peacetraveler22: (bear)

I once visited a winter market in Vienna, Austria. Everywhere the smell of spice, cinnamon and Christmas! Twinkling lights, romantic strolls through the narrow aisles and warm mulled wine. There are many things Europe does better than America, and Christmas markets is one of them. We have no such traditions in America, although most large cities will have some type of "holiday" market. A few days ago, we took a stroll through the market in Washington, DC. Incredibly boring, yet it has been ranked as one of the top 10 holiday markets in the country by many publications. Let's look inside...Read more... )
peacetraveler22: (bear)

The first snowflakes of the season are falling! My Russian friend arrived from Moscow on Sunday and since then cold, icy and snowy weather. It's great! Today I awoke to notification that my office and the Federal government are closed due to inclement weather. I looked out my window and saw some snowflakes but the roads are completely clear. This is Washington, DC! I'm a good girl and decided to go to the office anyway and captured this scene on the way with my iPhone. Plows on the road, but nothing to scrape. Danger - they might ruin our beautiful asphalt in the process!

The Russian is completely amazed at the closures. In my area, there's immediate panic in any type of snow because it's rare here and people don't know how to drive in such conditions. In order to avoid accidents and road back-ups, the Feds let us stay home. :) People from Minnesota and New England States like Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, where large snowfalls are common, think we are crazy. How did I know work was closed?
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Over the weekend I met some new friends. Big guys with beards and lots of tattoos. American bikers! They're legendary - the subject of films, novels and television shows. Perhaps some of you have seen the classic film Easy Rider or the current television show Sons of Anarchy? As a kid, my dad drove a motorcycle but it was a big Honda Gold Wing he inherited from his father. These guys prefer something louder, faster and more flashy. Hundreds of thousands of them descend upon Washington, DC every Memorial Day weekend to take part in an annual event to honor fallen servicemen and women. Today I'll tell you their story.Read more... )
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This week something is off. I've been in a bad mood, very irritable, nothing is going right. I finally banned the first troll from my page, someone who constantly sent horrible attacks via personal messages. Perhaps I'm still not used to the Russian blogosphere and all of the strange things that sometimes come with it.

Then I went to the airport this afternoon to hop on a plane to one of my favorite cities, Chicago, and the flight was cancelled. There's a common phrase, when life hands you lemons make lemonade. Since I wasn't getting on the plane I took a spur of the moment trip to the Tidal Basin in DC to look at the Cherry Blossom events. And just as I was starting to lose faith in humanity, I met this beautiful young woman. I didn't get her name, only that she was visiting from Thailand and enjoying the very warm temperatures that have suddenly invaded DC (today temperature reached 30C). Maybe the snow is starting to melt in Russia now, but I'm certain it's still very cold. Here's a sneak peek at what's ahead for you - blooming flowers and sunshine!Read more... )
peacetraveler22: (Default)

When I was a kid, I often flew kites in the open fields of historic Civil War battlegrounds in my hometown. Always an immediate thrill when the kite would take flight and start dancing in the sky. Since then I've been fascinated by objects in flight - kites, planes, hot air balloons, etc. Perhaps these childhood adventures were early indicators that I'd one day spend a lot of time in the sky, journeying from place to place, craving constant exploration in the same way a kite longs for the wind.

Over the weekend, DC held its annual kite festival as part of the month long Cherry Blossom Festival. I was pleased to check out this remarkable event, held on the grounds of the Washington Monument.Read more... )
peacetraveler22: (Default)

There's a famous country song "I'm Proud to Be an American" and I live by this sentiment. At every sporting event, I still get teary eyed when the large American flag is raised and some singer belts out the national anthem. In all my travels, I've found nowhere else I'd rather live. Tomorrow Barack Obama will officially be sworn in for his second term but the pomp and circumstance for the public will occur on Monday, the official Inauguration Day. The city is fully decorated, waiting for the mass crowds to arrive.Read more... )
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If you're local to the DC area you undoubtedly took school field trips to the city to view museums and monuments as a child. Every day I drive to DC to work, but I can't say I've really explored the city much since childhood. Honestly when you drive by the White House and National Monument every morning you become immune to their existence, even though people come from all over the world to view these sites. On this beautiful autumn day I decided to walk around, starting here at the Lincoln Memorial. 
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