Wednesday, January 20, 2010

From Sea to Shining Sea...

...or almost. What a month this has been! Rob and I flew to Kaua'i earlier this month to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary and so Rob could attend the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, more commonly known as HICSS. What an amazing week that was! Mom flew to Texas to stay with the boys so we could go (thanks Mom!). It was such a relief to know that the boys were in good hands while we were thousands of miles away.

Rob and I enjoyed exploring the island, playing in the Pacific Ocean, driving to Waimea Canyon to not get to see anything but a big white cloud, kayaking up the Wailua River, hiking to a waterfall, making new friends (or catching up with friends made at other conferences, as was Rob's case), drinking lava flows (or coconut porter from Maui Brewing Company), driving up to the north end of the island, sitting on the Seaview Terrace at the Hyatt watching the waves crash on the beach and listening to the waterfalls on the hotel grounds, watching the sun rise over Shipwreck Beach and watching a sunset at Poipu Beach. We especially enjoyed spending time together.
Poipu Beach, Kauai

U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.

We arrived back home and then I started getting ready to head to Washington, D.C. to spend the long holiday weekend with my friend Dana. I was really hesitant to leave (and wondered, quite frankly, about the wisdom of my taking this trip so close on the heels of our Hawaii trip...), but I'm SO glad that I went. DC is one of my favorite places to visit since there is so much to see, and I was really excited to get to spend time with my A-Phi sister.

I debated about going "crazy" with my sightseeing or just picking and choosing a few different must-see places and taking things a bit easy on myself. I opted for option 2 and have come home so refreshed as a result. Going to the top of the Washington Monument and taking the Capitol Tour were 2 of my favorite sightseeing things to do. The view from the monument is pretty spectacular. I also enjoyed getting to walk around the tidal basin and getting to walk through the FDR memorial (which was still nice, even without the water features running). Walking to Georgetown and window shopping was great fun, with the stop to la Madeline for brunch being quite wonderful. The newly remodeled Smithsonian Museum of American History is beautiful--Julia Child's kitchen was fun to see (especially considering how much Dana and I enjoyed watching her show on TV over the weekend...), and the Star Spangled Banner exhibit was neat as well (although many things were a repeat of what I learned at Fort McHenry last year, it was still worth going through the exhibit). Seeing the original copies of the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution in the National Archives was so surreal. It's hard not to feel a huge surge of patriotism when you get to see and experience these things in "real life."

Now, it's time to get back to the daily grind of my life. I will be looking upon these last 2 weeks and the places where they were spent with fondness as I move along here.

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