Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Diagnosis

Well I wanted to get up early and work out.  I was up at 3am and fell back asleep around 5:30am and then got up at 6:50am.  So no workout this morning before the appointment.  Nathan and I left the house at 7:50am and made it to Balboa at 8:20am.  We were in the office at 8:30am for a 9:15am scheduled appointment.  The 8:30am time was the time given to me yesterday for when I should be in the office.

I checked in at the nuclear medicine desk but wasn't taken back for the last gamma probe until around 10am.  I did bring a book to read with me so I wasn't bored.  I was taken later because I didn't have the pill until 10:30am the day before.  After the scans it was a 10 minute wait before Nathan and I went in for the diagnosis consultation.

Nathan and I were taken into a lounge where there were two doctors.  One of them was the doctor whom I spoke with yesterday and the other gentleman didn't have a name tag/badge so I assumed he was a doctor.  The third person in the room was the nurse practitioner from endocrinology.  She told me my diagnosis was Graves' Disease and I do have a hyperactive thyroid.  We quickly went through my medical history, symptoms I have had which wasn't much and some tests.  The nurse practitioner went through the three resolutions to the problem; cut out the thyroid, use radioactive medication to stop/kill the thyroid or a pill.  I immediately inquired if there was another option such as a diet change.  The nurse practitioner quickly answered no and explained that autoimmune disease is not something that can be fixed.  Many people just have it just like there are folks that need glasses.  The assumed doctor in the room with no name tag then stated that this is not something that I did.  I didn't do anything wrong.  I was grateful that he said that because I felt at this point like I have done something wrong.  After the nurse practitioner asks what I would like to do.  I asked Nathan what he thought.  Nathan then asked everyone in the room what they recommended.  The doctor without the name tag recommended the pill.  Nathan and I then agreed to the pill.

We were out of the lounge after saying Thank You to those in the room.   We did get directions to the endocrinologist for the appointment at the end of the month.  From nuclear medicine we headed down to the pharmacy.

It was 11:15am by the time I dropped Nathan off at work.  I headed to the exchange and did some retail therapy.  I wasn't happy about needing to take a pill and the experience from the last two days of testing had me in a grumpy mood.  After shopping for over an hour I headed back to the truck and sent Nathan a text to inquire if he was interested in lunch.  He wasn't hungry but he was ready to leave.

1:45pm by the time we got home!  A long day!

Vein today,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thyroid Uptake and Scan

also called Radioactive Iodine Uptake and Scan.

November 10th I went in for my woman wellness exam.  It had been a little over three years since my last one.  I went in for blood work the week prior to the appointment so that the clinic/hospital would have time to run the tests and send them back to the doctor.  He wanted the tests before my appointment with him.

Blood work for the thyroid is not good.  I should clarify.  The TSH measures the activity of the pituitary glad that produces hormones.  Mine was below .005 which means my pituitary gland isn't producing any hormones.  The T3 measure the activity of the thyroid gland.  The thyroid gland also produces hormones.  My T3 is measuring 1.8xx.  A little higher than it should.  It was explained to me during the scan and uptake today that the pituitary and thyroid glands help each other out to produce a "balance" or proper hormones.  My Thyroid is overactive or producing too much.  The point of the tests today was to see how exactly the thyroid is overacting.  Also the pituitary gland stimulates the thyroid gland.

I thought that this website was helpful in explaining the Thyroid Uptake and Scan, http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=thyroiduptake

When I called to make the appointment I jotted down all the information I was given.  No seafood two weeks prior.  I didn't bother asking for a specific list so I just didn't eat fish for two weeks.  I was going to swallow something a pill or serium.  I would have a scan done.  Then 6 hours later I would have a second scan done.  I would have blood work done before and a urine test.  The appointment was scheduled for 9:15am so I should arrive around 8am if I was having blood work before.  That was that.

