Wordless Weekend

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Wonderful Weekend

What a wonderful weekend! Hard to believe it’s already OCTOBER 5th!! Where does the time fly?

Saturday consisted of getting up early and heading to our friends’ house for brunch. But before brunch, the guys did a workout in the basement and the wives (and baby) went for a 2+mile stroll through the Central West End. It was a chilly morning (in the 40’s) and quite breezy. Fall was certainly in the air!

After we got back from our walk, our friends made us brunch. The meal consisted of sausage patties, scrambled eggs with bell peppers and brie, and pancakes.  The pancakes were a specialty… macadamia nut, chocolate chip, coconut, banana bliss. Topped with some boysenberry syrup from Colorado (that was our contribution) and it was a scrumptious delight!!


Gregg needed to go to the library for a few hours to work on a paper. While he studied I went to Lululemon (of course I bought a few things) and then headed home for a nap. Almost a two hour nap in fact. It was so cold in the house, it made for superb napping weather. But once I realized that I was too cold… (60 degrees in the house!) so I had to turn on the heat to take the edge off. October 4th and I turned on the HEAT!  ACK! (turned it off on Sunday…thankfully)

Dinner plans were made to meet up with Kristi & Brian for pizza. Pizza, Beer, Fro-Yo.  Pretty great date night!

So all in all, my day consisted of friends & food  + rest & relaxation!

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We went to bed relatively early on Saturday night so that sleeping in on Sunday only lasted until 7:15ish. Gregg had more school work to do so my day consisted of running errands and doing all the food prep for the week.  Sprinkled in, mid-day, was another Aerial Yoga class. 

I am totally hooked on Aerial Yoga. I find it fun. and Challenging. And my hips, quads, hamstrings, knees…. ooooh, they love me when I walk outta there!  (This is from a visit a few weeks ago… no pics of me today)

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Gregg tried Aerial Yoga today too! He was a great sport and did really well.  Although, he had a hard time finding center of gravity while hanging upside down….but he is already looking forward to going back!

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Tomorrow, I return to Physical Therapy for some patellar tracking issues. As it turns out, when I recovered from the ACL reconstruction… and was released from PT…. I neglected to continue to work all the little supporting muscles around my knee cap.  Now it tends to lock in place and/or wander around and is wrecking havoc on my knee. My initial eval was last Wednesday. During which she also taped my kneecap in place. I’ve been wearing the tape ever since then… I was told I’d get new tape at my next visit.  This is gonna be nasty.


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Dynamic Duo CrossFit Competition

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged.  The month of September is almost done and I’m not entirely sure where it went!  More or less, it looked like this: For two weeks Gregg was in California in school. Then I got to spend a long weekend (five days!) in Colorado with my family. The next two weeks were ridiculously busy with work things.

In the midst of all this I had the opportunity to participate in my second CrossFit competition. It was called the Dynamic Duo. Teams of one male, one female. Originally I did not sign up (with all the travel and such I didn’t feel like I’d be prepped and ready). But a few weeks prior, a friend of mine at the box asked me if I’d join him on his scaled team. His partner was unable to compete. They already registered and paid. So the spot was there for the taking.

I thought about it for a few days… swallowed my nerves… and said yes.

I was nervous that I had not been “training” for it. But realized that it was scaled team. And more than anything, I just wanted to get some more competition experience under my belt.  My first competition was at my own box. Not that it doesn’t count…but there’s something to be said for going to an unfamiliar location and trusting people you don’t know to put together good WODs.

Side note: While in Colorado I did visit a local box Crossfit Salvo. This was my first drop-in to a box. They had a great facility, very friendly, and a good WOD. Going outside my comfort zone might have been my biggest accomplishment that day.

Okay, back to the competition…. 

The site was about an hour from my house and registration started at 7am. WOD #1 heat started at 8am.  We were in the first heat!

It was an early Saturday morning getting up. I was nervous and couldn’t sleep or eat. (aka: not great for physical performance!) We got to the complex a little after 7 and registered. The facility told us we weren’t allowed to bring in outside food or drink.  But all the competitors and spectators pretty much ignored that rule and carried in their coolers and lunch boxes. 

