They say you can’t go home again. But have you ever tried?

Even though I lived in Fredericksburg, VA from around ages 5-11, the memories of my home there and the neighborhood is a bit sketchy. 

Here’s the pic of the house I grew up in. 

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Here’s how the house looks today.

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It’s kind of hard to see the house as all the trees and bushes have definitely grown!

I do remember my brother and I riding our bikes a lot.  My dad actually put together our bikes from parts that he salvaged from the local dump.  I must say my dad is a handy man.  My brother and I would ride over to a street called “Woodland Terrace”, which is just a couple of streets from our house.  My bike was black, with a white plastic basket that had flowers on it.  And it also had a really cool orange flag on the back of the seat.  We would attach playing cards to the spokes of our bikes with clothespins and they sounded really cool when we’d ride.  It’s okay to be jealous…it was pretty awesome.

During the summertime we would fill up these orange Tupperware containers with ice water and take them with us.  You know, in case we got thirsty on our adventures.

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I called to ask my mom about the containers and if she still had them and guess what?  She did!!  WoooHooo!  She was about to give them away so I really lucked out.

I do remember my friends were a sister and brother named Donna and Tony.  There was a girl that lived in the two-story house on the corner named Barbie.  Around the corner, on Rogers St., Kristie, Karen and Shawn lived. 

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There was a store back then called Earl’s.  At that time it was a grocery store.  It is now Earl’s True-Value Hardware but they did keep the original Earl signage. 

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This is also where we got my first dog, Fonzie.

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Speaking of dogs, when we first moved in there was a couple that lived next door.  They had a German Sheppard named King.  King bit me on the ear.  I think I was 5.  I recently asked my mom and dad about this and neither really remembers it.  Does this mean I made it up?  It’s possible.

As I mentioned before, my dad is very handy.  He made the brick fireplace you see above.  He also made the patio on the side of the house that you see in the middle pic above.  We used to jump rope there and it was a lot of fun. 

The patio also had a basketball hoop and we would play H-O-R-S-E.  And when I say we, I mean me, my brother AND my mom and dad.  I also used to skate on the patio with my skates that I attached to my tennis shoes and tightened with a key that I wore on a string around my neck.  Anyone remember those?  My whole family knows how to roller skate.  It’s one of the cool things about our family.  We always have had a lot of fun together.

I also remember this radio show that my folks would listen to.  I think it was called the Swap Shop or something like that.  I guess it was kind of like Craig’s List is today but old school.  Anyway, the theme of the song went something like this,

“Swap shop.  Swap shop.  Where the best bargains are always made!  Swap shop.  Swap shop.  Do you have something to sell or trade?” 

Funny the things remember.  Or think you remember. 

  • Have you ever tried to go home again? 
  • What are your memories of your childhood home?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Quarterdeck Restaurant Review

We dropped off our bags at The Virginian Suites, freshened up a bit and headed back down to the front desk.  Since we were new in town, and we we were hungry, we asked for a dinner recommendation.  Edward, the awesome front desk guy that I mentioned in my review of the hotel, suggested Quarterdeck Restaurant.  He said it was “just up the road” so we decided to try it out.

We didn’t know anything about the restaurant so of course I googled it.  According to the Quarterdeck Restaurant’s website, the Quarterdeck is a fixture of the Fort Meyer Heights neighborhood for over 30 years providing a relaxed atmosphere perfect for family dining or just catching up with old friends.  Most notably known for their seasonal Maryland Blue Crab feast and cold beer, they also serve a wide variety of classic American and Seafood fare year round.  I’m not a big seafood fan but I am a big fan of trying something new so off we went. 

We headed that way not knowing that when Edward said, “just up the road”, he meant literally up the road because it was up a steep hill.  The fact that I am out-of-shape was immediately evident.  😉  We arrived and now we were not only hungry but hot and tired too. 

Quarterdeck was crazy busy.  As in beyond crazy busy.  It was so crowded, (how crowded was it??), that they were pulling extra tables from a store room in the back and setting up a makeshift dining area next to the patio to seat additional customers.  Now all that really did was strain the wait staff who were already overwhelmed but we were hot, tired and hungry so we stayed. 

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Of course our decision to stay would presumably add to the overcrowding, but considering we were out-of-towners we were not sure exactly what and where our other options were.  They asked if we minded sharing a table with strangers and having limited options, we agreed.

We sat with Rob, Jackie and Kyle and even though it seemed a little weird to share a table with strangers, it ended up being really fun!  They gave us pointers on what to see and do, filled us in on some local gossip and made the whole evening very enjoyable.  

The whole vibe of the restaurant is indeed what it says on their website.  The atmosphere was very casual and relaxed.  It is perfect for family dining or just catching up with old friends.  We saw several large groups of folks really having a great time. 

I didn’t take any pics of our food but our new trio of friends ordered the crabs and despite the fact that I am not a seafood fan, the crabs are seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning and they smelled absolutely yummy!  Pardon my poor phone pic but I was truly very tempted to try the crabs…they smelled that good.

