Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I got my first camera during the mid 1990s, somewhere between ages 11 and 13. The next decade-plus was spent taking a few decent shots but my results were mainly of ho-hum scenery {I would even forget where I had actually taken the picture}, everyday friend get-togethers, and my cat.
I like to think I've evolved a bit but we can all admit that I haven't come very far for I still take many pictures of animals but I like to think that now they're at least kind of ironic.
During that aforementioned period of time I had a few of my own real cameras though I never had to load film, they had these film canisters that only needed to be dropped into the camera and then popped out when ready to develop. I also relied heavily on disposable cameras - I LOVED those things. Opening the foil pouch a disposable camera comes in {yes, they do still sell them!} and getting a whiff of that singular smell {does anything else match it, that smell of camera film? I think not.} got me so excited for what I could capture {my cat}.
 In 2002 I got my first digital camera and since then I've only a hand full of times printed out my pictures. It's kind of a weird exchange, better quality {ideally} pictures, thanks to being able to do re-shots thanks to digital magic, replacing printed out glossy sets of 24.
Anyway, I was unpacking some boxes a few days ago and out came these guys.
I can't possibly fathom what would be on these cameras. Occasionally we use them at school but there's no reason that I should have them in my personal possession OR pay Fedex to ship them to me in DC. The kicker is that there are still some shots left on both of them!
I stashed them in my new craft receptacle {coffee table-trunk} and plan on getting them developed eventually. How could I not? At least I can guarantee a few shots of the dog.
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, July 30, 2012


It's Monday in July and though I'm technically on my summer break I also need to be looking for/getting a job. Le sigh.
A pretty tree tunnel along the currently empty reflecting pool.
In other news...
1} I ran in our city this morning! I did three miles which is my current maximum distance and I got a free bottle of water from a hotel lobby by looking like a guest {?} and not being able to decline the friendly concierge. I had just stepped in for some cool air and gladly walked away hydrated and ready to run that last mile.
2} I had no leg pain during my three miles! Yippee skippee!
3} Mr. Mike went off to his first day of school today. He wore a backpack and Guinness and I walked him to class.
4} Our shower has great water pressure. This may sound random and, yes, it is, but I adore strong showers and our new one does not disappoint. With hair like mine this means less time trying to rinse out stubborn shampoo.
5} G-man seems to be adjusting to his new home. He tends to bark a wee bit when we leave him alone in the first few weeks of a new residence. With all of our driving and stopping across the country he was getting CONFUSED which made me worry that he might have some major issues upon settling in but {knock on wood} so far we are doing alright.
What's enjoyable about your Monday? Your week? Did you have a lovely little weekend or are you glad for the blank slate of a beautiful new week?
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tea and Mass.

On our first weekend in DC we had house guests, friends from Mike's Peace Corps days, and we were so happy to have them here; having people staying with us made everything feel a bit more normal than it is when one moves across the country.
Guinness LOVED the extra attention.
I headed out with these pals to the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle to catch a Spanish mass. It is a beautiful cathedral and I kept myself from snapping shots inside, though I think I'll go back one day to do so.
JFK's state funeral was held here, which is an interesting nugget of information gained from today's excursion. I feel as though I'm learning new things every day. 
I'm fluent in Spanish but a Catholic mass is a different story with many phrases and much wording that is not what's used in every day conersación and reading along in the Daily Missal helped quite a bit. I actually only had trouble with the homily and even then it was mostly the echo of the microphone that prevented me from really getting involved.
After mass I bid farewell to my pals and joined a former student for afternoon tea at the Mayflower Hotel; I love having tea!
I enjoyed my Earl Grey and loved the the many little sandwiches.
It was great to catch up with my student and see a bit of this historic hotel and it was really kind of her to introduce me to this part of DC; ¡muchas gracias!
I walked home afterwards and was able to check out a bit more of our new neighborhood. There are many neat details in all of the old buildings and I can't wait to become familiar with them {& take lost of covert pictures!}.
We also took Guinness for his second visit to our neighborhood dog park. He mostly sits near us and watches what the other dogs do. Tonight was no exception but I like to think that he does enjoy going and at least sniffing about and observing.
All in all we had a lovely little weekend in our new home. Wish us luck in the next few weeks and for Mikey especially as he begins class tomorrow!
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, July 28, 2012


We met some of Mike's Peace Corps pals at Eatonville for dinner tonight. I had the catfish and grits and was a very happy girl. A stop for some gelato on our way home and some more Olympics added to that happiness.
Notice the purple bear shirt.
We're enjoying our new home so far and having friends around makes it even better; thanks, guys, for a fun night!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jazzy jazz.

