Friday, May 02, 2003

Wow, where to begin? I didn't consciously take a break from blogging, but life got so busy, I didn't often have the energy to write things down at night. Now I've been asked by several people to start again and I do enjoy the chance to talk about our lives and all our adventures. I have come to the conclusion recently (duh! should've realized this years ago ;)), that we do lead quite an eventful life and that most of those events are quite enjoyable.

For spring break, from April 11th through April 20th, we went to Walt Disney World in Florida. I'll be writing a separate blog about that trip this weekend and post the link here.

The week before spring break, the Cherry blossoms in downtown Washington were in full bloom and, though the weather didn't exactly cooperate, we were able to visit twice and I took a bunch of pictures. The first time the kids and I went after school on a gorgeous 75 degree day. We drove down and it was super crowded, but we were *very* lucky and got a parking spot right in front of the FDR Memorial. Kai and Saskia rode their scooters around the Tidal Basin and Katja and I took pictures (and we saw Channel 7 weatherman Doug Hill live).

That Sunday, a cooler, but just as beautifully bright blue sky day, Christine and I walked around the Tidal Basin, to the Lincoln Memorial and the Korean and Vietnam Memorials, then along the Mall, where we watched rugby games and kite flying to the Capitol, which was surrounded by blooming magnolia's and cherry blossoms, beautiful! Behind the Capitol, we walked by the beautiful buildings of the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court and then it was lunchtime and we had a wonderfully luxurious lunch buffet at the National Gallery of Art. After a day in the city like that, I always feel like I've been on a short vacation! (Note: the links I found for the Capitol, the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court include really cool virtual tours of those beautiful buildings).

After we came home from Walt Disney World on Easter Sunday, the cherry blossoms were finished, but the Dogwoods and Azaleas were starting to bloom. I had never been to the National Arboretum, but I'd read the azaleas and dogwoods there are unbelievably beautiful. So, on Thursday, which was a gorgeous day, I called some friends to come with me, but no one had time. So I decided to go on my own. The azaleas were not completely out yet, probably 30%, but it was one of the most beautiful parks I'd ever seen nonetheless. I must have taken 200 pictures, probably just as well no one came with me, they would have been annoyed with all the times I stopped to point and shoot :).

That same day (April 24th) was take your sons and daughters to work day, so Rick took all 3 kids to his office. They had all kinds of activities planned for the kids to learn about their parents' work. Very well done. Katja had to write a brochure about it for school and did a great job, because she had so much information.

On Monday, I took Kai and Saskia to Gravelly Point, which is a large parking lot right across the water from National Airport. If you stand near the water, the planes come over so low to land, that you feel you just have to reach up and touch their wheels. Kai thought that especially cool. We took a nice long walk along the Potomac and I was wondering why I don't do that more often, there is so much parkland around here!

On Tuesday, the 29th, Kai turned 11 years old! I can't believe my little boy is getting so big. I keep wanting to shrink the kids again, but on the other hand, they're very enjoyable as they are. He treated his class to cupcakes (which I ran out just before school to get, as I'd forgotten them ) and for his birthday dinner, we went to Rainforest Cafe, always a favorite. For the more diet conscious (me :)), they have a great appetizer which can be eaten for a meal, Leaping Lizard salad wraps I think it's called. It's marinated chicken, chopped peanuts, noodles and pepper salad that you wrap in a big leaf of lettuce. Very good!

Thursday morning 8am, the phone rang and it was my friend Marie Anne, who lives in Singapore (she is in the process of moving to Tokyo). She was in New York and wanted to see if she could spend the night with us on Thursday night. Of course I was thrilled, she is one of my best and oldest (in length of friendship time then) friends! So Saskia and I went to National Airport to pick her up, but as I tried to start the van (just picked up from the dealership), it wouldn't shift out of "Park". After some trying, Rick succeeded, but I didn't dare to drive it downtown. So I took Rick's car and the van went back to the dealer yesterday to get fixed. Of course they claim it just being serviced and the problem were not related. Uh huh!

Anyway, we picked Marie Anne up and had a wonderful visit on Thursday night and yesterday morning she had to go to Washington for a meeting and I went with Kai's fifth grade class on a field trip to Great Falls, Virginia, which was gorgeous, by the way, which made me immediately think I'm not visiting these awesome nature sites close by nearly enough! We were both back at around 2 and Katja and I took her to the airport to fly back to Singapore. Her schedule is something I seriously wouldn't survive. I'm really impressed how she juggles it all: an extremely demanding job, lots of travel and a son at home. She's the kind of friend that I may not talk to for months on end, but then when we see each other or speak to each other, it's like that time just melts away. Truly special.

Last night, the kids' school had a Fun Night. I was supposed to come and face paint in the last hour from 7:30 to 8:30, but the lady that was there already was having so much fun doing it, she told me she'd do it for another hour. Fine by me! So we socialized with people we knew (these types of events are starting to feel like family reunions, after 7 years with kids in the school, we know a whole lot of people, lots of fun!) and Kai and Saskia played on the playground.

This afternoon, Kai is having his birthday party. They're going to the X Men 2 movie. First they're coming here for cake though and we couldn't find an X Men cake. So Rick printed out a picture from the Web and that's being screened onto the cake now. So cool! I'm really curious what it's going to look like!
I have no interest in the movie, so after dropping the boys off, I'm leaving them to Rick and am going shopping at the mall across the street. Christine is coming to pick up Saskia for a sleepover, so we have more space in our cars.

Tomorrow, Rick and I are going to the Arboretum (I hope), as now the azaleas are completely out and it's supposed to be a nice day. Well, I think I've hit on the highlights of the past month. I'll be starting on my Disneyworld blog next and hopefully finish it by the end of the weekend.