Thursday, June 22, 2017

My Washington D.C. Trip!

I know I haven't updated in a while, but that is mainly because I've been busy traveling. :)

In early June I traveled with a group of friends to Washington, D.C.-I had never been there before so I was excited to finally go. We left EARLY on that Friday morning (our flight was at 6 a.m.). A friend picked me up so we stopped for breakfast on our way to the airport. Three guesses where we had breakfast at 3:30 a.m.

I know, I look a mess. Again, it was 3:30am. Lol.
Most of us had the same early flight (a few members of the group were flying in later that day). We were mainly going to D.C. that specific weekend because the Rangers were playing the Nationals. Our plane had a lot of Rangers fans on it.


So, I won't go into the gory details, but I found out after landing in D.C. that my flight back to Dallas was somehow booked for THAT day, and not that Sunday. After going round and round with Hotwire and American Airlines, I was finally able to book a flight for that Sunday on Virgin America (because by then I was done with American Airlines). I'm also done using Hotwire. I'll stick to Orbitz and Expedia from now on. Virgin America was great- best flight ever. I am specifically looking to take vacations wherever they fly just so I can use them.

Anyway, so after the whole airline debacle, we made our way to our Airbnb/hotel. My friends Michelle, Ashley, and I were staying at an Airbnb while the rest of our group had reserved rooms at a nearby hotel. After dropping off our luggage, we had lunch at Good Stuff Eatery and then walked around for a few hours trying to hit the "main tourist spots". I quickly learned that I'm going to have to go back and spend about two weeks in D.C. just to see half of what I want to see. BUT we did the best we could with the little amount of time we had available.

The Airbnb was cute. I thought it was funny how the owner arranged her books by color. I'm lucky if my books make it to a bookshelf (because I have so many, some are stacked on the floor). :)






For those of you who remember the show Schoolhouse Rock, we felt we needed to do our best "I'm Just a Bill" impression on Capitol Hill. Yes we are nerds, we are aware. Lol.


I feel I need to share the video for those of you who have never seen it. It's greatness. Lol.


We were fortunate enough to all get tours of the White House that Saturday morning. If you are going to D.C. and want a White House tour, you need to go to your congressperson's website and find a link for White House tours. I recommend doing this a few months before your trip. We submitted our requests in March for our June trip.

I was kind of excited because the White House is a place I've always wanted to visit. In fact, it was one of the TWO places I just HAD to see while I was there (well, besides the ballpark). The other place was the Lincoln Memorial (spoiler alert- I saw that too).

Our tour was at 8:30 a.m. so we had to get there about 15 minutes early to get in line. There is some tight security there (obviously), we went through about five security checkpoints. I recommend wearing comfortable shoes because not only are you walking, you are also standing for a good while. Oh, and you can't take a purse or handbag. It's a self guided tour, you just walk through the East Wing at your own pace and see different rooms. One of my friends had a list of questions to ask in each room (her friend used to work at the White House and knew fun little trivia facts). That caused us to take longer, but the rest of our group went ahead and were done in about 45 minutes. She and I took a little over an hour.


According to the security guard, the painting of George Washington (center photo) is the only item that was in the original White House that survived the fire of 1814




Two of my friends were there on vacation with their kids- they are crazy but wonderful kiddos! I loved spending time with them during the tour!
We had tickets to the Rangers/Nationals game that Friday night and a few of us had tickets to the Saturday afternoon game (so these photos are a mix of both days). I can cross another ballpark off my list with this trip! We got there early on Friday, so we were able to see warm-ups and batting practice. I went on this trip with a group of friends that I originally met on Twitter (we started following each other because we all loved the Rangers) but I don't call them Twitter friends anymore because we are "real life" friends now. :)

