Saturday, May 26, 2012

Washington DC our last full day in the nation's capitol - with Daddy

We were lucky and Daddy finished his class and we got one day together as a family in DC.  Daddy wanted to head to Georgetown so we went there first, walked around then we headed to the Mall.  I figured that Dean would like the mall as I had seen two of his FAVORITE stores there when I went earlier in the week with Misty .... Levenger and Paradise Pen!  I'm pretty sure Dean was in Heaven!

Walking in Georgetown with Daddy

Lunch at Wasabi

LOOK where we went and someone got her first American Girl
- Sakura got a Bitty Baby - which she named Yuko after Daddy's
cousin Yuko in Japan.  As you can see, Daddy was one the
who said "get it!" - I walked in knowing it would be hard
to leave empty handed because Sakura loves her babies!
Hanging with Daddy at the mall
Sakura couldn't wait to check Baby Yuko out!
She is HOOKED on Doc McStuffins from Disney Junior
where Doc takes care of her stuffed animals ... Here is
Doc McSakura as we refer to her these days!
On our way to dinner, we stopped at another cool brick
building for a quick picture or a few I should say
of Sakura and Baby Yuko

Yes that would be my daughter, hiding from the camera!

Back at the room and another check-up for Baby Yuko

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Washington DC Day 6

Today Sakura and I ventured out and about on our own - I was a little nervous after getting lost the last time we used the Metro alone .... but I also didn't want to be stuck in a hotel room all day watching Doc McStuffins which is what would have happened (although I do like the show VERY much, I just didn't fly so far to watch it).... so Sakura and I checked out the National Zoo.  We made the long trek to the Metro, figured out how to purchase our ticket with a little help from a friendly guy servicing one of the machines, boarded and everything.  I was quite proud!

Since Washington DC celebrated the Centennial celebration of the gift of the cherry blossom trees, they had LOTS of things with sakura blossoms on them - which thrilled me!  Unfortunately the zoo visit itself was quite short lived, it was HOTTER than hot, and I swear every school from around the globe (maybe not THAT many but close!) was there on school field trips - we did manage to see some animals, zebras and the pandas, but mostly just walked around, ate lunch then headed across the street for some frozen yogurt before making the trek back to the Metro station and "home".

Zoo time with Sakura!
Adorable panda hat with sakura blossoms!
Loved all of the hydrangeas all over
the city.
I spotted this cute bear statue outside the Marriott
Sakura was trying to give him a hug!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Washington DC with Friends Day 5

Well the final day of enjoying Misty and Kumi's company had come .... way too quickly I might add.  I had dreaded this day from the day we arrived, knowing how much I would miss them, and knowing we wouldn't get to visit for a long time.  But it was inevitable, all good things must end.  We were especially thankful for having as much time with them as possible, and definitely look forward to our next meeting.  They are the best friends anyone could ask for, and we are SO lucky that our paths crossed.

Today Misty planned for us to go to the National Arboretum.  Of all of the pictures I took, these are the ones I would have shared every single image of (over 100 I believe) - two little girls running and playing to me was PRICELESS.  I wish I could do a little flip album, but since I can't, here are a few of my favorites.

Sakura and Kumi in the Japanese Garden
Absolutely incredible/beautiful bonsai
Sakura posing in front of a gorgeous Magnolia tree
How incredibly beautiful is this azalea bonsai?
Headed through the walkway to the Chinese gardens
Taking turns over the bridge ....
this went on for quite awhile, they loved this bridge
Beautiful Poppy
Kumi wanted to push Sakura around
Sakura hurrying up the steps
I wanted a picture of Sakura blowing a dandelion,
but she had more fun picking
and delivering them to me :)
Like I said, nothing is better than watching
two little girls play with nothing but grass and dandelions 
Fun times
"Here you go Mommy"
Sakura has this thing
"You can't go on my bridge"
Silly girls
They RAN and RAN!
And ran more!
TRYING to get a posed picture,
although my favorites are
the ones where they're running
through the grass!
Big Hugs between friends
We headed back to the hotel to gather our belongings, have lunch and say Goodbye to our friends.  Like I said, we had a fantastic visit and we look forward to seeing them again!

We got back and our room still wasn't clean .... nice!  So I headed out for a walk to a Japanese store Misty had found on Yelp.  Sakura within seconds was fast asleep, all of the running and walking we did these last three days WORE this girl out, she's not use to doing so much walking and still prefers being transported by stroller.  Guess that those little legs just work twice as hard as the rest of ours.

Yep, fast asleep in Sakura style .... upside down shades!
We did manage to buy a few things when we finally arrived at Ginza - it was quite a walk from our hotel, but Sakura slept the entire way there, shopping, and back!  She was BEAT!  I managed to pick up a few little gifts here, so it was a successful jaunt for us.

