Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Washington D.C. and Sneakercon

Hi everyone!

I will start with a quick update on Chandler's fundraiser! We have reached $995 on the website plus $210 on my PayPal! Also, someone reached out to me from the Congressman's office, and they gave me tons of information on who to contact about getting our lift paid for by DDS! I have already contacted them, and the paperwork is in the process! Now we can focus on the sidewalk and the bathroom! Thank you so much to everyone who donated and shared the story! If you would like to donate, go to Please read, donate, and share his story!

 So, we were able to take a trip to Washington D.C., and it was definitely an experience. We flew to Baltimore International airport in Maryland and rented a car from there. We immediately had issues with renting a car, but luckily we were able to figure it out. We then drove about 30 minutes to the downtown part of D.C..

Plane selfies.

We had lunch reservations for Founding Farmers, voted "Best Lunch in D.C.", so we were excited to try it. We didn't realize that parking was nearly IMPOSSIBLE for tourists in Washington D.C.. Some might even call it a joke. But on a brighter note, we were able to make it to our reservation!

 This is the outside of the restaurant. It doesn't look fancy. It looks like an office. It's definitely a little more upscale than what we've been to, especially for lunch. There were lots of people wearing suits and dress pants.


We ordered the skillet cornbread for our appetizer. WOW! It was so good! I was surprised. I was raised on Southern cooking, so I expected this to be mediocre, but it was sweet and cooked just right!

For our entree, we ordered Shrimp Bucatini. It had farm herb butter, sun-dried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. It was very good, as well! The two together were actually a good combination of salty and sweet.

I would definitely recommend this place to others!

Our original plan after lunch was to take a tour of the Library of Congress, but parking (or lack thereof) prevented that from happening! So, we decided to just head on over to our tour at the Kennedy Center. (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts) This center is a living memorial for the late John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy was a big supporter of the arts, so this is a way to make sure his vision stays alive. It was a really neat tour! Our tour guide was very sweet, and she made sure we got to see everything there was to see!

This was our view when we first entered the building. This is called the Hall of Countries. It is the flag of every country the U.S. has diplomacy with. To the right you will spot the Filipino flag. :)

In the center, you will find different gifts that were donated from other countries. For example, the crystal chandeliers you see in the photo on the left were a gift from Sweden. The art piece in the photo on the right (excuse the darkness) was a gift from Switzerland called "Apollo X 1970." 

 The photo on the left was a gift from Denmark. It is an art piece called "Vibrations". The photo on the right is a gift from Great Britain.

 This sculpture is a gift from Luxembourg called "Ascension."

Another interesting thing about the center is that while some countries donate gifts, others donate rooms! For example, the following pictures are the "Israeli Lounge." It is a gift from the people of Israel. 

 This depicts Israel's history from ancient times to modern day. It is carved from wood. It was neat!
 These next few photos are of the ceiling. It is hard to tell what it consists of, but it actually depicts different musical events in the bible. One if a picture of David playing the harp. One is Joshua at the walls of Jericho, etc. The paintings also contain 22 karat gold leaf!

 This is actually a photo of the table in the Israeli room! The tables are made of mirror in order to enhance the beauty of the ceiling.

For a better view of this room, you can take the virtual tour here:

 We were actually able to see inside the Presidential box! This is where the President comes to enjoy the different events happening in the center. (I guess that's kind of obvious LOL)

 Another view of the gift from Sweden.
 Took some mirror selfies during the tour :)

 Here is the bust of JFK in the Kennedy Center. It is made of bronze and weighs over 3,000 pounds! Right here he has the famous expression you see in photos. But the neat thing about this bust is if you go to different angles, he will have different facial expressions!

 This is the Presidential box for the ballet.
 This is a sculpture that was a gift from France. It is called "L'Oceanide" (Nymph of the Sea).

The following pictures are from the African Lounge.

 This statue was a gift for the African room from Ghana called "Asase Due" which means "Mother Earth, Condolences to You". It represents Africa's grief over the death of President Kennedy.

 The wall tapestry on the left was a gift from Ghana. The one of the right was a gift from Senegal called "The Students".

 These were 2 of the costumes from the ballet performing at the center. The one on the right was for "Diamonds" while the on the left was for "Emeralds".

 Pictured above are gifts from the Chinese in the Chinese Lounge.

 Dwight Eisenhower box office and a bust of him donated by Texas, his birth state. 
 This is the view of the Potomac river from the terrace. We were able to see students from Georgetown practicing their rowing in the river.

