Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summertime in SIlver Spring

After three straight weekends away, I am spending a quiet weekend at home in Silver Spring. Tonight people were out to watching this band play on the plaza. There is live music on Thursday thru Sunday all summer long in downtown Silver Spring. And the fountains are a big kid with the kids.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mama Mia In DC

Saw the musical "Mama Mia" the other night in The National Theater in DC. it's here for 3 weeks. I had never seen it, and enjoyed the simple but entertaining story. The movie version comes out next month, so I was happy to see the show version first!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy 75th B-DAY to my Dad

On Saturday, we celebrated my Dad's 75th birthday in Connectiuct. His actual birthday is Tuesday, and these are a few pictures from before and during the party. Happy Birthday Dad!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More Pictures from Outer Banks, Chapel Hill & Raleigh...

Four more pictures from North Carolina last week... The first being a duck ready to fly on the deck near the condo in the Outer Banks. The second being a shirt being sold in a Chapel Hill Store (reference to UNC's big rival against the Duke Blue Devils)... the third even Amish need a vacation.. this is some Amish adults and kids at the dunes in the Outers Banks. and the last another grave at Historic Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tiger Wins # 14

I was very lucky to be able to watch (all though not with my whole attention) to the incredible US Open win this afternoon (Monday) for Tiger Woods. This was # 14 Major Win for Tiger, and he is getting closer (four to tie, five to pass) Jack Nicklaus with the most major wins. In case you missed it, he beat 45 year old Rocco Mediate in sudden death after playing 18 holes playoff at Torry Pines in San Diego. And most amazing thing is he did this all thru major pain while still recovering from his knee surgery eight weeks ago. Twelve years into his professional career, and I am still amazed on what an incredible athlete he is.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Raleigh/Chapel Hill Part 2

Spent the last night in North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Saw the Dean Center (top picture) home of the University of North Carolina Mens Basketball team. The center was named after legendary coach Dean Smith (who led them to two NCAA titles). The men's basketball team have won 4 total NCAA titles and 17 ACC tournaments. The campus was very large and picturesque. The above building is the main library. Also the statue was on main campus grass (a gift of a recent graduating class). Downtown Chapel Hill has a lot to offer with over 80 restaurants and 25 music venues (according to one sign for a condo trying to get people to live in downtown Chapel Hill). The above picture is of "Carolina Coffee Shop" (which actually is a bar/restaurant) opened in 1922. The second to last picture is where we had dinner a popular local place called "Crook's Corner". I had the shrimp and grits, and it was probably the best meal of the trip! Great way to end a fun vacation!

Raleigh/Chapel Hill Part 1

These pictures are from the Historic Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh. It's home to many confederate soldiers (including 137 soldiers from NC that died in the Battle of Gettysburg.) It's also the future home of former NC Senator Jessie Helms (his grave is all set for him and his wife) as seen in the first picture above. I have many more pictures from this historic cemetery, and I will try to post them later this week when my travels are all done. The house in the above photograph is the birth home of President Andrew Johnson. He became president after Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. He was mentioned a lot during the Clinton impeachments in the late 90's because a Congressional committee produced a bill of articles of impeachment trying to remove him from office, however there attempts also failed in full House vote in 1867.
Now it's on to Tar Heel Land. Chapel Hill home of University of North Carolina. Part 2 will be posted sometime tonight (hopefully)!

Friday, June 13, 2008

the move inland complete... and saw more smoke!

So the Outer Banks is history... and now 200+ miles later, made it to the state capitol of North Carolina, Raleigh. We drove thru smoke, and the air quality for Raleigh was Code Red but it has been downgraded to Code Purple, which means the smoke is clearing (but I hear the fire is still going). Tomorrow we will see Chapel Hill (UNC Campus), State Capitol, and other attractions that should make great photographs for the blog. Tonight going to check out the city market in downtown Raleigh and hopefully eat a good dinner (after tearing myself away from US Open Golf Coverage- Tiger is hanging in there). This has been a good food vacation (lots of good barbecue and seafood).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Sand Dunes in the Outer Banks

Went to Jockey's Ridge State Park in Nags Head tonight (Thursday) to check out the sand dunes and watch the sunset. The sand dunes are said to be "tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States." People gather to fly kites, get great views of the both ocean and the sound, roll down the dunes (like the little girl in the last picture) and watch the sun set. Even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky, the sun went into large cloud (that some on the dunes said may be smoke from the continue fires here in North Carolina which continue to burn).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Outer Banks Wednesday

