Blogs from Ashburn, Virginia, United States, North America


North America » United States » Virginia » Ashburn August 25th 2016

Geo: 39.0516, -77.4831Editor's NOTE: Normally Glenn proof-read's my blog and does some major editing, however I am not asking him to do this for me, since he needs a break. So bear with me if there are misspelled words and the grammar is incorrect. Thanks for reading. I couldn't believe it, but I slept in til 8:30am this morning. I did get up several times during the night. Glenn said "be sure and take your flash light." Dark here. Glenn covered up the small basement windows, so no sun came through, that is how I got to sleep so well.We were running the hot shower for a bit, which made the alarm go off. Glenn just waved the towel in front of the smoke detector, to turn the high pitched sound down.We had a great visit ... read more
Enola Gay
Enola Gay

North America » United States » Virginia » Ashburn July 14th 2015

Geo: 39.0516, -77.4831We grabbed a taxi and headed for home. It was a huge Grand Marquis sedan, yet the man had trouble fitting all of our bags into the trunk, and K and I felt squished in the backseat. We both remarked how the taxi we'd had in Barcelona -- about 12 hours earlier -- had been a small VW van, yet there had been tons more room. Oh well.The skies were pitch black and lightning was firing in the distance as we pulled up to the house. We had the bags inside a few minutes before a brief storm erupted. We both did some general unpacking, went through the mail, collectively declared no desire to eat anything more, and then headed for bed. We were both up early the next morning, but nothing too extreme. ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Ashburn July 2nd 2015

Geo: 39.0516, -77.4831As I noted, we can't recall one specific conversation with our friends the Rieckhoffs, during which we decided to travel together again. Rather, we believe it was an organic decision over time, that was finalized last summer. All of us wanted to visit Portugal -- having collectively never been -- whereas the Rieckhoffs have spent considerable time in the Catalonian wine country of Spain, near Barcelona. We elected to combine the two places, as they wished to return and Katherine has been wanting to visit Barcelona ever since she studied in Madrid, almost 30 years ago.We all wished to use air miles for our tickets, which meant we had to book well in advance. We settled on dates as best we could, so far out, electing to travel over the 4th of July, as ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Ashburn April 4th 2015

Geo: 39.0516, -77.4831The five-hour flight seemed quite long on this last leg. Perhaps it was the fact that they showed the final Hobbit movie, which we had already seen. I slept a little while Anna read the whole time. I'm ashamed to say I'm not sure what K did in Economy Class. Sorry.The approach and landing was quite bumpy, as the winds at Dulles were high. I don't know if it was the wind or the fact that we were flying a Central American airline, but there was a round of applause throughout the plane after we landed.We hit Dulles around 3:30pm, at the height of the internal arrival window for most European flights. Here, again, our TSA PreCheck proved a lifesaver. We were able to completely bypass the incredibly long passport lines at immigration, and ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Ashburn March 27th 2015

Geo: 39.0516, -77.4831Truth be told, I can't really recall exactly how we set Ecuador as our Spring Break mecca this year. We've talked in the past of going to South America; that much I remember. I had been to Colombia several times for work, but nothing further south than there, and for Anna and Katherine, it would be a new continent. I do recall looking at trips to Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, and Peru. We were between Peru, to see Machu Pichu, and Ecuador. We already knew that we would not attempt our usual individual style of travel if we did go south, so in looking at various tours, I think we pretty much "stumbled" onto a very interesting -- and surprisingly affordable -- 8-day tour of Ecuador. While we would not have time to visit ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Ashburn April 20th 2014

Geo: 39.0516, -77.4831As we'd been sitting near the front of the plane, we were off quickly and among the very first people to hit the immigration queue. We had more questions from this immigration officer than we'd had from anyone on the trip. The only hiccup was that since our bags had been sitting on the plane all night, they were among the very last ones to arrive on the baggage carousel. Still, at least they showed up.The brisk air outside the terminal was a bit of a surprise, and sent us all looking for our jackets. The short taxi ride home was uneventful, and it was around 7:15 pm by the time we got everything inside. We each headed for a shower and it was almost a race to see who could get into bed ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Ashburn April 10th 2014

Geo: 39.0437, -77.4875Planning for this trip spanned the better part of a year. Just trying to figure out the logistics of where we wanted to visit and how we'd get there was a feat in itself. We knew we wanted to visit Jordan and Israel, though despite the peace treaty between the two countries, it still is not easy to get between the two. Finding flights that were convenient and wouldn't break the bank was a tall order. In the end, we ended up with good flights routing us through Istanbul on the non-stop Turkish Airlines flight from Dulles. For the trip between Amman and Tel Aviv, we had enough miles left over with British Airways that we were able to book award tickets on Royal Jordanian Airlines, which is one of their partners and which ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Ashburn April 1st 2013

Geo: 39.0516, -77.4831With our delay in Senegal, my flight into Dulles was about an hour late, I had been unfortunately seated near the rear of the plane, but that also meant I was one of the last to board the People Mover at Dulles, which meant I was one of the first to get off an into immigration. I cleared in no time, and aside from a short stop in Customs to have them look at the wine I was bringing in, I was home by 08:30am. I technically should have had to pay duty on the wine, but the agent explained that it would cost more to process the paperwork than to have me pay the money, so he waved me through.I was back at the airport about three hours later to meet K and ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Ashburn March 21st 2013

Geo: 39.0516, -77.4831The planning for this Spring Break trip had been in the works for nearly a year. I had visited South Africa for work soon after Anna was born, thought it was beautiful, and thought how it would be nice to visit again with the family. A good friend of ours is native South African, and met her husband while he was getting his Masters at the University of Cape Town. They have a daughter exactly Anna's age, and we'd often talked about traveling together. I can't specifically recall how the topic first arose of a joint visit to South Africa, but by spring of 2012 we had already decided to all go together and plans were put into place. Given how far we were going and the diversity of things we wanted to see, ... read more
The "Before" picture, as we left Dulles...
Charlotte and Anna settling in for the long ride.
The "After" picture, some 16 hours later.

North America » United States » Virginia » Ashburn August 26th 2012

Geo: 39.0516, -77.4831... read more

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