Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring Break 2010!

Spring BREAK

Could not have been MORE fabulous. Just what the doctor ordered. Now, I realize this is not what a doctor would have ordered for someone else, and you might think it's boring, but OH - I needed it more than I think I knew at the time!

Many of my teacher friends went to beautiful and amazing places. Honestly, I was jealous and even spent oodles of time in February looking into trips, but nothing felt right. Skeptical and not very excited about it, I accepted the feeling I had that I should not travel anywhere and do a
STAYCATION. Honestly, I was nervous about this because I am not one to sit around or do things by myself, but I decided to make the most of it. For the two weeks before spring break I started making a list of all the things I wanted to do this week... and I am proud to say I GOT THEM DONE and some other things as well!

Here's a summary:

Spent last Saturday organizing my living spaces and cleaned my entire apartment! Doesn't sound like much fun, but honestly, for me it was so
refreshing! It was my spring cleaning! Air out the apartment, and push winter as far away as possible. And this also allowed me to stay home and wait all day for Comcast (oh - I have serious issues with their customer service, but really like their technicians. I just dread the next time I actually have to call them. SO NOT HELPFUL. But, the Lord gave me a tender mercy and reminded me that miracles really can AND DO happen.)

Monday I actually had to go into school for some certification stuff. Only found out about the requirement last Thursday, but hey - gotta do what you gotta do by June 1st so why not do it now! And, the weather was pretty nasty so I didn't mind really. The lady helping me went above and beyond her call of duty and I was so appreciative! This also allowed me to be at school and get lots of lesson plans done with NO interruptions. So, I felt successful!

A special treat on Monday night was attending a concert at the Temple Square Visitor Center where I had some friends singing/playing music about our Savior. It was fabulous. I love how talented some people are! BUT, then, Evan, Madison and I were SO fortunate to get last-minute tickets to the Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit at the National Geographic Society before it left on Wednesday. I had wanted to go for so long, but tickets immediately sold out. However, the last two weeks, the museum decided to open from 9-12 PM and let more people in to see it! We were fortunate to get tickets fro 9:30 PM on Monday. Here's some info on them

The exhibit was BEYOND cool. I honestly didn't know anything about it, but I am so glad I was able to attend!

Tuesday... Got a ton of errands done as the weather was still pretty nasty. Again, renewed my love for Target. Seriously, I LOVE THAT STORE!.... but oh - had a "senior moment" when I locked my keys inside Juliette's house. DRAMA, but again a "tender mercy" from the Lord came and I didn't have to wait too long before help arrived (everyone with a key was OUT OF TOWN for spring break!!!! except for one person!)

Wednesday/Thursday... weather changed to become INCREDIBLE!

So, I love the fact that Evan and Madison moved a mile away and look forward to getting to know Madison better! And, loved even more that Evan doesn't start work until Monday... so we went to the Great Falls National Park. So pretty. I love the fact that he's wearing his high school windbreaker in this picture and told me that if he ever lost it, there's no amount of money he wouldn't pay to get another one :)

I LOVE Evan!!!
I felt so blessed to me able to spend some one on one time with him
before he starts an incredible, but intense, job next week.
I've always looked up to this kid... literally and figuratively!
He's so patient, understanding and non-judgemental
I LOVE how he always ends our conversations
on the phone or in person with
Never fail... I LOVE that about him!!

This picture is from the rapids. It's incredible the amount of water shooting down this river. Much more than normal. Everywhere on the east has had an incredible amount of rain this season and the snowfall amounts from the winter contributed to it as well.

So, another thing I loved was the chance I had to go to the outlets! Two different ones between Wednesday and Friday. Wednesday's stop was planned on my drive back, but Fridays was a surprise as I realized I was actually passing the Leesburg outlets on my drive to
A co-worker first told me about this place a few weeks ago and since we talked about it, it was #1 on my to-do list this week! I think the combination of history (especially since I had just finished the book "The Help" which is about African-American women in the south, and another book on along similar lines). I didn't know much about John Brown and wanted to know more! I also loved that it wasn't too far a drive and that it had a national park associated with it so I could go hiking/exploring! So, this was a MUST this week. I needed to do something "outside my box", if you know what I mean. (a.k.a... the usual daily stuff)

My drive out there was beautiful! Sometimes I forget what the woods and countryside look like! Also, the above picture doesn't show it too well, but the town of Harper's Ferry is located in West Virginia, but it comes to a triangle point where Maryland, Virgina and West Virginia meet! This picture is from the Maryland side. You can cross a foot bridge from Harper's Ferry to hike up this side. There isn't a foot bridge to the VA side, but there is a bridge a couple of miles down the road and that's the bridge I drove across to get there. You can also see the train tracks in the picture above.