 After our Kennedy Center tour, we took the metro to another area of town to explore! We saw some interesting things... like the White House! :)

 The photo on the left was a really cool building we saw. It was HUGE! I actually don't know what it is. The picture on the left is of the Darby House.
 This is the White House from afar. As you can see, lots of people come to see it!

 This is a statue that is in the Ellipse Park. It's Paul Revere, I believe.
 I was able to peek my phone through the steel bars to capture this pic. hehe

 Another statue in the park. I'm not sure what it is, but it looked neat. Also, Washington D.C. is one of the only (if not THE only) place in the United States where you can find Cherry Blossoms. We didn't know this until we arrived there! We actually visited at the perfect time. They just bloomed! The Cherry Blossoms were a gift to the United States from Japan!

 I found this black squirrel outside of the White House. I have never seen a black one before!

 These are photos of the Old Post Office. This is actually how a majority of the buildings look!

 The photo on the left is the Washington Monument. I'm not sure what the statue on the right is. I know it sounds bad that I don't know the name of all the statues, but there are SO MANY in this city!

 This statue is from the Korean War Veterans Memorial. My dad fought in the Korean War, so I thought it would be nice to show my respects to those he fought alongside.
 More Cherry Blossoms!
 When I saw a cool building, I would take a picture of it. I'm not sure what this building was, but I guess I liked it at the time! haha.
 This is Eyen standing outside of the Smithsonian garden! This is where we found MOST of the Cherry Blossoms in D.C.!

 This is one of the Smithsonian Museums. (There are like 16 in D.C. alone. The picture to the right is the side view of the Smithsonian Castle!

 Lola Yna loves Cherry Blossoms, so we made sure to take plenty of pictures of them!
 Above is a side view of the park. It is a pretty large park.
 This is a cool bird statue up close. I'm sorry that I don't know all the names for these statues. The photo to the right is the back view of the Smithsonian.

 A penguin statue! Of course I had to have a picture of that. :) The other photo is the back view of the Smithsonian Castle! As you can see, it is really AWESOME looking!!

 Eyen in front of the castle! From this picture, you can see that the garden is very large! There are some parts you can't even see in the picture!
 Eyen with the Cherry Blossoms!

 Testing out some of my photography skills. lol

 A statue and a photo of me with the pretty Cherry Blossoms!

 We had a lot of fun in this garden if you can't tell!

 Cherry Blossom OVERLOAD!

 This is a building beside the Smithsonian Castle. It was closed for renovation.

 About to go inside the castle!
 This is the museum of Natural History. We visit this museum later! :)
 The capitol building. As you can see, we are in the National Mall! All of these places are very close to each other.
 The Smithsonian Castle from the front!
 Eyen in the distance. hehe.

 Eyen standing under the entrance to the castle.

 The tomb of James Smithson! AWESOME!

 For breakfast, we found this little dinner near the capitol building. All I can say is EHHH... Very bland food. 

After we had breakfast, we made our way over to our Capitol tour. We met inside the Congressman's office. It was so cool! Every state has their own office. Eyen and I had our own personal tour of the Capitol building!

These are some of the statues inside the Capitol. Every state has 2 or 3 statues. My goal was to Arkansas!

Colorado and Wyoming. 

 North Dakota and Hawaii. Hawaii's is one of my favorites!

 Maryland and Minnesota.
 South Dakota and New Mexico.

 This is the statue of Montana and the Statue of Freedom that stands at the top of the Capitol building!
The Emancipation Hall is where you will find all of the statues listed above!
 The statue of freedom is what stands on top of the Capitol building. This statue is a mold of the one outside of the building.

 These are really old pillars. They are made from marble. You can tell they are different than all the other materials in the room.

 This is the middle of the Capitol. People like to stand here because they say it's good luck!
 Eyen getting her good luck, too. :)

 The statue of Charles Carroll. Here's a brief history: this Charles Carroll is actually Charles Carroll III. His grandfather and father still live in Great Britain. As most of you know, it was treason to be apart of a new government away from England. So, when Charles Carroll III signed the Declaration of Independence, he wrote his entire address, as not to be mistaken for his grandfather and father in order to keep them out of trouble.

 The building is decorated with many different things.
 For example, corn husks at the top of some of the pillars.

 These are actual gun shot holes from previous wars!! UM AWESOME!

 WEEEE here we go!
 These hooks are where the Justices hand their robes!