After some more unpacking and internet setting up, we ventured out and listened to some jazz. The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden has free jazz on Fridays in the warmer months. We walked over and then took a long route back through the National Mall so that we could enjoy a bit of our new home.
The jazz had a Latin beat to it and the people watching was excellent. We scored a bench and enjoyed some of the sangria for sale.
Then we walked around the garden a bit. 
There's a big round pool/fountain beyond those ladies. People sit all around it and let their feeties hang down in the water.
There are a lot of great pieces of work and I imagine I'll be checking out the grounds and taking actual pictures of the sculptures as we continue our tenure here.
This is a giant spider.
Walking along the mall after the concert I snapped some pictures of these signs.
They're in the plants that are around some of the Smithsonian museums. I, as some may know, majorly ♥ museums.
Especially when they're free.
AND when they provide education as one walks past them.
Did I mention that we live here now?
There were some other nice views.
I enjoyed it all and loved that I actually fit in as I took random pictures considering all the tourists doing the same thing.
I have some fun things on the agenda for this weekend; time with friends, perhaps the Eastern Market Farmer's and Flea Market, more unpacking {fun?}, and even an afternoon tea!
Happy Friday to you and I imagine I'll try to get back to my usual Monday {five good things} and Wednesday {no words} posts next week considering that we're no longer en route.
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, July 26, 2012

For anyone who knows me...

It's no lie that I love warm weather. It should come as no surprise, then, that I'm loving the idea of living in DC in the middle of summer. However, today was a bit warm, even for me; check out the numbers right now...they're really high, folks! Despite the heat, we got some good stuff done : acquiring a temporary parking permit {we're in a pretty urban area of the city and permits are needed for parking longer than two hours at a time}, unpacking what had been in the car, fetching two {out of 25 [for shame]} boxes and a huge suitcase from my brother-in-law's home {thank you thank you thank you, bil}, getting groceries {finding our new Trader Joe's} and a bunch of other supplies, and trying to figure out our new apartment.
I also ordered our internet for tomorrow and hopefully I'll be able to get in some better blog posts. That is, unless, tonight's major thunderstorm is as epic as they predict.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Taxation Without Representation.

This is also known as Phase 4 : everything else. We rolled into DC today around three in the afternoon. Our new apartment and neighborhood seem to be just right for us and we are so grateful for all of the hospitality we encountered along the way {that's YOU, friends!}.
It's time to rest, unpack, and get settled...woo hoo!
And here's my driver. He let me have a total of about four hours behind the wheel in the past 16 days. That's four hours out of approximately 66 hours and over 3,000 miles. What a hubby; thank you, Mike, for our safe arrival.
Buenas noches y'all.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chocolate Avenue.

We're in Hershey, Pennsylvania, with our lovely friends. More on this later and many apologies for the recent brevity.
Tomorrow : Washington, DC, here we come.


It's humid!! And I'm happy to be here. Over and out.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Back to where it all started.

Late yesterday evening Mr. Mike and I rolled into Minnesota {after trudging through North Dakota}, the state where we met. It's also the state where Rebecca and I met and Ellie and I met and Emily and I met and a herd of other people came into my life. I was back once between now and when we graduated college six years ago but that was a quick weekend and in downtown Minneapolis, not in this neighborhood that I lived in. It's kind of weird but wonderful to be back. It's familiar and somewhat the same just like I'm still me but most certainly changed after six years. It's hot and humid, something I love but will have to get used to considering our new home. It smells like the Midwest, to me at least. The houses look like Minnesota, to me at least. And, most importantly, my friends are here to welcome us.
Becs and I spent the day lolling around with our dogs {fast friends!} and doing things that I would have a hard time selling to the mister. He would have no interest in the following : 1} a community street fair that included a petting zoo and bouncy playground and 2} a neighborhood walking architectural tour. 
I resisted scaring these guys to watch them faint. But I almost did.

