Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Skyline Drive Misadventure

When we first moved to DC from the Midwest over ten years ago, we took a ride to Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was during the summer, so we could at least see the sights, but were disappointed that we didn't see any animals - until the end when we saw a bear cub running across the street. So it was worth the trip. We also purchased a senior park pass that allows you to visit a lot of these places without haveing to pay. So when we drove to Mount Crawford Virginia with our friend this past weekend, we decided we should try taking Skyline Drive again on our way back to DC. Of course, we didn't have our park pass on us, so we had to pay $10 for the carload. We entered about midway along the path. From the minute we got on the skyway, we couldn't see a thing. It was so cloudy and/or foggy, and drizzly, we were lucky to even see the road in front of us. There may have been a few wild flowers around, but it ended up being a total bust. There was a lot of activity and hikers in spite of the foul conditions. So we haven't had very much luck on Skyline Drive. We see more wild life in our urban neighborhood than we do in the wilderness. At least it's something to talk about.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Eden Center Huong Viet and Chesterbrook Mylo's Grill

It was an international food fest weekend. It started in Mount Crawford Virginia with an Italien Sub sandwich at Francesco's on Main Street. We were in town for an auction that our friend wanted to attend. On the way home, we decided Vietnamese food might be interesting. Our friend had recently heard about Eden Center in Fairfax where there are 150+ restaurants and shops that are all things Viet Nam. So we ended up at Huong Viet and stuffed ourselves on soup, fried rice, and shrimp. It was a cash only transaction! It really felt like we were on the other side of the world without having to go there. Then last night my husband and I thought we were going to one of our favorite Italien places in McLean, but it was too busy to even get in the door. So we searched for something nearby and found Mylo's Grill - a really nice Greek place located in the Chesterbrook Shopping Plaza. We love Greek food and were not disappointed. The funny thing is that this place is near a Persian place we have visited a few times - Amoo's House of Kabob. Sometimes it's a good thing to explore new places, and this weekend was full of it. Now we have Vietnamese and Greek food leftovers. That makes it even better.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Famous Be-an Creation Station Dolls at Mount Crawford Book Fair

We took an auction road trip with a friend of ours that took us to Mount Crawford Virginia. It's about two hours from DC. We needed to pass the time before the bidding started, so we wandered through the emergency and safety station program set up for the kids, ate an ice cream cone, and then headed to the book fair that was housed in two very large warehouse buildings. Not a lot of things caught my interest, until we were about at the end of the browsing. I used to collect Madame Alexander dolls that represented countries from all over the world. I got my first doll when I was about six years old and ended up with over a hundred. But we left all of them behind when we moved to DC from the Midwest. So when I saw the Jackie Kennedy Famous Be-an doll from Creation Station in a large bin, I was amused. It, and all the celebrities surrounding her, sold for $1.89 each. I think I spent at least fifteen minutes rummaging through the bulk of them. The representative images were whimsical. I had never heard of this brand or doll before. So the trip for me was worth it - just for this! As for the auction? Our friend got what she came for. It was a very interesting day.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Next Day Blinds Not Quite Right

We turned our 70x76 inch storage closet in to a tiny bedroom, making our studio apartment in to a one bedroom! It has a huge window in it that really brightens up the space and makes it so much larger than it is. The wall of mirrors and high ceilings also adds to the size. The window already has honeycomb shades that provide privacy, but the window also faces the outside streetlight that brings in much too much light to sleep in. Additionally, the blackout shade provides extra insulation in winter and a decorative trim on the top of the window. So we revisited Next Day Blinds to install the same black out shades we have on all the other wondows. The only difference is that this window would have a dark shade rather than the lighter neutral which they no longer have in stock. When the technician came yesterday to install the shade, the cord was too long for the space, so it needs to be replaced. It was also hung not quite level because the blind doesn't hang right when pulled down. He also left a part of the equipment. He promised they would call us in the morning about a re do. We haven't heard anything yet. All that means is another day wasted sitting around for someone to arrive. Thank goodness we aren't working anymore and can schedule the inconvenience. But this sort of thing should be done right the first time.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lowe's Bathroom and Flooring Options

Because we are thinking about renovating our tiny 52x74 inch bathroom, we have been spending a lot of time this week trying to get ideas about materials, colors, and overall options. I've been researching  everything on line, but am losing interest fast. It shouldn't be a big deal, but we can't seem to figure out what steps to take. In the Midwest we redid every room in the house, but we had a great designer to work with who knew our taste and all the support people to do the work. We selected everything after he presented a few options to us. Here, we are pretty much left on our own, and there are just too many options out there. So we took a trip to Lowe's and checked out bathroom vanities, and sinks, and faucets, and flooring. We need a waterproof floor that looks like wood throughout the house and the bathroom - is vinyl, ceramic, or porcelain best? I hate grout - especially white grout - what sort of tile is best? We need as much storage as possible, but the depth of the cabinet is limited - is undercounted or vessel sink better? We have now visited The Tile Shop, Union Hardware, Home Depot, Lowe's and countless online sites. The only decision we have made is that we want to get it done. Where is the magic wand?