Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wild Kingdom

Our property here in Virginia backs up to a county park with expanses of natural woods. We see our fair share of wildlife from day to day, mostly deer, fox, woodchuck, and birds. Barb calls it our own little wild kingdom. Here is a view from our back door just a few days ago. Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More pics, with less words

In a break from the past few posts, this will be one of few words. Just more sights from our exploration of DC a couple weeks ago. Hope you enjoy.

Here is Union Station, the main rail station in the district. It has some beautiful archtecture:

Here is a beautiful autumn shot of the capitol building:
Chinatown, seems every city has a China district, and so does DC:

but how many cities have a Chinese Starbucks???

And finally, some neat old churches ....

I know there are people out there looking at our blog - post a comment will ya?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Honor Flight

How do we honor those who gave so much so that we can have our freedom today? I confess that it has been all too easy to take what I have for granted. But with each passing year, I realize more and more what they have done for us. And as our kids grow, and perhaps grandkids will come some day, I am even more thankful .... for those who did so in the past, and for those who are doing so right now in the middle east. So how can we honor them? By flying our flag on Veteran's Day? By thanking them when we can? How about this .......

Recently we learned of a non-profit group called Honor Flight whose mission it is to bring WWII veterans to Washington DC to see the WWII Memorial, which was built in their honor, and other war memorials while they are still able. Honor Flight raises funds so that the vets do not have to pay a thing, as many of them can not afford it anyway. Last Saturday, the weekend just prior to Veteran's Day, we were visiting the Memorial to the US Marine Corp, also known as the Iwo Jima memorial, in Arlington. This statue is a well known replica of a famous WWII photo, taken as the Marines raised the US flag on Mt. Suribachi during the battle for Iwo Jima. As we were taking it in, a bus arrived and began unloading many, many elderly men, most in wheel chairs. This, we learned, was an Honor Flight from Dayton, Ohio. We watched as they proudly checked out the memorial and even more proudly posed for a group photo.

We talked to the "chaperones" while they were getting lined up and learned more about these men. We found out that two of them personally knew one of the six men who hoisted the flag that day so long ago. We could do little but stand in solemn respect as their photos were taken. We were so touched by the sight of this all, we both walked down the line of men, shook each one's hand, and thanked them for their service. Then we stood to the side, watched, and cried.

Learn more about Honor Flight at:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

On Saturday, 11/8, we went to experience the new 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon. The memorial was just opened to the public on 9/11 of this year, 7 years after the tragedy occurred. As you will see from the pictures below, it is very unique in its design and had a way to evoke our emotions about that day. It was almost surreal to stand at that point and imagine the airplane flying in and hitting the building.

This is marker at the entry of the memorial.

And another that lists all 184 victims.

Sorry for the shadow, but this inscription tells the date and time of the event.

Each of the 184 victims has a bench in their memory. Each bench is inscribed with a name of a victim. The benches are aligned with the flight path of the airplane. The benches that point toward the building represent those who were on the airplane. The benches that face away from the building represent those who were in the building. Under each bench is flowing water.

As I said earlier, each bench is inscribed with a name of one of the victims. This particular bench remembers Dana Falkenberg, a 3 yr old who was travelling with her family.

Note the other inscriptions underneath. These are the other members of Dana's family who were travelling on this airplane together. In all cases where people were travelling together, this was done to keep them linked together in the memorial. They have a bench of their own with inscriptions of their travelling companions or family members.

It was sobering for us to stand in the middle of this and remember ..... let us never forget!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our Family Gallery

It was time that I shared a video clip of our family portrait gallery here at home. Hope you enjoy! (In order to hear the audio portion, be sure to turn off the music first - go about halfway down the page to the music player and push the pause button.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Autumn In Arlington

Today I had the perfect opportunity to capture some beautiful photos in magnificent Arlington settings. I am not a great photographer, but I could not help noticing the contrasting colors in the evening sun in Arlington National Cemetary. I hope you enjoy them.

I also captured a few shots of the Marine Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Another Saturday, another adventure!

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day here. Sunny, clear, and temps in the upper-60's. All this made for a great day to explore more of the area. We made several stops, including the fish market and memorials for Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, and FDR. We finished the day at the National Cathedral. Hope you enjoy the pics!

Our first stop was the fish market, which was fascinating for its varieties and quantities of fresh seafood for sale. Believe it or not, we think it rivals Pike Street Market for fish, but not for character, ambience or views!

Lunch was a tasty seafood platter!

Then off to the Memorials, where first we visitied the memorial to George Mason. Did you know that George Mason authored the country's first bill of rights in the Virgina Decalaration of Rights? This served as the model for our consititution's Bill of Rights. Thomas Jefferson considered Mason a mentor and wise man. As you can tell from this statue, he was also very big! (He is as tall sitting down as Dan is standing up.)

Next, off we went to the famous Jefferson Memorial. You all know who he was, right???

And finally to the FDR Memorial. As opposed to the Jefferson, Lincoln, and Washington Memorials, which are large structures, the FDR Memorial is a vast plaza outlined by cut red granite. It is divided into four areas, one for each term of his presidency. These few photos can not capture it all - you will just have to see it when you get here!

Even though we didn't go to the Washington Monument, you can not move around DC without seeing it.

We finished our day at the National Cathedral. It was built to rival the cathedrals of old Europe. It is a beautiful structure and we were lucky to catch it with late afternoon sunlight.
Well, that's all for this post from Dan and Barb. Our B 'n B is open for business, so be sure to come see us!