Fast forward to Friday December 12th I figured I should call and see what else I needed to do before the appointment.  Was fasting going to be required for blood work?  Did I need to worry about what I wore like for a CT scan.  Etc.  I spoke with a gentleman this time that confirmed no seafood has been consumed.  No fasting was necessary for the blood work.  I was to not eat two hours before the appointment.  I didn't need to worry about what I was wearing.

Skip to December 16th the night before the appointment.  I had my last snack at 7:30pm.  I went to bed at 9pm but could not sleep due to nerves.  Nervous about what these tests might show or not show.  Upset that I may now need to be on a pill for the rest of my life.  Upset for needing to have a test where radioactive material was going to be swallowed.  I finally fell asleep around 1am but was up at 5am to a downpour.

I got up without working out this morning.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday's are my workout mornings.  I was ready and Nathan was out the door with me at 7:30am to try to be at the doctors at 8am.  We were 15 minutes late.  Have to love traffic.  I head to the laboratory for blood tests and urine test.  I am unable to go to the bathroom so I figure I would have the bloodwork down and then go downstairs.  I had blood drawn just to obtain a blowout vein.  Have I mentioned how much I hate needles.  I had a nerve hit once when bloodwork was done and it hurt for the rest of the day and now this.  I am pretty sure I am not going to want blood drawn ever again.

I head to the the scheduled 9:15am appointment to have to wait 45 minutes.  While waiting I get up to talk to the receptionist because I got a call to confirm my appointment for tomorrow morning but I was confused because I had to make an appointment with endocrinology separately and have an appointment for the 29th.  The receptionist told me "you have to be back tomorrow morning for final scan and will meet with a group of doctors."  When I go in for the meeting I need to ask if I still should come in for the 29th or cancel.

I get a call from the lab that they needed the urine sample before I can have what was supposed to be the 9:15am appointment.  They needed the urine for a pregnancy test before said appointment.  I will answer before you ask, no we are not pregnant.  We wait another half hour before I can have said appointment.  I am curious how many times one can be asked "please state your full name, date of birth and why you are here today?"  I swallow a pill and then sit down with the doctor to have a 10 minute consultation.

First I should explain the pill is radioactive and given to you in a test tube.  You are not to touch the pill with your hands.  Just tilt your head back with tube in hand.  Swallow with a glass of water.  The pill is a gelcap like Motrin or Tylenol.  Pill colors, half green and half white.  After swallowing the pill I had a chance to go over family history with a doctor and ask some questions.  I am pretty sure I didn't impress the doctor but he was patient and took my criticism as well as questions.  After that Nathan and I are out.  I do have to remember no water for another hour and no food for another two hours.

Nathan has to head to work.  So after Nathan heads to work I take the truck to fill it up with gas. Point one for good thing today, gas on base $2.50.  I walk about the exchange for a little bit and then sit down in the sun, outside to read a book for a couple of hours.  I go pick Nathan up from work to head back to the doctors.  I can finally eat but since we have to head back to the doctors I opt to not eat but drink and snack on a handful of mixed nuts.  (Side note it is not 6 hours like I was told it is 4.) Nathan waits just a half hour with me and then I go in for scans.

I end up with motion sickness of all things from the position I laid in without my glasses on.  They lay you down on a table with your head slightly slanted back and throat "exposed".  There is a pillow placed under your shoulders to help you obtain the desired position.  The scan itself is a table you lay on.  The top of the scan is something that looks like a street cone inverted with the top of the cone directed or pointed on your throat.  Anyway the technician setup the scan with me in a goofy position and then a ten minute scan proceeded.  I am able to get up and move for a minute. Go back into awkward position for scan setup and then lay there for a five minute scan.  A sample of what the scan looks like is in the image to the left.  I found this on a Google images search.  The link to the website where the link was originally uploaded doesn't work.

Next is the uptake or gamma.  There is no intravenous for this.  Thank goodness because after the blowout vein I wasn't going to do that.  I did ask for a break to get some water.  I was having a hot flash due to the awkward positions. This probe takes an image of the thigh for a minute and then the neck again.  The head must be tilted back for the one minute.  The machine looks like the image on the right.

