Saturday, November 26, 2011

Discovering DC

Let me start off with saying there is so much to do here in DC!!! We will not get it all done in the 2 months we are here. Luckily we will be moving back and can set a goal of getting to see it all. It is challenging because we are residents, not tourists here. So we have silly work schedules, cleaning, grocery shopping, and errands that all get in the way of our exploring. But one Sunday we both were off and wanted to see some of the sights. So we took the metro (We are official metro card holders and riders. I take it to work everyday). We started off looking at the big guys...

The Washington Monument, which is currently closed because of the earthquake they had in August. You can see the monument from all over in DC and at night it is lit up.

 Andy and I both agreed the World War II Memorial was our favorite. It is extremely peaceful and leaves you with a very strong feeling of reverence. 

 This is the pond in the memorial with the Lincoln Memorial in the background. They purposely put the WWII Memorial between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. So as you walk this stretch of the mall you honor all of those who fought for the start and preservation of our country.
This is where Andy and I stopped in amazement. Each one of these stars in the memorial (not all are pictured) represent 100 Americans killed in WWII. There are over 4,000 stars. As a teacher I love that they did this. Graphic representations are very powerful with students and people in general. It's a very humbling memorial.

 The steps up to the Lincoln Memorial.
 President Lincoln, himself (well not really). The reflecting pool is currently under construction so we could not get any pictures of that.
 This is the Korean Way Memorial. They have these statues in the grass.
This is the wall for the Korean War Memorial. It is granite with these images lasered into it. It is very cool how they did it.

This is the Vietnam War Memorial. It is very simple, the wall with the names inscribed in it.
 And there were the fall trees. We were in love!

 I thought this leaf was so cool. It was in the process of turning red.
So far we are loving DC! We are excited to see and experience more of it but so far that is what we have seen. DC is amazing because you constantly are surrounded by history. We are so blessed to be here for the next couple of years!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011 at Arlington National Cemetery

Being stationed in Washington D.C. has some amazing perks to it! There is so much happening here and we get to experience it all! Starting right away. This Veteran's Day we had the opportunity to experience the day in a unique and very special way. It started off with the Seabee Memorial. So to give you a little background... Andy is in the CEC (Civil Engineer Corp) of the Navy. When CEC members are deployed they are called Seabees and are apart of a construction battalion.  This memorial honors Seabees who were killed in actions and who serve. There were several retired Seabees there along with the Commanding Officer of the CEC. In fact every head guy of the CEC was there and it was very cool to get to meet some of these men! Here are some pictures of the wreath laying ceremony at the Seabee Memorial.

This is jokingly referred to as the JOPA (Junior Officer Protection Agency). Basically these are other Ensigns and JGs that work in NAVFAC Washington with Andy.

After the Seabee Memorial wreath laying we decided to venture back into Arlington and see the National Wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns with our friends Josh and Kati (Josh graduated from OCS with Andy and is stationed in DC as well). We had no idea what we were going to see but figured it was worth trying out. So we went back and saw that everyone was entering an ampetheatre. So we did too...

This is right outside the Tomb of the Unknowns. And when we sat down we realized what we were not sure of... we were going to see the President! I mean 2 days in DC and already seeing the President! Super cool! The President lays a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns and then comes inside the theatre to give his Veteran"s Day speech. So we did not get to see him lay the wreath but did get to see him give his speech.

The First Lady watching the President give his speech.

It was an awesome day! I wish I could express what the day felt like there. There was such a reverence for the men and women who have fought and paid the greatest sacrifice for our country that they could. It was such an honor to be surrounded by so many people who have served and currently are serving. I don't think we could ever realize what has truly been sacrificed to secure the freedoms that we currently enjoy. I am grateful for anyone who has served in any capacity and especially proud of my amazing husband. He and every other service person serves knowing what it could cost them. Although Veteran's Day is a wonderful day to thank them, we should do so each and everyday!



So... I finally did it! Andy and I are experiencing so many new and exciting things on this amazing journey and want to share it! We have so many people asking how we are doing and what it is like, so I figured this would be an easy and great way for our friends and family to follow our journey! 

God is blessing us so much here in DC! We were able to find a furnished apartment in Alexandria, VA (it is about 10 minutes outside of DC). It is not much but right at our budget and has a short term lease so we can leave in January when we head to California. We are in love with Virginia. They are in the middle of fall and we are amazed at God's beauty! We have started looking around this area for when we come back here in May. I have even looked into getting my teaching certifications in Virginia and some school districts. Andy has started work and has been to a couple different bases. He started of at Navy Yard where he got to work with the big guys of the Navy and Marine Corp. He has currently been reassigned to a new base being built in Arlington. He is finally getting into what his job will be like and is enjoying it! I was able to get a holiday help job at the Gap and love it! As you know I love Gap and the 50% employee discount is a dream come true! It gives me something to do here and a chance to earn some extra money. So far I have really enjoyed it! When we both have time off we are exploring some! There is so much to do here! We are glad we will be here for a couple years so we get to experience it all! I will post pictures and some of our adventures on here soon!