Spent most of the day in the sun.. the smoke has cleared, and it was a really nice day (sunny and temps in the mid 80's.) went to the beach this morning (the first picture from there). this afternoon, spent some quality time at the condo pool (which has it's own snack bar) and tonight we went to the much recommended (by two co-workers) The Black Pelican in Kitty Hawk (third picture is the bar @ the Black Pelican. The wait was long, but the food was good. by time we finished dinner, the sun had set, but hopefully it will set again tomorrow night for some good sunset pictures. the last picture is the back of the condo we are staying at. now i need to put more Aloe on my sun burned leg.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NC Weather Forecast: Smoke

That's right Smoke.. We were greeted tonight to the North Carolina & Outer Banks with Moderate Smoke Conditions. And the weather forecast on the radio said expect smoke tonight, clearing later. The smoke is from a fire in Hyde, NC which started ten days ago after a lightening strike. We (my friend and I) are staying in Manteo, which is on Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks. We are town next to Nags Head, where I had some great pork barbecue tonight for dinner. I will hopefully post some picture some time tomorrow afternoon or evening. And the condo we are staying at has free WiFi, so that's good news from the blog!!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Back from New Orleans... And it's Hot!

Back from New Orleans, and apparently there has been a heat wave going on in the North East. It's very ironic that it's hotter here (DC area) than in New Orleans. Trip was great! I was excited this afternoon for a second during the Charlotte layover when I saw what I thought could be the Philadelphia Eagles Team Plane (top picture). I know it's not even pre-season, but I thought maybe something was going on in Charlotte with the team. But a few minutes later I saw another plane painted with the Carolina Panthers Team colors and logo. I guess a little US Airways promotion or something?

New Orleans Day 3 (Part 2)

New Orleans at night.. I am in before midnight (local time) on the final night before leaving the "Big Easy" Earlier in the day went to the WWII Museum (formally known at the D-Day Museum). Then started the night by winning $111+ on slots (on one nickel machine) at Harrahs Casino near the Mississippi River. After a good dinner at Crescent City Brewery, hung out on Bourbon Street, visiting on of my favorite places... the piano bar (second to last picture) at Pat O'Brien. Also listened to little blues @ Funky Pirate (last picture).

Sunday, June 8, 2008

New Orleans Day 3 (Part 1)

Going to do today's posting in two parts, because it's taking a long time to load pictures and I want to go for a swim. So I started the day by going to mass at the famous St. Louis Cathedral located at Jackson Square. You might remember it as the backdrop for President Bush's big address a few weeks after Katrina. The mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of New Orleans Alfred Hughes. It was very cool experience (and I was happy I made it to church while on vacation!!!). Afterwords, I met up with my friend and we had a Beignet (which is a doughnut) at the famous Cafe du Monde (located across from Jackson Square. I had never made it to Cafe du Monde in my previous trips to New Orleans, so I was happy to see what all the fuss was about. The Beignets (three for $1.82) were great! More later about the rest of my day..

Saturday, June 7, 2008

New Orleans Day 2

After a night of "clubbing" in the French Quarter, took in some sights in the Garden District in today (Saturday).. it included a two hour walking tour of a famous city owned cemetery and many of the houses (saw from the street) in the Garden District. On the tour we saw the Manning house (childhood home to Eli and Peyton Manning), actor's Nichols Cage and John Goodman's house. And we saw the former house of Anne Rice, which is actually for sale for a few million dollars. Anne Rice moved out of New Orleans in 2005. The top picture is what I assume left over beads from Madri Gras on a tree on St. Charles Street.

Friday, June 6, 2008

In New Orleans... After a few unexpected hours in Charlotte

Arrived in New Orleans... After a unexpected long layover in Charlotte. On the connecting flight from Charlotte to New Orleans, about 4,000 feet above air they announced we had to return to the airport because of a open cargo door. they said we "should" have a normal landing. we did land safely, however we were on the ground for close to two hours before they fixed the problem. apparently the cargo door was closed, it was just a sensor that just kept going off. these two pictures are from the top of my hotel, now me and my friend are heading out to the French Quarter. Friday Night in New Orleans!!! I will post more this weekend.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

40 Years ago This Week...

Forty years ago this week (June 5th into June 6th) Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated inside a ballroom in a California Hotel after winning that states primary. While I was not alive for this moment, the movie (Bobby) a few years ago directed by Emilio Estevez was a great picture of the hours leading up to the assassination. This photo of RFK's grave at Arlington Cemetery was taken a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park in DC

These pictures were taken at one of my favorite parks in DC.. Located outside of Adams Morgan in Northwest DC. The park has a little name problem though. It's officially called by the National Park Service "Meridian Hill Park" but locals call it "Malcolm X Park" Apparently, back in 1969 the residents of the District of Columbia voted overwhelmingly to rename the park after Malcolm X. However, the bill need to be ratified by Congress, and the House of Representatives rejected the bill and the official name stayed. Today you can find a city sign for tourists in that neighborhood that has both names on it.