Time With Mark & Julia
Aug 20, 2013
|We are having a wonderful time with Mark and Julia in the D.C. area! Willis and I arrived here safely on Friday (August 16). Since we arrived just before lunch Julia and I walked into Old Town Alexandria and ate lunch at Nando's while Willis and Blayde had some "unwind" time at home. (We brought Willis lunch so he got a Nando's taste, too.)
Friday afternoon was relaxing and fun as we caught up with Julia and waited for Mark to get done with work. After Mark finished work we all went to Taqueria Poblano in Del Ray for some "L.A. Crispy Style" tacos. Yum!
Saturday brought a new day of adventures with our precious kiddos. First stop was Mark's office in downtown DC to see what he has been up to lately. Then, for lunch, we went to Ben's Chili Bowl for their famous "half smoke". It was delicious, spicy, and probably added many unwanted pounds to my hips... (I see a lot of extra exercise sessions in my immediate future after all the food of this trip.) Saturday afternoon was spent walking to and around some of the famous memorials. Willis had never been to the Jefferson Memorial so we made a point of going there. We also went to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. I really enjoyed this particular memorial. So pretty, peaceful, and full of thought provoking sayings and imagery. Saturday ended with us walking to dinner at Caphe Bahn Mi (a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant) in Old Town Alexandria where I enjoyed the best Pho I've ever tasted. Of course the walk home required we stop at Ben & Jerry's for ice cream cones, too!
Sunday was too nice to even consider staying inside so after the kids got home from church, and a delicious lunch at Panera, we headed to South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, MD. We arrived to the dairy just in time to help feed the bottle calves. My little calf downed his bottle quickly and then clearly communicated to me that he wanted more! In the on-site store Julia returned their empty milk bottles and bought more milk, some cheese, and (dare I admit it) we bought more ice cream cones. (Who can walk away from homemade ice cream!) We then went to Trader Joe's to poke around and bought an assortment of goodies to enjoy for dinner and snack on while watching TV at Mark and Julia's later that evening.
By Monday Willis said he wanted some "time-out" of activities so he stayed home with Blayde while Julia, Mark and I all headed to Great Country Farms in Bluemont, VA. We enjoyed looking around the farm, feeding some animals, and then we headed out to pick blackberries. Big, sweet, juicy blackberries...what a treat! We picked nearly nine pounds of berries! On the way back from berry picking we stopped at Doner Bistro in Leesburg, VA. Once again the delicious food on this trip has me wondering if I will ever fit into my jeans again!
Now today, Tuesday, Mark is at work so Julia and I took this opportunity to make some runs to pick up canning supplies so I could teach Julia what I know of this homemaking skill. Julia is a quick learner and I have decided that she is a "natural" at home canning. She canned seven half-pints of blackberry jam and four pints of blackberries in light syrup. All her jars sealed and look as if they should be entered in the Virginia State Fair. I couldn't be prouder of my "canning student" and know that anything she cans from here on out will be just as safe and wonderful as today's results. (Willis tasted the jam on a slice of toast and gave it "two thumbs up".)
Well, off I go now to get ready for Mark to come home and we will once again venture out for another culinary D.C. area delight. We are having so much fun and the time is simply flying by too fast.