After this is over we head home.  I walk out of the appointment without putting my sweater on because I was still having a nice hot flash from the motion sickness.  When we get home I jump into bed for an hour.  I did pull the bandage off the arm from this morning.  Image on the left.  Point two for good and husband knowing better who says lets eat, so we go out for a walk for subs.  Point three come home from walk to find a nice gift basket from my Aunt and Uncle in Boston in the mail!  Thank you so much!

I am going to workout before the appointment tomorrow if I am up early enough.  I am hoping it will be a better day.  No blow out vein, no motion sickness, not starving, not dehydrated, no running around and will be able to cancel the appointment after Christmas.  Is it the new year yet? I will let you know if I glow tonight.  My new nickname may be glow girl.  That will be my super power.  Anyway sorry for the rant.  I will come back and update you.  I hope you had a good day.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

It was our first Thanksgiving in San Diego.  It was the warmest here than any place else in the U.S.  It was warmer here than in Florida.  Nathan actually had a 4 day weekend.  It was nice that he was home because he didn't get the 4 day weekend during Veteran's Day.

Thursday morning he had to go into work to turn over SDO.  While he was gone Angel and I went for a walk.  When we got home Nathan went for a run.  We spent the rest of the day at home watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The turkey turned out well and Nathan even admitted he likes the dark meat now.

Prepared turkey

Cooked turkey

Plating turkey

Pulling out the wishbone
On Friday I spent the day Christmas shopping.....online.  Nathan relaxed and played some video games.  We did go out for an evening walk to watch a sunset on the beach and then came back home to watch a Netflix movie.

Nathan and Angel watching the sunset

Friday sunset
Saturday I spent the day catching up on work and Nathan relaxed playing some video games.

Sunday morning we went for a walk on the trails at the Tijuana Estuary.  Then headed to the Exchange and Commissary.  When we got home we enjoyed the quiet before the work week starts.

The start of the week after Thanksgiving is interesting.  There is a flood advisory for the area for Tuesday to Wednesday.  I am hoping that we get some real rain.  We have seen two days of rain.  Those weren't all day rains.  It rained only for an hour on each of those days.  It also wasn't a straight hour of rain.  We will see what happens.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Kansas to San Diego

I wrote about the first half of my stay with my parents in Kansas.  I wanted to post about the rest of my stay and the move to San Diego.


  1. Three words - Steely Dan Concert - The weekend after Katy left, dad, mom, Kevin and myself went to a Steely Dan Concert.  It was pretty cool!!  My first official big concert.  If you didn't know already I am named after a Steely Dan song, Rikki Don't Loose That Number.  That was the fourth song played at the concert.
  2. Celebrated my 35 birthday with my family.  Have you ever heard the Tyner family sing Happy Birthday?!  Well you are missing something special.  I think my parents entire neighborhood community could hear it was my birthday.  It was Awesome!
  3. July 29th Kelli, Kristi and I went out to look at more bridesmaids dresses.  This time we drove to some other smaller bridal shops.
  4. The first full week in August was a big one.  The end of my time in Kansas and preparing for our trip.  I am SOO grateful that my parents and my brother, Kevin, were going to fly out to San Diego with me.  This would be the first time my parents would experience the military move.
On the night of August 8th mom helped me put on half my Transderm-scop patch.  You aren't supposed to cut the patches in half and put them on, however I cut away half of the protected backing and then put the patch on.  I had mom put a bandaid over the patch to make sure it didn't move or fall off at night.  The morning of the 9th I put an earplug in the left ear.  I did some more research and found that sometimes an ear plug helps with motion/travel sickness.

I did do okay on the first flight which was 2.5 hours.  The second 50 minute flight didn't go so well.  I am not sure if that is because the body didn't have time to adjust with the altitude.  As soon as we reach altitude we were coming back down.  I almost threw up after that flight but managed to take some deep breathes once we landed.  Also having Angel in carry-on was a big help in distracting me from the queasiness.  I was worried about her being in the kennel for half a day and needing to get her out to the bathroom.

