Visiting Discovery and More

My sister, Megan, and her son, Mikey, were in town visiting over the weekend. Weston and Mikey are only 10 months apart in age, so we always try and schedule some toddler-friendly activities during out time together in order to keep the peace.

It is always a bonus if the outing is adult-friendly too so when we decided to go to the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at the Dulles International Airport yesterday morning, excitement was felt by children and adult alike.

Parking is $15 but admission is free, so a visit to the museum qualifies as an inexpensive family outing. As a companion to the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall, The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is home to more than 100 aircraft, including a Concorde, the Enola Gay, and the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” Leonardo da Vinci (at least according to the Internet). Like most people, I was most excited to see a space shuttle up close and personal, and the Discovery did not disappoint. There were also a large number of space exploration artifacts – it is hard to fathom the equipment the first space explorers used to travel thousands upon thousands of miles away from Earth. Nothing short of amazing.

The Concorde, Fox Alpha, Air France.

I don’t think these two could have been any happier.

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Enola Gay.

And finally, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft.

If you get a chance, visit the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Oh – Hi There!

I feel like I need to brush aside the building dust on the blog to even write this post. Because I blog about anything and everything with no desire to monetize my thoughts, I don’t feel pressure to post daily. I haven’t always felt this way – it took some time to become comfortable in my blog skin (that reads incredibly creepy in a ‘put the lotion in the basket’ sort of way, doesn’t it?) and accept this venture as a hobby and nothing more.

So needless to say, I’ve been busy establishing myself within our new surroundings (hence the lack of posts). Weston is attending preschool two days a week, I somehow found myself volunteering for a handful of roles in the Parent Advisory Council for the school, and we’re making new friends in our neighborhood (seriously, they’re awesome!). I even attended my first military wife Bunco event last weekend. Clearly, rolling dice is not my forte but I still thought it was a hoot. I can’t wait to attend more of the monthly get-togethers.

Bullet points that don’t contain enough for a full post…

  • My sister arrives in town for the weekend tomorrow with our nephew so they will carry the distinction of being our first visitors in the new house. The guest room currently consists of a bed (no headboard), an end table serving as a nightstand, and a lamp with no light bulb. Clearly I am rolling out the red carpet for our inaugural guests.
  • I have a love/hate relationship with the Fort Belvoir commissary. Yesterday, while enjoying my child-free grocery shopping euphoria, I kept getting stuck behind motorized scooters making three-point turns in the middle of the aisles. Newsflash – motorized scooters are painfully slow at making three-point turns.
  • I wore red nail polish to the military ball and I have yet to remove it. So my nails pretty much resemble those of a dead hooker floating in the East River. This is why I never wear colored nail polish in my everyday life. However, toenails are another story.
  • We’ve had more thunderstorms/rain during our first six weeks in Virginia than our entire 18 months in Oklahoma.
  • I am blogging over at A Lease to Decorate again, trying to figure out how to make a rental house a home. Check it out, if you wish. No pressure!

I leave with one of my favorite Internet happening from the past couple of weeks – the attempt to pass off the following quote as Shakespeare…

When one semi-known blogger pinned this to one of her Pinterest boards, a number of (presumably) Shakespeare fans informed her that the above quote was indeed, not Shakespeare. The blogger responded that yes, it was from Shakespeare and attributed the words to Act 2 Scene 2 in Hamlet. Clearly, she didn’t bother to consult her trusty copy of Hamlet because (surprise!), the quote is not from Hamlet, nor from any work of Shakespeare. The jury is still out to whether the original blogger accepts the fact that the Bard did not write these words. For a fun related Tumblr, check out That’s. Not. Shakespeare.

A Celebration of History and Tradition

Since arriving in the Washington DC area over a month ago, Clay and I have been repeating a phrase to each other at least once a day – this feels right. And last night, we attended our first military ball in our nation’s capitol city. We’ve attended many military balls over the years at various duty stations, but last night was definitely the swankiest.

The obligatory photograph on our front steps.

I’m a sucker for my husband in his dress blues and before long, I’ll get to start seeing him in his mess dress. So handsome! The military is rife with tradition and military balls are an excellent representation of the history within the institution. The receiving line, the horn signalizing the commencement of dinner, the presentation of the colors, the national anthem, the multi-course meal, the speeches, the dancing, and the pomp and circumstance all emblematize the established practices of the armed services since the American Revolution. They’re also a great time to socialize and cut loose (but not too loose…ahem).

Last night marked the first time I’ve been able to meet some of Clay’s co-workers so it was nice to put faces with names. Toasts were made. Wine was consumed. And dinner was really good – not your typical hotel banquet fare – my asiago crusted chicken rivaled any upscale restaurant in town.  After dinner, the United States Army Chorus performed for about a half-hour, singing a melody of traditional cadences and patriotic hymns. It was my first time hearing the chorus in person and ohmygoodness, can those men sing!

Once the formal portion of the evening was over (the singing of The Army Song), the dance floor opened. The live band was excellent and played a great mix of swing, oldies, and traditional slow dances. I’m a sucker for a live horn section so it was fun to be able to dance to Mustang Sally with Clay and not worry about watching some people embarrassing themselves to a DJ playing 36 Mafia (memories of a ball we went to during our Ft. Drum days…). Overall, it was a classy affair. I only spotted one prom-like dress (complete with a tiara) and thankfully, nothing like the ‘infamous military ball dress’ was worn. If you are not familiar with said dress, consider yourself lucky!

Despite a rooftop deck not being available to take-in views of the city (boo..), we had a fun time at the ball and enjoyed our date night. I thoroughly love this aspect of military life and look forward to our next on-the-town event!