It was glorious to indulge these interests with someone who shares them! My hubby would make a day of it with me, I am sure, but I think he was much happier playing soccer with some old friends. I'll put up the house pictures in another post {scintillating to all} because it's late and I'm tired. I did learn two new words : "quoin: these brick or stone embellishments on the edges of homes" and "cupola: a windowed little room atop a home from which one may see in all directions". But, anyway, imagine a lot of this.
I also checked off several items from my summer travel scavenger hunt. I'm loving this list SO much and only wish I had remembered before yesterday; there was so much that I could've used driving through Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Oh well.
After several walks and a delicious pizza dinner I am ready for bed and ready to gear up for tomorrow's journey; up next, Chicago. The ride will hopefully be less painful shorter than that through North Dakota. And, it must be said, many MANY thanks not just to our pals and family hosting us {THANK YOU!!!!} but also, thank you, very many thanks, to my dear sweetie who is taking us swiftly and safely across the country.
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, July 22, 2012

We're here!

We made it to the twin cities and the warm home of Rebecca and Josh. Woo hoo for surviving North Dakota.
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, July 20, 2012

Things about driving to Montana from the Seattle area.

* it took us 14 hours.
* my husband drove the whole time, bless his heart.
* we went through two drenching thunder storms.
* we passed through the skinny top part of Idaho; we saw no potatoes but ate lunch in an old mountain silver mining town. We polished it off with a huckleberry milkshake and it made everything in my little world "ok".
* Montana has the prettiest skies I've ever seen. I wanted to take pictures about ten different times but no one would appreciate a beautiful sky through a filthy and bug encrusted windshield. So I remember the skies with just my mind's images.
* Montana has casinos connected to what seems like each and every gas station and sports bar.
* we saw a bald eagle while driving, thus ratcheting up our tally on this adventure to three.
* 14 hours in a car is a bit much for me.
* finally finding my iPod car radio transmitter {thanks Mark!} and being able to listen to podcasts made the ride much more palatable than before.

I love our beautiful country and I love my dear husband for taking us so intrepidly {two thunderstorms with lot of rain!! Hydroplaning!!} across its vast expanse.
As for tomorrow; Minnesota {and all the wonderful people there!} here we come!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wrapping up Phase 2 Days 4-11.

Our last night before really snaking our way to DC is tonight. It's been a wonderful week staying in Home, Washington. I'll have a real post with actual explanations of my pictures when we get settled into our new home and life and when I am blogging from a computer with Internet and not just the Blogger application on my phone.
Tomorrow is the beginning of Phase 3 {and days 12-17} - "Washington to Washington" by way of Idaho, Montana*, North Dakota, Minnesota*, Wisconsin, Illinois*, Indiana, maybe Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania*, and Maryland. The stars indicate where we'll sleep either in a hotel or with extremely gracious friends.
I am trying so hard to pump up myself for and/or act casual about the really long days, of which there are three out of the five. I'll be downloading some books on tape tonight. It's an exciting adventure for us, that's for sure, and I look forward to chronicling our time and the sights we see.


Champ, short for Champagne, is a golden retriever and blood hound mix. He was half of our guide team {with his papá Claude} at Trillium Vineyards. We went today and got a very exclusive tour of the grounds {beautiful}, cellar {fascinating - Claude and his wife Claudia [I kid you not] are their only employees and everything is done the old fashioned way...I can't explain it but just trust me}, and the tasting room. We acquired more than a few bottles from Claude and enjoyed a lovely dinner after our tasting. It was quite a nice day by my {and any} standards.
We have one more full day before we set off on our Epic Journey of Driving which is a mere {but lengthy} part of The Big Move 2012. Think good thoughts for us!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Honor code.

Seen on the side of our road in Home. I couldn't say "no".
We're certainly enjoying our days here and are trying to mentally gear up for the hours and miles in the car starting on Friday. But today's Tuesday and I'll focus on that.