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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

The Weekend is Key

The weekend is key to this post...mostly because...I have one picture from the week itself. Seriously. The week certainly had it's high points - I joined my friend Danielle for dinner and movie (Star Trek: Beyond - really good!) after work on Tuesday. However, I guess the only thing I really thought about documenting was Watson joining me at work on Thursday afternoon.

I ran all over the place this week...racing home on my "lunch break" on Thursday to receive delivery of my couch. Delivery that I promptly refused because the back of the couch was torn. Nope - not accepting something damaged World Market, you can have that back and send me a brand new and shiny couch that has NO damage. On Friday, I did the mad dash to the house on my "lunch break" to grab Watson and drop him off at the kennel for the weekend...I was racking up the mileage! Whoosh!

Working hard at the office...napping & hiding under the desk...
And...that's the only picture...(pictures?) I've got from the week itself. Of course, they're all of my dog and him being adorable and dorky while he was at work with me. I have tons of pictures from the weekend though...so many of those...

Fried Mozzarella Balls & Burrata Mozzarella Ravioli in Tomato Sauce - all so delicious!
This just screams "America"...right?
Flags & the Ferris Wheel...or should I say the Capital Wheel?
I spent the weekend in DC...for multiple reasons...the key one being - why wouldn't you want to spend a weekend in DC? I mean - that's 100% my thing. The family and I drove down (over? up?) to DC on Friday afternoon and our first stop was to pick up Bubble Run 5K packets for myself and friend. The whole weekend was planned around this 5K that my friend and I had signed up for way back in March...

After picking up the packets, we went over to National Harbor for the evening. We had some absolutely delicious Italian food for supper, we'd planned to go to the Air Force Memorial for an evening concert being put on by the Air Force Band - but upon our arrival we were told the concert had been cancelled because of the heat. Oh yeah - because I've forgotten to mention - I'm pretty this as the hottest weekend on record so far this year. But I'll get back to that later...

The US Air Force Memorial
DC from the Air Force Memorial
The color of the sky...
After taking a couple pictures here and there, we headed back to the National Harbor to wander around for just a bit. The Gaylord Hotel is situated at the end of all the shops and hotels at the Harbor and we stepped inside the hotel for just a bit...and arrived in time to catch the fountain show and the sunset out the huge glass window fronting the river. I'd love to spend a weekend at the Gaylord because it's absolutely beautiful and well...it's pretty close to DC...and I think we've established that I'm a fan of DC - right?

Dancing Fountains...
The sun setting over the river...
The fountains matched the sunset...so of course, I took a picture!
Gorgeous sunset. *sigh*
Earlier in the evening we'd walked past a chocolate shop that had some absolutely divine looking gelato - a weakness for both my Mom and I! We stopped into the shop and each got a small cup of gelato; I went with Tahitian Vanilla and Limoncello, and it was delightful! My parents had tickets to ride the Capitol Wheel and I don't really care for heights...so I found myself a seat on one of the many benches flanking the lawn on the Harbor and watched Olympic swimming on the big screen.

It was so crazy to sit on this lawn with so many people from all different walks of life, just out for a Friday night...and when a race would start, everyone would stop and watch the screen with rapt attention. When Maya Dirado won by mere seconds...everyone cheered! When Michael Phelps fell just short of getting the gold, everyone was shocked...how was he beat? And then Katie LeDecky just completely left everyone else in her race behind and everyone was laughing and cheering, watching this girl blow apart another record and race into history...it was crazy!

The Capitol Wheel at sunset...
Watching Michael Phelps medal on the big screen...
Watching Katie LeDecky leave everyone behind...literally...
Saturday morning we were up at the ungodly (at least on a Saturday) hour of 6:15; my friend Danielle and I were in the first heat of the Bubble Run at 8:00 and we were supposed to arrive to the race location an hour prior to our heat. It tickles me now that our race time is called a "heat"...so ironic, since as I mentioned earlier, this weekend was probably the hottest weekend of the year. There was a heat advisory in effect on Saturday - temperatures were supposed to top out in the upper 90's and with the heat index, it would be feeling like a breezy 110! 

Danielle and I started our "heat" shortly before 8:00 AM and it was already so very warm outside... The Bubble Run is a 5K (or 3.1 miles) and there are bubble "bogs" situated along the course; these bogs are filled with colored bubbles that tower over runners (or walkers...as it were) and require that participants race through the bogs of bubbles! I can say with absolute clarity that the first half of the race was fun...after walking through the first bubble bog, Danielle and I were surprised to see that we were covered in red...even our hands, arms and legs were dyed! 

However - shortly past the mid-point of the race, things became a little less fun. It was SO very hot and unfortunately the water that was given out at the mid-point water station was tepid water, straight from a garden hose. It didn't taste good and was not even remotely refreshing...but we drank up anyway. I definitely felt like my heart was beating a little...weirdly...but we were headed for a patch of shade on the course and so I shook it off and kept going.

The Bubble Run - definitely memorable.
I got slower as we continued and with half a mile to go, I really started to feel...I don't even know how to describe it...but it was an awful feeling. I was SO hot but I wasn't even sweating even more and all I could concentrate on was putting one foot in front of the other. We could see the finish line and my only goal was getting there - I wasn't sure what I was going to do once I got there...I just wanted to make it to the finish line. And I did...we did...and then we went indoors to get out of the heat - but the venue the race was held at wasn't air conditioned, so I had to sit in front of one of the two large fans blowing warm-ish air around...

Danielle and her sister said good-bye and my Dad went to grab our car and I slowly crept out to the car. I held my little Bubble Run plastic bag all the way back to the hotel because I felt like at any minute I would be sick...and then we went into the cool of our hotel and well... There was one place to sit and two people were sprawled out on it...I was feeling seriously light-headed and so I said "I really feel like I need to sit down"...but they didn't budge, so I said it again...but nothing. I ended up leaning against the wall and sliding down it to sit in the floor. So - thanks random strangers for nothing. Mean people suck.

