littlereview: (little review)
We spent most of Sunday with my kids, parents, in-laws, and nine siblings, nieces and nephews at Great Falls (which was very hot and humid, but lush and green, with dragonflies, cormorants, herons, and one camouflaged snapping turtle) and then the Nationals game (where I had a vegetarian cheesesteak plus chili fries, and saw the Nationals beat the Giants while the US women were beating Japan in the World Cup, though Teddy won the Presidents' Race due to a shark attack knocking out the others...yes really). We got home very late, so here are just a few family photos, hope everyone had a good weekend!

By the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers )
littlereview: (get critical)
Our plan for July 4th was to go to one of the Cheseapeake beaches, but it rained all morning and we had warnings both about traffic and about the fact that the beaches would be closed if there were crowds or thunderstorms, so instead we all decided to go to Baltimore. We had lunch in Harborplace at Noodles & Co. together, then my nieces and a visiting friend decided to go shopping while the rest of us went to the Maryland Science Center, along with the friend's husband and son plus my parents who came to meet us.

Science Center )

Our original plan was to go to the College Park fireworks together after grabbing dinner somewhere, but we all got back to the hotel there at different times -- Paul's youngest brother lived in Baltimore for a while and wanted to show his children where, the nieces and younger nephews wanted to rest, and we ended up deciding to go out to dinner with my parents. But Blaze Pizza was closed for the holiday, and since we'd had a huge lunch, we came home, ate leftovers, and watched the whitest A Capitol Fourth ever!
littlereview: (photos)
It's just going to be several days of quickies, I'm afraid! Tonight we are home after a very lovely day downtown -- weather not too warm and drizzle that held off till we were driving away, lots of family at lots of different National Mall sights. We all started at the National Museum of the American Indian, which is adjacent to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (where there were alpacas in the Peru displays), then my immediate family walked to the US Botanic Garden with my nieces Maddy and Noelle while the younger boys and their parents went to the National Air & Space Museum, where we met them after seeing the flowers and frogs.

Then half the group went to see the D-Day IMAX, which my family had already seen, so we went with the nieces to the National Gallery of Art for lunch in the cafeteria and some browsing in the galleries and gift shop. Eventually we returned to the Native American museum, where Paul's parents were relaxing while both his brothers, Jon's wife Brooke, and the four under-12 nephews walked to the Lincoln Memorial at the other end of the Mall. We all met up to drive to College Park, where we met Dave's late wife Molly's lifelong best friend, Alice, and her husband and son, and we all went to Azteca for a very fun big group dinner.

Museums and Monuments )
littlereview: (Default)
Just one photo, all of us in the US Capitol on a private tour set up by my sister-in-law Brooke's sister, who works for Senator Merkley of Oregon. This was an incredible experience -- the youngest cousins were melting down before we could visit the House and Senate chambers, so we will have to go back to do that another day, but we had two interns show us around the Senate office buildings and much of the Capitol (I think the younger members were most impressed by the private subway beneath the buildings, but I think the old Senate chamber and Apotheosis of Washington were my favorites).

We had a late lunch in the cafeteria beneath the Capitol, decided everyone was too fried for any museums, and drove to College Park, where we met Adam and went to dinner at Rasoi, a very good Indian restaurant we'd never tried before. Then we left the rest of the family at the hotel in College Park and I drove home with Adam. We have an insane few days coming up -- lots of family plans downtown while at the same time we have to get Daniel packed and his boxes shipped. We thought we were going to the beach with everyone for July 4th, but even that is up in the air!

littlereview: (green little review)
Quickie as we have had a very full day! After breakfast with most of Paul's family in the hotel and a drive through town, we went to Gettysburg National Battlefield on the anniversary of the first day of the battle. There were lots of people and some special events going on. We went to the museum, saw the movie and cyclorama, and had sandwiches in the picnic area.

