Monday, April 1, 2013
As you can no doubt glean from the above photos, it's Easter time. For my daughter, this has meant a week-long break from school, climaxing in the hunt for Easter eggs on Sunday morning and the chance to decapitate and devour a chocolate rabbit. For me, the occasion had more meaning than usual, for my good friend Jeff and his lovely wife Barbara stayed with us for an all too-brief but sill most-enjoyable visit this weekend, as they made their way from their home in Brussels via New York and Washington, D.C. on their way to Sacramento, from where Jeff and I originally hail, before fate took us to Europe and Asia, respectively. Here are few photos from their visit, which started Friday evening when I picked them up from the Amtrak station in Alexandria, to this afternoon, when we dropped them off at Dulles Airport so they could continue their westward trek across the country:
The weather yesterday (Saturday) was gorgeous - sunny and warm, and a perfect day to see the cherry blossoms for which Washington is so famous. Many people had the same idea, as the National Mall was absolutely packed with sightseers. We went with the crowds to the Tidal Basin to see the sakura.
Despite everyone's expectations and the media predictions, the cherry blossoms proved to be somewhat obstinate on Saturday.
Despite the lack of flowering petals, Jeff and Barbara were still able to check out the interior of the Jefferson Memorial as well as to enjoy the view from the steps outside.
Following a lunch of hot dogs, potato chips and cinnamon almonds, we continued our walk around the Tidal Basin.
On an afternoon that turned out to be full of memorials, we next visited the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, a belated honor (it was erected only in 1997) to our 32nd president.
Next up was the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. "Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope" reads the inscription on the left side of the King relief. The other side still contains the controversial (and paraphrased) quotation "I Was a Drum Major for Justice, Peace, and Righteousness", which is due to be removed.
Jeff and Barbara's whirlwind tour of just some of Washington's many memorials ended with visits to the Lincoln Memorial (pictured above) and the Vietnam War Memorial (not pictured above), followed by a walk across the Potomac River along the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the Arlington Cemetery Metro Station, and the return trip to Falls Church.
After dinner at Ireland's Four Provinces on Broad Street in Falls Church, we ended the day's festivities with some Spanish wine tasting and American craft beer shopping at a recently opened specialty beer and wine shop in our area. I'm a strong believer in shopping locally, especially when there's so much beer on offer.
This morning Amber successfully located all of the eggs, real and plastic, that the Easter Bunny had stashed the night before in our living room.
Our honored guests' visit ended in Vietnamese fashion, with a stroll to Eden Center to sample some bubble tea, followed by lunch at a Vietnamese cafe back on Broad Street in downtown Falls Church. It was with much regret that we had to see Jeff and Barbara off at the airport this afternoon, but two days was better than none at all. If all goes as planned, it won't that long until we can pay them a visit to their home in Belgium.
Until next time then....