Monthly Archives: August 2016

Washington, DC – What a Trip!

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Saint Augustine Source:Brainyquotes

Last week, we took a vacation to Washington, DC. This was Kevin’s first trip to our nation’s capital. Roy has been there a few times, but not for many years.

It was so exciting to go together and see the monuments, museums and more!

This week, we share some of our trip photos, a couple of ideas for recording travel memories, a garden update, and, of course, the bears!

TAKE NOTES

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We took daily notes about what happened during our travels and sightseeing. At night, we would review our day, jotting down the details we remembered on the hotel’s notepads, in our case, the highly recommended State Plaza Hotel.  This resulted in a pile of notes, which are great reminders of our DC adventures.http://www.stateplaza.com/?src=ppc_yahoobing_brand&utm_source=yahoobing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=brand

Notes were about:

  • Airport TSA screenings (Roy got patted down because he forgot to remove his metal bracelet)
  • Fun layover in Charlotte, NC, with folks from Shelton, CT (great package deal took us way out of way)
  • Learning the Metro system in DC
  • Talking to the hotel desk clerk trainee named Simone about the Olympics and Gold Medal gymnast Simone Biles and Gold Medal Swimmer Simone Manuel (it was Simone day!)
  • Getting upgraded to a deluxe suite in our hotel (thanks, Simone)
  • Trying fresh beets, which we actually liked! (So much better than canned!)
  • The free gallery exhibit of miniature architectural models we ran across unexpectedly in downtown DC
  • The monuments
  • The Smithsonian
  • The Library of Congress
  • Macy’s – DC (a.c. was welcome – plus we needed socks)
  • Dupont Circle – enough said!
  • The Disarm Hate Rally
  • Metro employee who thought Kevin smelled good (he had sprayed some sample cologne at Macy’s)
  • The New England folks we met everywhere (thanks Red Sox hats!)
  • Visit to the Kennedy Center
  • The singing bar back
  • The singing flight attendant on the flight home
  • So many people from so many countries speaking so many languages. As Maya Angelou wrote, “We are more alike my friends than we are unalike.”
  • Two fun visits and great food with Kevin’s nephew Mark, his girlfriend Richelle and their cat Babou (Thanks!!!)
  • How much we love vacationing
  • And much more!

TAKE PHOTOS

OUR VIEW

This was the view from the hotel window in our kitchen (thanks, again, Simone!). Walking distance to the monuments!

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THE MONUMENTS

A little bit closer to the Washington Monument than our window view. Thanks to the beautiful young Russian woman who offered to take our photo while we were trying to selfie without a selfie stick.

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THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL

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Kevin reading one of Lincoln’s speeches engraved on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial

and Kevin in front of the reflecting pool.

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THE SMITHSONIAN

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Roy in front of the American History Museum. A little Ice cream would have been nice on this hot day. This Good Humor truck is from 1967.

THE KENNEDY CENTER

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When Roy was a theatre major at UMass in 1991, he acted in a production of The Playboy of the Western World by John Millington Synge. Out of 500 plays judged nationwide, it was one of just five chosen to be performed at the Kennedy Center. On the left is Roy back then, and on the right, Roy last week. Good memories both times. Very special – and walking distance from the hotel!

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Stunning sculpture of JFK in the lobby of the Kennedy Center. Awesome!!!

SHARE YOUR TRIP

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We know how much children love receiving mail. With this in mind, we sent a postcard from DC to each of our great nieces and nephews. This nice postcard book from the Smithsonian gift shop had photos of a lot of the places we saw. We got 33 beautiful postcards for $8.95!

GIFTS

During our travels, we came across plenty of tempting items that would have made great gifts. We travelled light this trip – only with backpacks (highly recommended if possible), so the postcard idea worked well for us. Had we had more room in our bags, the museum gift shops would have been the place to fill them.

Travel without travelling! Explore your favorite museum’s gift shops on-line for interesting and unusual items.

ACTIVISM

We care deeply about many issues. While planning our trip, we discovered that the Disarm Hate Rally was scheduled for Saturday, August 13th, a date we would be in DC. The Disarm Hate Rally was sponsored by the LBGT community in response to the Orlando massacre. Its goal – sensible gun law reform.

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Here is a link to learn more about Disarm Hate:

http://www.disarmhate2016.info/

GARDEN UPDATE

The garden hung in there pretty well during our four-day absence.

