Sunday, September 22, 2013

Anniversary Dinner

My husband and I went to i Ricchi last night to celebrate our one year anniversary.  We had a living social deal for i Ricchi which gave us three course meal for two (2 appetizers, 2 main courses, and 2 deserts) which includes a glass of prosecco and a glass of wine.  My husband had the calamari for his appetizer and I had brochette for my appetizer, both were very good and the prosecco was nice and slightly sweet.   For our main course my husband had the brick roasted chicken and I had the pan roasted sea scallops, both were excellent. The chicken was roasted with skin on and was moist and juicy without being greasy; the sea scallops were perfectly cooked and firm and had a nice meaty taste.  For desert my husband had the chocolate pear tart and I had the raspberry gelato torte (like an ice-cream layer cake); what was extra special the restaurant placed little sugar happy anniversary signs and a candle on each desert (I noted in the reservation though Open Table it was our anniversary).


It was a nice evening and we defiantly would go back to the restaurant. The staff was nice and anticipated our need without being intrusive.  Also between each course they cleaned the crumbs from the table and replaced the burning candle any time it got past two-thirds melted. We went through three candles.   The place also had a nice atmosphere and while small it did not feel tiny or crowded.  

Breakfast at the Zoo

The male panda
My husband and I went to “Breakfast at the Zoo” which is only open to FONZ (Friends of the National Zoo) and Smithsonian Associates members. I happen to be members of both.  The zoo is opened at 8:00 AM for this event for those who purchased tickets to the event, and they also offer special programs and children’s activities along with a very large and nice hot breakfast buffet.

This year I got VIP access tickets which gave us seating in the pavilion (general admission has seating on the lawn and the few tables set up) and access to the VIP buffet and if we had a child with us they would have gotten a gift bag. (I honestly think adults should get gift bags too or at least the person who purchased the tickets.)  The buffet this year had pastries, fresh fruit (I learned I don’t like star fruit), scrambled eggs, French toast, bacon, sausage and a hash browns.  It also included your standard breakfast beverages including mimosas for the adults.  Plus, since this was the VIP buffet they had an omelet station, so you could have fresh omelets.  Overall the breakfast was very good.

The Caracal
They had variety of special keeper talks, animal feeding and animal enrichment events.  My husband didn't want to go see the sea lion release.  Instead we went to see the small-clawed otter enrichment (which was feeding them by hiding food in their yard). The little otters are all named after food except poor Kevin.  The otters ran out into the yard and started looking for their food and doing fun otter antics.  Since the zoo was only open to zoo members at that time we got to enjoy many of the exhibits including the pandas without huge crowds.  We also finally found were the zoo was hiding the caracal which is a cute cat.   

This was a good way to start off our day. We actually drove to the zoo instead of taking the metro, since they were doing major track work. The drive to the zoo wasn't too bad and we found parking easily enough, and it was free since we are FONZ members.  I like breakfast at the zoo it is a fun time, maybe one year we’ll take our niece and nephew they would probably have fun. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon
Yesterday I went to Mount Vernon with my brother and his girlfriend.  It was a beautiful sunny day and they were holding a Colonial Fair on the grounds.  There were several vendors showing traditional handmade crafts and several re-actors roaming the grounds.  We also watched the changing of the guards at George Washington’s tomb, which is done by re-actors.  I got several nice shots of the re-actors, however pictures are not allowed within the mansion.  I shot most of the using an ISO 200 on aperture priority. 

You can see all the photos from the day here

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day at Fort Washington

Living History Live Fire Demonstration
Yesterday my husband and I went to Fort Washington National Park, on the Maryland side of the Potomac River.   The original fort was built in the early 18th century and was part of the overall defense of the area, but was burnt down during the War of 1812.  A new fort was built to protect Washington DC and the east coast after the War of 1812, which is the fort seen today. The fort was used in one form or another from 1872 through its deactivation in 1946 when it was turned over to the National Park system for preservation. This is a very well persevered historical structure and you can see they may upgrades the fort went through during its service life. Plus they do live fire demonstrations once a month in the spring and summer.


Old Drawbridge Wheel

I like this park, and the fort itself provides several unique photo opportunities, one just has to be willing to explore interesting vantage points.  Though some of the structures I would have liked to explore further were fenced off to prevent access.   I got some very nice shots.  I plan on coming back in the fall once the leaves start to change, it should look very pretty. 

Trip to Acadia National Park

Stop along the Park Loop Road ISO 400, Focal Length 20mm, Aperture F8, Shutter 1/400s Last weekend my husband and I went up to Acadia N...