The Kennedy Center

We had another tour set up by our Congressman while were in DC.  It was at the Kennedy Center and I really hadn’t thought much about what we would or wouldn’t see when we went.  As you enter you are greeted by a gallery of flags. 

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It was for me, just a regular tour as far as tours go.  We were able to see some interesting things and some behind the scenes things as well.  We were able to see one of the auditoriums but were unable to see the main one as they were preparing for some sort of performance. 

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Here’s a cool shot of the seats.  They were pretty comfy.

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What do you notice when you tour somewhere?  I tend to notice or take an interest in things other than what are pointed out for us.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the docents sharing with us the history and interesting anecdotes etc.  I just tend to see some other things that many folks miss. 

Like the lights.  I love chandeliers and unusual lighting. 

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We walked out onto a terrace where they often have parties.  It had a wonderful view.

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As you look to the right of the terrace you will notice some buildings.  One of them is the Watergate Hotel. 

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Part of the tour included the opportunity to see a performance.  I thought we would be seeing this in one of the auditoriums but it was actually held in an area off of the main foyer. 

Again, some cool chandeliers.

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Our tour ended and we hurried to get in line for the free performance.  We were told that it gets crowded and they were right. 

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As part of its effort to make the performing arts available to everyone, the Kennedy Center offers a free performance every day on the Millennium Stage in the Grand Foyer.  These performances of music, theater, and dance feature emerging and established artists from the Washington area, across the nation, and around the world.  For more info you can go to Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

Our performance featured Peter Horr, Violoncello and Henri Sigfridsson, Piano. 

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The gift shop is always one of my favorite places to visit. 

 

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They had these beautiful miniature dresses.  I so wanted to get these even though I have no practical use for them. 

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I’m not a trained ballet dancer but I totally wanted to buy these shoes and wear them.  They just look so awesome to me.

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They had a cool patch that I bought to add to my collection.  🙂 

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Another cool thing that I found was this awesome payphone!!  When was the last time you saw one of those?  It even had phonebooks!  I was doing a ::happy dance:: 

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Have you ever been to the Kennedy Center?

What cool things have you seen on your latest trip?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

 

 

 

 

The White House…and our non-tour of it…

Because of the sequestration we were not able to take a tour of the White House.  Now please don’t think this post is an open invitation for a debate on politics.  This post is merely a description of my very brief visit to the White House.  Here goes…

TA DAH!!!  We are on our tour of the front of the White House!  WoooHooo!!  This was as close as we could get and would have to do.  I was disappointed but hey…stuff happens.

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It’s really a very beautiful building. 

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I’m not sure what this was about…

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I don’t even remember if the scroll was written in English or not.  Just kind of interesting seeing this right on one of the streets. 

And I don’t know what this was about either…

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The lady “manning” the display was nice.  Chatted with the guy in the pic for a bit but I never really understood what the issue was. 

One of the things that I LOVE about travel is the different and interesting things that you can see.  Much different than where I am from but that is what makes travel so awesome.

And there were folks on segues.  I may have to try it sometime.  I think I might feel kind of silly until I got the hang of it.  But even then I might still feel silly.  Or I might feel super cool and important.  I guess I’ll just have to try it and see.

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I really wish we had been able to tour the White House.  It would have been cool but I’m sure we’ll visit again and then maybe we’ll get our chance. 

  • Have you ever toured the White House?
  • Have you ever visited DC? 
  • What are your travel plans for the coming year?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Mexican Wedding Cookies

I make these every year and they always turn out so yummy!  They are pretty easy to make but a little messy but definitely worth it. 

Here’s what you need: 

  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 c powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 c finely chopped pecans

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Here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 350.  Beat butter, 1/2 c of the powdered sugar and the vanilla in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Gradually add flour and pecans, beating on low speed after each addition until well blended. 

Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Place, 1-1/2 inches apart, on ungreased baking sheet.  I line my baking sheet with parchment to make clean up easier.