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I ordered steak and it was delish and Marvin ordered salmon and he said it was quite tasty too.  We had a really good time sharing a meal with some new friends. 

I would say our first evening and first meal in DC was a success! 

  • Are you a seafood fan? 
  • What new restaurants have you tried lately?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

The Virginian Suites, Arlington VA

We landed and we were so glad to make it to DC!! We did rent a car because we’d be traveling to Fredericksburg, VA the next day and couldn’t use the DC Metro for that.

11 we made it!!

We booked a room at The Virginian Suites.  The 261 room spacious apartment-style accommodations are conveniently located just minutes from the heart of DC.  The front desk attendant on duty when we checked in, Edward, was awesome!  He is actually the first one to ever acknowledge our “Gold Level Status” with the Choice Hotels brand reward program called Choice Privileges.  It didn’t really matter to us but apparently they are supposed to do that.  No has ever done that before so Edward, the awesome front desk guy, automatically got a high 5 for doing that! 

I fell in love with our room.  The living room area was very spacious and included a desk/workspace area. And do you see that full-length mirror?  I love it!  I wish I could have taken it home with me.

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Just off the living room, at the entrance of the kitchen, was a small dining area.

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The small but fully functioning kitchen included a refrigerator, stove/oven, sink and small dishwasher.  It also was equipped with plates, flatware and paper towels so all you needed was to add the food!  It would be perfect for an extended stay. 

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The ample bedroom area was comfortable and inviting.

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I did not get any pics of the bathroom but I promise you that it was fine.  The only drawback to the hotel, that we encountered, was the shuttle service.  It ran during the weekdays except between 2-4:30pm or after 7:30pm and they didn’t offer shuttle service on the weekends.  Fortunately the DC Metro was a short walk away. 

The other amenities listed on The Virginian Suites Arlington site include:

  • Complimentary wired and wireless high-speed Internet access
  • Custom Exercise Routes and Bike Share Information
  • Seasonal outdoor swimming pool with a modern sun deck
  • Men’s and women’s saunas for total relaxation
  • 24-hour fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment
  • Self-service laundry facilities available on premises
  • Washington Post delivered daily to your door upon request
  • Two complimentary business centers
  • On-site self parking available at $12.00 per day (rate subject to change)
  • Grocery delivery directly to your refrigerator
  • Room service from a variety range of local restaurants
  • Free shuttle service, operating to Rosslyn Metro and NFATC/FSI during weekdays
  • Conference facilities accommodating up to 100 attendees

Our stay at The Virginian Suites was wonderful and if we happen that way again we would definitely stay there.  Be sure and ‘Like’ their Facebook page: The Virginian Suites!!

(((hugs))) ~lisa

p.s. If you see Edward, tell him we said hello!

If you could go anywhere to celebrate your retirement, where would you go?

After 29+ years with the United States Postal Service, Marvin chose Washington, DC.  With so much to see and do, I contacted our Congressman to schedule some tours, and asked my Facebook friends for ideas. To say there is a ton of stuff to do in DC, is well, an understatement.  There is an overwhelming amount of things to do.  I knew I would have to make a list and prioritize what we wanted to see etc.  It was still a long list including: 

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As you can see it’s a combination typed/handwritten/shorthand list.  And it’s longer than it looks because there are things not listed that I wanted to see as well.  I knew we wouldn’t be able to see all of the list but we were going to try!

Mom and Dad drove us to Dallas Love Field (DAL) and they have made some great improvements over the last several years.  There was a long line to go through security but it was moving fast.  After we were through security, we looked for somewhere to get a bite to eat. 

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Can’t go wrong with Whataburger, right? 

It was a very quick flight to Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and we were ready to get going.

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Our in-flight snack consisted of a complimentary beverage and some peanuts. 

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Yes – we were flying on Southwest Airlines!!  And the peanuts were yummy!

We landed in Austin and we had some time to kill before our next flight.  We found a little spot to get some lunch.

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We boarded our next flight which I knew was going to be a five hour trip so I made sure to use the restroom before boarding.  As I settled into my seat, I realized something. 

I had to go to the bathroom.

Again.

On a plane.

For real.

Those bathrooms are so tiny!!  And then, you have to stand so close when you flush…ugh!!  Those that know me well know I have an issue with public restrooms. ::don’t judge::  And compound that with the fact that it is a small, cramped airline restroom and it just makes it worse.  But with Marvin’s encouragement, I went anyway.  I survived and my bladder thanked me.

Something I like to do when I fly is to critique the safety brochure.  Take a look at this pic.

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First of all, does anyone still own a transistor radio?  Second of all, who brings a remote control car on a plane?  Flight attendant friends, does this even happen? 

Okay, let’s play a little guessing game.  If we were to be judging this plane evacuation, who would win?

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My vote is for the lady on the right.  Not only is she holding a baby, but she is also pointing her toes.  That earns her extra points for form. 

Yes, this is what I do on plane rides to different places.  Plus, I chat with random people.  It’s what I do. 

What do you do to pass the time when you are flying?

Where is your next adventure taking you?

(((hugs))) ~lisa