Target or friends' homes. And now it will be much easier to take short (or long) weekend trips.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Settling in to the New Home

This weekend, Cayne and I spent most of our time shopping. We rented a base model Cobalt (it's such a pain to not have automatic locks, isn't it?) from the local Enterprise Company and off we went to our first stop, Target. We needed to get some very basic things for the house, including a garbage can -- it's hard to believe there are still places in this country where the garbage pick-up doesn't use one of the automatic-arm trucks and where they don't provide you with the large wheeled bins. Funny thing is...our paper recycling bin is one of those large blue bins with wheels, etc (and yes, the paper bin is separate from the smaller "other recyclables" that you have to sort. Oh - and yard clippings have to go in separate, special brown paper bags you have to pick up from the hardware store. I can't make up my mind as to whether this means folks in Arizona were smarter or just lazier since we never sorted anything (apart from keeping trash separate from recyclables) and just had one big trash bin and one big recycling bin to wheel to the end of the driveway each week.

After filling our car with home-goods at Target, we stopped home to unload and then took off for Bed Bath and Beyond. There, we got a new shower head that Cayne installed today (it's awesome) and also a kitchen garbage can. Gotta love those 20% off coupons at BB&B!

We spent today back at Ikea, where I think we've bought everything we need for our kitchen and for Cayne's office. We just beat the same-day-delivery cut-off so now we are just waiting for our purchases to arrive so we can start putting them together and take care of some of the clutter.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Oh Deer!

Q: What do you call a deer with no eyes?
A: No eye deer

Q: What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs?
A: Still no eye deer


While talking on the phone today, I spotted this in our back yard.

I have been told to be on the lookout for foxes as well!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Well, we have officially gotten everything out of our little 700 sq. ft. apartment in Dupont Circle and are slowly settling into a much larger space in Kensington, MD. It's going to take a while to adjust to not having every single restaurant deliver (I think we're stuck with pizza or Chinese unless we use takeout taxi) and not being able to walk to the stores to run our errands. Since so much has happened in such a short amount of time, I thought I'd just list some of the accomplishments we've had in the past 2 weeks:
  1. Packed.

  2. Rented a car (small SUV) to help with moving and errand running on Monday.

  3. Made arrangements with moving company to have furniture moved.

  4. Found out moving company, although they had some decent online reviews, was a scam when they doubled their price on us the day before the move.

  5. Rented a 10-ft moving truck on Thursday. This was a huge accomplishment -- the people working at (and other people renting from) the Budget truck rental in Silver Spring are not the sharpest tools in the shed, to put it nicely.

  6. Drove the 10-ft moving truck through DC....twice.

  7. Got my new Maryland driver's license on Friday.

  8. Managed to make it through week one with about 5 hours sleep each night. Managed to get everything moved without breaking anything.

  9. Spent about 4 hours at Ikea on Saturday.

  10. Tried to test drive a Saturn on Saturday and Sunday. Had a good look at them after visiting a second dealership after they told us they would be open but they were actually closed.

  11. "Tagged" a new Saturn Aura XE. Hopefully it will arrive at the dealer in the next few weeks.

  12. Finished moving everything out of the apartment on Sunday.

  13. Went back to Ikea to buy a bookshelf, kitchen island, and kitchen cart on Sunday. Came home with the bookshelf because everything else was out of stock. This works out because it would have been a pain to try to fit all that in the car and now we can use their delivery service.

  14. Returned rental car on Monday morning.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


News just in, our application to rent the house we liked was accepted! We get to move in on the 20th July, so much to do, so little time.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shenandoah National Park

We started off the weekend by looking at some homes for rent in the Bethesda area on Friday evening. We found one that looks really nice and are pretty sure we'll put an application in for it on Monday (as long as no one else has beaten us to the punch). Here's a funny side note - the Realtor for the owner put a slideshow of the house on YouTube - but at least you can see the pictures there!