Bake 14-15 minutes, or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned.  Cool 5 minutes on baking sheets.  Roll warm cookies in remaining 1/2 c powdered sugar until evenly coated; place on wire racks.  Cool completely and store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

 

I always double the recipe as I usually am making them for a family cookie exchange.

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(((hugs))) ~lisa

Peterson House

Across from Ford’s Theatre is the Peterson House.  We naturally went across the street to visit it as well. 

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I didn’t know this until we were there, but the Peterson house is where Lincoln died. 

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On the tour you can see the bed he laid in when he passed and a lot of old stuff.  And I think old stuff is cool so I enjoyed my time there. 

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Did you have a View-Master as a kid?  I didn’t but I thought they were so cool. 

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I love this stuffed Abe with the little mini stuffed Abe. 

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  • What museums have you visited lately? 
  • Where will your next adventure take you?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Brown Sugar Drops

Each year my mom, sister, sister-in-law, my sisters’ mother-in-law, my three nieces and I all get together and have what we call, Bake-N-Take.  We bring 4 containers worth of goodies to share, eat lunch and then make a couple of batches of chocolate chip cookies.  It’s a lot of fun girlie time!

Each year I make try to find some new recipes to try.  This recipe is actually one my grandmother sent to my mother in a letter. 

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It always makes me smile to see my gramma’s (that’s how we spell it) writing.  She was a very good cook and make the best chocolate chip cookies EVER!!  She actually passed away 24 years ago so all the recipes from her that I have are special.

To make Brown Sugar Drops you will need:

  • 1 c soft shortening (oleo)
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 sour milk or buttermilk
  • 3 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt

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Here’s what you do:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 and combine all the ingredients.  Now this is my kind of recipe!  No, set aside this or reserve that…just put it all in the bowl and mix!  You can either make balls or just drop the dough which is what I did.  Bake for 8-10 minutes and there ya go! 

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My number one tester (aka my hubby) said they were very soft on the inside and they were not “too sweet”.  I personally think they were a little bland and what I would call a coffee cookie, meaning that this would be good paired with a cup of coffee.  But I actually am not a coffee fan despite two of my daughters being baristas. 

I also only went with the original recipe and did not add any coconut or nuts to it which may alter the taste some.  My grandmother was an awesome cook and I have several of her recipes that I’ll be trying and sharing with y’all in the future. 

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Snowman Terra Cotta Pots

I absolutely LOVE Pinterest!  There are so many super cute ideas and pinning them is so much fun!  On my Pinterest board, ho…ho…ho…holiday cheer, I have several ideas that I wanted to try and make for this holiday season.  As you can see, if you glanced at my board it is filled with snowmen ideas.  I just LOVE snowmen! 

You need just a few things to recreate these adorable little pots. 

  • Terra cotta pots
  • White spray paint
  • Acrylic paint in black and orange
  • Netting/tulle or cellophane
  • Peppermints
  • Ribbon to tie up the packages

To begin, make sure the pots are clean and free of dust and dirt. 

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Next, paint the pots evenly with the white spray paint.  My fabulous assistant (aka my awesome husband) used a screw/bolt with a head larger than the hole in the bottom of the pot and used it to hang the pot so he could spray paint it easily.  It worked like a charm!

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We then set them out to dry and the lovely Texas sun.

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I also painted a few of the pots with regular acrylic paint.  We’ll see at the end if they turned out differently. 

I painted on the black rim.  And ended up doing two coats for better coverage. 

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Next I traced on the eyes and the carrot nose with a pencil.  I then used black paint for the eyes/mouth and orange for the nose. 

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I think the mouth looks a little wide so I may repaint them.  We’ll see. 

I had purchased some tulle already cut into 10” circles to make it easier on myself and put a handful of peppermints in the center of each one.  I then placed it in the pot.  It did not leave enough to tie off with a ribbon so I now have 25 10” tulle circles to use for another project! 