Viewing places to live....Can I just say how crazy it is here in San Diego.  Homes, apartments and condos go so quickly.  Trying to look at something months in advance and thinking it will still be on the market when you get here is pointless.  I recommend looking a month in advance so you have an idea of what places are like, sq. ft., etc.  Coronado is expensive.  Like $3k+ expensive.  For Nathan and I with two mortgages this just wasn't feasible.  We needed to make sure that we could pay for the mortgage of both homes if we happen to not have tenants at either place.  We are lucky right now in that the rent price the current tenants are paying does cover mortgage.

I looked at places over 5 days.  During this time we were in a hotel not too far from the airport for a week.  We stayed at an Extended Stay America and got a better rate for staying for a week vs. staying days.  That is another thing.  If you have pets and are PCSing to this area the only Navy Lodge that allows pets is the one on Naval Base San Diego.  I called to make a reservation and let them know we were PCSing.  We were put on a wait list.  The day before we flew out they called me to confirm my check-in.  I cancelled the "non-reservation" because I couldn't afford to wait until check-in time to confirm whether or not we would be able to stay.  Because I cancelled the reservation we didn't receive a voucher or reimbursement for the hotel.  I was told when I initially called that if the Navy Lodge didn't have room we would be given a voucher or reimbursement for staying a hotel in town.

Back to looking at places to live.  Over the 5 days I looked at three homes.  One home is part of a duplex but has a garage.  I also looked at two condos.  We had an appointment for a third condo but the realtor didn't show.  While we were outside waiting I called her to find out what I did wrong.  I thought I might have written done the wrong day or time.  She repeatedly told me that she tried to call me but couldn't get a hold of anyone.  I mention that was strange because I have been hearing from other property managers and realtors.  She then reads to me the phone number she wrote down for me.  Yes she wrote it down incorrectly and then she apologized profusely.

We are settled down in San Diego county not in San Diego itself.  Our application was approved for the house that is part of a duplex.  We are paying what I would expect, close to a monthly mortgage for one of our homes.  We use half of Nathan's monthly BAH for rent, and we are able to pay our utilities, monthly groceries and save some of the other half.

The weather here is interesting.  Since I arrived it has been hot.  Like 80 to 100 degrees hot.  There aren't any all day cloudy days.  There hasn't been any rain.  We have had two drizzley early mornings but that water didn't amount to anything nor got the road wet.  I venture out for a walk on the bike trail with Angel first thing in the morning.  Or I guess I should say before 8am.  There is no AC so we run fans often.  I would like to know when the temperature drops to the mid 70's every day?!  This weekend we are in a heat advisory and it is only Wednesday.

I love the smell of the ocean all day!  That will never get old.

A huge Thank You to my parents and Kevin!  They went and looked at every place with me, took me to Nathan's homecoming and they helped us move in.  It has been strange to adjust to not going out with the siblings or having an event to go to.  Much Love <3 p="">

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Goodbye Friend

Saying goodbye is really hard.

I struggled when my grandfather, my papa, passed away from complications due to Esophageal Cancer 3/5/2011.  I wasn't able to make it home to say goodbye or hug him one last time or tell him everything would be okay.  On 8/18/2014 a friend and colleague passed away from Uterine Cancer.  When I learned of Lynn's passing all the same feelings and emotions were back.

On the evening of 8/18/14.  I sent a text message to the MSBA Board of Directors.  I let them know that I still didn't have Internet and that I was cancelling the meeting for tomorrow.  The following morning when I awoke I found a text message and two voice-mail messages waiting.  When I check the messages I received news of Lynn's passing.  I cried.  I have so many questions.

Tuesday the 19th I spent the day on the phone calling the MSBA Board Members just to talk and share our feelings.  We did make each other cry and we were also able to make each other laugh.  It was clear as we talked to each other that we would need to have a meeting just to talk about Lynn.  Talk about her memory and how we would honor her and her spirit.  This meeting would be determined in the near future.