Saturday we woke up bright and early to rent a car and drive to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. We drove all 105 miles of Skyline Drive. Along the way we saw lots of wildlife - lots of deer (including a fawn crossing the street with its mom), lots of hawks, a raccoon, a turkey, and Cayne even saw a Black Bear! The drive was beautiful and lots of fun to do. After all, who doesn't love windy and twisty mountain roads with over 70 overlooks?! Plus, there really wasn't a lot of traffic.

Along the way we stopped to hike down to Dark Hollow Falls, which is about a 70 foot waterfall. The key thing to notice is that the hike was down to the falls, meaning after about 0.7 miles hiking down a steep hill, we then had to climb 0.7 miles out. It was actually a really nice trail and not too strenuous... and the falls were great!

We spent the night in Wayesboro at a really nice Residence Inn and drove home this morning. We enjoyed driving back home through the valleys and looking up at the mountains we drove through the day before. Cayne even drove almost the whole way, making me take us back into Reagan National to return the car.

We spent the evening filling out rental applications. Cayne had a great time trying to figure out how to answer the questions that don't translate to the type of information available in New Zealand but he did it the best he could figure out. We'll see what they think later this week!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Green Card

Betsey and I had our interview this morning, which went really well! The people in the immigration office were really friendly and made the entire experience a relaxed process. Kudos to them! I was surprised to find that they issued me a Green Card on the spot, so now my passport has a very official "Temporary Green Card" stamp in it until the real one turns up in....6 weeks to 6 months. Happy times!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hey, You're just too spicy for me

Yesterday I made some absolutely delicious chipotle beef burritos. The only problem is that they are almost to spicy to eat! It was a slow cooker recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. After I had shredded the beef and made the burritos (adding my homemade salsa - a modified version of Erika's recipe) we were anxious to taste them. Well, the flavor was terrific but awfully spicy. And I usually like spicy foods. And the recipe didn't say anywhere that this dish would be particularly spicy.

Today at work I was telling Lori about last night's dinner and mentioned how confused I was about the spiciness of the dish. She laughed and asked how many chipotle peppers I put in. I explained that I thought maybe I was supposed to drain the peppers and not add the adobo sauce with all the peppers. That's when she pointed out to me that the recipe probably called for 1 "canned" pepper not 1 "can of" peppers. Well, if you take a look at the recipe you can see that yes, I was only supposed to add 1 -2 peppers out of the can. Not the whole can! To top it off, I also added a couple Serrano peppers to the recipe.

Anyway, the flavor is great and I'm sure that if you only add 1-2 chipotle peppers it would be edible without having your mouth on fire!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wedding Photos

I have finally collected all of the wedding photos into one place, and put them online. Here is part 1.

Wedding 2009

Flickr wants me to start paying, so I decided to opt for Picasa for now. The only drawback was that it only allows 500 photos per album. Therefore you will have to go to the "Wedding 2009 Part 2" album once you have finished with the above (assuming you are still awake). Enjoy.

Wedding 2009 Part 2

June 12-14

We had a fun weekend. Cayne got to deal with our grocery delivery from Safeway while I was getting my hair cut on Friday night. Grocery delivery works great, although substitutions are sometimes a little odd and you can't necessarily depend on them to have what you need in stock. Seriously... how does a grocery store run out of Coke Zero or beef roasts? And I wanted 1 Serrano chile, not half a pound of them. But the convenience of having these things delivered more than makes up for having to pick up the few missing items during the week. Or trying to figure out if I can freeze (or dry) the Serrano peppers. Plus they deliver wine and beer.

Yesterday we went for a walk and had a fire truck run-in. We were at 22nd and Pennsylvania Ave when about 3 fire trucks came racing around Washington circle and stopped at a building under construction in front of us. All the construction workers were running out so the firefighters could do their thing but unfortunately, we were at a funny 5-way intersection and couldn't move in any direction because so many additional trucks were trying to come through! By the time we were able to get out of the area, smoke was billowing out of one of the top floors and they were putting their ladder up to fight the fire. Very exciting, but we didn't stay around to see what happened. I will say that the DC fire department is a group of really fast responders who are very methodical. (They even brought 2 water rescue know...just in case).

