Thursday, December 21, 2006

we came, we saw, we survived

Ah, at long last I return to the blogging scene. Hang onto your hats, this is a long post. A lot has happened in three weeks -- not the least of which was our trip to Washington D.C. for Dave's Business Group Christmas party. We managed to cram a lot of fun and old friends into 5 days. We left Georgia on Thursday afternoon and got into Maryland around 1:45 am on Friday morning. By some genius stroke of luck we were granted a suite due to a mixup at the Hilton where we were staying. That was wonderful with five people in the room.

We set about on Friday to take the kids by Dave's office in Maryland and say hello, tie up loose ends for the rest of the trip, and then visit my old office near NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. That afternoon we finally did the thing Jordan has dreamed about for two years -- we visited with her best friend and our old neighbors. It was great fun to see the girls reuniting and unnerving to see how they are becoming older. Jordan got to visit with Alex and Marielle at length and we all went to dinner at an Italian restaurant with little brothers and sisters in tow. I really felt sorry for the other clientele of the restaurant because we were the loudest table in the room. Later that night Jordan and the girls spent the night at Marielle's house. When we picked her up on Saturday morning she was on cloud 9.

We met more friends for breakfast, showed William the hospital where he was born, and then began preparing for the big party night. First on the agenda was getting the kids to their old babysitter's house for the spend the night party she had planned. Miss Nicki is a wonderful person. She goes to school at UCSD and had just arrived home from California less than 12 hours before we dropped three kiddos on her. I could hardly believe how excited she was to see them. The last time she babysat Will he was still a new toddler around 14 months old. We felt so safe leaving them there -- and we were so excited to run away for an adult night on the town.

The hotel was BEAUTIFUL. Big feather bed and down comforters, great views, and good company. It was nice to have time alone with my husband. I was completely caught by surprise when he brought out a jewelry box with a circular diamond pendant as an early christmas present. Dave gets extra bonus wife points for being so romantic. We got dressed for the night in peace and enjoyed every moment of the luxurious party. There were about 600 people in the Grand Ballroom, a live band including horns, and food stations to fulfill every need including the required crabcakes. It was quite the party.

One night away with a relaxing morning did wonders for my mentality. Most mornings we are getting people up and moving at our house. Having a morning with no deadlines (other than a noontime kid pickup) was heavenly. We did eventually come to reality and checked out of the hotel. We headed back to get the kids (who were all happy as clams with Miss Nicki and the goodies she has treated them with) and then out to brunch with some old Navy friends. Oddly enough our old Navy contemporaries are now taking command of ships and big organizations...and that is a funny feeling having known them since their early twenties. Just one more reminder that the years are flying by.

Sunday night we arrived on the doorstep of Josh and Claudia, Dave's cousin. They are one of the best things about the Maryland area and we were happy to be back with them. They were brave enough to entertain our clan for two days and even do some sightseeing with us. On early Monday morning we headed downtown by metro (a thrill to the kids) and then set about to be tourists. We covered a planned tour of the Capitol Building, the Air and Space Museum, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Washington Monument, and the new WWII monument. The temperature was 70 degrees so we had a reprieve and were able to move around easily downtown without heavy coats. The photo below shows William and Jordan with a plane which their Pop-pop worked on during his time with Lockheed.

We reluctantly headed back down the interstate on Tuesday night and have tried to squeeze in the last two days of schools, teacher's presents, and other deadlines. I'm running late on Christmas card delivery, but you'll get them soon. I hope everyone is having a good holiday season. I'd love to know what your plans are...ours are rather subdued after the trip. If you made it to the bottom of this post you deserve a kiss under the mistletoe. Now go find your significant other. ;-) Did you think I'd kiss you???

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds WONDERFUL, Ann! It's terrific to "hear" you so happy, and to read that your family is doing well. (Kudos to Dave for the get-away and the fabu gift, too!)Glad to hear that you had such an enjoyable (if hectic!) trip!! We have been talking about getting down to DC, and I'm now more certain than ever that we will make the trek. Maybe in the spring ...

Anyhow, I just popped by to see what your crew has been up to (apparently, a LOT, LOL!) and how you're all faring ... and, of course, to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, peaceful '07!

Take care, girlfriend :-)
~ ruth