I loved Nationals Park- it was beautiful. I loved that they had a special line at the concession stands for season ticket holders (Rangers- take note). Also their souvenir soda cups were $9 and evidently you get FREE refills ALL SEASON with it (Rangers- again, take note). Everyone who worked there was super friendly and kind to fans of the opposing team (well, except the stupid bald eagle mascot that stomped on one of our homemade Rangers fan- jerk). We sat down the third baseline on Friday night and on Saturday we were on the row behind the Rangers dugout, so we had great views for both games. I would say Nationals Park is in my top three ballparks that I've been to.
Screech- the jerk mascot that stomped on Beltre's face (on a fan, not his ACTUAL face)

Getting a photo with one of the presidents from the Presidents Race

My friend Lisa made us all fans with photos of the players on either side. I had Matt Bush on one side and Adrian Beltre on the other. Actually, I think we all had Beltre on at least one side
On Friday night I sat in front of this nice man named Dave. He was a Washington Senators fan back in the day and when the Senators moved to Texas and became the Rangers, he continued being a fan of them. He was so nice, we talked on and off throughout the game. He was impressed with my baseball knowledge. :)


Saturday's game was awesome. We were right behind the dugout, a place I had never sat at ANY ballpark. Pitcher Matt Bush came out of the dugout before the game to walk to the bullpen and saw my fan with his picture on it. He smiled, pointed at me, and threw me a ball from batting practice.


Photo of me and Matt Bush from a Rangers game earlier this season
Saturday's game was QUITE WARM- and we were very thankful for Lisa and her fans. They came in handy. I used mine for the whole 4.5 hours we were there (thanks to extra innings, the game took longer than we had planned).


The Rangers were down 3-1 in the top of the ninth, so I did what any fan would do (well, any fan except the fans sitting around me), I put on my rally cap. I'm pretty sure I got laughed at, but you know what, it worked, the Rangers came back to tie it and sent the game into extra innings. They eventually won the game after 11 innings (you are WELCOME Rangers for helping with that come back win). Lol.



That Saturday night a group of us took a Monuments by Moonlight tour. I highly recommend it, especially if you are short on time, like we were. It takes you by a lot of the monuments/memorials, and they make stops at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, FDR Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Our tour guide was name Adam and was amazing. He was funny and knew so many interesting facts.


We were lucky and had a beautiful night for a trolley tour. I love this photo of the sunset
I had waited my whole life to go here, I was not disappointed at all
The tour took just over three hours (insert Gilligan's Island joke here). We didn't have time to eat before the tour, so we stopped at an Irish pub afterward. Mainly because it was the only place still open. Lol.

The Fab Five (as we called ourselves)
Three of us had flights on Sunday evening, so we were able to go to Ford's Theater before we headed home later that day.


So the guy in the top right was part of the assassination plot. The whole time I kept thinking he looked like a male model or something. The pillow pictured above is the pillow that was on the bed when Lincoln died. Yes, that's his blood. Yes, I'm morbid and took a picture of a bloody pillow 
Across the street from Ford's Theater is the Peterson House. You got to go in the room where he died. I saw the bed he died in last summer when I was in Chicago (I don't know why it's not at the house, I meant to ask someone and forgot). Update: I Googled it and found out this about the bed.


After a late lunch, we went back to the Airbnb to pack and head to the airport. It was a quick weekend trip but so much fun! And even though I was only there three days (well, two and a half), I feel I saw a lot. I'm good at cramming a lot of sightseeing into a short amount of time. I can't wait to go back to D.C. and see so much more (including the Smithsonian). I think I'll need two weeks alone just for that!

I went to Minneapolis last weekend so I'll post my recap of that trip soon! :)

40 by 40 update:
-See a game at four different ballparks on my MLB Ballparks To Visit list (1)
-Visit three states on my States To Visit list- (1) The Iwo Jima Memorial is in Virginia. We also landed at Reagan Airport, which is in Virginia as well.
-Visit Washington D.C.

XOXO!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What I'm Loving!


I'm not gonna lie- the last month I just wasn't motivated to do a What I'm Loving Wednesday post. There was so much negative stuff going on in my life that I just didn't feel up to it. I have to say that the past two weeks have made up for those negative times. I have just felt so happy. And this is a real happy. Not my "I'm going to put on a happy face for the world because it's expected of me." (Yes I do that more than you know). I ended up having a WONDERFUL birthday month (yes, I celebrate it all month long). It's now called the month of "Maychel". I've spent time with friends, I've seen some of my family, and I GOT TO MEET MY FAVORITE ACTOR OF ALL TIME (yes I will be talking about it on and off for the rest of my life. Lol.)