Then we stopped for Slurpees and at the Utz factory before coming back to the hotel to crash for a while before we all had dinner at Chipotle. Several people wanted to shop before the mall closed, so we wound up in various stores. Paul's parents had everyone back to their house for sundaes and anniversary cake for us, plus admiration by all the grandchildren of the model trains!

Gettysburg and Hanover )
littlereview: (Default)
where Paul's family is having a reunion with the small problem that there are storms and our hotel has no power. Woman at front desk says she has only been here a month, doesn't know who to call, will call her father. Tomorrow is our 25th wedding anniversary which we will spend sharing a room with Daniel who is moving away in less than two weeks but not with Adam who couldn't get away because of school. Tra la la, hope everyone is having a good week!
littlereview: (photos)
Squall )

My Monday was all about chores because I am spending the rest of the week with Paul's relatives -- both his brothers are coming to the east coast with their families, and we're doing a bunch of sightseeing with them and their parents, plus a baseball game with my parents. So I had to get laundry done and organize computer stuff and things like that. My parents took Daniel to lunch and shopping for a bed to have delivered in Seattle, and Adam brought his girlfriend over to study calculus.

I was not as pleased with the Supreme Court as I was last week -- the lethal injection decision disgusts me and the EPA decision absolutely boggles me -- it's okay to poison people since that's more cost-effective than not poisoning them? At least they won't let Texas shut nearly all its abortion clinics. We spent the evening catching up on Key & Peele after I watched Voyager so I can get my review done over the course of the week! Some of the lighthouses at the Dulles Golf Center's mini golf course:

Lighthouses of Dulles )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Weekend Guests from Chicago, 1945 )

After a week of heat and a day and a half of pouring rain, Sunday was absolutely gorgeous -- clear, cool, partially overcast. Except for Adam, who did yard work, we had a slow morning, had lunch together, then picked up my parents and went to play miniature golf at the Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park, which has a course with replicas of famous lighthouses at the holes. (I did not come in last, ha!) We went out for ice cream, came home for a while so we could feed the cats and younger son could get some homework done, then my parents took us to Blaze Pizza for dinner -- we ate outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather.

Dulles Sports Park )

In the evening we decided to watch Minority Report, since we'd been debating whether that or Edge of Tomorrow was Tom Cruise's best performance (my vote goes to Minority Report; it's a more emotional performance and he shows a lot more range, though there are definitely a bunch of plot holes just as there are in Edge of Tomorrow and Colin Farrell deserves more screen time). We also watched Last Week Tonight, in which John Oliver suitably eviscerates anti-gay marriage judges and transphobic politicians. And I finished my Project that needed to be done before the 30th, so go me!
littlereview: (get critical)
No Swan So Fine )

We had pouring rain nearly all day Saturday, flooding lots of local roads and making it no fun to walk around outside, though it was nice and cool. We met Kay and Chris and their kids at Ted's Bulletin, which is new in Gaithersburg and which a local reviewer said had the best milkshakes around (I don't know whether they're the very best because I've never done a study, but they were really good, plus their veggie burgers are excellent particularly the Greek one which I had).

Since the weather made any outdoor fun impossible, we went to see A Little Chaos, which conveniently is only playing in our county at the theater at the mall. The pacing is slow but the acting is great and the cinematography is gorgeous -- not just the settings, which are beautiful, but the structuring of the shots. It's a very woman-in-a-man's-world story but it does pass the Bechdel test. I wasn't sure if my kids would like it, but they seemed interested. particularly since they've been to Versailles.

Since we had such a big brunch, we ate very little for dinner and at strange hours -- I had a cat trying to steal the cheese off my bagel -- while we watched the Canada-England women's World Cup match. Then I thought Paul and I were going to watch Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, but he fell asleep and snored through it, so I watched that (why do there have to be zombies in everything) and now Graham Norton. Here are some photos from the National Aquarium last weekend:

Living in Water )
littlereview: (trek)
The Photograph )

I had a morning of joy on the internet, catching up on happy pro-Obamacare articles from yesterday and segueing into an explosion of happiness when the Supreme Court declared marriage a right for everyone. I saw the alerts about the terrorist attacks but those don't make me less happy for people here or less proud of the people who've worked for this day for all these years.

