Madtante came to town……

and I hope she wasn’t disappointed!

MT arrived on Friday night excited about her first trip to Washington DC.   On Saturday morning we were up and out for a tour of the US Capitol  – compliments of MT’s state Senator Claire McCaskill.   DSC04379a

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DSC04392a.The Dome is currently undergoing extensive restoration – hence the scaffolding…

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We had a tour time of 10:30am but for some reason that tour was cancelled and they fitted us into the 10am tour  –  just as well we were there early enough to join that one!    14 years living in DC and I’ve never been inside the Capitol before.   I think I was a little disappointed with the tour as I was expecting more technical/historical information than our guide provided but the “space”  of the Capitol and Dome is pretty impressive.  .DSC04412

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This covering is called the “donut”  and it’s in place while the Dome is renovated.  It’s to stop bits & pieces falling down onto the tourists. DSC04407We had a really pleasant, though disgustingly unhealthy lunch break,  (coffee & a radioactive-red cupcake for me and coffee & cheetahs & M&M’s for MT)  in the Capitol restaurant DSC04397aand then we took the tunnel to the Library of Congress.   WOW!   Next time I need to take a guided tour of this place  DSC04503.

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Then we wandered to the Hirshhorn Museum where we explored some contemporary art.  Here are my favourites: DSC04599

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DSC04612and then through the Sculpture Garden  DSC04596 Copying-001

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DSC04598aPast the National Archives …….   DSC04620aAnd past the US Naval Memorial Plaza as we headed to the train home….    DSC04618aOn Sunday MT headed out to do her own exploring while I did boring things like washing and working.   On Monday morning it was up early for poor MT as the manservant & I had to be at our respective offices by 8am so she had a bit of a wait before her flight.  I hope she enjoyed her stay and the sights of DC.  Here we are with the National Mall and Washington Monument in the background…. Emjay & MT-001

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What’s wrong with this? …….

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voter's guide

Okay, perhaps a little difficult unless you live in the United States. And then, perhaps you have to actually live in Washington DC to spot it.  So, here’s a hint: :

Flag

Yep, the flag on our official Voter’s Guide is printed upside down!   When first asked to comment officials said it was deliberately done that way to draw attention and engage voters after a low voter turnout at the primary election in April.   Of course we totally believe that ………..

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Daily Prompt: Sweeping Motions

The Daily Prompt: Sweeping Motions asks “which is messier – your bedroom or your computer desktop?”  Well, my computer desktop and my bed are currently both pretty messy.

This is my desktop at work. In 2012. On a very hot day.  Since then folders and documents have bred, and bred again, to virtually cover that beautiful arid landscape (Haleakalā, Hawaii).  I’d love to show you what it looks like but I’d have to hide all those folders and documents lest you see something “sensitive”.

Ridiculous

My bed is messy because the manservant has been away for a couple of weeks.  His side is currently cluttered with my laptop, my kindle, various catalogs, a couple of letters, a tee shirt & pair of socks (incase it gets cold through the night), the Strassburg sock I put on my silly foot and a pair of reading glasses.  I rather enjoy having the freedom to spread these things out rather than stacking them neatly on my bedside table.   The manservant is on his way home though, so stacked neatly they will be tomorrow.  My computer desktop though is likely to just get messier & messier……

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Cee’s Foto Challenges

I was looking for a photo for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (vibrant colours) ….     when I came across this one that also fits Cee’s Odd Ball Photo challenge:     It’s not every day you see a traffic light peering out like a periscope from a head-dress:……

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For many years, the Caribbean Carnival Parade wound down Georgia Avenue in Washington DC one Saturday in June. It wasn’t just the costumes that were vibrant but also the atmosphere. It was one big party with paraders celebrating the Caribbean culture while the crowd on the sidelines swayed to the beat of steel drums, calypso & reggae.  Sadly, the parade is here no more – it moved to Baltimore.

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Mimi’s Munchkin

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turned one on October 11th!    Happy Birthday to the little cutie…..   Birthday Munchkin

There’s a lot of joy in having a grandchild – even if it’s from a 10,000 mile distance.  He *seems* to recognize me on Skype and last night when I sang Happy Birthday my son said he laughed – perhaps it’s my singing that’s hilarious, not the joy of hearing from Mimi.

Before I’d gone to bed my son had sent me a few birthday morning photos and then today I woke to find party photos on Facebook compliments of my daughter.