Last night we were at Caroline and Mike's for a BBQ. The weather was perfect and we finally got to see their remodeled kitchen and new nursery! Now, they just need to add the baby. It was so nice to sit outside in the backyard and enjoy the evening. When we got back home to Dupont, the area was still hopping with Capital Pride events (headlined this year by Rupaul).

Today Cayne is working out how to get those darn wedding photos posted online for everyone to see. Hopefully that will happen soon!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two Offices

I work at home, in a 650 Sq Ft apartment. This can be a little cramped, but getting out of bed at 7:30 and starting work at 8 surely beats a commute through city traffic!

This week we finally got our circuit box replaced, which was necessary in order for our air conditioning to be fixed. Don't ask. Suffice to say I wasn't able to work without electricity for 5 hours. So what to do? I went to a local cafe, about 1 block away. I have to admit that after spending 3 hours working there I'm hooked! Working from home reduces contact with people, a lot, and there was something intensely enjoyable about working amongst a group of strangers. I have decided to try and make it a weekly ritual, 1 or 2 hours per week in the local cafe.

In other news we finally upgraded to a blue-ray player. We got the Samsung BD-P3600 which quite frankly is awesome! I'm hooked on Pandora again, and the Netflix streaming has worked flawlessly. 4.5 out of 5. If the buttons on the machine were not on top, but on the front of the unit, it would get a 4.9 out of 5.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sackboy's Demise

Sackboy likes to sit on a shelf,
Sackboy likes to sit by himself.

But alas, on an extra stormy day,
Sackboy decided it was time to play.

Where art thou oh sackiest of boys?
Hast thou run away?

For Seth and Nina with lots of love!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Cayne and I did have a very relaxing long weekend. We spent Sunday at the National Zoo to try to see the baby gorilla and baby anteater. This was our second attempt to see the new gorilla - last time there were crowds of really loud people around her and this time she just wasn't anywhere we could see her. The giant anteaters were also MIA. We did get to see Happy the Hippopotamus swimming, which was nice since she's leaving at the end of summer to make way for the new elephant house.

We walked back to our house from the zoo and stopped at Zorba's Greek Cafe for takeaways. We will definitely be going back - they have the best gyros I've tasted so far in DC. We also went and watched Angels and Demons, which was very exciting and then came home to call Dianne (Cayne's mum) to wish her a Happy Birthday.

Today we walked to our local Irish Pub, James Hoban's, for Guiness and fish n' chips before heading to the Museum of Natural History to watch Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian in their Imax theatre. Along the way we stumbled upon the National Memorial Day Parade so we got to hear a few marching bands playing very partiotic music, some floats, and some soldiers. It was Cayne's first US parade! The movie was pretty good and it was kind-of fun to see the movie in the museum with lots of kids in the theatre!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Plans

I've been trying to get Cayne excited about the long Memorial Day weekend for a while now. Unfortunately, we both got really busy before we got around to planning something for the weekend. We had thought about going to Ohio to visit my Grandma Philips but plane tickets to OH are super expensive from DC this weekend. Then we thought about renting a car and driving out to Virginia Beach but we were dissuaded from that by tales of traffic woes and 4 million people on one beach for Memorial Day. We settled on driving to Shenandoah National Park and visiting Luray Caverns and in the final moments were deterred by not having actually made the car reservation! We couldn't find anything that was under $77 a day(!) and so we decided that we would take advantage of staying in the city while everyone else leaves. :)

We went and saw Star Trek last night -- it was a GREAT movie and had a pleasant stroll home to Dupont from Chinatown. OK, well, it did get a little warm and we did get a lot hungry while we were walking....

Today we planned to go to the zoo but got distracted by a late afternoon lunch at Maggiano's (Cayne's favorite Italian Place) and wine shopping at the World Market. Oh - and drinking margaritas! We also made a huge decision about where/when to move. That is, we decided not to do anything until August when we'll have a little more information about where we'll be after New Zealand tax payments and such. Our plan for now is to rent cars most weekends for day trips (we have a few planned out after trying to find something to do this weekend) and also to drive around neighborhoods and just generally look at homes for rent. It turns out that even though renting a house in the suburbs is cheaper than city living, throwing a car into the mix makes it more expensive. So, we'll stay put for now and save a little money but keep house hunting until we find something we can't live without.