I did have to get work done, though the Voyager episode I was reviewing, "Heroes and Demons", cannot be described as intellectually taxing -- I have to wonder whether anyone on the writing staff ever read more than the Cliff Notes of Beowulf, let alone the physics of matter-energy conversion. I also worked more on the Project from yesterday that must be finished by Tuesday!

We had dinner with my parents, keeping an eye on Scherzer's several perfect innings before he gave up a hit, then we went to see Woman in Gold. I mostly liked it -- thought it was very prettily filmed, mostly appreciated the acting though it's not Mirren's best performance, found it fairly predictable in terms of how the story is told. Here are some more photos from L'Hermione's visit to Baltimore last weekend:

Baltimore Boating )
littlereview: (photos)
At the Touch of You )

I spent a lot of Thursday working on a Project (it's a surprise for someone so in case that someone is reading this, I will not say more). Otherwise, I read a lot of people celebrating and a few ranting about Obamacare, spent a little time filtering some of the latter off my Facebook news feed, had lunch with Paul (Daniel was home but took too long getting downstairs for his lunch), and tried to get organized for my insane next couple of weeks.

This morning I realized that Beauty and the Beast was finally back on the air -- I'm not sure how many episodes I missed, but I caught tonight's, which wasn't its best but had lots of women kicking ass and not obsessing over their boyfriends, which was sorely lacking most of last season. Then I watched Voyager for review (not one of my favorites but Robert Picardo is always fun to watch). Here are some pictures of the Maryland Zoo prairie dog colony:

Prairie Babies )
littlereview: (get critical)
Partita for Sparrows )

Wednesday was another relatively unexciting day, though I got to argue with both my children about the quickest way to destroy the human race and I got to pick up my new glasses, including a pair of progressives that it will probably take me a month to get used to (last time I tried progressives, I fell down an elevator at the mall and up a curb at the food store, both causing serious leg cuts) and a really adorable pair of prescription sunglasses, something I have never had before. I drove myself and Daniel there, because Daniel was picking up new glasses too, but he had to drive us home, because I had to have all the tests that require eye dilation that I didn't get last time so I could drive while his eyes were dilated!

We had one coupon for a free Domino's pizza and another for half off because of the Nationals' no-hitter last week (tonight they merely won in extra innings, heh) so we tried their handmade pizza, which is actually pretty good (of course I got feta on my half and split with Adam who got pineapple). Then we watched an awesome NOVA special on birds, after which 13 Going On 30 turned up on some cable channel. I am feeling much less silly about liking Cinderella because Cinderella may actually be more sophisticated and less objectionable than the former, and I'm saying this despite Mark Ruffalo who was of course my only reason for watching in the first place! From Lewis Ginter Botanic Garden earlier in the spring:

Bursts of Bloom )
littlereview: (get critical)
In Search Of Cinderella )

Tuesday was a chore day, though not particularly a bad one -- my most crucial ones got done, and so did Daniel's, though he is refusing to make a dent in sorting things in his room and I am resorting to threatening to toss or give away his entire childhood if he doesn't at least tell me which of his high school papers can be discarded. I would say that we took a break to get bagels, except I think lunchtime was when he first got out of bed! He did take care of some moving-related things and I got laundry sorted and folded (and I got to watch Body of Lies while doing it). The weather was atrocious pretty much all day -- nearly 100 degrees before the storms arrived in the late afternoon, then thunder, pouring rain, flood warnings, and we weren't even in the area with the hail and tornadoes. We were going to get our free Domino's Pizza for dinner -- we got one of the post-no-hitter coupons -- but didn't want to venture out in that weather, so we had hot dogs and macaroni instead.

