Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm Thankful for Maya and Jill

This Thanksgiving was extra great because Maya came to visit Jill and I in Maryland for a whole week!

We struggled with what we were going to do for Thanksgiving. The Burk's of course are mostly in Utah and Kneelands were all headed to Tulsa, OK to spend the holiday at Robyn and Landon's new place.

After looking at all the options, ticket prices, SkyMiles and weighing in the fact that Jill really wanted some one on one time with Maya we decided that Maryland would be the best.

She flew out on the red-eye with her mom Saturday night and we picked her up at the Baltimore airport bright and early Sunday morning. We went to church (ducked out after Sacrament meeting) then took a nap and relaxed around the apartment.

The plan was to keep the whole visit pretty low-key and not try to run all over the DC area trying to do stuff for a couple of reasons. First, it is not summer anymore so weather/temperature is a big factor on our choices of activities. And second, most of the DC things to do are not very interesting for a six and a half year old.

We filled the days with walks, leaf collecting, movie going (Enchanted - two thumbs up from Maya), crafts and art projects, shopping trips and baby showers along with other things.

Of course food is big part of our lives (a little too big) and with this week containing the biggest food holiday of the year we needed to pace ourselves.

Maya wrote down on our white board the menu for the week and made sure that we stuck to it.

Sunday - Tacos, Monday - Raviolis, Tuesday - Homemade Pizza, Wednesday - Chicken, Broccoli & Rice, Thursday - Thanksgiving, Friday - Ham Dinner, and Saturday - Wendy's. Each day she made sure that we were eating what we were supposed and reminding us of what was next.

Jill and Maya enjoyed creating lots of craft projects throughout the week. She made special place-setting name cards and lots of hand-print-turkeys for table decorations. Maya collected lots of colorful leaves for the decorations too.

Emily spent a few days in the DC area visiting with old friends from school. On Wednesday we met up with Emily and her friend Jeff in Baltimore for lunch. We had a yummy seafood lunch at Phillips in the Inner Harbor then took Emily to the airport.

Then we drove back into Baltimore and went Duck Pin Bowling. This is a Baltimore original sport that apparently Babe Ruth liked to play. The balls are about the size of a large grapefruit and the pins are shorter than normal. You also get three balls instead of just two.

Thursday we enjoyed Thanksgiving at the Erickson's in Burke, VA. It was a pretty small group as most of their family was elsewhere for the holiday. We enjoyed all the yummy food and also spent lots of time trying to put together a puzzle.

Friday morning Maya and I went shopping at Giant Eagle to pick up a few grocery items that we needed. Maya had a great time with the bar code scanner and thought that this was the coolest store ever. Jill and I split the cooking duties for our Post Thanksgiving dinner.

Matt and Cami drove up from Richmond, VA and Linda and Toby drove down from Pennsylvania. Jill made stuffed mushrooms and bacon wrapped green beans. I made shells and cheese (Maya wanted shells instead of macaroni) and oven-roasted garlic and onion mashed potatoes. Linda brought a yummy squash casserole and of course, the ham.

We played games that evening then Linda and Toby headed home while Matt and Cami stayed the night.

On Saturday we went to a matinée at the dollar theater (Ratatouille) then Matt and Cami drove back to Richmond and Jill took Maya and I to the airport.

Here are the links to more pictures: Collecting Leaves, Baltimore, Duckpin Bowling, Frederick, and Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Autumn in Frederick

Here are a few more pictures of this years fall leaves.

While Jill was off with her friends, I drove around the Frederick Watershed taking pictures.

The Watershed is a pretty popular place to go mountain biking.

It is known for its very technical rocky trails.

A lot of people do shuttle runs, which is bombing the downhills then loading all the people and bikes in vehicles to driving back to the top to do it again.

I need to get back on my bikes.

They have been neglected and it shows (around my waist)!

Jill and I went for a hike around Greenbrier State Park.

I was not impressed to see how much trash has been dumped there over the years.

It is no fun to be walking along a great trail covered with a canopy of colors and find someones complete disregard for the park.

But at the same time, I thought all the dumped trash made for interesting subjects for some photographs.

I prefer to think that I am trying to find the good part of a bad situation.

Not just glossy over the problem.

Anyway, I love being in the outdoors enjoying nature.

And I especially love this time of year with the kaleidescope of colors.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sunrise, Sunset

With the change in time I am missing the light show I had each morning and evening.

The sun would rise on my way to work and set on my journey home.

There have been quite a few commutes that would be considered noteworthy, or should I say picture worthy.

Here are a few shots I have collected of the rising and setting sun.

Many of the shots were just drive-bys as I am usually stuck in slow traffic so I don't want to stop and get out the car for a proper shot.

I'm glad I stopped to get the shots of the Potomac river though.

As I crossed over on the Virginia side I pulled off onto the small boat ramp.

Being down next to the river with the mist was cool.

The sun was coming up and casting some great light through the mist on the river.

I would much rather remember a commute because it was visually stunning, then extremely long and clogged with other commuters.

Hopefully they will come back soon. Commuting in the dark is no fun.

Here are more shots of the Point of Rocks, MD bridge.