Don Pedro is gone :(

After over a month in the garage, we finally got the car back. Less than 24 hours later we had to say our goodbyes to Don Pedro and set him free with his new owner, Ethan, who was patient enough  to wait for the garage saga to finish.
We are happy to sell it finally, but also sad to set part from our lovely mule.
You served us well, and we will always remember your great service for  us and your strong reliable character.

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Snowed in!

This weekend storm broke all records for December snowfall!

Flights were canceled, the Metro lines were only running underground, and shopping was suspended (on the weekend before Christmas!).

It was snowing all night Friday and all day Saturday, but Sunday (today) is sunny and bright. Too bright!

More snow action on a white-white Sunday

Happy Hanukkah!!!!

We had a busy Hanukkah:

made sufganiyot, got a great Hanukkah Menorah, had a few candle lightings with good friends…

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Karaoke delight

Oren got us all singing in public… We went karaoke-ing at a bar near Dupont.

Well, Oren was… full of energy, as always. The crowd loved his act.

Kristine is just not fair cause she’s a wonderful singer with a beautiful voice – it was embarrassing to go up after her!!

But we did. It was funny, and horrible. Itai can carry a tune, I can’t.

The song we chose was super appropriate – Girl/Boys by Blur (“girls who like boys, who like boys, who like girls, to be girls, like they’re boys – always should be someone you really loooooove” – it was a GAY bar!)

First Snow!

One day, it just started snowing!
It didn’t accumulate, but it was pretty…
The next day we walked around Georgetown; it was a sunny day but soooooo cold.

Georgetown is so beautiful with the Christmas decorations and a huge tree.
Kristine also has a big (real!) tree in her house – so beautiful.

At the Kennedy Center they had the annual Merry TubaChristmas performance. It was the 36th year in which lots and lots of tuba players filled the Millennium Stage and part of the floor as well, and lots and lots of people filled the rest of the place completely – people were sitting and standing everywhere!
The tubas played traditional Christmas songs and everyone sang along.
The acoustics were horrible and we were way in back… and we don’t know the songs either, so we sufficed with a few minutes of enjoying the crowd and the good vibes.

Shadows (in some memorial I forgot the name of it – they all look the same)

“Somethin’ tells me it’s all happening at the zoo”

Rock Creek Park goes from right near our apartment, all the way to the back entrance of the zoo.

The zoo is part of the Smithsonian, so it’s free.

Surprisingly, even though the sun was out and shining, most animals preferred to stay inside. Still, it was a fun visit and the ride through Rock Creek Park was an added bonus.

Oh, and that same morning we looked outside our window and saw two people dangling from our building! We forgot that it was “window cleaning day at the Bader”!

Everyone is asked to close all windows, and these guys are cleaning them from the outside.

Another sunny Sunday – Great Falls, MD style

Still sunny!

Since our vehicle pass to Great Falls was good for three days, we decided to enjoy another sunny day outside, this time checking out the Falls from the Maryland side. Kristine had just returned from her Thanksgiving family gathering, so we brought here along to enjoy some sun.

On the way we passed Glen Echo, and since Mary-Jeanne and Nick told us about it and it was right on our way, we stopped there.

Glen Echo Park was turned into an amusement park in the beginning of the 20th century. The only ride still operating (summers only) is the famous carousel from 1921, which features “8 horses, 2 chariots, 4 rabbits, 4 ostriches, a lion, a tiger, a giraffe, and a prancing deer” (we didn’t count – it says so in Wikipedia).

From Glen Echo we continued to Great Falls. The Maryland side is actually nicer than the Virginia side, we thought.

On the Maryland side we walked near the C&O Canal (Chesapeake and Ohio Canal) – this is the Canal built to avoid the Falls, which were an impediment to river use, and it goes all the way to Georgetown inside DC, right near our apartment.

The Canal was empty, surprisingly, but the walk was pleasant and the way to Great Falls was beautiful.

Still sunny – bike ride to Jefferson Memorial

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is on the Tidal Basin of the Potomac river (that’s where the Cherry blossom in the spring!).
Another sunny (cold) day on Thanksgiving weekend – we had to spend it outside..

Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father and the third president of the US.
Jefferson was the primary author of the American Declaration of Independence. It was signed by 56 delegates, and the first to sign was the President of Congress, whose signature was large and flamboyant. His name was John Hancock, and because of his signature on that document the American say “put your John Hancock here” (meaning, sign your name).

No pictures Thanksgiving and Great Falls excursion

We celebrated our first Thanksgiving with Mary-Jeanne and Nick and their family.

We had a great time and delicious food, but with all the excitement, forgot to take any pictures!!

So I’ll try to give you some idea of what went on at the Frederick farm:

mashed sweet potatoes, mashed pumpkins, apples stuffing, cranberry jello, corn bread, cranberry something, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, cranberry pie, apple crisp, coffee, tea, three fun-loving kids, good friends, and one great big turkey that used to go “goble-goble”. IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!

We couldn’t have asked for better hosts, and we were, as always, warmly welcomed.

The weather was cold for a  few days and wet, but the morning after Thanksgiving (known as Black Friday – big hectic shopping) I woke up and it was sunny.

We agreed that a sunny cold day like this must be exhausted, so we drove to Great Falls, on the Virginia side.

So it was sunny when we woke up, but started raining when we just got out of the building. By the time we reached the car, it was raining hard and then hailing. After driving for a while, on the George Washington Memorial Parkway the sun came out, but when we neared the park it was raining again and by the time we parked the rain was strong. We waited it out for a few minutes and got out when it stopped. When we finally reached the lookout on the falls, the sun was shining again. Typical weather for this season…

Great Falls are on the Potomac River, about 15 km from DC. According to Wikipedia, they are the steepest and most spectacular fall line on the East Coast of the US, with waters falling a total of 23 meters in elevation over a distance of less than 1.6 km.