Thursday, May 31, 2012

Capitol Hill Real Estate - Sold!

It is nice to live in a neighborhood where the for sale signs quickly change to sold/under contract. This home on our street went on the market about three weeks ago, and was quickly snapped up. There is another close to one million dollar home for sale behind us. Oftentimes, there are buyers in line long before the sign is even up. In our building there are two units for sale, and they have been on the market for 2-3 months, which is unusual. They too, often sell quickly. But it takes a peculiar person to want to live in an 1890's building, with all it's many inconveniences, compared to some of the new high rises in the neighborhood. But there is something quaint and suburban about our street. The location cannot be beat, which makes all those other inconveniences more tolerable. If we ever need to sell, I hope we have the same luck. Our home in Milwaukee sold on the first day, and that was an unusual event. And that 2,500 square feet and one acre there got us 500 square feet and a small patio here! What was that about location?
Sold within 3 weeks

Has a garage in back

Along a really wide sidewalk

On a lovely street in Historic Capitol Hill

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Subaru Dealer

My husband had the car in for it's 6 month check up. This time it only took a short amount of time so he waited there for the job to get done. While there, he took note of the new Subaru Forester and liked it. The car we have is eight years old- the longest we have ever had any vehicle. It was our second car in Milwaukee. It was used to carry around a very large dog, and ran like heck in the winter with a four wheel drive. It also moved us from Milwaukee to here, packed to the roof. Since we have to park on the street here in DC, we decided to keep this car. And it's a good thing with all the bumper scrapes and scratches. So we both returned to the dealer just to get an idea of the difference in a new car compared to what we have. It is very nice, but there's a problem. The one we have still runs well, and is expected to have a long life ahead- especially since we hardly drive the thing. But, we know if we ever need another one, this is the place to go in Alexandria. Even the salesman thought he would never see us again - at least for now.
The closest dealer is in Alexandria

Who likes buying a car?

Someone always goes after the free food

Nice car, but just don't need one yet.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Union Station

We needed to go to Union Station to exchange some money and so we walked over for some exercise. It's only a few blocks away, which makes it really convenient for a lot of reasons. On the way over we passed by the rear of the Supreme Court, and on the way back, we walked past the Russell Senate Office Building, and the Library of Congress. Union Station is still undergoing construction/repair from the earthquake last year. And the exterior and grounds are still undergoing renovation for I don't know what. And this is the spot where you can catch the duck boat rides. My husband refuses to even consider taking the duck boat! There is always a long line to catch a taxi after a long train ride, and many events are held here throughout the year. There are ample restaurants and shops, and snacks. It's a nice alternative to air travel, depending on where you need to go. I rode the train once to Jacksonville from St. Petersburg, and from Milwaukee to Chicago, and last year to a little place close to Richmond. There is something about train travel, and it hasn't quite been polluted with all the security measures of flying. I'm not sure if that is good or bad.
Getting tickets for the Duck boat

Always a busy place

A line waiting for a taxi winds all the way back

A good spot to exchange cash

And return it if necessary
Drop off and pick up points right out front
The sidewalks across the street are getting replaced

Earthquake damage report

Scaffolding to the ceiling

Reminds me of the Library

Ever present pigeons

A view of the Capitol from the north

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Concert Canceled

Since we did not go to the Memorial Day Concert dress rehearsal on Saturday night, we decided to go last night to the real thing. We waited until it started to walk over, avoiding the lines to get in through security. I had checked the weather several times before we left- and there was no hint of rain. As soon as we passed through security and made our way up towards the Capitol, someone came on the microphone to announce that the crowd needed to exit the grounds because of impending severe weather and thunderstorms. So, as soon as we got there, we had to leave. It was an orderly process, and the music continued. When we got home we turned the TV on to see how the concert was progressing. It looked suspiciously filled with people. Some of the key armed forces folks were no longer in those positions, and the singers were not on the roster. When we watched the news, we learned that the broadcast was switched over to last year's concert. I wonder how many people figured it out? I felt a little better knowing that we didn't really miss it, but sorry we didn't have a chance to see it. There's always the fourth of July and Labor Day concerts to look forward to, and all the Army band concerts on the Capitol steps all summer long. At least we got in some exercise for the day.
Along the House Office Buildings

Magnolias are blooming all along the way

A lot of limos

Passing through security- guard dogs and all

I have to go through this every day at work

The grounds were filled to capacity

When the announcement came to leave

And they did

In an orderly fashion

It didn't seem like bad weather

On TV from last year's concert

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

The Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, DC

Acid or Alkaline - the Hydrangea Knows

In our patio garden are a few perennials. And the hydrangeas were pink the first year. When the garden was first installed, a lot of fresh new soil replaced the sandy, cruddy stuff that was in it originally. But then our 1890's building required some sealing around the base, so the garden was dug up and our new dirt was mixed up with some junk- again. All the plants needed to be removed before the work began and replanted when it was done. There was only room enough for 2 hydrangea plants, so the third one was placed in the courtyard outside of our fenced area. A funny thing started to happen... all of a sudden the pink flowers turned to blue and purple... some were half pink and half purple. I was never any good in chemistry, but I do know that some things grow better in either an acidic or alkaline environment. Whatever we have in our garden is a little bit of both. The best thing is that the blooms comes back every year- and we never know how they are going to look.
Just can't compete with Mother Nature

The hydrangeas stand out this time of year

A little bit of acid and alkaline in the soil

The original pink still appears

The birds love this place

Picture perfect

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bikers and Monuments

Memorial Day weekend brings to town Rolling Thunder- something I disliked in Milwaukee and still dislike here. Harley Davidson always has huge celebrations in Milwaukee, where bikers descend on the town, make a lot of noise, and create driving distractions. Invariably, there is an accident. As we drove back home after lunch, the bikes and riders were out in full force. Along with the motorcycles in all shapes, sizes, and colors (and drivers and riders in all shapes, sizes, and colors) were all the other bikes as well. One really needs to be even more careful when so much 1, 2, and 3 wheel action abounds on the streets. Only a few find their way in to our quiet, "suburban" neighborhood here on Capitol Hill. Luckily it only lasts a few days.
The Memorial Day dress rehearsal concert is this evening

By the House Office Building

Darting in between trucks, buses, cars, other bikes

Not sure why a helicopter was on the Mall

Bicycle action around the MLK Memorial

Near the Lincoln Memorial along Independence Avenue

By the Washington Monument

Along Constitution Avenue near the Viet Nam Memorial

The White House in the background
Future site of the Smithsonian National Museum of
African American History & Culture- tough work on a hot day!

By the American History Museum
By the Archives- long lines today
By the Sculpture Garden
On 14th Street
Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial

Turning on to Independence by the Lincoln Memorial