I couldn’t help but compare to my own childhood birthdays. Photos would’ve been taken and then Papa would’ve developed them in his darkroom and my mother would’ve “coloured” them.  If they were Kodachrome slides the film would’ve been sent away for developing.  Weeks later a few would have been chosen for my grandparents in Guernsey and sent off in the mail which might’ve taken 2 or 3 weeks (provided they didn’t go to Taipei first).    So…. by the time my grandparents received birthday photos I’d have reached and passed one or two development milestones!   It’s tough being a long-distance grandmother, but with all the technology today it’s certainly better than it was back then!

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Because when you think of Australia, you think of…..

………………… ~ 002 The birthday cheque for the Princess arrived in her mailbox yesterday…. via Taipei!.

I can understand if it had gone via Austria as it might be possible to miss the “AL” of Australia but I don’t see anything in my scrawl that would suggest Taipei in Taiwan..

Obviously, it’s happened more than a few times as they have that special stamp!

I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “missent”……. spellcheck wants to change it to ‘misspent’ as it thinks my letter was off having a wild time before getting back on course. .

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In Transit

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It’s a good thing there is no punishment for not posting the Daily Prompt post on the day the Daily prompt is released!  I realise the objective is to encourage people to post daily but life keeps getting in my way so I will be a little pick-and-choosey and running late when it comes to them.   This one is the  In Transit  prompt.

I’m the stressed-out zombie armed with a spreadsheet sitting as close as possible to the service desk, at my departure gate, so I can eavesdrop on what’s going on with my flight.  Why isn’t my plane already at the gate?  Will I make a connection?  Do I have time to go to the toilet (again) before we board?  What happens if….

The other day the manservant and I flew from Washington DC  to Denver.  Via Dallas.  Yes, there absolutely are direct flights.  And I wish we were on one.  Why weren’t we?  Well, we  *I*   fly on frequent flyer miles…..

So, we turned up at Washington-Dulles at a compromised time –  I would be at an airport 3 hours before a flight; the manservant is comfortable with the absolute minimum allowance.  As we wait in line to check-in we hear over & over “I’m sorry, you’re not going to make your connection…..”   so we were prepared when the agent said the same to us.  The plane doing a round trip DC-Dallas had apparently not left Dallas yet.  We absolutely had to be in Denver Friday morning so the agent found an early, very early, morning flight Dallas-Denver and we checked in to our delayed flight to Dallas.  Our bags were checked to Denver and we were given boarding passes for that Friday morning flight.   It was a little unnerving knowing that we were not going to be picking up bags in Dallas – I was pretty sure my bag was going to go missing – or just be waiting in DC for my return a few days later. I only travel with a change of tee-shirt & knickers in my backpack and didn’t have time to pull anything else out of my checked bag.

While we waited for our (very) delayed flight we had dinner – oh, United gave us vouchers for our dinner.  $12 each!    Not enough for a fancy feast but it covered half of what we had at some sit-down place.  And, while we were eating, I booked a Dallas airport hotel for the night  – which was really only going to be about a quarter of a night. At full price.

Upon arrival in Dallas we went to the taxi rank and asked to be taken to the Westin Dallas Fort Worth just down the road. Before we’d shut the doors the driver said “that will be $25” ….  I thought the manservant was going to have a stroke!  Apparently they have a minimum fare which I’d have gladly paid – hell, it was midnight and I wanted a bed so badly I’d have paid $50 to get there!  But the manservant was already out on the footpath looking for an alternative.  A young couple stepped forward and said “we’re going to the same hotel, would you like to share a cab?”   Absolutely!  As we rode in the taxi pleasantries were exchanged and it was discovered they’d been on the same delayed flight as us, they were going to Denver, they live close to my workplace, and the young man has a degree in Physics (and the manservant is an Astro-Physicist).

As we stepped up to the check-in counter, the young lady said “wouldn’t it be funny if we had rooms next to each other”  …. no, that would’ve been weird!

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Sign of Stupidity

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Now, who would hang their clothes off a fire sprinkler?   You know someone did, somewhere …….. :  hotel sprinkler~

This was at the intersection of wall & ceiling about 10 feet above the floor – hotel in Denver.

I haven’t liked the Daily Prompt of the last few days but came across the Daily Post: Photo Challenge:  Signs  which looks fun.  They announce a  new theme every Friday.  Hope they have enough weeks to come up with themes to cover the thousands of photos I’ve got!   🙂