Tag Archives: travel

Flower Power!

It isn’t officially spring until the cherry blossoms come into bloom! My main agenda for visiting Washington D.C. was to take part in the National Cherry Blossom Festival. To learn more about the history of the cherry blossom trees go here. Although, we arrived near the end of the blooming period, we were able to take a bike ride through the beautiful scenery…

Jefferson Monument alongside the Tidal Basin

Cherry Blossom Tree

Cherry Blossom Grove

Cherry Blossom Tree

Cherry Blossom Tree

Cherry Blossoms up close

Mystery Tree

Do you see the tree posing for the camera?

Pretty in Pink

Pink flower up close

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A Day at the Museum!

On our first full day in Washington D.C. we had, as expected, dreadful weather. But, we were determined to make the best of our day and decided that the rain provided a great excuse to spend as much time as we wanted wandering the Smithsonian museums. Our first stop was the National Museum of American History.

Line outside of the museum

We arrived early enough, so we thought, but we still had to wait about 20 minutes to get through the line. I guess the impending government shutdown and rain gave everyone cause to flock to the Smithsonian! Once we got through security we made our way to the Julia Child exhibit.

Growing up I remember watching Julia Child’s cooking show on PBS. It was fun to watch her create a meal and just listen to her talk about cooking. I am also a fan of Julie and Julia…so being able to see Julia’s kitchen up close was a great opportunity to learn more about her.

Julia’s pots and pans

Julia’s Kitchen

Julia’s Kitchen

Julia’s Kitchen

Julia’s utensil drawer

Julia’s exhibit was very popular, and small, so we were not able to look around for too long. We had nothing to worry about, the National Museum of American History is huge! Check out the other fun things we were able to see…

The buff George Washington

Dumbo

LIFE Magazine article of the Wizard of Oz

Dorthy’s Ruby Slippers

The Original Muppets

Archie Bunker’s Chair

Glass American Flag

Lincoln’s top hat

Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown

Our trip to the National Museum of American History was a great adventure for a rainy day! However, by the time we were done with this one museum we were way too tired to visit any of the other 19 Smithsonian museums. A word of advise, start early, pace yourself and be ready to take lots of pictures!

To learn more about the National Museum of American History check out their website: http://americanhistory.si.edu/

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Sun, Sand and Plantains!

In most cases a trip to the Dominican Republic is a guaranteed beach vacation, except if you are staying in Bonao. Bonao is almost directly in the middle of the island and is about 2-4 hours away from the coast. Despite the promise of a long, winding drive through the mountains we managed to make it out to the beach at least once during my stay. On our way to Sousa beach we just had to make a stop for food on the way…

Roadside fruit stand

Oranges

Bananas and a fruit I do not know the name of!

Pineapples

A little banana

Sosua Beach

As we waited for our lunch to arrive we took in the beautiful scenery…

Our table by the beach

Finally, our lunch arrived…

Fish and plantains

Clams for sale

Once we finished our lunch we were ready to relax on the beach…

It was a great day at the beach!

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Will that rooster EVER shut up?

The rooster in our back yard

Every morning the rooster in our backyard would start crowing before the sun came up. In fact, everyone’s backyard roosters starting crowing at the same time and it was hard not to start screaming back at them to shut up! We were not on a farm, so why would there be a rooster in the backyard anyway? But, just because I was not used to having a rooster in my backyard (since I don’t have a backyard) I really had no right to question the rooster at all. The problem was that I lacked a relationship with our extremely loud and proud rooster.

Establishing a connection with our food and the people who grow it is an understanding many of us lack. Unless you grew up on a farm the connection between the chicken on your plate and the chicken in the hen house doesn’t make sense. But, what if the chicken was in your own backyard? Maybe if I could make nice with the rooster and stop telling it to shut up I would be more appreciative the next time I had chicken for dinner. Sadly, this rooster was REALLY loud and we were not able to be friends. So, I decided I would instead befriend my fruits and vegetables.

On my first full day in the Dominican Republic we took a trip to Constanza. This is the community that produces much of Bonao’s fresh fruit and vegetables. To get there we had to drive up, through, around and back down a narrow winding road off the side of the mountain. Yes, this is the kind of two-lane road where if you look out your window you can see how high up you are. Yikes. During the trip we drove by lettuce, cabbage and tomatoes fields and banana and cacao trees. For each field we passed my brother-in-law could provide an explanation of what the crop was. Would you be able to tell the difference between a cabbage and lettuce field simply by driving by it? Or would you know that the picture below is a banana tree?

Bananas

Strawberry Field

Somewhere along our hour drive we made a pit-stop at a roadside strawberry stand. Strawberries are in season and  we were excited to try them. The strawberry stand was located across the road from the actual field. Once they were harvested these women cleaned and prepared them for sale. They had whole berries and strawberry jam to sell, in addition to fresh garlic and oregano.

Strawberries

Strawberries, jam, garlic and onions

Jars of oregano

Later, these strawberries became delicious strawberry muffins. At this point my sister was annoyed with how many pictures I was taking of my food, but don’t they look good?

Although, they were a little gooey they were still delicious!

And the left overs…

Strawberries and bananas

In case these photos made you hungry you should know strawberries are currently in season! Eat up!!

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