I have volunteered with the organization and these wonderful ladies for the last 6 years.  These ladies aren't just colleagues they are my fellow Veteran and Military Spouse friends.  I don't see these ladies often in person but we do meet virtually and have conference calls.  Yes we talk about "work" or the organization but we also talk about military family issues, family, friends, etc.  We are friends!

I had Internet by the end of the week and was able to set up a meeting day and time with everyone to honor Lynn.  Those that went to Lynn's Celebration of Life service in Virginia shared there experience and feelings.  Those who weren't able to make it also shared our feelings.  We talked about how we would honor Lynn.  At this time we feel that it is best to help promote Uterine Cancer awareness, which is in September.  We will do a social media push during the month.  We will also work on something special for the MSBA website and a write-up on the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act Facebook Page.

I reached out to Lynn's mom and learned that I could write a memory story and submit that for a book that they were going to make.  I spent some time one day sitting down and putting that together.  I did forward it to Mrs. Gray after I had hubby read it.  The following is my story/memory of Lynn Carroll.

Lynn was a larger-than-life military spouse.  The first time I “met” Lynn was through the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA) Coalition.  Lynn, Lanette and I were the lead callers for Surge on Congress during the summer before the bill was passed into law.  Her dedication lead to vital support from the members of the Congressional Military Caucus and the signing of MSRRA into law on Veteran’s Day 2009.

After MSRRA Lynn volunteered alongside me with the Military Spouse Business Association, MSBA.  I saw firsthand Lynn’s strong passion to help fellow military spouse entrepreneurs.  Her paralegal background was valuable to the non-profit.  She worked beside two other MSBA legal volunteers to assist in answering questions from MSBA’s members as well as aiding the organization in its legal obligations.

In January 2012 Lynn picked me up at my house to spend the weekend in DC. We were meeting with fellow MSBA Board of Directors to announce the organization’s partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce Military Spouse Business Alliance while also participating in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Symposium. At the career fair Lynn talked with fellow military spouses about self-employment being a viable alternative to employment.



In February 2012 Lynn and I went into DC to speak at The American Legion’s National Credentialing Summit to discuss Certification and Licensing struggles that Military Spouses face.  We drove to three DC Metro Parking Garages before finding an available parking spot and once we finally arrived in DC, Lynn turned around and used that situation to make us laugh, which in turn helped to calm our nerves before speaking on the panel.  At the end of the day Lynn and I headed home but not without first stopping for a treat to celebrate a hard day’s work.


I didn’t see Lynn again in person but we would talk on the phone, exchange e-mails and worked together in support of military spouse and Veteran Entrepreneurs.  Lynn you were in my life for too short a time and I will miss you!  You will not be forgotten!
Your friend,
Rikki

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Settled In Kansas

A quick catch-up from the last post.

