Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Around this time every year, the masses descend on the National Mall for the Cherry Blossom Festival. The cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial are nice, but the best kept secret in the District is the National Arboretum, which boasts dozens of blossoming trees spread out through acres and acres of forest. Oh, and no people. It's an annual, month-long blossom parfait, and it started again this week.

The perfect Magnolia for climbing

A private cherry blossom festival.

Popcorn balls that would smell so sweet.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Three sentence book review: For Whom The Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway

Gritty, but one of the few highly acclaimed novels I've read that lived up to the hype. A question for anyone who has read it: what in the world is a Spanish professor from the University of Montana, who was born and raised in the United States, doing risking his life to fight with communist guerillas in the Spanish Civil War? I had a hard time buying into that one essential fact, probably because I've had dozens of professors who preached similar political inclinations from the lectern, but wouldn't have risked their Grande Mocha Latte for the cause (maybe it's a generational thing).

Monday, March 22, 2010


The Crocuses have pushed through, signaling that Tennyson's cramped hibernation has ended.

Thank heavens for the Crocuses!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Wet Apple

Looking East from our hotel, across the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge, etc.
Jeremy had to work in NYC last week, so we decided to make a family trip out of it. In fact, we took our niece and her friend with us, as part of their high school graduation trip. Suzy had great plans to show them a good time in the big city. Unfortunately, the spring showers turned angry:

A combination of driving winds and intense rains left nearly half a million customers without power, was blamed for three deaths, and created serious obstacles to traveling distances both short and long around the New York metropolitan area on Saturday.

Gusts of more than 60 miles per hour also fanned a severe fire that destroyed historic homes on the Jersey Shore and knocked buildings to the ground.

The drenching came after a period of temperate relief from a winter marked by several blizzards dubbed “snowmaggedons.” But a different type of biblical reckoning came to mind as the National Weather Service predicted that at least two to four inches of rain would fall before the end of Sunday and had the area on a flood watch.

The Financial District in Lower Manhattan isn't a particularly kid-friendly neighborhood in the best of times, but with 60-mile-per-hour winds it becomes quite unpleasant. Tennyson made the most of it by watching DVDs...

...soaking in the warm tub...

...and watching more DVDs.

When the clouds briefly parted on our last day, we ventured out to see the wreckage. The number of $5 umbrellas littering the streets was hilarious.

New York is always an adventure, and this trip was no exception. Here are a few parting shots:

Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges over the East River

Wall Street - cleaned out by the storm

One Liberty Plaza (location of Jeremy's NY office) rises into the clouds

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Heather, come back!

Aunt Heather visited us this week, and we all had a great time together. We visited the sites, talked about everything but politics, and ate a remarkable amount of ice cream.

Heather visiting (the other) Thomas

Exploring Mount Vernon

How we feel now that Heather's gone

Four, on a bench made for three

Library of Congress -- Heather's surprise favorite DC tour (and always one of our favs)

So, who's next? We've still got some ice cream we would love to share with you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

DC Learning

It's amazing what you can learn by watching others at a DC public park.
(I'm guessing this one won't make it on grandma's screensaver.)