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September 2018

Washington, DC 2019 Trip

A few weeks ago I got an email letting me know that I had a free night at a Kimpton Hotel offer that was soon to expire. Since our anniversary was approaching we decided to book a room in Washington, DC.

Yesterday we hopped on a train and ended up in Union Station:

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We took a selfie in front of the Capitol (and didn't run into any senators!).

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And then we took a stroll through the Botanical Gardens (which Marisa had been to many times to teach classes but never had the opportunity to actually see!).

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There was a water feature!

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None of the fruit was ready for picking, but you shouldn't pick it anyway!

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Lots of plants!

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And pictures of plants.

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Then we headed to the National Museum of the American Indian (which I had been to 13 years ago!)

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I didn't take a lot of pictures in the museum because it bummed me out. The US Government has been pretty terrible to the American Indians. But he's a statue of George Washington chilling with some American Indians.

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This was in our hotel room. Very dramatic.

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Here's Marisa with a distant (and slightly better well known) relative.

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It would seem to Obama portraits have increased visitorship to the National Portrait gallery threefold.

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William McKinley or a vampire? You decide.

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My brunch was pretty tasty.

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Then we headed to the Air and Space Museum, which was a favorite of mine as a kid. Luckily, it seems have changed very little in 25 years. Ok, that wasn't so lucky as many of the exhibitions were looking a little worse for wear.

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But I was really there to see this original filming model of the Enterprise. We got there a little before 1pm without knowing that they light up the model for 10 minutes at 1pm!

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Here it is sans lights.

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We saw some sculpture.

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And then visited the National Postal Museum, which I didn't have high hopes for. Turns out, it is a pretty good museum.

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And they have a sweet statue of Ben Franklin.

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"Be a man and do it!"

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This was on the ceiling.

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All in all a good time was had by all.

iOS 12

IMG 7844I'm a gadget guy, and I like to live on the edge. Therefore, I installed iOS 12 on my iPhone as soon as it became available (iOS is the software that powers your iPhone).

After reading a few reviews, I was expecting to be impressed. Or at least to notice... something. I do like the grouped notifications... kind of. But that's really the only thing I've noticed (but I did create a a "Memoji" because of course I did).

I will say that iOS 12 makes me glad that I don't have to spend my time writing about iOS 12.

Now even more Irish!

DNA Origins

I spat in a tube awhile back and sent my saliva to the Mormons so they could analyze it (a.k.a. I signed up for's DNA service).

My results came back, and I wasn't too surprised. I was mostly Irish (78%) with a little Eastern Europe (18%) and a tiny bit of Scandinavian (2%).

I got an email from Ancestry that told me my DNA results had been updated, since they were able to match my DNA against more samples. I was excited to see what the results might be!

As you can see, it turns out I'm even less interesting than I thought. I'm now 84% from Ireland and Scotland (mostly Ulster) and 16% Englad/Wales/Northwestern Europe.

I'm no longer a Viking. Sigh.

Now I want to walk to the PHL Airport

I don't drive, which is a difficult idea for some people to comprehend.

Generally, it works out fine. I live in a city with pretty good public transportation, I like to walk a lot, and I'm married to someone who does drive (though I very rarely ask her to drive me somewhere since I made a choice not to get a license I feel like I can't expect her to chauffeur me around! Plus there are many ways to get places so it isn't too much of a problem. At least that's my side of the story!).

The only times in my life that I've been even slightly annoyed by my lack of the ability to legally operate a motor vehicle is when I am traveling. Specifically when I'm trying to leave, or go to, an airport outside of Philly.

In Philly it is super easy for me to get to the airport and I even have several options. However, one option I've never considered was walking.

That is until I read this post in which Ian describes his various successful, and not so successful, walks from airports to downtown locations.

I feel inspired!

It also reminded me of our recent trip to Ireland.


We started in Dublin and ended up in Dublin, but I knew for that last night we didn't want to stay too far from the airport since we had an earlish flight. I booked us a room at the Maldron Hotel which claims to be the closest hotel to the Dublin airport. A claim which I assumed was true, but I didn't realize exactly how close it was.

Once we parked our rental car (which we had planned to return in the morning) and checked it we realized it was a 5 minute walk to the airport. We decided to return the car a night early and then just walk back to the hotel and walk to the airport in the morning.

It was honestly such a great decision. Not only did we get a little exercise, but it was so stress free returning the car without the pressure of our flight time hanging over us.

What I'm saying here is simple: walk to the airport.