In all, the theme of this weekend is going to be "relaxation" and although I think we'll do more stuff tomorrow, at least we're staying true to our goals. :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Visa Update

Well, the visa process for Cayne seems to be moving along. We received a notice in the mail that we both have to go in for an interview on June 18th. Luckily, this time the interview location seems much easier to get to (near a metro). This is particularly nice because the interview is during rush hour so trying to rent a car to drive there would really be a pain. We're not exactly sure what happens after this interview. According to what I've read online, if all goes well, Cayne could get a temporary green card stamp immediately after the interview or could have to wait 6-8 weeks for one to come in the mail. Either way, that seems much quicker than the 9-10 months we expected this process to take, so there's a good chance we're missing something.

Also on a positive note, Cayne just got his temporary work permit in the mail. That's exciting because even though he doesn't have a social security number, he can get a job in the US if he needs to at this point. And it only took about a month for the permit to arrive after that interview.

We're keeping our fingers crossed that everything keeps going smoothly from here on out!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Intel ISEF 2009

I'm in Reno, Nevada at the 2009 Intel ISEF to promote training and education opportunities at the NIH. Yesterday and today, the NIH group helped with judging the "Cellular and Molecular Biology" and the "Medicine and Health" categories. It has been a wonderful experience - I am amazed by the quality of research these students have completed while still in high school! I've gotten to talk to a lot of them about their projects and they are all very motivated, bright, and exciting!

I did get a kick out of walking through the exhibit hall today during the judging and seeing rows of anxious-looking young scientists waiting for their projects to be judged. What a stressful situation for them! But...when (or where) else would you get to see row after row of professional looking teenagers who may be nervous but who are also super excited to be there (not looking like someone had to drag them there)!? There are over 1,500 student finalists here!

The Grand Awards Ceremony is on Friday. I'm lucky enough to be the representative from the NIH who gets to stand up and give brief comments to the audience. The organizers expect over 4,000 people to be in attendance. I'm pretty nervous! Hopefully, I'll be able to help inspire some of these great young scientists to continue advancing their scientific knowledge...we need them to!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I had an interesting time attepting to play golf last weekened. I'm just learning, this was my fourth round of golf...ever. I haven't even tried to hit a ball in at least 5 months, so was happy that I could practice for 30 mins before teeing off. I suprised myself, practice went great! And then the golf started...

So why was I there? A friend had ask me to go with him to play golf for an afternoon, but neglected to tell me it was the 26th hardest golf course in America. Next time I will ask more questions, but I digress...

It turns out that even average golfers struggle on this course. Given the difficulty of the course, I did really well. There were 5 or 6 holes out of the 18 that we played which I ended up going more than twice over par on (I picked up once I had made 8 shots, to keep up). Still, I managed 4 on a par 3. The green was tiny and competely surrounded by a lot of water (it was an island), so it was remarkable that I actually hit it :). Other than that, I seemed to get around 3 to 5 over par on most holes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Short Trip to Tucson, Arizona

Last Saturday we took a long weekend trip to Tucson. See some photos here. I got to see lots of friends and Cayne got to see the desert for the first time. The desert was beautiful - very green and almost all the cacti were in bloom...even the saguaros were starting to blossom! We also got to eat lots of delicious Mexican food and enjoy the warm weather and sunshine. The trip definitely was not long enough but I'm pretty sure Cayne liked it enough to go back many, many more times. Some of the things we did include : Sabino Canyon, The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park (East and West sides), San Xavier del Bac Mission, The University of Arizona, and we drove past the Pima Air and Space Museum and the Boneyard. We also did lots of drives through the desert! I had fun showing Cayne as many sites as possible in the 3 and a half days we had and we both had fun getting to see (or meet) old friends at Anne Cione's house! The only inconvenience was that our flight home was delayed in Dallas, meaning we didn't get home until 1:30 in the morning.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Cayne had his biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment as part of the visa process on Saturday - it was quite an adventure to get out there! The government chose to put the DC area UCSIS application support office (the only one we could go to) for fingerprinting in a location that is not easily accessible by public transportation. Maybe that's not is accessible by public transportation but took us about 2 hours via metro and bus to get there from Dupont Circle - it was about a 45 minute bus ride to the office from the nearest metro station in Virginia. We got there a little early, which was good because we waited about an hour until they could take his fingerprints. Granted, once they called his number, it only took about 10 minutes to be finished and we were on our way back to DC. Hopefully, Cayne will get his US work permit in a couple of months.