I had a lunch box with a bunch of random things in it. Frozen Grapes, Bananas, Almonds, Clementines, Lunch Meat, Clif Bar, LaraBar. This was WAY more food than I needed, but i wanted to have options. (not for next time, bring more protein)

WOD #1 was posted one-week prior to the competition, so many people practiced and prepped. WOD #2 and #3 were announced immediately prior to the first heat (although most of the competitors heard rumors of what they would be a few hours before). I mentioned I was traveling and swamped at work, therefore unable to practice for WOD #1…. I was going in cold. (Not literally, there was a very nice warm-up area…. But rather I had no strategy for my lifts and didn’t know what I should hit)

WOD #1 – 8AM : Six minutes to find your 1 RM Bear Complex. There was a mens and a women’s bar. One set of weights. and only one competitor could be on the platform at a time. 

My partner Steve knew from the week prior what he should lift.  So he went first.  When it was my turn I lifted 105# easy.

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Steve lifts again and hits it. My turn again (I thought I’d only get two attempts — so I made a big jump. Turns out, 6 minutes went a lot slower and we had more time).  I lifted 125#. …. I combined the clean and front squat into an easy squat clean. Push Jerk. Back Squat. … It all felt great.  As I went to jerk it off my back, my right elbow didn’t lock out (by maybe 2 inches?!). I brought it back down to my back.  That was strange, my right arm is my dominant arm. I took a deep breath and attempted the jerk again.  No lock out.  Back to the back.  Then I realized.. in my rush, I didn’t put the collars on the bar. My weights were floating around, creating a much less stable lifting environment. Third jerk attempt.  Failed.  As I stood there resting it on my back, I heard my coach Neil say, “Drop it.  Rest a minute”.  He’s always the voice of logic and reason and I knew I needed to walk away from the bar. 

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Dropping the bar means you have to go thru all the movements again. While Steve lifted, I grabbed the collars and put them on my bar. I left the weight at 125#. But now, the weight was in my head.  My squat clean was wobbly. I rushed the back squat. And failed the back jerk.  Out of major frustration (and embarrassment) I dropped the bar. This allowed Steve to make one more lift.

I walked away from WOD #1 — angry, frustrated, embarrassed, disappointed, pissed.

Not a great way to start the day.’

Lessons learned: Find the chalk bucket. Use the collars. Practice before the comp!!

But after 30 minutes or so, I realized that WOD #1 was done and there was nothing I could do about it. So I spent the next 1.5 hrs cheering on my other box-mates as they competed in the Rx field.


WOD #2 – 10AM: 11Min Cap.  Buy-In 800m burdened run (14# WB). Each partner takes turns running 200m. Then it’s an AMRAP for 25 WB sit ups over box. and 25 box over burpees.  20″ box. Scaled allowed to jump or step up.

Steve is a faster runner than me, so I started the run. Most of the other teams had the guys run first.  I got passed by quite a few guys on that first lap. Steve ran his with the girls and made up time for sure. I wasn’t ready to run again, but I did. Then Steve.  We completed the run/buy-in in 1:43.  We worked one-for-one through the sit ups and burpees and got 193 reps.  (Just shy of 4 full rounds).

Being in the first heat, you have no idea if that’s good, great, or bad.  But we were pleased. We had fun and we pushed it. 

The sit ups were super easy for me. Steve loves burpees. So it was a good combo. It was also during the burpees as Steve was being happy and excited that I realized I needed to change my attitude. Rather than cursing burpees while doing them… once I ‘turned my frown upside down’ they were much less painful.

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WOD #3 – 1AM: 12Min Cap.  21-15-9 Front Squat, Hand Release Push Up. Partner #1 completes, 21 front squats. Partner #2 completes 21 FS. Partner #1 completes HRPU. Partner #1 completes 21 HRPU. Etc. Then with remaining time, complete Double Grace (aka: 60 Clean & Jerks.) split reps however you want.  Weight: Men 115, Women 75.

