John & Anne Wiley

2011/04/30

New Haven

We’ve found a new haven in CT with fun people. Our train ride from DC back to rise above it all in Tripp, provided some time for me to futz with my broken camera. Turned out it was near-sighted. Anything up to about 25 feet away would focus, but not further. Somehow I figured out that removing a thin brass washer behind the main lens fixed it!

8560 Philly Your Eyes

8560 Philly Your Eyes

So above is my first pic after the “repair” and it looks pretty good at full res, except for the fact it was dark overcast and very smoggy. So one of your eyes over our route is restored, just in time for more aerial adventures. Anne’s camera still works, though it has shortcomings of its own. Anyway, today’s flight took us past NYC on a different route than we’ve flown before. Even in the overcast and thick smog it looked pretty cool.

8576 NYC Afar A-fuzz

8576 NYC Afar A-fuzz

Another cool thing about today’s flight was going directly over JFK, easily the busiest airport we’ve ever done that at.

8583 Tripping Over JFK

8583 Tripping Over JFK

Tripp’s spiffy new “pants” (wheel fairings) looked crisp and easy above the smoggy and crowded airport. The controllers were quite helpful in sparing us a long detour around this major hub on our way up the coast. We’re excited to have the day here tomorrow with dear friends, and then to head back and explore NYC with dear friends. It’s great to be flying again!

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2011/04/29

Constitution

Today we saw many of the papers associated with the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, and most of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library that helped shape much of the thinking behind that famous document. But the title of this post is also about the state of my mind and body. My personal constitution does not seem to be fully up to a perfect union. My feet are blistered, I’m scuffed and scraped and sore all over. Having slept in a different hotel for three nights in a row, and different states many times along our path thus far, my mind is getting fuzzy. We began today’s touring with a Capital Bikeshare ride to the Smithsonian “castle.”

8481 Cool Castle

8481 Cool Castle

The other time we were here, it was closed so we didn’t get to look inside. Even tho it’s an information center with some interactive exhibits for kids, I was curious about the interior design. Though nice it’s not up to the look of the outside, but now I know. And I still love these fanciful brick buildings. 🙂

8488 Brick Fancy

8488 Brick Fancy

Then over to the awesome original Library of Congress building, built under budget and over specification with exceptional artistry added by the artisans who wanted to leave their mark on history.

8517 Two Guys

8517 Two Guys

The two guys are reading by the light of torches symbolizing knowledge, one young learning for career and the other old learning for the pure joy of it. “Adult Ed,” I said to Anne, pointing at the old dude. “Lifelong Learning,” she replied gesturing at the pair.

After an inspiring tour and our own wander, we walked over to the home of the Supremes, and mingled with visitors from around the world, looking at yet more magnificent stone carving and taking photos of each other.

8543 Supreme Court View

8543 Supreme Court View

Then back on the bikes for a glorious ride to the Jefferson Memorial, which unlike this photo was quite sharp and clear.

8554 Fuzzy Jefferson

8554 Fuzzy Jefferson

Our memories of the remains of the day are sharp, as are pix on Anne’s camera, but this is after I dropped mine and found it doesn’t focus distant anymore. We visited the Vietnam Wall after dark, passed the White House one last time, then back to our latest hotel to prepare for a flight (hopefully) to New Haven, CT. Flying and our destination will both do much to restore my constitution. 🙂

2011/04/28

Tol & Tal

Filed under: Happiness,Has Photos,MeriTimes Adventure,People,Random — John @ 04:59

We had a vocabulary discussion about when you use capitOL vs. capitAL. Then we googled it. By now, after tromping all over D.C. and past midnight again with this post, I don’t remember so feel free to correct me. 🙂

8243 First View

8243 First View

We started with a visit to Congresswoman Lois Capps’ office (she’s home in SB right now), then lunch in the Rayburn cafeteria, then a tour including visits to galleries for both the House and Senate. Walked the Mall though everything was closed by then, and paused at the White House to linger in case Helicopter One brought someone back from NYC (maybe they’ve gone to FL for the shuttle launch instead).

8437 White House

8437 White House

It was fun interacting with tourists from around the world, and taking group photos with their cameras for them. Then we walked off to one side where it was quiet for a moment of contemplation and this photo. Since this post started with my first pic of the day, here’s my last.

8444 Golden Angel

8444 Golden Angel

This was taken at dusk as we headed back to the hotel to get our suitcase and take it to tonight’s hotel (3 nights, 3 hotels). Turns out this is a bad week for impromptu hotel reservations, because zillions of people (especially kids) come here during their Spring break. It’s been fun moving to a different part of town each night, but also a bit tiring. So now, good night.  |)

2011/04/27

MD Treatment

We were glad the weather did clear this morning as promised, and we flew right over the Gettysburg civil war battleground.

8166 Gettysburg Battleground

8166 Gettysburg Battleground

Only a few generations ago, brother fought brother over what now is such a peaceful place.

8171 Gettysburg Cemetery

8171 Gettysburg Cemetery

Now many of them are laid out in intricate patterns of stone, locked in creative formations for the ages.

Shaking off a tragic sense of doom we turned toward Martin State, MD. There’s a great and relatively inexpensive (for this area) airport there with lots of cool planes for me to look at while we waited for the train.

8184 MD Warthog

8184 MD Warthog

The MARC train into DC was about an hour ride, and cost $12 one way. For both of us! So after a short hike dragging a suitcase and bag we’re settled into a nice hotel two blocks from the heart of DC and tomorrow we walk. A lot. Looking forward to a fun and fascinating day.

2011/04/26

Crown & Down

Yesterday we drove to Crown, PA to walk the lands of my ancestors, and it was interesting at times imagining them there. In the quiet green behind a church I stood on the graves of many on both sides of my grandfather’s family and found it quite powerful to touch their headstones.

7791 Roots

7791 Roots

I stood on the abandoned railroad that was a lifeline to the village before the highway, gazing back into the distant past.

7733 Train On Time

7733 Train On Time

We remarked driving the area, how good a time of year this is for such an exploration. With leaves off most of the trees it was easy to see old cabins and ruins, and get a sense of this as a once thriving village. It has seen mining, farming, and a wide variety of other activities for the industrious settlers. Now it’s making a minor comeback as a retirement area for people seeking a quiet country life.

So today we go down to DC for an exploration of our nation’s roots…

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