Thursday, November 10, 2011

Last Moments of Fall

I originally wrote this post in November, but never got around to publishing it. So here is a look back to November.
I have experienced my first fall this season. I've absolutely loved it. I thought I would just share some images of fall I took on the way home from the metro the other day. It was a nasty day, but the leaves were everywhere. It was beautiful. This season has cemented my love of fall!

The City of Brotherly Love

 A few weeks ago I was able to go to Philadelphia to do research for a paper. I was able to do research as well as be a tourist as well. I had so much fun, and have fallen in love with Philly. I want to go back and spend more than a few hours. Regardless here are some pictures from my trip and I apologize for the overload.
Independence Hall. They are working on restoring the tower, and I think it is scheduled to be done soon. 
I don't remember what this is, but Philly has some gorgeous architecture. I love the pattern on the window above the door. 

If I remember correctly this is the building that the Philly/Independence National Park NPS Headquarters is located. 

Another architectural detail. 

An example of an English style garden? I just really loved this gazebo and pathway. 

I love the pattern on this gate. 

Part of "Bank Row" All of these buildings used to contain some of the first banks in Philly. Fortunately the buildings are still there!

This is the whole reason why I came, for this exhibit. This is the street entrance to the Presidential House exhibit.  The liberty bell center is in the background.

Me inside the exhibit. 

The dining room area. Each room is supposed to have mini vignettes about several of the slaves that lived at the Presidential House in Philly. The colored panel has a significant event that happened in the house? I was kind of confused by them, I didn't exactly know the significance of the events that were on some of the glass colored panels. 

Archaeolgoical remains of the Presidential House, and the structure that was built ontop in the early 19th centruy. the Rounded portion in the upper right corner is part of a window that George Washignton added to the house. 

NPS sign about the house, gave a brief summary, and is nice because of the visual of what the house used to look like. 

Independence National Park 

The Liberty Bell!

A George Washington Statue. Fun fact this one is also on the GWU Campus. This is a fun game to play. How many George Washington statues can you find!

This is the train board at the station in Philly. It's so old school. When I was in the station I felt like I was back in 1943 or something. It was magical, and I was totally romanced. 

The train station was beautiful!

So that was my trip to Philadelphia in a nutshell. It was the first time that I had taken a trip by myself, and I survived. I was a bit nervous, but it was wonderful. I do wish I had someone with me, but that's for another time. I was able to see the exhibit, and get more source ideas for my paper!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mount Vernon

This semester I am taking a class at the Mount Vernon Estate. The class is entitled George Washington and His World. I really enjoy it, and I'm really excited to research and write my paper for the class! A couple of weeks ago we were able to actually tour the house! Mount Vernon is the nation's first house museum, so it's kinda considered the mecca of house museums. Many other house museums strive to be like Mount Vernon in their areas.
Because I am in the class, we were given a special tour by one of the curators. We were able to go into the basement, spend a little bit longer in 'the new room', and also go up to the third floor! The third floor is rarely seen because logistically you just can't get a lot of people up there, and it would really block the flow of traffic for a sight that gets millions of visitors a year. The third floor is pretty special though. It's where Martha Washington moved her bedroom to after the death of George, and also allows access to the coupola. The curator at Mount Vernon said there isn't anything that indicated that a ladder was stationed at the coupola like there is now, but it definetly provided light and air flow for the house. Regardless I got to go up into it and I took a few pictures of the grounds from that great vantage point! I appoligize in advance, these are from my phone so they of course are not the best quality.

The Mount Vernon website is full of information about the house and I would consider it one of the premier museum websites out there. There are all sorts of education information, trip planners, and even a virtual tour of the mansion. Check it out at

Friday, September 23, 2011


I got home from work today and really wanted sushi. I had to go downtown to pick up something from school, so I asked my roommate if she wanted to get sushi. We decided to try out a restaurant in D.C. called Nooshi. It's on 19th Street between L and M streets. It was really good!
I decided to just dive in and get sushi. It was reasonably priced with rolls ranging from $4-$12. I got the California Roll, Yellowtail and Cucumber Roll, and Soft Shell Crab Roll. I only spent around $17 for all three and was so full when I was done. The soft Shell Crab was my favorite roll. There was a mixture of the crab, with a creamy sauce in it and maybe lettuce or cabbage. I just thought it was super tasty. My roommate got the Tuna and Avocado roll and a noodle bowl. She said they were both really good, and the noodle bowl was huge it could have fed 2 people.
This is definitely a college/young professional hang out because of the excellent prices.
I will be going there again and trying more things soon! I think it will become one of my new favorite sushi restaurants.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Random Thoughts

