Saturday, August 4, 2012

DC with the little girls

After I spent a few days in DC with Ashley last May,
 I told Dad how much fun we had and how I wish that he could have come with me. 
Then once he saw all the cute photos of our trip at the blogpost here,
he decided that we had to go back to DC this summer to see Ashley, 
ride bikes and eat a cupcake from Baked and Wired. 
 Within a few days, he had arranged to lecture for Invisalign in DC, 
booked the flights, and hotel... and it was a done deal. 
 We had a great trip! Not only were we able to spend time with Ashley,
 but Brooke took the train down from NYC to join in on the fun all weekend. 
 We also got to see Kimber and that was a bonus!
These two darlings greeted us on that warm hot and humid afternoon.
Kimber and her cute little bump!
Can't get enough of that cute little pregnant girl
and I love this photo of her in front of the Capitol!
Lunch at Good Stuff Eatery near Capitol Hill was first on the schedule!
Dad and Ashley love their shakes and root beer floats!
And so does Kimber and Baby C!
After enjoying a yummy lunch, we headed over to the Air and Space Museum.
Ashley loved the fashionable pilots and stewardesses outfits from years past.
I'm just happy to be with my girls!
And so is Dad!
And after a fun afternoon with Kimber, 
it is time to take her to Union station to catch her train and pick up Brooke.
So this is how Ashley hails a taxi.
Obviously, it wasn't going so well so Brooke took matters into her own hands
and literally ran down a taxi (full on sprinted!!), crossing 4 lanes of oncoming traffic 
while carrying her computer in one arm, dragging her suitcase behind her.  
At one point her suitcase flipped upside down... but that didn't slow her down one bit.  
She caused quite a spectical and people that were near us on the street gasped
 and were overheard saying, "Look at that girl go!"  
I was one proud momma, and I turned and said politely, "That's MY girl!" 
 It all happened so fast that I didn't have time to whip out my camera. 
Boy, I would give anything to have that on video!
Our taxi dropped us off at Vapiano near Chinatown, where we met up with
some of Ashley's DC friends, Haley, Ryan and Melissa.
It was a very fun restaurant with a great menu that included salads, pasta and pizza.
Brooke and Ash with yummy dinner selections.
The margherita pizza was delicious too!
As you can see, we are happy to be with our "little girls!"
This photo was taken right before Brooke went to change in the bathroom...
and this is what she looked like when she came back,
ready to go on her 9 mile run with Dad riding a bike alongside her.
Outside the restaurant, these kids say "goodbye" for the summer,
with their internships coming to a close, they are all heading back to college.
The next morning, Dad lectured for Invisalign to a group of 40 Orthodontists.
 While Dad was lecturing, Brooke went on another 9-10 mile run,
while I rode the bike with her around the Capitol Mall.
We made it all the way over to the Supreme Court building.
It really was a great way to see the city... easy for me to say because I was on a bike:)!
That afternoon we met up with Ashley at Congressman Jason Chaffetz office
for our own personal tour of the Capitol by non other that our favorite intern, Ashley!
We had to stop at the statue from one of our favorite state, Arizona.
We made our way around the capitol into the rotunda.
And once again, Ashley and I had to get a photo together
 by one of our other favorite state, California's statue of Ronald Reagan.
And the state in which these two will reside in this fall, Utah's statue of Brigham Young.
These two Brigham Young University students sang the "Cougar Fight song"  for their school's founder.
Back at Congressman Chaffetz office, Ashley gets back to work.
And gives us a quick tour of Jason's personal office.
That night the little girls surprised me with a little birthday party at Piccolo,  
the restaurant that I took Ashley and Courtney to back when I visited her in May.
She had decorated the table and it looked so cute and festive.
The girls gave me a book and a "Mama Bear" mug!
And they had surprised me with cupcakes from my favorite, Baked and Wired.
The whole restaurant sang Happy Birthday to me and it felt like a party!
Such a fun surprise celebration at one of my favorite restaurants in Georgetown.
Thanks girls!! You spoil me!
 After enjoying a yummy dinner and finished celebrating,
we hopped on our bikes and started our evening bike tour of the monuments around DC.
It was a warm summer night and it was lovely seeing the beautiful sights of the monument lit up!
We couldn't help but break out and sing "God Bless America!" 
as we peddled our way along the Potomac river!
The sunset was gorgeous so we stopped down by the river to take a few photos
 and enjoyed the gorgeous views.
 I had to capture this picture of Brooke on a bike... usually we make her run as the rest of us are biking.
But since she has been really good lately (which means she has been running 60 miles a week)
we let her get on a bike and boy, was she excited!  Actually, she was a little bit confused,
she couldn't remember how to ride her bike, but just like they say,
"it's like riding a bicycle, you never forget" she found this to be true,
and after a few minutes, she got the hang of it and was on her way!
The next morning, Ashley took us to brunch at Founding Farmers
a cute farm-to-table restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue, not far from the White House.
The decor is really clever with a farmhouse feel using old wood, 
large pitchforks, and large jars of canned fruit and vegetables.  Very fun!
Our food has arrived, it all looks delicious and we are ready to eat!
Brooked ordered the usual, scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon and an english muffin!  Yum!