When I heard this WOD, I didn’t think we would complete it in the 12min time cap. We ended up finishing in 11:08!!! I was ecstatic. Turns out some other scaled teams completed this much faster. Although I question the virtuosity of some of the reps.

The Rx teams not only had a heavier weight, they had to do Handstand Push Ups.  Most Rx teams did not complete the WOD.

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All in all, my partner and I ended up in 26th place out of 66 scaled teams.   (21st on WOD 1, 11th on WOD 2, and 19th on WOD 3)

If I had I made my 125# Bear Complex we would have ended in 17th on WOD 1…. and while that is good to know. It’s more important for me to know that I had fun. The day was long (got home around 5pm).  I’ll need to seriously consider if I want to do the next competion (weighing my priorities) but right now… I’m glad that I did the Dynamic Duo.

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The day after (Sunday) I rested. I didn’t stretch or mobilize. Then on Monday and Tuesday I was back int eh box. I fear that was a mistake because my knee  – on Tuesday – started hurting and swelling up. Swelling is SLOWLY going down. I went to 314 on Friday, I moved very slowly. Knee is still a tad swollen this Saturday morning, but not as bad. So today, I’m stretching and taking care of my knee. Fingers crossed it’s just inflamed and I didn’t do any serious re-damage.

September Improvement Project

Lately, I have found my headspace being overwhelmed and crowded with negative thoughts. I feel like I am constantly chasing an insurmountable list of items… Half-assing everything I do, just to get it done.

This is not the first time I’ve been in this mental trap. And I’m sure you have been there too (although I hope not).

The best way to break this cycle is to be fully aware of it and make the conscientious decision to break the habit.

Continue reading

Tales of the Amazing Human Body

Hi there! I’ve missed you… I’ve missed blogging…. so many things (bad, good, and great!) over the last several weeks. 

(Bad – I have only got 1 more muscle up. Great – I got accepted to a professional development program by my employer)


I’m not entirely sure where the entire month of June went… other than lots of work, pool time, and puppy snuggles.

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Tonight, I am feeling sentimental … so I wanted to write about it. Of course, it’s about a workout..

The prescribed WOD was a two-parter.  The first part was CrossFit Endurance.  1 Mile for Time.  All day I stressed about this workout. Running has never been my forte – especially since my knee surgery.  I wanted to cherry-pick the WOD (aka: skip!) but I didn’t. I figured it was time to face my fear.

I will just jump right to it, because as it turns out, I set a 1 mile PR tonight!  I ran it in 8:30.

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Prior 1 mile would be 9 mins + some change.  

I know I’ve never been a fast runner.  And 8:30 is not “impressively fast” and it is far from the “gold standard” of 7-min mile set by my CF Coaches.  But it was a spectacular feeling for me tonight.

Realizing that 1-year ago, I literally cried in Physical Therapy as I did toe raises (i.e.: stand flat footed – raise to toes – and lower). My stitches had only been out for 3 days and I was still taking pain meds every six hours. 


Flashback Photo:

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What felt like torture at the time … and felt like I would never be “me” again…. time passed. Eventually (about 6 months ago), I got a full medical release.  I put in a lot of hard work. And I can’t wait to see where the next year takes me!



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Memorial Day 2014

Today is Memorial Day.


A day to observe and remember those who have lost their lives serving our country and protecting our freedoms that we hold dear.


We also honor and remember their families and loved ones


Many CrossFitters around the nation observe this holiday by performing a particularly challenging workout in memory of Lieutenant Michael Murphy who died in June 2005 in Afghanistan.  


If you want to know more about Lt. Murphy, I would recommend you check out his Wikipedia page here.

The WOD first appeared on the CrossFit main site in August 2005. And it goes something like this:


For time: 
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you’ve got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.