By then the skies had calmed down and we saw the live-action Cinderella directed by Kenneth Branagh, with a cast of great actors, of whom the most interesting was probably Cate Blanchett in the thankless role of the stepmother whom we're supposed to hate not in this version because she's physically abusive, but because she dresses fashionably, throws parties with gambling and drinking, and resents the fact that the man she had to marry to avoid destitution is obsessed with his dead first wife. We're supposed to think she is evil for not being able to afford to pay the servants, and because her cat, being a cat, chases mice. I get pissed off when people snark on Cinderella for not being a feminist heroine (for similar reasons that I've always defended Bella Swan, also a survivor of a miserable childhood), but the stepmother deserves forgiveness; watching this version, I was struck by how much her bitchiness towards other women reminds me of beloved Jane Austen characters. Brookside animals:

Wheaton Wildlife )
littlereview: (photos)
Stars )

Daniel is fully moved out of his apartment in College Park and has turned in his keys! That was our big activity for the afternoon, after having lunch with Paul who worked from home so he could come; we had to make sure the place was clean enough to pass inspection. We retrieved Adam, who usually carpools home with Christine, and all went to IKEA together to look for furniture for Daniel's new apartment in Seattle, then had dinner in their restaurant now that there are vegetarian meatballs and vegan carrot ginger soup!

We did not buy any furniture, but made lists so the big items can be ordered online and delivered in Seattle. When we got home, Daniel had tracked down a copy of Star Wars Demastered, the color-corrected HD version restored to the scenes as they appeared when the film was first released in theaters, not as Episode IV, minus Jabba and plus Han shooting first, etc. I haven't watched the movie without interruption in many years and it was really awesome; as much as I love Han, I forgot how much smarter Leia is. From April, Mount Vernon lambs:

Spring Babies )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Ode to the Unbroken World, Which Is Coming )

After a morning of catching up on the ramifications of one little observations about Janeway/Chakotay and "State of Flux," we spent the afternoon with my parents and Paul's parents, for whom Paul made brunch before we went downtown. We'd known it was supposed to be in the 90s, so we ruled out baseball, and none of our parents nor our kids had seen the Indiana Jones exhibit at the National Geographic Museum, so we went to see that!

Father's Day )

Paul had left cassoulet cooking in the crock pot, so we all had dinner together before the grandparents left. Then, after much discussion of what constituted an appropriate Father's Day movie -- I said Field of Dreams, Daniel said National Treasure, Adam said Man of Steel -- we discovered neither of our sons had seen Edge of Tomorrow and put that on (it's probably my favorite Tom Cruise movie, tied with Minority Report)!
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Sea Hold )

We had storms forecast for Saturday but no one was sure exactly when they would start, only that they would definitely come in waves. Adam had plans to play tennis with my father, then to study for most of the afternoon with his girlfriend, so the rest of us went without him to Baltimore -- Daniel drove -- where a replica of the Marquis de Lafayette's ship L'Hermione was visiting along with many reenactors and French craft demonstrations.

There was a massive crowd waiting to board the ship and it was very hot, so rather than spend all afternoon in line, we went to the aquarium, which was much less crowded that we thought it might be so we had a very successful visit; not only did we see the sloth awake and moving around, but the moral eel came out for us, there was a baby loggerhead sea turtle being rehabilitated, and I got to touch a skate in the new Living Seashore exhibit.

Outside, we saw ducklings and several ships besides L'Hermione -- Pride of Baltimore was sailing, as were the Urban Pirates, who tried to fire water cannons at someone dressed as The Cat in the Hat. We came home for dinner with Adam, watched the nail-biting season finale of Orphan Black and the delightful naval-themed second episode of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Happy Father's Day and Litha if you celebrate, good solstice if you don't!