I'm Loving...
My friends. Man, they know how to help a girl celebrate the last year of her 30s in style. 

I had a birthday dinner two weeks ago at Norma's Cafe (BIG SHOUT OUT to Bill and Roger at Norma's for making this possible). They went ABOVE AND BEYOND. If you live in Dallas and haven't gone to Norma's yet- go check them out. I had a great number of friends show up to help me celebrate ME. :) Great food, wonderful friends- a fun time was had by all! :)

Does your favorite restaurant buy you special balloons for your birthday? Didn't think so. :)

My friends are awesome!
Presents and a slightly inappropriate birthday card (I actually got that same card from two different friends). My dinner was so wild they called the Dallas Police Department (okay, not really, but they were nice enough to pose for a photo with me). :)
My friend Nicole got me flowers for my birthday. It made me feel special, I rarely gets flowers at work. They made my desk a little more cheery after the rough day we had at the office a few weeks ago.


On my actual birthday my friend Katie and I went to the New Kids on the Block concert. When I was 11 years old, all I wanted for my birthday was for them to sing to me ON my birthday. 28 years later, it happened. I will not confirm or deny that I was somewhat giddy about that. Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul opened for them- it was a flashback to my childhood. I loved it!


I promise that is Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul. I was taking pictures on my phone- I keep forgetting I have a nice camera now to take pictures with and I forgot to bring it. Fail. Lol
When they sang their song Happy Birthday, I am 97.4% sure it was just for me (forget anyone else there celebrating a birthday). Lol
I had a birthday lunch with my friend Becky. We see each other at work all the time and say "hey, we need to have lunch." We FINALLY went! Lol. So much fun! 


I know I went on and on (and on and on) about meeting Dick Van Dyke last weekend, but I also got a chance to meet actor Anthony Michael Hall. He was so nice. He talked a good while with everyone who met him at his booth.


I saw Circus 1903 with my friend Mel at Dallas Summer Musicals (okay, this wasn't technically FOR my birthday, but it helped wrap up my birthday week). It was a great show, I highly recommend it!

We were excited to have floor seats for the show, normally we have "sitting next to Jesus" seats in the balcony. :)
I got to hang out with some of my favorite baseball peeps at a Rangers game on Monday night (that was actually for my friend Eric's birthday). But it wrapped up my two weeks of celebrating with friends. Monday was OU cap night at the Ballpark. Three guesses who is not an OU fan. Lol. I also got to see my friend Felicia (we got our yearly baseball picture together). AND, after like eight years of signing up for it, I WON the Designated Driver of the Game prize. I ended up with an authentic Rangers jersey. Oh, and the Rangers WON!! (It's been a rough season, we haven't been able to say it too much). What a great ending to my birthday celebrations. :)


Traditional birthday kiss from my friend Beks. Lol.
I'm Loving...
My church. I know I've said this before, but having this church family has helped me through some rough times the past few years. I'm super sad my pastor is retiring, but I look forward to our new pastor and all the great things my church will do in the future. 

I love Pastor Sam and his wife Belinda!
I'm Loving...
That I was able to make it to my niece Ashlyn's high school graduation. I had to work that day and her graduation was a two hour drive from Dallas. Despite traffic, I still made it and was able to see her walk across the stage. I'm so proud of her! And she's going to attend college at my alma mater! :)


I'm Loving...
That I was able to see my friend Richard (even if it was only for like 15 minutes) for the first time in 12 years. He picked me up at the airport in Phoenix on Saturday (he just happened to be in town). It was great to see him, next time we will definitely hang out longer!


I'm Loving...
That Dick Van Dyke's wife commented on my blog post. I posted the link on Instagram and tagged her and she responded. It made my day!!


What are YOU loving today??

XOXO!!!