There were about 60 athletes at CrossFit 314 today. We all wanted to complete the WOD – so there were a few logistics to figure out. I ended up sharing the rig with my friend Nikki (who is incredibly strong and fast). We broke our rep scheme like this:

For 1-10 Rounds 
5 Pull-ups

25 Squats
5 Push-ups

For 11-20 Rounds 
5 Pull-ups

5 Squats
5 Push-ups

This scheme helped to keep your legs “fresh” for the 1 mile run at the end. I don’t know that anything would have helped my legs for that final mile, but it sounded like a good idea.

I used the red band for all my pull ups (fearing I would burn out if i didn’t). And majority of my push ups focused on the negative (strict down and worm up). The pull ups were not bad at all…and push ups were definitely manageable – especially with the squats in between.


The squats on the other hand were tremendously difficult for me. My right leg would dominate and started locking up on me. While my left leg’s quad is still weak and couldn’t keep up very well. Those first 10 rounds of 25 squats felt like they would never end. But the last 10 rounds (5 squats each) seemed to fly by.

Going into the workout, I was most concerned about the runs. This was the first time I had attempted to run more than 800m at one time.

Running the first mile in 9:02… I was pretty stoked! But running/jogging/walking (damned near crawling) the last mile in 17:30…. I was pretty disappointed. But there was no freaking way I was going to quit. As my leg wobbled on me, alternating jog/walk (either 50m or 100m), getting lapped by a few people… who always shouted words of encouragement… I thought about saying I couldn’t run and finishing up with a row. Then I thought about Lt. Murphy…his sacrifice… and countless other men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice. I know that in their last hours they fought through pain and fear. And while I know the scale is nothing comparable… I have proven to myself that I can do more, and be stronger, than I previously thought I could.

That’s what this life is all about. We need to make ourselves better. For ourselves. For each other. We need to fight through pain and suffering to lift up another. We need to silence the internal demons that tell us to lay down and take it easy and see our commitments through to the end.

Overall, this workout took me 61:02. I had hoped to be under an hour…but it wasn’t in the cards today. But now I know I have a time to beat for next year!

I did it!

Hi there! This post is long over due… We’ve been back from Washington DC for a while now and while I’d say I don’t have anything to blog about. I DO!!

Thanks goes out to my friend Liz for the little nudge tonight!

So, you will recall that when I turned 33 years old, I decided set a few goals for myself. In October I set a goal to get a Muscle Up by my 34th birthday. At the time I thought I needed to give myself 12 months to accomplish this goal. Well, as it turns out I actually needed about 6 months to get up the nerve to actually DO something and WORK towards that goal… it was funny how SAYING I wanted a muscle up was easy, but REALLY WANTING the muscle up was hard.

Over the next 6 months I toyed around with the idea in my head. I played with transitions off and on. I watched my friend Stacy accomplish her first (and second!) muscle up. Then, something clicked. I started talking to one of my coaches – who has an affinity for the rings and gymnastics just as much as I do. I realized that I just needed to stop bullshitting myself and try it. 

So, 6 months later, on April 1st I finally decided to put an action plan to accomplishing my goal. My first attempts were actually pretty close. So close, that I thought that I would have it within a week… well, I didn’t.


I had seen my friends injure themselves while chasing their first muscle up; so I decided to be very regimented. I would only give it 3-4 attempts each time. My elbows started hurting… so I’d back off. But the whole time I was thinking about the muscle up. It became damn near all-consuming. I wanted it so badly.

Coaches and fellow CrossFittters would tell me how close I was. Each one of them offering their bit of advice.

Day in… Day out. Weeks past and I started getting frustrated.

But I thought of my friend Stacy… she was closer than I was for months! and she never once gave up. Every day she thought “this could be the day!”.

So, each time I worked on the muscle up I would video tape myself. This had two purposes.  (1) Watch in slo-mo and critique form and (2) capture the awesome moment on film  [Because let’s be honest, if a CrossFitter doesn’t use social media to document their WOD… did they really WOD?!]

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Sunday, May 4th. Open Gym Time. I ended up breaking my cardinal rule of 3 attempts. 