 This room is where the Dred Scott decision took place! These are the original tables and everything! I can't believe I have actually been here!

 These are even 4 of the original chairs!
 The busts of the original Supreme Court Justices. If you'll notice the clock in the background, it is still in it's original, functioning form!

 I was so in awe of this room!

 This is a replica of the Magna Carta.

 This is inside the dome of the Capitol. It was GREAT! It is so beautiful!
 It's hard to tell what is going on in the picture. It's called the Apotheosis of Washington. Washington has ascended into heaven. He is surrounded by 13 maidens (1 for each of the original 13 colonies). The pictures on the outside represent "war", "science", "marine", "commerce", "mechanics", and "agriculture".

The next row are a series of events representing important times in American history. It's hard to tell from these pictures which event is which. Some of the events include the Native Americans, the conquistadors,  Columbus, etc.

 The next row are framed paintings of important times in history. This is a photo from the Revolutionary  War. It looks like George Washington is on the white horse, but actually he is on the brown horse in the background.
 This is George Washington stepping down as a military leader. This is important in American History because if George Washington would have continued to be a General, he would have basically had complete and total control over the military as well as the United States. By stepping down, he gave the power back to the people.
 This is first stepping into America

 A statue of Abraham Lincoln.
 A pretty chandelier.

 Some of the chairs and desks are replicas, but some are original!

 It's so interesting to be in a place like this. You learn all these things in History class, but to actually stand in a room where those things took place is just incredible!

 This is Thomas Jefferson holding the Declaration of Independence. The statue actually has the entire declaration on it!

 I found Arkansas!! Mr. Rose of Rose law firm in Arkansas!
 This is where John Quincy Adams actually sat during discussions!

 Some interesting things in the room.
 An original clock
 This is Ronald Reagan. If you look closely at the picture on the right, can you see the dark and light line of material? It's actual pieces of the Berlin Wall!!!

The Capitol tour was so awesome! I really enjoyed it. I am a huge History fan, so of course I had fun. If you don't enjoy History, then this probably isn't for you. 

 For lunch, we ate at a place called "Central" by Michel Richard. I don't even know where to begin about this place. I am so upset that we wasted our time coming here! We arrived early for our reservation. We were seated and somewhat greeted by our server. We weren't dressed super nice because we were touring all day, but we weren't dressed like bums either. Eyen and I look like we eat a lot, but actually we share everything we get, so we can try more things. When we told the server we were going to share, she immediately made a snark remark. She then continued to gossip about it to her coworkers RIGHT IN FRONT OF US! She then wouldn't say a single word to us, even when she brought our drinks and food. My suggestion, STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE! I am not even going to comment on the food. I will only say what it is.
 French Onion Soup.
 Cheese puffs.. with like NO cheese.

I only wish I could tell this people how incompetent they are! UGH. Anyways, after lunch we decided to head back to the National mall.

Us taking some selfies with the Washington Monument. 

 This is the Smithsonian Museum of American History. We didn't visit this museum. We were just passing through.

We passed by the Smithsonian Museum of American History on our way to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I wasn't sure what to expect from it. All I can say is I LOVED IT! Oh, by the way, all of these museums are FREE!

 This museum had the coolest animal exhibit I have ever seen! I was so overwhelmed. I was literally like a child in here. Eyen even lost me at one point. I don't think you will need my commentary for these photos, so I will just let you guys enjoy them like I did!

 It all looked SO REAL!!!

 My favorite part! Some people may not know, but leopards will store their food in trees. :)


 This panther was creeping up on his prey. AMAZING!

 I found Eyen!

 Cute penguin!

 Eyen wanted to see real dinosaur bones. Unfortunately, they are all synthetic. :(

 The one on the right is a Saber tooth!

 This is where they do lab work with kids. It would be a neat experience for a child!

 RAWR! hehe. Eyen is about to get eaten!

 This was by far one of the coolest museums as far as animals go! Everything looked so real! 

After the Smithsonian, we decided to take the metro to our dinner destination. On the way there, we noticed a National Geographic museum, so we decided to stop in and check it out! This one isn't free like the other ones, but that's ok.

 All the covers of National Geographic!

 The very first National Geographic!

 There were different artifacts and things inside.

 My stepdad likes the Beatles, so I thought he would appreciate the picture above.

 A giant globe!

 Eyen pointing to the Philippines! :)
 There it is!
 Some of the things in the museum.

 These photos were some of my favorites!