  1. Nathan and I saw as many folks as we could before we left NoVA. This included a farewell lunch with Nathan's coworkers.
  2. We approved the first tenants for the house. They were due to move in on June 1st. They signed a 2 year lease :)
  3. The last of the essentials were packed when the U-Pack cubes arrived, before the holiday weekend, and then they were picked up after the holiday.
  4. We spent two nights on an air mattress which wasn't bad. We left NoVA early in the morning
    to head to Boston. The drive actually wasn't horrible this time.  New York and Connecticut traffic is the worst and it really what makes the drive from the south to the north frustrating.  However, we drove over the George Washington Bridge in New York and then got off 95. It was a nicer ride and we were definitely less stressed. We only spent a couple of days in Boston and then headed for Vermont. We spent the weekend in Vermont before we headed toward Kansas.  We took a mini vacation to spend some family time together before we had to say goodbye to Nathan in Kansas.  The first stop in our trip was Niagara Falls, NY. Yes ladies and gentlemen for the first time we weren't driving straight for 18 or even 24 hours to get to Kansas. This was the first time either of us would see the falls. After driving 8 hours it was really nice to get out of the truck and walk around. Great for Miss Angel too because yes, dogs are allowed on the walking trails around the falls. They are unable to enter any buildings or to take the boat tour but we had a wonderful time just walking the trails. The second stop in our trip was to Indianapolis, IN. We didn't see anything while we were there but it was nice to get off the road before rush hour. That evening Nathan gave me my Birversary (Birthday and Anniversary) gift; a Fitbit Flex, gift card to Olive Card, a collage of photos of our family and a wonderful card.  I might be a little spoiled :) We arrived in Kansas on the third day. Nathan stayed for a couple of days before heading to San Diego, to arrive in California before the end of the weekend.
  5. Angel and I settled into a routine.  We are walking at least every other day.  We walk just my parents neighborhood.  It is a little over two miles which isn't bad.  Angel loves chasing rabbits and squirrels.  I am working out on the days I am not taking Angel for a walk.  My wonderful sister Kandi spoiled me for an important day by doing my make-up for me.  My other wonderful sister Kristi spent the morning with me taking some professional head shots.  I now have some really great photos that I can use when I am networking.  HUGE!!  I would talk about some of the interesting head shots that I have had done but that would be another blog post on its own.  About mid-June I sprained the left ankle.  Walking for a couple of days was hard.  The day after I rolled it I thought I might need to go to the doctor but I talked to nurse Kelli (my sister) and did some research online and was sure it wasn't broken.  The nasty thing is it might take about 4 months to heal completely.
  6. Family time has been important.  The 4th of July weekend was busy but Awesome!  We July 3rd we spent at Kristi's house to also celebrate her fiance's birthday.  Fireworks at their house in the evening.  On the 4th I went to Kelli's so we could head to Chris' relatives for celebration and BBQ there.  Katy came out for a week and we spent lots of family time together.  We went zip lining one day.  That was cool!  We also did a little wedding planning and shopping.  Kristi will be getting married and since all the siblings were together we thought it was best to get a jump start on the planning.  We aren't all together very often.
  7. Everything is going well in Kansas.  Some interesting thunderstorms here!  Nathan is e-mailing every day.  The family is keeping me busy with extra curricular activities and events.  But so far things are good.  I am dealing with this separation much better than our first 6 month deployment.
I will update again when we are settled in California.

Friday, May 09, 2014

2.5 Weeks.....

And then we are out!  Good-bye Virginia, again!  It is time and I am so ready.  Two and a half years in NoVA and I have realized I am not a city girl anymore.  The traffic here is crazy.  By here I mean DC and DC metro area.  Look for yourself: http://time.com/12631/most-gridlocked-cities-2013/.  DC is tenth for the worst traffic/gridlock in the US.  Sad!  The traffic has made me become a bigger hermit than I already am.

This will be our first DITY move.  We have always done a partial DITY but this year we are doing it ourselves.  I have already starting packing.  Things that we don't use regularly or can live without are boxed.  The last two weekends we had yard sales to down size and get rid of things we don't NEED.  That included the tools we bought for use on DIY renovations here in the house.  We hopefully won't be doing any major house repair projects until Nathan's retired from the military.  Oh yeah, that is in 5 years, WOOHOO!!  Anyway we are very happy with what we sold and how much we made.

This week has been hectic with showings of the house.  Yes, it is for rent.  Not planning to sell yet.  Monday thru Wednesday we had 3 to 4 appointments a day.  We didn't have anything yesterday and one drop-in today.  For the last month we have been averaging about 2 knocks on the door a day for those that are inquiring.  That is one of the advantages to living on a major route; lots of opportunities for word of mouth and those passing by.  I would be happy with a signed application for our first tenants before we move.  The house in CA it was 2 months after we moved before the first tenants moved in.

Nathan will be "underway" as soon as he reports in to San Diego.  Because of that my parents are AWESOME and are allowing Angel and I to stay with them for a while.  I wasn't sure I wanted to move to a new location, look for housing and get us moved in all by myself.  I also think I could use a little bit of an emotional and mental break.  5 years renovating 2 homes and I need to find another new normal routine.  I have closed my business, AIOD and I need to figure out what I am going to do with myself for the next 5 years until Nathan retires.  You know that whole, what do I want to be when I grow up?!  Yup, I still don't know.

