Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Can't Stop Having Fun

I realize I haven't posted for a while, I guess because I have been busy having fun. Last weekend Mandy, Jessie, Peter and I spent Saturday playing around DC. We went up the Washington Monument early in the morning for some incredible views of the DC metropolitan area. That afternoon we went paddle-boating by the Jefferson memorial and also went to an awesome air show at Andrews Air Force base. I had never been to one before and I didn't really know what to expect, but it was a blast. That evening we went to Baltimore to see the Orioles play and naturally the game was awesome; Camden Yards is classic. It was a fun-filled day and we were all dead tired when we finally got home.

Wednesday evening I wasn't feeling tired so I decided I would go write my paper at the Lincoln memorial late at night. It has become my favorite place for peacefulness and introspection. I noticed there was a lot of tents and lighting equipment when I got there, and as I was making progress on my paper, a bunch of people arrived and informed me I would have to leave the memorial because they were filming Night at the Museum II there that night. I thought that was pretty cool so I hung around the set for a couple of hours and watched them film. It was fun to see Ben Stiller and Amy Adams in action. But as I learned helping William film his short movie, filming mostly involves standing around forever and then getting a few seconds of footage; it was still fun to see the professionals in action though. I love it when random things like that happen to me.

This past Memorial Day weekend, Mandy, Jessie and I rented a car and headed down to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Apparently it is the thing to do among LDS singles in the area every Memorial Day weekend. We rented a beach house along with about 12 other people and just hung out at the beach during the day and partied it up at night. It was my first experience with an east coast beach but I really enjoyed it. It is different from those in California but cool in its own right. It was so hard to come back and start work again today, I just want to vacation the entire summer!

I should be a photographer.

Paddle-boating at Tidal Basin, Jefferson Memorial

Gotta love classic WWII planes...or maybe this was a WWI plane, I don't know

Waverly, VA. We got lost on the way down to NC but it ended up being good b/c we saw the countryside. Isn't our little car cute?

Yeah, we're awesome.

This wasn't our house, but we liked this one and it has the classic beach house look.

As you can see, a big contrast from west coast beaches, at least the ones I know.

I got up early the last day to see my first sunrise over the Atlantic. Once again, mad photography skills.

A few more photos to come...I am waiting to get them from other people.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Fill of Philly

Our group returned tonight from a two-day excursion to Philadelphia. We left early Friday morning and took a bus to Valley Forge where we stayed the night. Unfortunately it was a very cold and rainy day. I being my stubborn self did not take a jacket and only had sandals. Though the weather was inclement, I like to think it allowed me to slightly experience what the soldiers did so many years ago, although it is a misconception that the winter there was particularly cold. In reality, no soldiers died that winter due to cold weather, it was mostly disease that killed them. Then today we left for Philadelphia early in the morning and visited the obvious spots: Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, etc. My favorite part of the day though was actually late afternoon when Heidi, Mandy and I bought some mangos and clementines at the market (they were extremely delicious) went to a park bench to eat them, and then visited a cute, little residential street that holds the claim to be the oldest such street in the nation. Philadelphia obviously boasts a rich history, but there is something unpleasant about it-I certainly prefer D.C.-and one day was about perfect to experience the highlights of the city. I could really get used to this traveling thing!

This was General Washington's headquarters at Valley Forge, the house is original.

(Left to Right) Mandy, Jay, Heidi, Russ

This is the room (mostly original) where the Continental Congress occurred...our Constitution was born here!


Mandy and I having fun in front of Independence Hall

Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

This is the oldest street of its type in the nation, pretty awesome if you ask me.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Weekend Fun

One great thing about big cities is that there is no excuse for being bored. Saturday my roommate and I got free tickets to the afternoon baseball game and then in the evening I went with some other friends to a jazz concert put on by a band out of Shanghi called Coco Zhao; it was kind of different but I really enjoyed it. Today after the CES fireside some of us went to the Einstein memorial and had a nice devotional about math and science in relation to the gospel. Afterwards we walked around the war memorials and the Lincoln memorial. I particularly enjoy walking around D.C. at night, I guess because it seems more peaceful and I can sit and ponder and take in all the sites and history of the place.

I like the inscription above Lincoln, I definitely felt a certain reverence about the memorial.