Monday, June 29, 2009

Riverdance Birthday

OK - those of you who like checking our blog for little history lessons (you know who you are) this won't be one of them. But, it is another adventure. For Barb's recent birthday, Dan gave her two tickets to see Riverdance at Wolf Trap.

Wolf Trap is an outdoor, open air venue, with both covered and lawn seating. Wolf Trap is a part of the National Park Service, similar to Ravinia in the Chicago area. Here are a couple of photos of the grounds and stage area.

(For more about Wolf Trap, click here.)

Back to Riverdance. People seem to either love it, or hate it. It is either a fantastic display of dancing prowess or a bizarre armless flailing of the legs. Anyway, we had been wanting to see it for a long time and, last Friday night, we finally did it. It was a wonderful evening and we loved it!

On Barb's actual birthday we went for a lobster dinner at Clyde's of Georgetown and then home to Skype with the kids and open gifts.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria was indeed a treat. The historic buildings, the cobblestone street, the old churches, and the beautiful waterfront all made for a wonderful Sat. afternoon!

Alexandria was founded in the late 1600's, was a major port in the 1700's and a major rail center in the 1900's. Alexandria created the third historic district in the US to protect its historic homes and buildings.

Captain's Row: One of Alexandria's oldest and most picturesque blocks. Many of the Federal houses were built by sea captains or masters of ships at a time when Alexandria rivaled New York & Boston as a port of entry.

Gadsby's Tavern was a tavern frequented by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee & John Quincy Adams.

This house was owned by Henry "Lighthouse Harry" Lee, father of Robert E Lee, and the man who first said of George Washington "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen".

Christ Church was built in 1773 and is a beautiful old church where the pews have doors on them! George Washington played a part in building the church and was an original pewholder. This mini-plaque marked Washington's pew.

Established in 1774, the Friendship Fire Company was the first volunteer fire company in Alexandria. The current firehouse was built in 1855 & now houses historic firefighting equipment & exhibits.

We ended the day stolling along the waterfront & then having a delicious pizza on King St. at O'Connell's Restaurant!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mariners vs the Orioles

This was my Mother's Day gift from my wonderful hubby!! He knows how much I love a good baseball game!! And what could be better than to go see our Mariners play at Camden Yards in Baltimore! It was a great night watching Ichiro and Griffey do their stuff, surviving the ribbing from the Oriole fans for wearing our Mariner gear, and they WON!!!!

We weren't sure if we were safe wearing our Mariner gear, but there turned out to be quite a few Mariner fans there!

How great to see Griffey once again wearing a Mariner uniform!!

Winning score 6-3!! Plaque on the warehouse wall for Griffey's home run from the home run derby in 1993! Awesome!!!
It was a great night and a Mother's Day gift I'll remember for a long time!! Thanks, sweetie!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Black Tie 3 - "Black Tie Optional - The Bradley Affair"

"Black Tie Optional" - That is what the invitation said. It was from the Bradley University Alumni Association, announcing a grand event in DC on June 6. As a Bradley Alum I was invited to a Black Tie dinner event at the NEWSEUM in DC to hear about the Bradley Renaissance Campaign, and I could bring a guest (guess who? My high school sweetheart, of course).

It was a fun event, on a beautiful evening, held in the seventh floor event room at the NEWSEUM, with a terrace overlooking the capitol building and much of downtown DC. Since black tie was optional, I went in a suit.

We heard about the great renovations that the Bradley campus will be undergoing. The guests of honor were three present and former congressman from Peoria who all graduated from Bradley. Bob Michel, a republican congressman from 1956 to 1994, was a 1948 Bradley grad. Ray Lahood, currently the Secretary of Transportation, was a republican congressman from 1994 to 2008, also a Bradley alum. Unfortunately, the Secretary was called away by the President and sent to Lebanon to observe the elections with Jimmy Carter. (Where are his priorities?) And Aaron Shock, 28, the current congressman, the first member of the House born in the 1980's, was a 2002 Bradley grad.

So Bradley grads have held the congressional seat representing the Peoria area for 52 years!

Anyway, it was a nice evening, fun to get an update on the university after all these years and meet others who shared the same experience.

Dan and Barb on the terrace of the NEWSEUM.

The dining room and table settings.

Go Braves!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Black Tie 2 - The Collier Trophy

Well, we had the chance to go to another black tie gala event last week. This time it was the Collier Trophy Presentation Banquet. Once again (just like "Black Tie 1"), Dan's lawyer/lobbyist co-worker called them the "Geek Awards". "Everyone there are engineers" he says. So? What was his point?

The Robert J. Collier trophy is presented annually by the National Aeronautic Association "for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles". This trophy has been presented every year since 1911, and recipients include a long list of individuals and companies who were pioneers and giants of the aviation industry and space exploration. The Boeing Company has been a recipient at least six times. (To learn more about the NAA and the Collier Trophy, click here.)

This year the Collier Trophy was presented to CAST - the Commercial Aviation Safety Team. This is a public/private partnership comprised of representatives from every aspect of commercial aviation - from airlines to manufacturers to air traffic controllers. In existence for 10 years, CAST systematically analyzes the aviation system and makes improvements in equipment, procedures and training. Boeing has been an integral member of CAST since its inception. The NAA awarded the Collier Trophy to CAST "...for achieving an unprecedented safety level in U.S. commercial airlines operations by reducing risk of a fatal airline accident by 83%, resulting in two consecutive years with no commercial scheduled airline fatalities".

Dan is not a member of CAST, but as the Boeing Washington DC technical manager, he is associated with the those who are. Dan also helped coordinate the plans for the trophy presentation banquet for Boeing. So he and Barb were able to attend this gala event. It was a fun evening, very well done, and Barb got to meet a lot of people who Dan works with, both from Seattle and DC.

And now, to the pics:

We enjoy get dressed up .... and lookin' fine!

Beautiful settings - and a delicious meal!

With the Collier Trophy. Big, isn't it? The replicas presented to the winners is 18" tall.
As I said in Black Tie 1, to the long-time DC people, these events are not so exciting because they go to so many - it becomes old hat. I am happy to say that we have not reached that point yet.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mom & Dad

Mom & Dad Z came to see us last month, for a week spanning over Memorial Day weekend. We had a wonderful time together and they were able to see some of the great sights of DC. Because it was Memorial Day, DC was pretty busy, but it really added to the excitement of the city. We are really glad they came!

Enjoying a beautiful May afternoon on our deck.

Atop the double-deck, open-air tour bus.

Mom and Dad see the White House for the first time.

Flag planting and wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknow Soldiers.

Soldiers from Fort Meyer plant flags at every one of the 300,000 graves for Memorial Day.

Mom and Barb at the Lincoln Memorial.

Dad at the Korean War Memorial.

At the gates of Mount Vernon, ready to see George Washington's famed plantation.

And enjoying the evenings with a rousing game of dominoes.
We loved having you hear! Y'all come back soon, y'here?