Well there isn't much to report about up here in the District. I have begun working at Starbucks about 20 hours a week and I'm of course still in training. Learning to make some drinks and such during my shifts.
I was able to have a completely free day on Monday. My first labor day off in 3 years, because well Flagler does not believe in that holiday. My roommate and I went to Ikea. It's about 30 minutes away in another town with a huge outlet mall beside it. I bought a bunch of stuff including Ikea meatballs and cream sauce, Yum! School is back up and running. I have all three classes next week, and a paper topic due. I have no idea what I am going to write about. All in time. I'm staying pretty caught up on readings so far, and actually taking notes on the readings. Which mainly has to do with the fact that I have to pay for all of my printing here.
On Tuesday, I left class and took a 1.5 mile walk through D.C., past the White House to the National American History Smithsonian to take a look at their special 9/11 exhibit. 50 items were on display on tables for people to look at. There were objects from the three 9/11 sites (New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa) as well as the TSA. It was really interesting to see what survived out of that horrible day. At the end of the exhibit was a short film, about the day from the news and news anchors perspectives. Then a place where people could reflect and write their thoughts and memory of the day. I thought it was fantastically done, because if someone had a question about an item, they could ask different staff and volunteers at the tables. Also it left the objects up to interpretation. There weren't text panels or anything like that, just labels as to what the object was. I think the video was the most powerful part of the exhibit, because it was right there again in front of someone's face. I'm really glad I braved the rain on Tuesday to see it.
It has been raining like mad here, and I feel wet and damp all of the time. It's gross, and I'm willing it to dry up and the humidity to depart from this place. I want beautiful fall.
Also a new random fact. I am falling in love with yoga. I felt like trying it because I was so stiff. I bought a yoga mat which was also for my dvd cardio/strength style workouts. However, I just decided to try an online streaming yoga video, and I just love it for getting all of the tension out of my body. I have found a Weight Watchers meeting here in town that I am now attending. I have been in a plateau all summer, and I'm trying to get out of it. I lost 1.6 pounds this week, so if I can lose another pound I will be super happy.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Off and Running

I have just finished up m first week of classes at GWU. So far I think it is going to be a really good semester. Monday, I had George Washington and His World which takes place at the Mount Vernon Estate each week. I'm really excited about the tours coming up. I also have to figure out what I would like to do for my final paper/project. My professor would like me to do something Museum Studies related, but as I told him I don't really have much experience yet with my field, so we'll just see what happens. Tuesday, I had Exhibit Design Curatorial Planning. Basically we will be focusing on the role of a curator in the museum profession. This really pertains to my chosen track of Exhibitions, so I think that this class will help me in my future career. Thursday, I have Museum Management. Although, I'm probably the least excited about this class, I am confident that this class will help me understand how museums operate from the management perspective. Overall I think this will be an exciting semester full of new things.
I also have started attending National Community Church at Ballston. I really like how the church emphasizes community within as well as contributing to the surrounding community. They also preach straight from the Bible, and really emphasize one's personal relationship with God. I'm excited to become more involved in the church and meet more people there. I'm considering trying to join a small group this semester. However, with the scheduling between school and my new job, I don't know if I will be able to balance it all this semester.
Finally that brings me to my new job. I am now a "partner"/employee of Starbucks. Lots of free coffee! I love how God provides every time I need a job. He is constantly showing His hand in my life.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Well today was an errand/adventure day. I took the metro down to GWU and got my student id which is needed for everything! I then had lunch at J-Street, which is the dining facility on campus. Then I decided to check out the library. Oh man I'm in love with the library, there are so many books! 3 floors of books, plus a floor of periodicals, and study areas everywhere! I'm can't wait to use it. 
I then went on my way and decided to walk from GWU  to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial which is on the tidal pool. It was a super long walk but was well worth it! I walked by the Lincoln Memorial, and the Korean War Memorial on my way to the MLK Jr Memorial. 
Lincoln Memorial

They are redoing the reflecting pool (hence now water) WWII Memorial, Washington Monument, and Capitol


Lincoln Memorial

I wasn't completely sure where I was going, but when I saw all this paraphernalia I knew I was heading in the right direction.

The memorial was really nice, and full of people. It is the opening week, and the official unveiling ceremony is on Sunday. I was walking around, and found it really moving that a bunch of people were on the phone talking to others who weren't there. These people seemed to be recounting many of their Civil Rights Movement era experiences, and it just reaffirmed that this memorial not only belongs on the National Mall, but how much this man, and the movement impacted people's lives. It was a great time.

The memorial is lined with some of his quotes, this one is about the Vietnam War.

View from the Memorial.

 I then walked a forever long way past the Washington Memorial, and finally ended up back at the metro. It took me forever to get back to the metro, because the MLK memorial is kind of in the middle of nowhere so it is quite a hike, and I was not wearing the right shoes! 

Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial

National Park: Floral Library

Jefferson Memorial

My Shoes! I walked 2.5 miles between GWU and the Smithsonian Metro Station

I finally came upon the Holocaust Museum and Bureau of Engraving and Printing building. So I quickly new exactly how to get to the Smithsonian Metro station which would take me right back to my station closest to home. 

Holocaust Museum is the closest building, and the big square one is the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. 

 I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around downtown today. I really think that The District is the only city I could really live in. I was just thoroughly delighted today, and I think that God keeps giving me the gift of delighting in Him through where I am now! "The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives." Psalm 37:23