I then bought some gallon sized plastic bags at the dollar store and guess how much they cost me?  That’s right, a dollar!!!  haha!!  I cut them to make sort of a cone and then filled it up with peppermints and placed it inside the pot.  Wrapped it up with a cute bit of ribbon and there you have it!! 

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  • What fun things have you found on Pinterest lately? 
  • What types of crafts have you been working on?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Chicken Zucchini

Are you looking for an easy to prepare meal for a busy night?  This can be quickly prepared and read to eat in just under an hour and a half or you can even make this a crock pot meal and it will be ready when you get home! 

Here’s what you need:

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  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4 zucchini
  • 2 cans cream of celery soup (you can use reduced fat)
  • 2 cans of water
  • *Optional – 4 large potatoes

Here’s what I did:

I set the oven to 350 and I sliced the zucchini into thin slices.  Next I placed the chicken breasts inside an oven bag and placed it in roasting pan.  I combined the soups, water and stirred until smooth and then added the zucchini.  I poured this mixture over the chicken in the bag and tied the bag up.  It baked for an hour and 15 minutes and it was so tender and yummy!!

Here’s how it turned out:

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An option to this recipe would be to add potatoes.  Of course you could also add less water and create more of a sauce for it.  I’ve also made this as shown and served it over rice.  If I’m going to get home a little later than normal, I sometimes toss all the ingredients in the crock pot and set it to low for 6-8 hours so it’s ready when I get home.  Several different options for you to try! 

What new recipes have you tried lately? 

Do you have any quick and easy meals that you utilize on busy days?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Ford’s Theatre

When you think of visiting DC, do you have in your mind a mental list of places that you have to see?  I do and for me, Ford’s Theatre was definitely on the list. 

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A visit to the Ford’s Theatre campus traces the story of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, assassination and legacy and is such an iconic part of American history that we just had to see it. 

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It’s also a National Historic Site so I was able to get my National Parks passport book stamped!  WoooHooo!! 

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The beginning of the tour…

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Here are some things you will see when on the tour.  There were so many things that I just picked a couple that kind of came to my mind.

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This is a piece of bunting from the flag that flew over Fort Sumpter during the Civil War was presented by Mrs. Archibald Hopkins in July, 1929.  I just think it’s cool because it really just looks like some threads but it was from a flag and it’s old.  And I liked how Harry signed the note. 

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These medals and medallions just look old and of course, they are.  I just think it would be cool to have something like this.  Not that I’d really do anything with it.  It would just be cool to have.

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I was just trying to see what he was reading but I am too short to do it discreetly. 

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It’s amazing how I can talk my husband into posing with statues and stuff.  He’s always such a good sport.

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One of the things that I am slightly obsessed with is learning about a person’s final moments.  You know how they showed those photos of Lady Diana’s final moments in the elevator before she died?  Well that kind of stuff just fascinates me.  I know it’s a bit morbid but it makes me think about what if something had been different then maybe they’d still be here? 

Well the point of that whole story is the reason I took this pic.  It gave me that same curiosity about his final moments. 

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Here is the famous box at the theater.

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We didn’t actually get to tour the box which was kind of a bummer.  One of the Park Rangers was saying it was because it was crowded with lots of school tours that day.  Really?  Well then can they let parties of two or less go see it?  Or give me a special tour?  The answer was no to both when I asked.  And yes, I asked.

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When my sister got married in 2008 she gave us bridesmaids a canvas tote bag with our initials monogrammed on it.  It was plain so I decided to jazz it up with some patches I had collected on previous trips.  Now every trip I go on, I look for patches.

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I thought this was a pretty cool one.  I now have a dilemma.  I have no more room left on my tote bag.  I’m not sure what to do now.  Maybe a blanket?  If you have any ideas on what I should do with them, please share! 

I also collect smooshed pennies.  They are also known as smashed pennies.  Pressed pennies.  Elongated coins.  Whatever you call them, I collect them. 