Star Trek nerd-ery in action...
The Jefferson Memorial
I do love the Washington Monument...
After spending some time laying on the tile floor of the hotel room bathroom and then sitting in cool water, I finally was able to start feeling normal again... I would wager a guess that I was dealing with some pretty serious heat exhaustion after that race...and I'd like to never experience that again...it was awful! I was able to put on some decent clothes and get myself together and we went into the heart of DC for the middle of the day. We stopped into the Air and Space Museum and grabbed some lunch and watched a show at the Planetarium - which I think I enjoyed a lot more than my parents. Oh well, ha-ha!

My Mom had booked a riding tour - as in, someone drove a little car and we rode - around DC through Groupon and she'd called to see about moving the reservation. The car was open air and as I've mentioned...it was HOT. Cancelling was a no-go and so around 2:00 we went and hopped on the car and were shuttled around downtown DC to see some of the sights. As frequent visitors to DC and DMV residents for 2+ and 5+ years now, we decided that we thought we probably could have given the tour ourselves...but it was still fine. As with everything this weekend - it would have been just a little bit more enjoyable if it hadn't BEEN SO HOT!

Star Wars Day at Nationals Park
I feel like being a Storm Trooper (or Jawa) in 100+ degree heat is pretty rough...
A save! A win! Another Curly W!
Our Saturday ended at one of my favorite places - Nationals Park! Saturday was Star Wars Day at Nationals Park and we've had tickets since way back in May. The blazing heat definitely kept me from exploring as much as I normally would have; I suppose it was because of the earlier heat related crumminess, but too much time in the heat and I would start to feel puny.... Nationals Park was crawling with Storm Troopers, Jawa and some Rebel forces...as well as more little girls (and grown women) dressed as Rey than I have ever seen in my life!

We spent about the first hour after our arrival in one of the "cooling rooms" on the second floor; free ice water and AC with big screen TV's to make sure you didn't miss any pre-game light saber battles, of course! We moved from the air condition of the cooling room to the sort of air conditioned Brewhouse to eat dinner and watched the first pitch, National Anthem and "flyover" from there. By the way - that flyover? Three X-wing fighters and the Millennium Falcon, obviously! The Nationals won the game 7-6...but I'll touch on that more in it's own post...because...duh, ha-ha!

The Bullpen...DC...& the Washington Monument rising in the distance!
The perfect view from the hotel's rooftop bar & observation deck!
Panoramic shot! The Anacostia & Nationals Park in South DC!
Relaxing on the rooftop deck on Sunday morning...
The hotel we stayed at on Saturday night was literally across the street from Nationals Park. I can't even tell you how amazing it was to walk out the Center Field Gate and just cross the street and be "home" for the night. And have I mentioned the rooftop bar and deck that had a perfect view of Nationals Park? Absolutely amazing! We slept in on Sunday morning - and lo, it was glorious - before having breakfast at the hotel and spending some time in the shade on the rooftop deck.

We had tickets to a second Nationals game - I know right, WHAT AN ABSOLUTE JOY!!! I mean, I was in heaven...ha-ha! So, shortly after noon we crossed the street and made our way into Nationals Park for an afternoon baseball game. The Nationals Dream Foundation was having a fundraiser - for a donation you could buy a Mystery Grab Bag - each bag contained a baseball signed by one of the players or manager Dusty Baker. I had set aside my money for this, so I bought my bag and opened it to find a ball signed by Yusmeiro Petit - one of the Nationals relief pitchers. While not as well known as some of the other players...it was a baseball signed by a Nationals player and I had a case at home waiting for it...

However, my Dad decided he'd get a grab bag also...and he said he'd just give the baseball to me. Well I certainly didn't object to that, ha-ha! My Dad selected his bag and slowly opened it...and I hopped toward him to try and look, but he pulled the bag out of my reach. I said "who signed that baseball?!?" and he grinned and said "Scherzer!" Well - I may or may not have acted a fool and hopped up and down and squealed like a maniac. So - yep - pretty thrilling stuff folks!

BB-8 made completely from cake - hanging around at Fluffy Thoughts

Baseballs signed by Max Scherzer & Yusmeiro Petit - happy girl!
That would be my Dad....
The Nationals whooped up on the Braves and beat them 9-1 on Sunday afternoon...and through some careful seat maneuvering, we managed to stay sitting in the shade for the entirety of the game. Thank goodness for people who decide not to show up to games - our seats were in the sun (my fault) but we were able to stay in some seats higher up in the stands and out of the sun! Yet again...I'll touch more on this game in it's own post...mostly because there are too many pictures and all that jazz, ha-ha!

Play Ball!
In honor of the US Team(s) competing in rowing...
The Buffalo - in cookie form!
A sneaky little snapshot...
After the Nationals victory, we made a surprisingly swift exit out of DC - the traffic was almost non-existent and we were back in the mountains shortly after 6:00! I was so glad to see my sweet puppy dog and get my signed baseballs into cases...they have to be protected and guarded, ha-ha! We made a quick trip to see the house and discovered that it has reached the point in the construction where the doors are firmly in place and locked up tight when work isn't being done..so there was no going in the house!

We could see that flooring had been put down and lights were in (and turned on) so things are moving right along...the move will be in just a few short weeks! After some supper, chatting with Lindsey on the phone and watching some Olympics coverage...I went to bed shortly after 9:30 and slept the sleep of the angels...I was asleep before 10 and didn't wake up or budge until 6:45. A lovely end to an even lovelier weekend - heat exhaustion and all!

Moving right along...



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