Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dailey and Vincent at The Library of Congress

It's hard to write about something I don't know anything about. But I will give it a try. As we were walking yesterday on our way home we came across a very large bus that was parked next to the Library of Congress and across from the Supreme Court on East Capitol Street. It belonged to Dailey and Vincent - sorry to say, neither one of us knew who they were. My husband thought that someone may have hired the singers for a wedding that we just saw was setting up near the Capitol. I thought they may be parked there because they were performing at the Library. When we got home, I looked the names up on Wikipedia to learn more about them. I can't say I'm a blue grass follower, but apparently they are a significant presence and have earned several Grammy nominations. I used to listen to blue grass more as a student at Florida State University all those years ago so am somewhat familiar with it. The Library always has a free concert series, and we have been to a few. And that is exactly where this group was performing last evening. As we passed by the bus I figured I better take a few photos because I assumed there may be something to it...and of course, there was. So if you are ever in DC it is worth your time to look at the Library's website to see the free events that are open to the public. You never know what you'll come across. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dunkin Donuts and Subway at The Library of Congress

It has been under construction for the last several months if not a year. But before they started to renovate the space for the new Dunkin Donuts and Subway at The Library of Congress, the existing coffee bar was moved to another location down the hall in the tunnel that connects the Madison Building to the Jefferson Building. There is a self serve cafeteria on the sixth floor with great views of the city, and it is definitely my preference for coffee in the morning. The new space opened this week with a great deal of enthusiasm because it gives employees and visitors another option for lunch and break space. Since I live only two blocks away from work, I go home every afternoon so I don't have to think about it. I would not have visited the new area, but a friend asked me to join him for coffee, so I took the opportunity to check it out. It is much brighter than before, and it has a wi-fi bar, banquette seating, and a lot of tables. For the time of the day it was active with customers. I heard the line to order and then wait for pick up was long, but that will take time to adjust to the process. Maybe they need to separate drinks only from food orders. The prices are also cheaper for drinks...don't know enough about the other options. On the way out I did see the owner of the coffee bar, who may lose some business with this new option. But I suppose that's how it works...unless of course they are all connected somehow and share the profits. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, But the US Botanical Garden Did

Because it is a rather rainy and gloomy day today compared to the beautiful Memorial Day weekend we just experienced, it is a perfect time to showcase roses. We have one rose bush with single red petals in our small patio garden. In Milwaukee we had a rose vine that covered the front porch. A lot of bird nests were made in that delightfully covered space. Whenever we walk through the US Botanical garden on our way to or from home, the foliage and plants changes by the week. Most recently, the rose garden was in full bloom and was inundated with visitors taking pictures of the roses, themselves, and both. The bees were having a field day- so much so that they were hardly bothered by a camera phone that was three inches from them. So, on this rainy day one could say the flowers are grateful for the rain, but I know they appreciate the sunshine just as much. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thanks DC Blogs

I've been writing a daily blog for over three years about moving from the Midwest to DC. You could say everything seems surreal when you move here and I couldn't help but notice the differences - and in rare instances - similarities. It takes a lot of commitment and creativity to think of something to say every day. I always check the stats to see which entries do better than others, and it is fascinating to see how far it is read all over the world. Whenever I notice an uptick in readership, I check DC Blogs to see if my blog was mentioned. Thanks once again DC Blogs for noticing today my entry from yesterday about the price of jury duty. I always follow up with a thank you note via twitter to DC Blogs for the mention. It's just plain etiquette, something I was taught to do as a youngster, and reminds me of the Midwest culture. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Price of Jury Duty

I have been called for jury duty three times since we moved to DC. My husband and daughter in law have also been called as many times apiece. We lived in Milwaukee thirty years and I was called once. Because I'm working, the Library would pay for the day or days spent at the courthouse. I've never actually served on a jury but came close only once. This time they only called for one group and we were free to leave by 3 PM. A week or so later the certificate of appreciation and four dollar check were mailed to the house. I'm not sure how most people can afford being away from the job. Luckily I didn't have to serve on a Monday or Friday, because I'm now off on those days. Receiving a four dollar check in the mail feels so antiquated, but it gave us an opportunity to try the check deposit feature using the bank's mobile app. Not a good reason to serve, but at least I got something out if it. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Wedding, Rolling Thunder, Resting, and a Rose Garden - The Perfect Memorial Day Weekend

I wanted to avoid the Rolling Thunder motorcycles if at all possible, but it wasn't possible. Milwaukee is the home of Harley Davidson, and every year the city celebrated the founder and was filled with the noise pollution the hundreds of motorcycles brought with them. So when we moved here, we thought we escaped them. Because the usual route for our walk was fenced off on the Capitol Building grounds due to the Memorial Day Concert, we took another path down Constitution Avenue. When we walked over to the large fountain surrounded by roses, a wedding party was emerging from a very large stretch limo and a huge bus. There were many attendants for this affair, and the photographer was having a field day capturing the events. As we moved down the Avenue, the roar of the bikes was unavoidable. We headed toward the Archives and turned in to the Mall. The food trucks were packed with customers, many enjoying the beautiful day under a tree sipping on something cold or catching a bite to eat. We always stop at the US Botanical Garden on the way home and each week brings with it a different blooming flower. A this time, the rose garden was filled with attentive photographers and flower lovers alike. It was the perfect Memorial Day Weekend - except for the motorcycles. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Concert Dress Rehearsal

We usually try to attend the Memorial Day Concert On the Capitol Westlawn every year, but oftentimes go to the dress rehearsal. The weather or the mood could dictate the choice. The dress rehearsal is much lower key, the crowds are plentiful but less, but you don't get to see the entire show with the full cast of characters. Since it is the start of the summer season, it's just a traditional thing to do. So since yesterday was such a great day, we walked over for the 8 PM start. We brought along a blanket to sit on, a water bottle, and a jacket. It's really a very pleasant experience regardless of the occasion. Unfortunately we sat right behind a huge tower so didn't have a really good view of the stage. What I like the most is the sunset and how it affects the Capitol Building. It is one of my favorite places, and it looks good in just about any season or angle. The real show starts tonight at 8 PM. The best part is that even though it is a Sunday, I have another day off from work tomorrow. But I would have been off anyway because I started working part time about a month ago. I'm still adjusting to the new schedule, and would highly recommend it. Just don't pick a Tuesday-Thursday work week if you want to have Monday holidays. But if you prefer to enjoy every Sunday evening, it can't be beat since every Monday now is a holiday - at least in my head. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Georgetown Pike Slowest Driver - And We Are Stuck Behind It

We just finished having lunch at the Tavern in Great Falls and started on our way back to DC along Georgetown Pike. It is a very long and curvy road and one to enjoy as long as you can travel at the posted speed. Most of the way is one lane, so if you get stuck behind someone who is lost in space, it will take forever to reach the end because there are double yellow lines the whole way. In DC it doesn't seem to matter if you disobey general traffic rules, but in Virginia it's a little different. In Wisconsin, the traffic rules better be obeyed or you will definitely get pulled over. So as luck would have it, we got stuck behind someone who was definitely lost in space from Maryland, who had the brake lights on regardless if the road was flat, hilly, curvy, or slightly turning and obviously traveling way below the posted speed limit. We were betting if it was a man or a lady, old or young. We couldn't see a head above the neck rest, so assumed it was someone very short. We also noticed the very long line of cars behind us. I'm so glad I don't have to travel on such a road as this on a daily basis. When we finally reached two lanes and the freeway intersection, we looked to see the culprit. By the look of the picture it was still difficult to figure out who it was. We were just happy the car was in the left turn lane, because we were going straight ahead.