I have started making plans for my stay with my parents.  I know I need to figure things out but I also want to have some fun and relax.  My sister Kristi has agreed to take some head shots of me.  Something that I can use for work and my volunteering.  My sister Katy will be coming out from Vermont so we can do some sibling visits; shopping, DUH, and some meals together.  My baby sister Kandi is running for Miss Kansas.  I want to learn more about that and see if I can offer any help.  Side Note - if you would like to donate to Kandi's fund to help her pay for fees and services you can do that here: www.fundly.com/miss-kansas-usa-pageant.  I would be appreciative!

That is about it for now.

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day to all the AWESOME Military Spouses and Veteran Spouses out there!  You are some of the strongest and wisest people I have met and you are not Thanked enough, Thank You!  Thank You for being you and for doing what you do!

Also Happy National Nurses Week, Happy Teacher Appreciation Week and Happy Early Mother's Day to all you SUPER MOMS!


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Touring D.C.

We have been in the D.C. Metro area for a little over two years now.  We finally took some time to do some touring.  Nathan took a week off from work and his parents came down from Vermont for Cherry Blossom Festival.

Mother-in-law (MIL) and Father-in-law (FIL) arrived on Thursday April 3rd.  From the airport we headed straight to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.  We walked around for an hour and half before taking a break for lunch.  We departed the Air and Space Museum after watching "Hidden Universe" at the IMAX and touring the Observation Tower.

Friday the 4th we packed a lunch and headed to Downtown D.C.  The hope was that some of the Cherry Blossoms would be out as there are trees here in Prince William County that are already bloomed.  Nathan drove to Hains Point in East Potomac Park and parked the truck.  Here is where we would start our walk for the day.




As we walked passed some of the Cherry Trees in East Potomac Park I took a picture of the flowers in the Penducle Elongation phase.  You can learn more about the phases of the buds/flowers here.

The first stop was the George Mason Memorial

The Saucer Magnolia trees around the memorial site are close to bloom as well. 

From there we headed to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.  We saw a newly married couple having their photos taken here.  You might be able to see them in the second photo below.

The next stop was Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.  There was a statue of his wife Eleanor, he with his dog Fala, I believe Social Security and Breadline during the Great Depression, and The Fireside Chats.





We then headed to the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial.

Next was the WWII Memorial.  This FAQ provides a wonderful explanation of the Baldacchino sculptures.  They are the first two photos pictures below.  The third photo is a view from the Pacific Baldacchino to the Atlantic.  The last photo explains the second to last photo.


At this point we decided to stop and break for lunch.  We found a nice picnic area near the Constitution Gardens Pond to sit down out of the wind and cold to eat.  We then headed to the Washington Monument however we realized it was still closed for repairs.

We decided to turn around at this point and head back to the truck.  On our way back we stopped at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

It was a really short walk to the Three Soldiers Memorial or Three Servicemen Statue.

Next stop was the Lincoln Memorial.  MIL and FIL at the bottom of the Lincoln Memorial looking towards the Washington Monument, MIL and FIL at the middle of the Memorial entrance and a picture of Nathan taking a picture of the Lincoln Statue.

The last stop the Korean War Veterans Memorial.  I think this is one of my favorite memorials.  It is the details of the faces that I think is what intrigues me.






Saturday the 5th we headed back into D.C. this time parking around Maryland Ave to head to some of the Museums.  The first stop and where most of the day was spent, was at the National Museum of American History.  I only took a couple of photos as there was so much to see.

The second stop was to the Smithsonian Castle.  This was really a stop for lunch at the cafe as we couldn't find information on what was in here other than shops.

Final destination for the day was the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Sunday the 6th we had more of a lazy day.  We went to the movies and saw Noah.  After the movie we headed to Manassas National Battlefield Park where we walked the Henry Hill Loop Trail.  In the evening MIL and FIL took us out to eat at Red Lobster and when we got home we had cake to celebrate Nathan's 38th Birthday a little early.




Monday the 7th MIL and FIL headed back home.