We didn't stay long in the museum. There wasn't a whole lot to see. It was an o.k. experience, but nothing too special.

So, for dinner Eyen found this place online called "Little Serow". It is a Thai 7 course chef tasting dinner. This means that everyone will be served the same thing, and it will be small portions, just for tasting.  This place is so small that it only fits about 22 people at a time. There is no sign outside of the place, so you really have no idea to know if you're in the right place. We had to ask someone in the enormous line that formed 30 minutes before opening! 

All I can say is WELL WORTH IT!!!

 Pictures with flash aren't allowed here. Luckily, Eyen has an awesome camera and awesome skills. :)
 Us just waiting to see what's in store!

 This is Jeow Makuca Red (the part in the bowl). It is like a paste made with tomatoes, finger chiles, and bla rah. It is served with pork rinds.
 This is the vegetable plate you eat with your food. It is supposed to help minimize the salty and spicy.
 I got a glass of wine while Eyen ordered hibiscus tea. You also get sticky rice. :)

 I decided to also do the wine/beer pairing with my meal. With each course, they serve you a different type of alcohol that compliments the food! It was awesome!
 This is Tom Kha Bla Chorn. It is soup with snakehead fish, galangal, and lime leaf. It was very good!
 This is Khao Soi Song Chan. It is fresh rice crepes, pea shoots, and crispy garlic. YUM!
This is now my 3rd drink. It was a beer of some sort.
 The beer was to compliment this! It is Laap Gai Chiang Mai which is chicken, offal, and lanna spices. This was probably the spiciest dish we had that night. All of them were spicy, but this was WOW! HOTTTT!

 Drink number 4! A wine! :)

 This is Tow Hu Thouk. Tofu with cilantro roots and peanuts. This was probably my favorite dish!
 Eyen isn't a huge fan of spicy, so the waitress brought her a free rice milk to help relieve some of the pain and clean the palette. lol. It was pretty good!

 Drink number 5! I think? haha. I already lost count. ;) This was definitely the strongest drink of all! It was an aged champagne, but tasted like whiskey!

 This is Phat Thua Khack which is long bean, sweet pork, and krachai.

 My last drink. Number 6 or 7. I don't even know. But it was much better than the previous drink! By this time, I was so full of food and alcohol that I could have popped! I am definitely glad I had Eyen to help me walk back. HAHA.
 This was our last dish. It is called Si Krong Muu which is pork ribs, mekhong whiskey, and dill.

 This is dessert. It was some type of sweet rice. It was pretty good! All in all, the experience here was awesome! I would recommend this place to everyone! 

After dinner, we decided to explore some of the memorials in Washington D.C..
 This is the outside of the Lincoln Memorial.
 Here is the reflecting pool. It is located in between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.

 This memorial is HUGE. It was so great to stand here. You see it in all of the movies, and to actually be here is just awesome. Movies do not give it justice!

 This is probably one of the best photos I took. <3 so proud!
 These are more photos of the Korean War Veterans Memorial.

It was a really interesting place. I wish the memorial would have named the soldiers. I would have loved to have seen my dad's name!

The next day was all about business! This is what we do. We travel to different cities to do what we love... SNEAKERS! :) Sneaker-Con is one of the largest sneaker conventions in the United States. They have a huge following. We are hoping to make every Sneaker-Con during the summer. Here is a quick glimpse of what we do!

 The venue and the vendors! This is before the doors even open. People set up their tables. If you look closely in the picture, the ball on the far right is where our table was located! The photo on the right is 2 hours after the show started! The line was backed up! Which is great for business!
 Old and young come wearing their sneakers! This man is probably in his 60's wearing some Jeremy Scott wings!
 Another view of the vendors.
 Our food truck lunch during the show! Sloppy Joes! Eyen had an original while I had a Vegan tofu sloppy joe!
 Our table after about 3 hours. By the end of the show, half of these were gone as well! We had a great turn out!

For dinner, we decided to eat at a pizza place we found near midtown. It was pretty good! 

Fried cheese balls and pizza with ham and olives! YUM!

The next day we packed up and headed home. It was a really awesome trip! I had so much fun! Do I want to go back in the future? No, not really. The traffic (or parking should I say) was ridiculous. Maybe next time wouldn't be so bad since we know about the metro now. You could probably see everything there is to see here in 2 days. But it is definitely worth the experience!

Stay tuned for my next blog! We are attending a sneaker show in San Antonio, and I plan on giving you guys the inside scoop on our business! God Bless!