Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Proud day for Astronomy

Sorry Zoë fans, this is a digression about Mom and her friends this time! NO worries, we posted only yesterday, so you can read about Zoë below.

Check out my friend, Amber, here at Goddard, NASA in this video from the Jimmy Fallon show. She's the pretty redhead. Yay, James Webb Space Telescope... we look forward to your inception :)

Now back to work.

Monday, August 2, 2010

July Part 3 -- Life is Art!

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso
Oh! the calendar did it again... another month managed to race by before I could keep up! But fear not! I am two days late, but here's the last of our July trilogy and so as to be fair, I am even going to add a few highlights fresh from August.

From the title and first quote, I bet you can guess that we spent a nice part of July in museums! yay :) We are making an effort to actually enjoy D.C. since it has so much to offer. Over a couple of weekends we headed to three museums:

1. National Portrait Gallery -- we LOVED the courtyard! They also had several neat American impressionists like Mary Cassat and I found I also liked Childe Hassam.
2. Building museum -- this is a great space! They also have some interactive play. Zoë liked helping to build the arch with giant (as big as her!) blocks. Also, the building itself is pretty awesome.
3. The Phillips Gallery -- this is not a free collection. I know!
What were we thinking when we are in D.C. surrounded by free museums... ? but it was sooooooo worth it! The museum is located near Dupont Circle in what appears to be a lavish home. Many rooms have furniture from the same time period as the corresponding art. The pieces ranged from Monet's Luncheon of the Boating Party to more modern Rothco, with some Goya and Matisse's thrown in. I was impressed by the unique Van Gogh selection-- many I have never seen or heard of! We bought a cool boardbook for Zoë with Van Gogh paintings and a simple story to go with it. Feel free to check out all the pics in this slideshow...

Some other fun that we have had around town:

  • Zoë's favorite park has the usual playground stuff, but also lots of toys to share. Here she is driving a police car!
  • We've been exploring neighborhoods. U Street is a little like Telegraph in Berkeley. It has a long history of African American activism and is where the poet and activist, Langston Hughes, worked as a busboy. In his honor, a wonderful cafe/bookstore/restaurant/brunch locale named "Busboys and Poets" was founded. It was yummy and fun! (Thanks to Nina for the recommendation, ages ago!)
  • Nearby in Adams Morgan, we also found a fun cafe/lounge/restaurant called Tryst. How awesome that a bar also has a large number of kids toddling around and has bookshelves stocked with books, boardbooks (for kids) and toys. Zoë loved the Etch-a-sketch and shapes matching toy-- which was high quality, made of wood and everything. AND the coffee is good! We are going to live @ Tryst. Matt doesn't know yet... but it's sort of a must. Zoë rocked the milk drinking with a straw-- we were duly impressed. Rather, relieved since it was our fault for not bringing an extra bottle. When will we learn? Apparently now it is unimportant! Ha.
  • Zoë loves her Box. She loves "baby" (her doll) too and the two of them live inside Box. Box once housed Mom's new printer, but now it is where Zoë brushes her teeth, hides, plays, ... etc. We like Box.
  • The weather has been nuts! The heat and humidity have caused crazy storms that no one could have predicted... well, except for the global warming experts. We had a tornado watch. The hurricane level winds took out most of the power in our county (luckily not ours but Zoë's school was closed for 3 days). On the plus side, when the storm cleared, we had pretty sunsets. Talk about a silver lining!
  • We all went on a bike ride! Zoë liked it enough in the end to subject herself to more helmet wearing, even for fun. Plus, the helmet has ducks on it. She can practically form a story, with WORDS. It goes: "helmet ... bike? oh no! Bye bye ducks (these would be the ducks on her helmet) ...". Translation: "If I wear helmet, can we go on bike ride? No? Ok, then bye bye ducks (since not wearing helmet requires a polite goodbye to her good friends!)" We rode to the Farmer's Market and got vegetables and yummy bread, including these french morsels of delight called "Canèles" -- they are chewy, custardy, crispy and AMAZING! Zoë, with her cuteness, scored herself (and us) the sweetest, juiciest donut peach (tiny peach shaped approximately like a donut).
  • Check out the pics here for more fun! Like: Zoë eating messy foods all by herself and Mommy making castles for Zoë to demolish (the prettier the stack, the better it falls, I tell you!)...