Seattle Shoreline )
littlereview: (trek)
Petition on Santorini )

My Friday was mostly about Star Trek: Voyager. This is because on Thursday night, while rewatching "State of Flux" for a retro review, I discovered that there's an echo of a Very Very Important Janeway/Chakotay moment, which I had to squee about on Facebook, and then all my Trekkie friends appeared to squee too, and it was a really awesome afternoon though I am not sure my review will be coherent to anyone but us.

We had dinner with my parents, watched some baseball -- not a good day either local team -- then came home and watched The Last Legion, which remains as silly as ever, though it's always fun to see Colin Firth and Thomas Sangster together, plus Alexander Siddig, Aishwarya Rai, Ben Kingsley, and other good actors who give a lot of conviction to the goofy dialogue and ludicrous history.

The heat and humidity made my head very aware that a big storm will arrive soon, which may ruin our Saturday plans to go to Baltimore and see tall ships. Here are photos taken in gorgeous weather in Seattle when we went to Discovery Park, which has a sand beach and tidepools where we saw crabs, mussels, scallops, ducks, herons, seagulls, and lots of ships both big and small, plus a couple of volcanoes!

Seattle Shoreline )
littlereview: (little review)
Black Laws )

My Thursday involved a lot of running around, a big thunderstorm, and tearing my bedroom apart looking for a shirt I love that I can't find anywhere. Daniel and I had dermatologist appointments in the morning, then we went to Kohl's to get him some clothes, to Paul's office to pick him up so we could all go to lunch at Minerva, then to CVS on the way home, at which point I was getting a weather headache and knew the sky was about to open.

Indeed, we got buckets of rain that trapped Adam and his girlfriend on the Beltway coming home from College Park and made Paul late at the food store where he was getting ingredients to make a Waterloo bicentennial dinner (Beef Wellington, of course, and Brussels sprouts, and Napoleons). The bunnies came out when the rain stopped, we had dinner, then we watched Guardians of the Galaxy because we were in the mood! A bit more Seattle Chihuly:

Color In Glass )
littlereview: (photos)
The Alien )

The air was actually breathable on Wednesday! And now it's pouring, which will hopefully keep things cooler for Thursday, and apparently we may spend Father's Day having the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill pouring on us some more. I went out driving with Daniel, ending up at the mall, where we got gas and Father's Day cards, plus had lunch (he had a sandwich, I had samosa chaat). It took us more than half an hour to drive home because there was a big car accident at the only major intersection on the way.

Adam is recovered from the flu and brought his girlfriend home to study math for a while before dinner. After we ate, those of us without calculus homework (plus Cheryl long distance) watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It's definitely as silly as Temple of Doom, but Cate and Karen make it a lot more fun to watch, and I even like Shia LaBeouf in this movie. Here are some of the props and costumes from National Geographic's Indiana Jones exhibit:

Grab the Snake! )
littlereview: (get critical)
The Holy Grail )

There were rumors that this summer would not be an insanely hot one in this area, based on the changes to the jet stream from global warming, but apparently someone didn't get the message because it was miserable on Tuesday. Adam felt well enough to go to College Park, which is a good thing since he's taking several classes; I stayed in the AC and did work, and Paul worked from home, so we had lunch together. Since it was Bloomsday, we listened to lots of Irish music.

In the late afternoon, we drove to Ellicott City to meet Paul's parents at Thai Aroma for dinner and to retrieve Daniel from them. (I know Adam is recovered because not only did he eat, he also swiped my phone and took pics with it.) Then we came home and watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with Cheryl -- do you sense a theme this week? Prop and costume photos from National Geographic's Indiana Jones exhibit (which does have archaeology, I promise):

I Said No Camels! )

Congratulations to the US women on advancing to the knockout stage of the World Cup! And congratulations to the Blackhawks on winning the Stanley Cup, even though I paid absolutely no attention to the hockey playoffs! But special congratulations to the Nationals, who won 16-4 over the Rays tonight, and especially the Orioles, who beat the Phillies 19-3 after hitting eight home runs, including two each by Manny Machado and new arrival Chris Parmelee!


littlereview: (Default)


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags