Friday, May 15, 2015

Phoenix for CREDA

Mendis had meetings in Phoenix for CREDA so I went with him. We decided if we were going to get to the Temple that month at all it was going to have to be in Phoenix.

 I expected it to be nice but it was really really beautiful inside and out. No I did not take this picture lol. There is alot of marble and granites in browns that look so pretty together.
So driving home it was rainy and pretty MAY. Crazy weather.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Our Last Full Day in DC

We headed over to the Smithsonian so we could check out a museum we hadn't seen before. We went to the Natural History museum this time. We checked out the bottom floor which had all the animal exhibits and the ocean. We were running out of time fast we we headed upstairs and went to the Minerals section. I finally got to see the Hope Diamond!

 All the other "minerals" were pretty impressive. Around noon we met up with Jeff on the Mall and staked out our claim on some grass to watch the air show. There was a World War 2 airplane flyover that day to commemorate the 70th anniversary.
Jeff went in search of Rachel so she could join us. They closed all the offices for the flyover so that was pretty cool.

 While we thought the flyover was a really special thing it was frustrating because they didn't actually fly over the Mall like they said they would. That made all the planes pretty far away and hard to really see. After we had lunch for the last time at Union Station (Potbellies & Shake Shack for dessert) Rachel went back to the office and we headed over to the Holocaust Museum. We had gotten tickets to the main exhibit first thing that morning so we would be sure to get in this time.

 The walls of pictures of the Jews from one town that were killed was awful. Putting a face to the name was amazing and much more personal. Then they had the room of shoes collected from the gas chambers from some of the victims.
 While the museum is pretty depressing it is a must see for everyone I think. We were going to all go to the Temple that night together. Rachel got off at four and everything but we didn't get out of the museum until after 6 so we couldn't make it in time. We went back to Jeff & Rachel's apartment and ordered pizza and played Ticket to Ride instead. Next time we are in town we will have to do the Temple.
 We always love to ride the Metro when we are in DC. It is so much easier than trying to drive around the city. There are stops close to everywhere we want to go pretty much. By the end of the week I was pretty good at getting around by myself. Saturday we and breakfast with Jeff & Rachel and took the Metro to the airport. It was so sad to leave them behind. We missed being with them instantly. We are going back in August but that seems so far away.

 After we got to Vegas we went to Maggiano's for dinner for Mother's Day. I heard they were having triple creme brulet and we had to check that out.
It did not disappoint. I happy ending to a wonderful trip! Can't wait until August.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tour Day

This morning we got up and headed straight to our White House tour. We met up with Jeff there and headed in just in time. It had the best security we had seen all week. Everywhere else was kind of a joke really. Not here. After all the security we headed in for our self guided tour. We loved it. The rooms are so pretty. I was surprised how small it seemed though.

Of course you can't take any pictures inside so I copied a few from online.
It was an amazing tour and probably my favorite. Right after our tour we went back to our room and we packed up and checked out and switched hotels because business was over. We had quite the haul with all our suitcases on the Metro down to Crystal City. We grabbed lunch there at Chick Fil A. What was amazing was the line was constantly out the door. I have never seen a fast food restaurnat so busy non stop. After lunch we headed straight to the Pentagon for our tour there. We had to be there an hour early which was annoying (as JEff would say) but we spent the time shopping in the gift shop and anticipating a fun day. The bummer was you had to keep moving the whole time and there were lots of interesting exhibits in the halls to see that there wasn't time for. 
It's probably not a tour would would do again but we were glad we got to see it.

 So after a fun day we met up with Rachel for dinner. We headed over to Union Station and went to Chopped which was all salads and so hit the spot!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Gallery of Art

Today we all got together again and had lunch. We went to the cafeteria in the Russell building so it was convenient for everyone. After lunch we had a little bit of time so we did a few exhibits in the Holocaust Museum. We didn't have tickets for the main exhibit so we had to go back another day to see that. The guys had appointments and since I had a couple of hours before we met up I went to the Gallery of Art. I have always wanted to go there and it didn't disappoint.
 This is a famous DaVinci painting. This man was giving instruction on it is a tour so I hung out for awhile so I could hear all about it and learn too.
 It's not as famous as the Mona Lisa but famous in its own right. It was amazing. You couldn't even see a brush stroke.
 It is two sided and this is the back of the painting seen through a window in the wall for viewing.
 The gallery itself was beautiful. I loved being there.


 There is something amazing about seeing all thee famous works of art. I even recognized some from our Masterpiece game.

 After the museum. I spent a little time waiting for dinner. I was beat so I took a little nap at the botanical gardens. Yup I found a private peaceful spot in DC, amazing. We met up at the Taco Coast for dinner and had a great meal together before walking over to the WW 2 memorial.

It was a great memorial. We loved it. It got crowded with middle school kids yelling everywhere so that spoiled things of course. Ijust think they are too young to appreciate the reverence needed a place like DC. But another busy and action packed day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Day of Many Tours

Today I finally got to sleep in just a bit thank goodness because the three hour time change was kicking my butt. I went down to Rachel's office and met up with her for my tour of the Capital building.
 The fun little subway they have between the Russell Building and the Capital.
 Rachel gave me my own private little tour! I felt pretty special. This was the old Supreme Court Chamber which was on the bottom floor and as you can see it was rather dark.In fact Washington's crypt which was never used was right down the hall.
 The dome in the Senate side of the Capital. We went into the Senate chambers for a few minutes to watch since they were in session. The house was not.
 This is the crypt which is beneath the main rotunda. It has lots of people. 
Some are statues and some are real. lol
 In the center of the floor there is this marker. This marker was used to lay out the streets of Washington DC. Tradition has it that if you put your foot in the center of the marker you have good luck. Who's going to resist that? Does my foot look tired yet. Well it will by the end of the day for sure.
 This is the balcony. I think it was called the Speaker's balcony and it's big enough for just a couple of people. An incredible view of the mall right behind me!
 On the way out from the Speakers balcony I wanted to stop and take a picture of the door to the Speaker of the Houses door but the secretary told me no pictures. So I went through this door and turned around and took a picture. I am a rebel at heart apparently.
 This is the huge dome and it is being restored right now so they have a huge cloth to catch any pieces that may fall.It looked kinda cool actually. Besides what's a Cooper trip without scaffolding and construction.

Pocahontas' baptism was one of the huge paintings under the rotunda.

This was the old Senate chambers. Very ornate and grand.

Each state was allowed to put two statues somewhere in the Capital building and this is Brigham Young from Utah.
 The dome under the House side of the Capital building.
 After my Capital tour Rachel and I went back to the Russell building for lunch. When we were getting ready to get on the elevator in the basement Mitch McConnell and his secret service team were getting off. It was way cool to see him so close! He looked more powerful and had a better presence I thought than on tv. Cool. So we ate in the cafeteria because Mendis had raved about it and I wanted to check it out just us girls.
 After lunch I scurried over to the Library of Congress for my tour. It was pretty amazing but unfortunately you can't get into the really cool rooms like the reading rooms. I enjoyed hearing more about it though and they had a great gift shop lol.
 Jefferson's library

 The reading room that I recognized from National Treasure. I wanted to get in there pretty bad!

 Then I had just enough time to run to my tour of the Supreme Court. You aren't allowed to take pictures in there so this was it ..the cool spiral staircase. It really was cool. From there I ran back to the Library of Congress so I could check out some more exhibits and look around since I ran out of time before. I decided to go get my own Library of Congress card so next time I am there I can go into the reading room and do "research". After that I met up with everyone and we went to get dinner. We wanted to go Mexican for Cinquo de mayo but there was no hope of getting a table. So we went out to Foggy Bottom and went to Founding Farmers. An excellent choice. The only problem was the hour + wait. So since George Washington University was right down the street we went to check it out.

Jeff's home away from home
 I wanted Jeff to pose for me pretending to study but he would have none of that so Rachel stepped up. This is the hilarious result. Go Rachel.
Jeff @ his locker
 So it was finally time for dinner after we walked all around the whole campus. It was worth the wait. Excellent food. And as you can plainly see, excellent dessert!
My now famous picture of leaving Jeff & Rachel at the Metro station. While it was sad to say good night the real goodbye a few days later was defiantly worse.