I tried a few pulls and didn’t feel it. I worked on various transition exercises. Attempting to drill the muscle memory into my brain. A few more pulls on the rings and I was just about to give up.  

I had been working on the muscle up for nearly 40 minutes. Today was not the day.

A friend, who was watching me while she lifted and had recently mastered the muscle up herself, came over to me. She said: “Kip bigger.”  While I appreciated the feedback, I thought to myself ” I will never get this. Be done. Walk away for the day.  You’re getting tired & frustrated“.  Well, Megan wasn’t done with her pointers. 

She bent over, picked an abmat off the floor. Walked over to my section of the rig and tossed it on the ground. She said: “Find the ab mat”.


You see, as I was pulling up to the rings, I never went up-over-thru-and faced down. 

I took a deep breath and said “what the hell”.


Setting up my grip on the rings, just like the countless times before… I paused. Looked down at the ab mat and said “Find the ab mat”.

Hang…. Swing….. KIP….. and I FOUND THE AB MAT!!

Suddenly I was no longer below the rings. I was on top of them! In the bottom of the deepest dip of my life! (Just like Jesse said). I pushed out of the dip and once I was fully extended at the top. I could not believe it!!

I didn’t want to come down. Then I almost freaked and didn’t know how to come down….  but i did. And as soon as my feet hit the ground I proclaimed “THE AB MAT!” 

I was so excited that for the remainder of open gym I couldn’t do a damn thing. I was giddy. I was almost shaking I was so happy.  

Since then, I’ve had one more successful muscle up. After getting one, it’s almost more stressful because the bar has been raised. I am confident that if I keep working at it… I will be able to string them together in no time.


So, as it turns out… I didn’t need twelve months.  I just needed:

 – 5 months to think about it

– 1 month to get over my fear of accomplishing something (and proving to myself that I could do it).  

 – and 1 month of hard work

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 
― Marianne WilliamsonA Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Washington, D.C. – day 3 and 3.5

Sunday (day 3) was the most picturesque spring day in DC. It was like a day from the movies, and it could have only dreamed it if it hadn’t actually happened.

Gregg and I got up super early, well 6am ish, put on our walkin clothes and headed 23rd to the lincoln memorial. Although we were there just the day prior, the crowds made it a negative (or at least a less positive) experience than I was hoping for. So, the two of us walked 1.25miles and came to theLincoln Memorial as the sun crested over the east end of the mall. The Nike Women’s Marathon was going on that morning, and it passed behind the Lincoln Memorial, so there was a few more people there than would normally be… But it was quiet and reverent and everything I had hoped it would be.

We strolled along side the reflecting pool and then gazed back on the lincoln memorial from edges of the WWII memorial. This memorial was recently completed so it was new to Gregg too.

The Vietnam and the WWII memorials literally brought tears to my eyes. Touching the black walls of the Vietnam, feeling the names etched in stone… And watching the morning sunshine reflection shimmering the stars of the WWII memorial….

Were so contrast to The awe inspiring feelings I felt while in the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials.

Sunday morning we had tickets for a tour of the White House Gardens. Twice a year (2 days each) the south lawn is opened to tours. What a special opportunity to see the south portico, rose garden, Oval Office, vegetable garden, etc.

After a food truck lunch, sitting on the grassy lawn of the national mall, Sunday afternoon was capped off with visits to two smithsonians. Visiting the museum of Natural History, we got to see T-Rex bones, a gigantic squid! the Hope diamond and many more wonders. Then, we went to the Air and Space museum where we flew a full motion 360-degree simulator, saw the lunar module, a recovered cd from the Columbia shuttle, and many others.

By the end of the evening I was tired and my knee was aching a lot. We drank coffee (with baileys) on our hotel patio, reading and reminiscing on our trip.

Dinner was a local diner, close to the hotel and nothing super fancy.

Monday was travel day. but before the car picked us up at 1:45… We had more things to mark off of the to do list! Gregg went for an early morning run with a friend while I slept in. Then we headed south to Arlington National Cemetery. Seeing President John Kennedy’s grave and eternal flame! next to his brothers understated gravesite, at the top of the hill overlooking the city. I had such a profound appreciation for our nations history and all the sacrifices that make it what it is today.