Are they legal?  In the United States, U.S. Code Title 18, Chapter 17, Section 331 prohibits “the mutilation, diminution and falsification of United States coinage.”  The foregoing statute, however, does not prohibit the mutilation of coins, if the mutilated coins are not used fraudulently, i.e., with the intention of creating counterfeit coinage or profiting from the base metal (the pre-1982 copper U.S. cent which, as of 2010, is worth more than the one cent in the United States).  Because elongated coins are made mainly as souvenirs, mutilation for this purpose is legal, when location of the coin presser has the permit from the mint to do so.

So there you have it folks.  I’m not breaking any laws.  At least where elongated coins are concerned. 

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Did you know that Abraham Lincoln’s image has been on the front of the penny since 1909?  Lots of fun and interesting facts that you can learn.  You can click HERE to learn more! 

  • Do you collect anything when traveling?
  • What things do you like to take pics of when traveling?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

The Old Post Office – Washington DC

One of the cool places that we came across was the Old Post Office.

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As I have mentioned before, Marvin had just retired from the Post Office so this was of course a place we had to stop and explore.

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According to their website, “Originally built in 1899, The Old Post Office Pavilion embodied the modern spirit that was sweeping the country. Today, our architecture and spirit of innovation continues to evolve and thrive.

Once the first government building to have its own electric power plant, today we continue to electrify — with the help of The DC Preservation League. And, thanks to forward-thinking people, you can now stroll through The Old Post Office Pavilion and experience both its glamorous past and fun-filled present with international food, eclectic shopping and musical events … All designed to entertain lunch, mid-day and after work audiences all week long.”

So once inside you realize it’s not like a postal museum or anything although they did have some things to look at.  It does have shops etc. and you can go up into the tower which we did. 

Now I know I’m not the only person that this happens to but glass elevators freak me out a bit.   It’s like you are too close to the edge or something.  Things could happen.  That involve falling and stuff. 

Despite my fears we rode the elevator up. 

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As you enter the bell tower area there is a plaque above a window.  I love the peeling paint and the brick being revealed behind it.

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Here is what the plaque says:

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One of the bells up close. 

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From the Old Post Office website,

The Congress Bells

In honor of our nation’s bicentennial in 1976, the private Ditchley Foundation of Great Britain presented a set of English change ringing bells to Congress. In April 1983, the bells found a permanent home in the Old Post Office clock tower. They were dedicated as an everlasting symbol of friendship between the two nations.

The 10 Congress Bells range from 581 to 2,953 pounds and are replicas of the bells in London’s Westminster Abbey. They were made at Whitechapel Foundry which had cast the Abbey’s bells four centuries earlier. The bells are in the key of D major.

The practice of change ringing combines the disciplines of art and science to produce a unique form of music. Change ringing involves continuously changing the order in which the bells strike. The method of producing these changes is precise and requires extensive training, practice and concentration.

A full peal, which is a continuous performance that takes up to three and a half hours to complete, is rung in honor of the opening and closing of Congress and on state occasions, including all national holidays. To achieve this feat, the tower hosts a weekly practice session for the bells’ stewards, members of the Washington Ringing Society of the North American Guild of Change Ringers.

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The views from the tower were awesome.  Love looking around the city from there. 

We could see the Washington Monument which was under construction at the time we were there.  

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You may have thought that I was trying to take a pic of the Capitol in the distance but you are wrong.  It took me a bit but I was able to take this awesome close up of the wires.  😉

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They did have some items on display.  Here’s a “vintage” mail bag. 

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Some first day of issue items.

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And as we were leaving I gave this sign a H!GH 5 for being awesome!  Seriously, I don’t know if they give you tickets for walking to fast or something in DC but I didn’t want to find out.

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  • What fun unexpected places have you visited lately?
  • Do you have any fears that you have to face when traveling?
  • Where will your next adventure take you?

(((hugs))) ~lisa