Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Vacations, Visitors, and a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Fall was coming around and that also meant football season was back! BYU's first game happened to be at the University of Phoenix Stadium against Arizona, so a bunch of us Crosbys decided to get together and go to the game. We had some time before the game so we went to Top Golf and had some food and played some golf. Dad, Mark and Kaemon, Chad, Bret and Kingston, Barry, Ryne and I all had a great time swinging some golf clubs around and enjoying the Arizona fall heat. 

Then we headed over to University of Phoenix Stadium to watch the game. We met up with Mitch and some of his family and friends at the game. The final result of the game made for some intense moments, but walking out with a win always feel great. 

In a small yet significant change, Natali's firm moved to their new office. This was her last day in her old office. 

Natali and I decided to take a long weekend and went to Washington D.C. to see the sights. There is so much to see everywhere you turn. I do want to say that when we were planning the trip I saw that a lot of the sites were along the National Mall. On a map, it seems so small and close together. Once you get there, you realize that it is HUGE and if you plan to walk back and forth a bunch during your stay then you are going to get very tired. So, strategic planning is definitely recommended. 

We started our site-seeing at some outdoor statue gardens...

Art out of I-beams and other structural steel? The structural engineer in me was loving it. 

While in DC, BYU was playing Michigan State and they were actually winning so I had my phone up watching while we were looking around. Natali was embarrassed when I would throw out a fist pump in the middle of looking at the sights. 

DC has some beautiful sights all around

It is always interesting to see what kind of art they have at museums of Modern Art. 

We booked a food tour, but it also included some history of the city, focusing in the Georgetown area. The food tour included going to a taco restaurant, a crepe restaurant, a Korean restaurant, and ending in grabbing some dessert at Baked and Wired. The gem of the food tour was definitely the taco restaurant, called Chaia. It is a vegetarian taco place, which may not sound appealing at first, but it was delicious. So delicious that we had to go back the next day and order more food. Definitely one of those unique places we would never try on our own but will definitely go back if we ever go back to DC. The creamy kale and potato taco was just amazing. 

We then headed over to the Newseum to check it out. Our favorite exhibit had to be the collection of Pullitzer Prize photos as well as background info and insights into what went into the pictures. It was amazing to read what the photographers had to do in order to get the picture, and it made the picture even that much more amazing. Other exhibits included the history as well as parts of the Berlin wall and an interactive news room where you become the reporter, 

Next on the list was the Capital Building and the Library of Congress. We had to wait a little in a line to get in, but eventually we made our way in and took a tour of the Capitol Building. Then we headed over to the Library of Congress through one of the underground tunnels. Apparently twice a year, they open the main reading room to the public and it just so happened that we were visiting on one of those days so we went in and took advantage of it being open. Natali even got some reading of her own in. 

Just about everywhere you look in Washington DC there is something interesting to see. 

The Lincoln Memorial is really amazing to see in person. The size and beauty of it is definitely something you need to see to really appreciate. 

Evening came and we met up with Guillaume and his family. We went to the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial and the National World War II Memorial. It was great to see him and get to know his family a little better. Always awesome to see great friends. 

There are so many things to see and do in DC and we couldn't see them all, but one of the things we wanted to see was the Museum of Natural Art. It had everything in it from elephants to the Hope Diamond to dinosaurs. 

We took a stroll over to Arlington area and went to see the US Marine Corps War Memorial and the Arlington Cemetery. It is a very humbling experience to see the iconic memorial, and then head over and see the rows and rows of gravestones of the men and women that gave everything for this country. It is a little overwhelming and definitely a good reminder of how we have all the fredoms and rights that we have. 

And the last stop was a stop at the Museum of American History that had all sorts of random things stored away for us to see. Natali really wanted to see the Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz. They had other things like Apolo Ohno's skates, Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves, and a bronze cast of Abraham Lincoln's face. We had a great time visiting DC and definitely need to come back as there is SO much more to see. 

Back in Dallas we got some visitors when Randi and Shane came out to see us! We had to take Shane to see all the sites that Randi had been talking all about from her visits. So, of course we went to the Stockyards and also to the Texas State Fair to get all the fried food we could handle. At the Stockyards Randi needed to buy a hat, but the only one she could find that fit her had a bottle opener on it. we sure had a lot of fun because of that hat. 

And Royal wanted to tell everyone "Happy Halloween!"