Ginza Japanese shop
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Washington DC with friends Day 1, 2, 3 and 4

We got up bright and early to be at the airport at 0500!  Boarded our flight at 7:15 - and after a stop and a change of planes in Denver we landed at Dulles late Saturday afternoon.  We were SO excited to finally be visiting our friends who are so much more than friends, they are our family.  Our adoption journey has brought us the best experiences, the best people, just the absolutely best EVERYthing - we love the Clark family so much and we were beyond excited to finally get some quality time together with them.  We are Blessed beyond measure that Misty and Kumi were able to join me and Sakura for several days on our visit - there will never be enough time no matter how many days we get, we would always want more, but we are SO grateful that they were able to come and spend several days with us. Thank you Clark family - we can't wait until we see you again in a few months!!!

OK I have to brag on my daughter, she was THE best traveler ever - she sat so nice and quiet on the plane that when we landed all of the people around me came up and told me they didn't even know there was a child around! :)  Proud Mommy Moment!!!

We arrived late afternoon, so we didn't get much done, but I would bet Kumi's most memorable experience of our trip took place in the first few minutes .... Sakura is one that tells you she needs to go potty WHEN it's time!  Not a second beforehand.  So driving to our hotel she announced that she needed to go - I let Misty know, and of course we weren't in any place that was convenient so I told her to just pull over and I would take Sakura on the side of the road .... So Misty made a turn into a nice gated housing development I rushed Sakura out and behind the subdivision sign and we were back on the road in a matter of seconds.  Kumi kept telling her Mom that Sakura went potty in the grass!  LOL!  We got to the hotel, and headed out to dinner at a Thai restaurant.  Afterwards we went upstairs, played a few games of hide-and-seek with the girls, then bath and bed.  Auntie Misty had given Sakura a matching pair of pjs ... These girls were too funny (as you'll see in all of my posts, one would want a picture and inevitably the other one wouldn't - then the other would and the first wouldn't, so getting anything fantastic of both of them was quite challenging for me!).

Here Sakura was ready, but Kumi didn't want any part of it.

Day 2 of our trip I don't think I took a single picture, I did take some with my cell phone, but nothing with the SLR - we kind of got our plans all mixed up because of the guys.  Dean was arriving and Shane was coming to the city for work, so we decided to just hang out at the mall, do a little shopping, then meet up with them for dinner, so we could ALL be together, figuring this was our only opportunity.  Our dinner was pretty much a nightmare, and we probably should have done something else, but it didn't matter, we were all together so we made the best of the much longer than an hour wait for our food, mind you we were the ONLY people in the restaraunt - thank goodness my food was good, otherwise UGH!  We topped it off with a nice pink taxi ride back to the hotel.  Thank Goodness for GREAT company!

The best part of dinner was the Company!  We LOVE the Clark family!
Day 3 of our trip we got up early and headed to Baltimore to the National Aquarium, it was REALLY dark inside the aquarium and nearly impossible to get any pictures.

We won't let any old rain get in our way
of having a great time.  I snapped this
with my cell and loved it! The girls
look SO adorable with their
umbrellas, Sakura's 1st experience
with one!
Auntie and the girls
Day 4 we all headed to China Town and lunch at Auntie Misty's favorite Chop't, then we attempted to go to a store in Georgetown but found that it had closed, BUT we walked to Georgetown Cupcakes - which if I haven't mentioned before are THE best cupcakes EVER! They top Sprinkles and every other cupcake I've ever tasted!!!  OMGOSH, words aren't adequate!  Then we aught the Metro and headed to Misty's hotel where the girls and Auntie took a dip in the pool (Mommy forgot her bathing suit).
China Town
With Auntie
UGH - this fan caused melt-down ....
because it didn't "work" (as in stay open)
Excited to get on the Metro
Just after this, Sakura took a tumble
on the escalator, scratching her leg in
three places.
I love all of the porches/brick, etc, in DC
SEE what I mean, Kumi posing SO nicely
and Sakura sticking out her tongue .... silly girls
There's a nice one :) - LOVE the hydrangeas
Um yeah we don't have moss here, or bricks for that matter
BLISS!!!  Georgetown Cupcakes are the BOMB!
Two little monkeys jumping on the bed!
Playing "dragon" with their towel while Auntie gets her suit on
The next few pictures are out of order and I couldn't get them moved so bear with me.

Sakura enjoying her cupcake (she chose)
after dinner
SO nicely taking turns in the pool

Sakura is ready to go swimming!

Auntie with the girlies
After the swim we headed back to our hotel room to catch up with Daddy for dinner .... actually the "reason" for our trip was because he was attending some mandatory LSS training at Ft. Belvoir.

I begged Dean to sit outside and eat since we don't
get to do that at home much, unfortunately seconds after
our food arrived so did a storm and we had to grab
our food and head for shelter!
See I really was there - Mommy and Sakura at dinner
This one is out of order too - seconds after we left Auntie's
hotel room, Sakura was HAPPY that we had the stroller again
and she didn't have to walk ... she fell asleep within a second!