I ordered the unusual but delicious, Red Velvet pancakes which was amazing!!
They actually tasted like a red velvet cake with the cream cheese frosting. 
It was like eating dessert for breakfast! Yum! 
And yes, I ordered a diet pepsi to go along with the pancakes... that's my kind of breakfast! 
And this is Ashley posing with her french toast... 
moments after one of her french toast slices dropped off her plate and onto the table.
But don't even worry, she quickly picked it up, threw it back on her plate 
and calmly smiled for the camera as if nothing happened.
Attagirl, Ash!  You've been trained well:)!
It was a lovely brunch with these two lovely little girls!
Once our tummies were full, we caught the Metro and headed to the Eastern Market to do a little shopping.
At the Eastern Market, we found flowers, produce, crafts and food to purchase.
Ashley picked out some coasters with some of her favorite DC sights.
Brooke found a wooden pig for Baby C.
Ashley took us to a very fun place, Ben's Chili Bowl for lunch.
Brooke has to get a picture by the cute and colorful bear outside Ben's Chili Bowl.
It was packed inside with lots of hungry people!
We ordered a chili bowl, a chili dog, fries, a chocolate shake and a diet coke for all of us to share!
Next on our agenda, a visit to the Holocaust Museum.
Dad giving his Ashley a little hug as we finished going through the Holocaust permanent exhibit.
We spent over 2 hours viewing all exhibits and displays and still felt like we didn't see it all.
Such a powerful memorial, paying tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.
And now it is time to make our way over to Baked and Wired 
because we were hungry for some more cupcakes and sweets.
Ashley waited with the shopping bags...
while Dad, Brooke and I got in line to order.
It was a little stressful trying to decide what to order 
because there are so many yummy choices...
"should we get another peanut butter and chocolate?
Wait!  The Fudgy Chocolate brownies look yummy!
Should we order one of those too?!"...
Dad looks a little spent after completing his order.
Brooke got a chocolate chip cookie with frosting.  Yum!
We ordered all the cupcakes "To Go" because we had to have dinner first,
 so Ashley took us to Ray's #$*@ Burger!
The place kind of looks like a "hole in the wall" but the long line was a dead give away
 that this place must serve up some pretty fine burgers.
A nice view of Ray's #$*@ kitchen!
The little girls with their burgers.
And Dad with his burger and me with my mac and cheese.
Best mac and cheese that I've had in a long time!
Brooke's burger was so big that she had a hard time taking bite!
It looked like eating that burger was going to be a little bit of a challenge for Brooke...
As you can see, it got pretty ugly... 
but Brooke took it to that burger and won the battle!
It wasn't pretty, trust me, I was there, but she got it done!  Nice job, Brooke!
We went to church the next day at Ashley's ward and since we were all dressed up,
we had to have a little photo op with the little girls!
Afterwards, we went to the Newseum and 
as you can see Brooke is pretty excited that she is still "Free!"
Yep, it's great to still be a kid!!
We loved the Newseum and would highly recommend it.
Standing in front of some of the actual sections of the Berlin Wall.
The view from the outside patio overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue.
Loved the view of the Capitol.
And the view looking down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House.
A display about the 2012 Presidential campaign.
Go MITT!!! 2012!!
The front pages of all the newspapers around the world.
The antenna that was on top of the World Trade Center.
The 9/11 exhibit was so sombering to hear how reporters felt that day 
and to hear their stories and perspective as they reported the news 
as they unfolded from ground zero when the planes hit.
This Pulitzer Prize winning photo of the exodus in Rwanda
during the genocide of 1994 definitely caught my eye.
I had to take a photo for our friends, Karen and Brad Wilkes, 
who are serving in Rwanda, because it reminded me of them.
After running around our Nation's capital for 3 days, we had worn Brooke out 
and she had to stop and take a break with dad on a bench.
No more running down a taxi for Brooke, but it was time for her to catch her train back to NYC.
We were sad to say "goodbye" even though we will be seeing her back in Utah in a couple of weeks.
Once we got Brooke on the train, we grabbed the bikes 
and went on a Sunday evening bike ride around the Capitol Mall.
Another gorgeous view of the Nation's capitol.
Riding down the Mall, we see this spectacular view of Washington's monument.
We stopped at the White House.
What a wonderful time we have had in DC with Ashley!
And we ended it with a stop at FroYo, a perfect way to end the day!
After spending the morning at the National Museum of American History with Ashley,
 we walked to Dupont Circle near Ashley's work, the Root's Development office. 
We enjoyed eating a delicious salad for lunch at Choptwe walked over to the park at Dupont Circle 
and just sat and visited with Ashley before she had to go to work.
It was really fun to see "the little girls" and spend time with them.
Even though I've missed them this summer, I'm so proud of both of them getting their own internships, 
arranging their housing, and living on their own back east!
And I guess you could say that they have really grown up, and perhaps are "big girls" now!
And they are... but to me they will always be my "little girls!" doing big kid things!!  
And I couldn't be prouder!  Love you Brooke and Ashley!  


vanessa said...

awesome pictures, looks like such a fun trip!

Heather said...

what an amazing trip. I love DC