Well, little did I know that Harper's Ferry is also about half-way between Maine and Georgia on the Appalachian Trail! Pretty cool, I thought!
When I arrived there I was drawn right to the Amtrak station! Ha - reminded me so much of the town I grew up in Rhode Island. A small station with fond memories of taking the train from RI to PA.... oh so many times! It had a very cute, historic train dept and I was lucky to have a train arrive just as I was arriving. I hopped out of the car quickly to take a picture of the train conductors and people getting on. This probably sounds crazy I was so fascinated by this, but it brought back so many memories for me and gave me a feeling like I was really in the country. Hey - it's not Union Station in DC!
Off it goes into the tunnel...
The beautiful river surrounding the town on two sides.
Picture of historic Harper's Ferry!
This picture doesn't do it justice on how HILLY it was.
Like straight uphill and down. My quads got a workout!
Here is a picture of the armory (which is a replica). I didn't know anything about John Brown, really, or Harper's Ferry and how essential it had been for early settlers as well as the role it played in the start of the civil war!

I HIGHLY recommend this link if you want the top highlights of what this town has meant for our Founding Fathers and the years since then!
This quote made me stop and think. Save it for another blog post, but Henry David Thoreau said:

"Is it not possible that an individual may be right
and a government wrong?
Are laws to be enforced simply because they were made?
or declared by any number of men, if they are NOT good?"

I am not sure if he was referring to the slavery laws, and our country has come a long way, but I thought this was a great quote to ponder and talk about!
Here's a painting of John Brown. One of my new heroes in standing up for what is right when the majority is against you.... and seeking your life for standing up for what's right. He was murdered in a terrible way, but made me think of the example Joseph Smith set and being willing to die for the truth and what he knew to be RIGHT.
I highly recommend a visit to this town if you're ever in DC area. Not only is the history interesting, the area is beautiful and custard (ice cream) can be found for sale everywhere!

One of the things I like to do when driving through a country town is to drive down some of the side streets, look at the homes, and imagine people living there. Such an unknown world to me. There's no large grocery stores, shopping areas, fitness centers, malls, metro stops, movie theaters, etc! What do these people do with their time??? Where do they work?? Even their school was K-12. Since it was a nice, spring day, I saw many people sitting on their porches, rocking in a chair while watching traffic pass by, or talking with others. No rushing, fast-paced life. In fact, I never saw one of the local people with a BLACKBERRY or techy cell-phone (but saw many visitors with one typing away as they walked around town!!)

I thought of myself living in a town like this and got a little anxious in my stomach because I think it would be VERY hard for me! But, then, I've never had the opportunity to, and YES - it would def. be a complete change from how I know how to "live". However, I don't think these people are miserable or unhappy. Many, if not all, in fact, probably love it! But, it made me grateful for my life and how things are because I am happy!

However, as I was driving out of town I happened to drive past this....
Never saw a grocery store, gas station, or anything...
but YES! They do have a 7/11.
YES - I really could LIVE here if I could have a
Slurpee and BIG GULP every now and then :)

Saturday was the start of General Conference, which is always wonderful! But, an extra special treat was to be able to meet Michelle downtown and walk to the Tidal Basin to see the Cherry Blossoms! History here

So, everyone, along with their mom, dog and three neighbors were there today. It makes sense. Weather was BEAUTIFUL and they are in peak bloom from April 1-4 (seriously, this has been the top news story ALL week!!), but honestly, until you're in the middle of the crowds it's hard to imagine just how many people can be in one place at one time!

Michelle is a friend from Boston, who I have always admired and respected, and now lives in UT. She came here for a weekend trip, and boy, did she pick the right time to come!

A picture of the two of us in the trees.
Paddle Boats and Cherry Blossoms
I remember going on the paddle boats when I was a lot younger with my dad!
We tried to do it as well, but the line was over an hour wait!
Blossoms up close. So pretty!

Just resting... and enjoying the wonderful weather and trees!

As we entered the Tidal Basin area I saw this stump with the plaque. It was over 80 years old, but a victim of the February Blizzard. That's one snowstorm I will NEVER forget!

Tomorrow is General Conference and Easter. Another great day. I am so grateful and truly feel blessed to have had this wonderful week!

1 comment:

michelle said...

Thank you Cara! I was so glad you got to meet up with me and hang out for a bit!