Our Nation’s Capitol- Spring Break 2015

This year for our Spring Break trip, I thought taking my teenagers to Washington would be a cool departure from our usual beach vacations. This was not entirely selfless. I really am not ready to sport my Lands End tankini just yet, if you catch my drift. The choice was well received by my husband and oldest son and our youngest son was a little “meh” with the whole idea at first. Now I will tell you that we are very last minute traveller’s. This entire trip was thrown together in less than three weeks. We found reasonable airfare (we travelled on a Thursday through Tuesday) and I’m going to let you in on a lodging secret that I learned about from a girlfriend over lunch. VRBO.com  (Not a sponsor and not a paid ad) I had never heard of this before. Clearly we have been overpaying for hotel rooms for a loooong time. I found a 2bdrm/2Ba condo for about $200 per night. IT WAS AWESOME! We were in the National Harbor which is about a 15 minute cab ride from the National Mall area. It was a fantastic launching pad for our trip! After a day full of walking around and sightseeing, having a great space for the whole family to spread out was great. There are plenty of restaurants to walk to and it had all the amenities of a resort.Not to mention you are on the Potomac which is beautiful to look at.

The second item that made this trip so fun was contacting our Congressman prior to going to DC. His office made reservations for tours for my family that prevented us from standing in long lines at places like the Kennedy Center, The Capitol and the Holocaust Museum. Not to mention the fact that the Capitol Tour was personalized for our small group.  For those of you who may be more of the “plan ahead” type you may also request a tour of the White House if you request it like a year in advance. (They will tell you three weeks but that’s really not the case) So we took the tourist photo outside the South Lawn Fence like everyone else. I hear you spend more time going through security than actually touring the White house anyway..

We went to Arlington Cemetery at the end of the day and if you get there by 4:30, you can see the last changing of the guard ceremony before it closes to the public at 5pm. It is very moving.

My husband worked in DC as an intern back in the 80’s so we also did some “not so touristy ” things like eating lunch at the Fish Market where he was a waiter in Old Town, and having another meal at Old Ebbitt Grill where his grandparents would take him when they visited him in DC. We visited Adams Morgan neighborhood where the National Cathedral and Ford Theater are located as well as Brookland where Lincoln’s summer cottage are located. The best meal we had was at a Ramen place in Adams Morgan called Sakuramen. It was delicious and fun. Be sure and order the pork buns!

I would definitely recommend this trip as a family vacation with teenagers. We all had a great time (Even the youngest really liked it!) It’s a lot of walking so don’t make a fashion statement with your footwear and prepare to be moved.

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Documentary Sunday’s

My family is quirky. I’m sure most families can say that but my husband really has some interesting weekend rituals that I think are especially odd. Every weekend he insists on watching a documentary. Usually on Sunday mornings. (During the winter it may be Saturday and Sunday mornings for double the quirkiness!) 

This morning we watched (I usually can sit through these unless they are really awful)  Paul Williams: Still Alive.  

If you are under 40, you probably are unfamiliar with Paul Williams. He is a songwriter/actor responsible for such classics as We’ve Only Just Begun, the Rainbow Connection and the theme to A Star is Born and hundreds of others. Williams is a recovering alcoholic and addict and has been sober for over twenty years. Clearly some of the trip down memory lane was painful for Williams. 

The film was pretty interesting as Williams was a bit of a reluctant subject but the filmmaker, Stephen Kessler, was a childhood fan and eventually wins him over for the project. 

If you grew up in the 70’s and your parents watched Johnny Carson or Hollywood Squares, you might really enjoy watching this.

Plexus Anyone? (Not what you may think)

*First let me say that I am not selling anything here. I’m just posting about my experience with this product. 

I heard about Plexus over a year ago from an old high school friend. She was posting lots of info on Facebook and had photos of herself after a nice amount of weight loss. She looked great. I was intrigued but I honestly don’t believe in weight loss supplements. I subscribe to the old philosophy that you need to move more and eat less to attain a healthy body weight. 

That being said, I could stand to lose 15 lbs. I love to eat and I like to drink. I’m also over 40 and my motivation to exercise isn’t at its peak. I walk a few times a week. That’s about it. My friend was really excited about this product that she was now selling and she offered a free sample to the first 3 people who contacted her on her facebook post. Well, curiousity got me. I asked her for a sample. She sent it right away but when I got it, I promptly put it in a kitchen cabinet and forgot all about it. Guess I wasn’t that motivated after all! 

Fast forward to this Fall. I started seeing this product pop up all over FB by several friends. One in particular had been overweight her entire adult life and so was her husband. They had both lost significant amounts of weight and had not changed anything with their lifestyle other than the addition of this product.  I began searching my cabinets for the sample my friend had sent. I would try this miracle product! 

It’s a drink that you have in the morning about 30 minutes to an hour before any meal (or coffee).  

Fast forward again. I’ve been taking this product for three months.While I can say that I did notice a decrease in blood sugar spikes throughout the day, I haven’t lost any weight. Not one pound. Perhaps it’s the fact that I had already eliminated soda from my diet over 10 years ago, perhaps the fact that I had stopped adding sugar to my coffee over 9 months ago and perhaps I had already been making healthier choices is why this product is not causing any weight loss for me. 

If someone is living an unhealthy lifestyle, this may be a catalyst to change that but for myself, I think I’ll just keep my money and do the work of cutting calories and increasing my activity to lose those extra lbs!

Christmas is _______ days away.

Ok.I love Christmas and I enjoy all the festivities but I am stumped for gift ideas for my family. I have two teenage sons who have literally asked for NOTHING. What? Clearly they have too much.My husband has given me a great idea for himself.A new barbeque smoker. Done! My extended family has all agreed on Stocking Stuffer’s only.PERFECT!Done!As a mother,I am struggling with the fact that my kids do not want anything.At all.They can always use some new dud’s but they ARE BOYS.I’m not going to the trouble of wrapping clothes and putting them under the tree.Gift cards are easy but impersonal.I am open to suggestions!

As a side note,we finally got our tree up yesterday and the lights up on the house! We were the last on our block to get them up!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Family is coming….whether I’m ready or not!

Yes. It’s true. I know you are shocked.Thanksgiving is a mere 10 days away. It will be the first Thanksgiving in 21 years that my husband’s parents have joined us too. No PRESSURE. REALLY. I am a confident cook. Not a Top Chef contestant, but I am fully capable and I know most all the cooking terms and I can follow a recipe to a “T”. That being said, I will admit to being anxious. It’s a lot to entertain folks that you have not spoken to in over 5 years. My husband has. Of course. Just not me. That’s another story for another post. Just suffice it to say that my in-laws are pretty much strangers to me. So there is that. I have been planning my menu, shopping for items that I can purchase ahead, clearing out guest room closets and drawers, doing some deep cleaning in the house and preparing my two teenage sons for the monumental visit from their paternal grandparents.I am hoping it is a going to be a fresh start and that all goes smoothly. I love my husband and I want him to have a good relationship with his parents. Wish me luck!

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