Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lake Placid with Jenny and Jerry

(Many photos are courtesy of Jerry and Jenny Beard - thank you!)

John's parents flew up from Texas for the weekend and even though it was the "deep freeze" kind of cold in the northeast, we decided to stick with our plans of going yet further north for some fun and sightseeing.

A brief detour through the town of Lake George to check out the ice fishing scene:

Spectacular glimpses of ice walls and ice climbers on the way to Lake Placid:

Whiteface Mountain and a cross-country skier braving the cold in the foreground:

We started our own "braving the cold" adventure at the ski jump site.  Lucky for us, the US aerials team was in the middle of practice when we arrived.  Jerry caught a couple of awesome photos of these amazing athletes - woo hoo!

No jumping into the pool this time - only the real thing in January:

We were happy to have sunshine and blue skies as we made our way to the chair lift and elevator to take a tour:

Nowhere near as cold as some winter rides up ski mountains:

Yep, still insane:

Go Jenny!

Great views from the top:

We had time for a look around the John Brown Farm where the man himself is buried:

Then it was time for an appointment with the bobsled crew over at the Olympic Sports Complex!  Go Jerry and John!

The van to head up the hill:

The ride down the hill (along with a driver and a brakeman):

Jenny and I watched on the TV screen from inside and tried to take pictures.  Here you can barely see the guys getting ready on the upper right of the screen:

Once the ride started my camera couldn't keep up with the sled zooming by each camera and I got a bunch of shots of empty track - but Jerry and John can tell you, they were definitely there!  2 G's around the big turn  :)

Congratulations on your successful run!  Awesome.

To celebrate, we went for Mexican food for dinner.  It was in the same place as the Chinese/Japanese restaurant (although you have to pick one menu or the other for the whole table).  Not your typical Mexican food, rather more Asian-inspired, but surprisingly good:

The next morning we hung around downtown for a little while:

We could watch the happenings on Mirror Lake from inside a hotel lobby.  We spotted a fast dogsled team across the way:

Also a bunch of rinks where folks were playing Can-Am hockey:

Jerry and I decided we would really enjoy a dogsled ride ourselves, and since I believe neither of us has plans to live somewhere where we could do this anytime we like, we jumped at the chance.


Happy mushers:

Time to make our way over to the ice rinks and Olympics museum.  First we saw the rink from the 1932 Lake Placid Olympics:

Not many seats back then, but a nice rink:

Then the coolest part - the rink where the 1980 Miracle on Ice game was played.  Yes, right here.  Wow.

There are events going on all the time here, including many hockey games last weekend:

On to the Olympics museum - small but full of interesting things to see, especially for Olympics buffs.

I'm quite sure no one is talking about taking her gun away:

Torches from previous relays:

They were replaying the US vs. USSR hockey game, so we watched the 2nd half and it was as exciting as every time I see it.  Not as exciting, I'm sure, as the live broadcast that Jerry remembers watching!

Bobblehead Bobsledders  :)

Outside we saw the speedskating oval used both in 1932 and 1980, and I couldn't pass up an opportunity to get on the ice myself.  View from the ice:

Trying to remember how to ice skate:

Jenny looks fast:

Too cool (and only slightly cold):

Look out John, Jenny's gaining on you:

Sculpture in honor of Sonja Henie:

A fun stop at an antiques store:

Jenny had noticed these "snow rollers" on our drive up, and we happened to see a news report about them on TV Saturday night.  We managed to spot them once again on the way home and determined they were worthy of a photo stop.  I had never seen them before - apparently created from a special combination of wind and a particular type of snow:

And once again, John assists with a humorous shot to end on.  We ran into Richard Simmons Saturday evening...

Thank you all for a fabulous weekend!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Inauguration in DC

The long "jaw ordeal" is finally getting to be less of an ordeal.  I'm eating just about anything I try, with only the hardest foods remaining as a challenge (raw carrots, e.g.).  Happy mouth!  My body and brain did so well in trying to ignore food and cravings for a couple months.  I appreciated that.  Now that things are mostly back to normal, I'm in such a better mood  :)  Sushi, pizza, pears, eggs, pasta, sandwiches, popcorn.  Yep, very happy.

Soon it will be just a couple dental details (doctor's appointment upcoming to confirm).  And this subject will hopefully disappear from my blog updates.

In the meantime, we took a mini-vacation to celebrate with friends!  Kathy and Bob invited us to DC to experience our 2nd Obama inauguration in 4 years.  This time we would hang out somewhere warm instead of freezing our tushies on the Mall.  We got tickets to the event at the Newseum, which was great for watching and exploring the museum itself.

More on that in a minute.... first we had a whole weekend with Kathy and Bob to explore and enjoy ourselves.

We started in downtown DC, and on the way to the Renwick Gallery we happened upon the presidential viewing booth for Monday's parade:

Another fun detour to get a glimpse of the White House:

Kathy and Bob introduced us to an interesting book store that is packed to the max with used books, all the way to the windows and in every space they could fit them.  Crazy.

Next stop = Library of Congress, beautiful:

And a quick photo shoot at the back of the Capitol:

Love this shot (thanks Bob!):

We finished the day wandering through a couple memorials, including the new one for MLK - impressive:

I really like FDR's memorial too.  It's a quiet walk-through with waterfalls and quotes and displays.  The man himself near the entrance:

On Sunday we went for a nice run down the Capital Crescent Trail from Bethesda to Georgetown.  A bit of lunch, then across the river to see the Iwo Jima memorial:

We spent the afternoon walking around Arlington Cemetery:

This hawk greeted us near the entrance and followed us partway up the hill - Hi!

JFK's Eternal Flame:

Up on top of the hill we toured Lee's house, with views of DC across the way.  What a beautiful day, and not too cold for wandering around outside.

Tall Bob:

We saw a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:

On the way home we walked over to Roosevelt Island to say hello to Teddy, who is "this tall!"

Monday - Inauguration Day!

While in line for the Newseum, we were standing next to the Canadian Embassy when they rolled out the NASA lunar rover called Artemis Jr.:

Hanging out with friends:

The big screen inside the huge atrium of the Newseum:

View of the Capitol:

It's good to be green:

My favorite room - the display about fake news, including Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart:

Including the sword that Viggo (aka Aragorn) gave to Stephen as a "sign" that he should run for president.  As a fan of both the LotR and Mr. Colbert, this is pretty dang special:

One of several auditoriums where they were showing the live feed of the inauguration ceremony:

People watching the big screen from different floors:

I enjoyed listening to the happenings while watching the crowd over at the Capitol (binoculars would have been helpful!):

We discovered the ABC studio where Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos, and Cokie Roberts (along with 2 other people we couldn't figure out) were reporting live:

Another view of the various levels of the Newseum:

Looking at our building as the presidential motorcade goes by at the start of the parade.  This is from a camera on a building across the street, displayed on a monitor inside the Newseum, captured by my camera and now showing on my blog...  imagine Kathy and Bob watching the parade from just inside the windows on the lower left:

Another place to watch the parade:

Biden on the big screen:

Marine marching band, impressive:

In the Newseum bathrooms there are unintentionally funny quotes from various newspaper headlines.  I leave you with this one that John took for us:

Huge thanks to Kathy and Bob for an excellent vacation and another exciting experience!