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We came home to a bounty of red and orange peppers and tomatoes ready to pick and enjoy! The flowers continue to grace us with their beauty!

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WATER

We watered the plants the morning of our trip at about 4:15 am.

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We bought these watering globes for about $8.00 each. They helped keep our plants watered, and they are pretty, too!

TIN CAN MAN UPDATE

As we hoped, our garden tin can man is weathering. Let’s call him Rusty!

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Check out our previous blog for directions on how to  create your own tin can man!

https://funclesarts.com/2016/04/23/help-the-earth-yes-we-can/

FOOD ART (all from our garden) 

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THE BEARS

The bears are enjoying showing off their DC postcards and hats!

Enjoy your world!

Roy & Kevin

 

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An Olympic-Sized Post

“If you dream and allow yourself to dream, you can do anything, and that’s what the Olympic medal represents.”  Clara Hughes – Canadian cyclist and speed skater and 3-time Olympian with 6 medals won in 1996, 2000, 2012.*

We love the Olympics! It’s a month-long celebration of great sporting events, drama and human interest stories. Opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics 2016 in Brazil are tomorrow, Friday, August 5th. But the Games have already started. Glad to see the U.S. women’s soccer team won their first match, 2-0! Go USA!!!

This week, we feature an easy chicken nacho recipe perfect for watching the Olympics, family-friendly Olympic activities, a garden update, and, of course, the bears!

CHICKEN NACHOS FOR OLYMPIC-SIZED APPETITES!

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These chicken nachos are easy and delicious – a gold-medal snack!

Ingredients:

  • two cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1/3 cup water
  • one tablespoon low sodium taco seasoning mix
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 6 oz. tortilla chips
  • one can fat-free refried beans, heated
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices
  • one cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • one small tomato, diced
  • one cup shredded lettuce

Toppings:

  • olives
  • guacamole
  • taco sauces
  • sour cream
  • salsa

To prepare:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In skillet, heat to combine chicken, taco seasoning and water.
  • Spread chips on parchment-covered sheet tray.
  • Heat chips in oven for 5 minutes.
  • Remove chips from oven.
  • Spread with refried beans.
  • Cover beans with chicken mixture.
  • Sprinkle corn over chicken.
  • Dot with jalapeno slices.
  • Top with shredded cheese.
  • Heat in oven for 7-10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and top with lettuce and tomatoes.
  • Serve with your choice of toppings.
  • Makes 6 delicious servings.

FIVE TIMES NEAT!

“I always thought it would be neat to make the Olympic team.”* Michael Phelps, five-time Olympian and 2016 USA flag bearer at the opening ceremonies in Rio on Friday.

FAMILY OLYMPIC ACTIVITIES

The Olympics make for great family television viewing. They also can be educational and fun! Here are a few ideas:

Geography: There are many websites online where you can find free maps to print. Print out maps and have your kids find host country, Brazil, and competing countries on their maps. You also can have a geography competition. As athletes and their countries are announced before events, who will win the race to find the athelete’s country?

Culture: Go online to explore the culture of the nations represented, including their foods, history and arts.

Inspiration: Use the Olympics to discuss goal setting and how working towards your dreams can be rewarding.

Athletics and fitness: Use the Olympics to encourage youngsters and yourself to be more physically fit and try new sports. Play and hold your own mini-Olympic games.

Here is a fun link from Real Simple about hosting your own Olympic games!

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/family/olympic-games-kids

GARDEN UPDATE

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Its been quite hot lately and our garden is doing very well. We just picked our first batch of 15 tomatoes, and have had one each of our red and yellow peppers. We should have listened when the package said “spicy red peppers”!

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Our coleus is thriving, and we didn’t expect it to bloom! A nice surprise!

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The herbs are doing well, too. The flamingo is impressed!

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The “Let’s Grow” sign from our last blog has found its outdoor spot.

FOOD ART

Our first crop of tomatoes (can you find all 15?) with a fun background.

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JOKE OF THE WEEK

Q; Why does the Olympic torch always start in Olympia?

A: Because its hard to put out a Greece fire.

source: Chetchatblogspot.com

THE BEARS

The bears love the Olympics! They made their own medals from cardboard, ribbon, wrapping paper and scotch tape. Try this easy craft for all your winners!!! In what Olympic events do you think our bears will medal?

Enjoy the Olympics!

Roy & Kevin

*Quote source: Brainyquotes