It was a crisp, cool walk through the cemetery, through the cherry trees, rows upon rows of white tombstones. Honoring the memory of those brave men and women. We arrived at the Arlington Ampitheater…through the theater to the Tomb of the Unknown.

Words simply can not describe the feelings as we sat in silence for about 10 minutes as the single guard counted his 21 steps across, 21 second pause, turn, 21 second pause, 21 step to the other side.

then, with the ringing of the church bells, striking the top of the eleven o’clock hour it was time for the ceremonial changing of the guards. And then, we got to see the presentation of wreath and playing of taps. I am moved simply thinking on it right now.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and it was time to check out from the hotel. One last stop by Shake Shack for lunch and the it was time to head home.

















Washington DC – day 2

Today was an incredible day, full of iconic memorials. Seeing the White House. Using the ATM that was across the street from the US Dept of Treasury. and cleaning bird poo out of Ally’s hair.

The night ended with a bunch of shopping and people watching in Georgetown. There is some serious money there…






















Washington DC – day 1

We are on a quick trip to visit our nations capital. Gregg has been here numerous times, for work, and I have only been here once. At least that’s what my mother tells me…. In fact, I took my first baby steps in this city.

Ok, back to the day. It started at 3am so this is not going to be lengthy. I am pooped.

Wake up at 3 – shower, feed pups (I’m sure they were very confused)
Catch ride from father-in-law to the airport around 4am
Airport security has zero line, arrive at gate 5 ish

We arrived in BWI airport around 9am local time. We hop on a shuttle bus to take us to the Amtrak/MARC (commuter train) station to get into DC. Along the way, Gregg and his sister negotiate a pretty good deal for the four of us to make it straight to the hotel for $60. It ended up being an hour or so drive. I think the train, metro, walk would have been almost two hours… S I think it was worth the money!

Getting to the hotel around 10:30, I thought for sure we would just have to leave our bags at the desk. Fortunately, our rooms were ready so we could head up, unpack,and settle a little. Our room is quite Nice with a full kitchen, living room, bedroom situation. Each of the rooms are on the small side but it is nice for the price (and location!)

Lunch was at the Shake Shack. Burgers, fries,and ice cream. Delish.

After that we found the metro line to take us up to capital hill.

Up until this point, I knew we were in a new big city. But it wasn’t until we rounded a corner and I saw the capital building that I got giddy.

We walked around the Hill. We saw the Supreme Court.

We went into the Thomas Jefferson Library of Congress.

Then we met up with some workers in Senator Clare McCaskills office for a private tour of the capital.

taking a tram from the Hart buildings through the underground tunnels into the capital. The rotunda is under reconstruction, so sadly we couldn’t go in there. The coolest part of the day was when we passed speaker of the house Senator John Boehner’s office and went out on the west facing balcony. This overlooks the national mall and is where the presidential inauguration is held. It was breath takingly beautiful and inspiring. I will never look at pictures of the capital building the same way.

We got to go into the Chambers of the Senate Appropriations Committee meeting room. The members names are on plaques drilled into the table. Here was Mr blunt’s.

In the crypt we stood on a white star that is the exact center of Washington, D.C. All roads lead out from that point under the capital.

Many other amazing sculptures and pieces of American History (too numerous to list) passed before me today.

after the sight seeing was done, we headed back to the hotel. we enjoyed happy hour cocktails and snacks with my sis-in-law and her hubby in the hotel bar. Afterwards, I laid and iced my knee for a bit (we logged about 8 miles of walking today!) . then headed out to dinner.

It was just a little hole in the wall joint. Food was okay, but we are so tired it did not matter. SIL and hubby were headed to a super fancy dinner restaurant – but I was just too dang tired.

We have another very full day ahead of us tomorrow. So I’m going to get some shut eye.

And since I’m typing this from iPad and uploading pics is a pain, here they all are. In no particular order.