Whoo! It's good to be back after a two week impromptu break! I did not mean to disappear like that, but the disappearance just happened to happen. We had friends over at our home the last weekend, and then this past week, I impulsively decided to be as absent from the digital world as I realistically could (Since I write code for a living, it's never entirely possible). Yesterday I played catch-up with my emails, and finally today, I am ready to blog.
Last weekend, we had a gala time when our friends were here. We visited Natural Bridge and then hiked to the Lace Falls. Since our friends are from Chicago, where domes and skyscrapers are the norm, they were quite enamored by the more rustic beauty of this part of the country. Our dog also joined for the hike and she was knocked out by the time we were done. A tired dog is a happy dog, right?
|The scenic drive throughout|
Luckily for us, she was so tired the next day as well that we did not feel too bad about dropping her at the pet boarding place, before we left for DC. Usually, we have a little leash wrestling with her as she tries to open the door and get back in the car, but this time she went happily inside, wagging that cute tail of hers.
|The Capitol Hill|
At DC, we played the role of the usual tourists, doing the Capitol Hill tour (ughh, they are renovating right now, so it's not the most photo-friendly place to be at), taking tons of pictures in front of the Reflecting Pool and the White House (has anyone ever been to White House and gone all "This is it? This is the White House?"), and lounging on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (mostly because we are famished from the looooooooong walk). The day was beautiful, colorful, and just plain picturesque. I still haven't looked at all our photos from the trip, but I know the guys had a great time click-a-clicking. The next day, we also visited our favorite museum in DC - the Air and Space Museum near the Dulles airport. If you're a Transformers geek, you will spend a lot of time drooling over the Blackbird that's located here.
|The White House|
As always, my favorite part of a trip to the capital is the walking, though the others wouldn't agree with me on that. Fitbit tells me I walked more than 7 miles that day and that had me super-elated. On the way back, we stopped at Luray Caverns, where I had already been to three times in the past but still found something new to appreciate each time (This time, it was the totem poles that I did not notice much in the past). Because of the thunderstorms we had the previous week, the caverns had a lot of water and some flooding, so it was amazing to be so down there knowing all that water does reach there eventually. If you've never been to Luray, you should go there at least to see its Dream Lake. It's a very shallow lake that reflects the ceiling above it so perfectly that it feels as if the lake is very deep. No matter how many times I see it, I always get excited at that part of the tour.
|Us in the caves|
|We saw a mama bear and her two cubs on the |
drive back home at the Shenandoah National Park.
They watched us for a while and then tried to get away when
we started snapping "Oh my god - there are bears" photos!
I have quite a few books to review - Child of Dandelions (Uganda), The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry (U.S.), Does my Head Look Big in This? (Australia). Last night I started reading The City Son (Nepal), which surprised me by how much I'm enjoying and loving it. Within two hours, I finished more than half of the book, which is very rare for me. Another couple of hours today, and I'll be thinking about how best to review this book too. I'm not sure what I'll read after this or which country I'm hoping to visit next. I haven't read anything in South America yet this year, so if you have any recommendations for me, I would be glad to check it out. Mostly, I'm trying to read lighter fiction. A lot of the books from some countries focus heavily on the wars that ravaged those regions, and while I believe it's necessary to read such books, I think it's more important to read non-war books, because they are what will make you come back to those countries, don't you agree?
Today, the husband and I are mowing our backyard and finishing up our vegetable garden raised beds. So we're probably going to be spend the evening lying down somewhere nursing some tired muscles, while we wait excitedly for tonight's Game of Thrones episode (Tonight is the trial we've all been waiting for!).