Tuesday, May 13, 2014

One Weekend Like This :)

Two and a half years ago we went to Washington D.C. to see Elbow (link here!) and had the most fantastic time. Since then, my love affair with their music has continued to grow and as they gain popularity I had been worried that I would never get the chance to see them in a small venue again. When they announced that they would be opening their North American tour at the very same club in D.C. on Mother's Day (which is also my birthday weekend:)) I couldn't believe my luck! I have been looking forward to the big weekend for months...
 
Mike booked a gorgeous hotel downtown just a couple of blocks from the White House. As soon as we arrived we took in some brunch and then did some sightseeing in one of my favorite cities on the planet!
 

 
Within 10 minutes we were in the middle of a demonstration for democracy in Egypt - God I love this town!!!
 
 
Nothing quite says "power" like sharp-shooters on the roof...
 

Looks like we got photobombed at the White House...:)

 
Our (double) selfies from the sight-seeing all look like this...

 
And my regular selfies all look like this...

 
...but Mike rolls his own way...

 
And so his all look like this...

 
It was really nice to just spend time enjoying our country's amazing capital city (and each other:))...
 
 
The war memorials are so poignant and moving. The WWII Memorial is one of the newer additions to the city...


 
 
The Korean war memorial is haunting...
 
 
Maddy was having a great time with the girls in Tampa and not missing us at all!

 
There's knowledge on every corner in D.C. We got some 'smarts' at the National Geographic Museum...

 
Some of it was too heavy for me though...


And then it was time for the main event. The 9:30 club is a fantastic venue and Elbow rave about how much they love it throughout the show. With only 1000ish people there we got right to the front again:).


 
Guy was on top form and interacted with the crowd throughout the show making everyone laugh...
 

Grounds For Divorce was as amazing as always...

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The Birds was my favorite though :)
 
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One Day Like This was sooooo beautiful :)
 
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I could hardly bear it when the show and the weekend was over :(. Thank you Michael for one of the most amazing weekends of my entire life. It was the best gift ever. I love you more than you could ever know xxx
 

Monday, May 05, 2014

Tibet Butler and Oakland Nature Preserve

We had a lovely time getting our fill of nature at the weekend. We saw this cute blond raccoon at the Tibet Butler Preserve...
 
 
There has been so much water lately and the whole forest floor looks like it's rusty!
 
 
The animals by the Oakland Nature Preserve were feeding so we were able to get really close this week :)


Beautiful, peaceful nature :)

Early Rock :)

We saw 'chord buddy' (http://.chordbuddy.com) on our favorite family TV show, Shark Tank and decided that it's a sign. We need to start a band :). So we went over to the music store to buy a couple of guitars and a keyboard at the weekend. When we got there, they were filming a movie outside!
 
 
I've never seen a real, live movie set before - that's a lot of people for a scene with just two kids...

 
...and one dog. Evidently "Robo Dog" plays the lead in the new movie...


Basically, they did this about 50 times...

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Good preparation for when we are shooting our first video. We bought our new instruments, crammed them into the car and hurried home to start our new rock career...
 
 
Mike has practiced pretty diligently so far...
 
 
But Maddy gave up after a half an hour of You Tubes and started texting her friends instead. Nice work on the Rock and Roll attitude Maddy!
 
 
Now we just need a band name...

Lacrosse Awards


Here's Maddy with her BFF and coaches getting their awards for their first season playing Lacrosse. We are so proud that they saw it through and Maddy loved it - great job girls!

Not so Tricky...

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Maddy looked especially beautiful at her dance recital (she's on the far left - second one in)...great job Maddy!

Twitchin' Again


I know it sounds nerdy but I have really gotten into bird watching lately. The trees by the house are always full of all kinds of birds and I can lose hours on a weekend just chasing them around  to get a photo or getting a good look to make sure I've properly ID'd them. I just love it - and when I'm twitchin' - I'm not thinking (or worrying) about anything else. It's my therapy :)
 
Meritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is an important US National Wildlife Refuge on the Atlantic coast of Florida about an hour East of Orlando. It is also a 'gateway site' for the Great Florida Birding Trail :). It occupies about 140,000 acres including the location of Kennedy Space Center. Since public access is controlled in various ways, the refuge is part of a very substantial area of relatively undisturbed wildlife habitat.
 
Now that beach season is here, we went over to look around at the weekend. Space X were preparing for a rocket launch the next day so we could see the launch set up in the distance...
 

And the birds were everywhere, including the endangered Florida Scrub Jay (which I saw but didn't manage a decent picture of :()...

 
I also got to see a nudist beach for the first time (which was quite interesting) but we opted for a more conservative spot to set up for the day. Mike gave up with the canopy...

 
And took to the water with surfer girl...

 
While I read a book :)


And took pictures of them fighting in the water!

 
And calling a truce...

 
We saw some interesting wildlife on the driving trail too, including a bobcat who was way too quick for me to get a photo of. This guy moved at more my pace...

 
The scenery is just so pretty...

 
Beach days are back :)