Actually, instead of going straight home after the fingerprinting, we went all the way back out to Rockville to actually tour the Fenestra apartments. We liked them (and all the extra space - about 200 more square feet for $200 less than we currently pay) but figure we should look at a few others before making a decision about what to do.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


As Betsey mentioned earlier we took a trip to Rockville last weekend. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to play with the GPS functionality in my iPhone.

GPS tracking powered by

I enjoyed the GPS tracking, but not the drain on my iPhone battery. After a 3 hour trip my iPhone was almost dead, from a full recharge. Note to developers: BUFFER THE INFORMATION AND THEN SEND IT.

In other news, look what I got with my Chinese a couple of nights ago.

Well duh!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

This weekend, Cayne and I took some time to try to plan for the future while still relaxing and having fun. Cayne spent most of the day on the rainy Saturday teaching himself new web design techniques too keep up with the changing world of mobile web sites. He's even attending Stanford this semester...via podcasts of an iPhone application building course. Check out the site he made for Pukeko Software.

While Cayne was busy doing that, I made Easter sugar cookies (bunnies and chicks) and tried to finish updating our keepsake wedding album. We're still trying to figure out what to do with getting all those photos online in one place!

Today, I had fun showing Cayne Peepshow III - The Washington Post's diorama contest using Peeps! Check out the finalists on the slide show - the "artists" are so clever! Those of you who are not in the US may not get all the pop culture references but they should be fun to look at nonetheless.

We also ventured out to Rockville for the first time. We've been considering trying to find a larger apartment and larger apartments in Dupont are so pricey! We walked around the Rockville Town Square... most things were closed for Easter but it was was cute area with very little traffic and easy accessibility to the metro. Unfortunately, the leasing office for the apartments there were closed (we should have known better than to go on Easter) but since neither of us experienced a gag reflex at the area (we both thought we would), we'll definitely head back when they are open to check out some apartments. Of course, that would mean being tied into a year lease, possibly the need for a car, and all sorts of considerations. So we have some tough decisions to make! Good thing we have those sugar cookies...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Peak Bloom at the Cherry Blossom Festival

Arlington Cemetery
Today Cayne and I took the metro to Arlington National Cemetery and hiked up to Arlington House (the Robert E. Lee Memorial). From there we had amazing views of the National Mall and the cherry blossoms along the Potomac and the Tidal Basin.

Then, we hiked back down the hill and across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to see the pink-clouded cherry trees at the Tidal Basin. We're at the end of the Peak Bloom Period for the Cherry Blossom Festival. Things looked very different than they did 2 weeks ago when there were hardly any people around and the trees only had buds (no blossoms). It was beautiful!

We found a nice spot away from the crowds at the Constitution Gardens Lake to relax and enjoy our sushi lunch before heading home. In all, we walked about 6 miles.
Cherry Blossoms

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Lazy Saturday Walk To Georgetown

We have been taking advantage of the spring weather by exploring our neighborhood (on foot). Trees and flowers have been blooming daily. Today we walked to Georgetown so that I could finally get my new driver's license with my married name - gotta love the DMV (at least they are open on Saturdays and an easy walk away)! We stopped by the Old Stone House (yes, we got our NPS passport stamp) on our way home. We discovered that Cayne is almost as tall as Thomas Jefferson was and I'm about as tall as the average male was in the 1800s.

We got exciting news in the mail today: Cayne has an appointment for the biometrics (fingerprinting) part of his visa application. I'm happy that this aspect of the application has moved so quickly. Now we'll just keep our fingers crossed that the rest of it goes smoothly!