Monday, August 27, 2007

Another Alphabet Update

Okay, so my summer officially ended with my return to work today....sad, but true! Looking at my blog, it would appear that I didn't get very far with completing my "alphabet activities," but that isn't actually the case. So I'll tell you about the things that I can cross off of the list after the last few weeks. About two weeks ago, my friend, Lynn, and I went to Colonial Williamsburg for a day. That covered the C from my list. We started the day walking Duke of Gloucester Street, going in the colonial shops, and watching the people in costume going about their daily activities. It was extremely hot outside, but I didn't mind because I absolutely love Williamsburg! Of course, while there we had to go to Bruton Parish Church, where we saw pews most likely occuppied at one time by George Washington and other famous Americans. I know that it is totally cheesy, but I love thinking that I am walking in the footsteps of people I teach my students about in school! After getting our "colonial fix," Lynn and I headed to Merchant's Square, thus covering the M on my list. We did a lot of window shopping, but very little buying. Still, I did get two birthday presents for my mom's upcoming big day in November. For lunch, Lynn and I headed to a cute little restaraunt called the "Library." It is called this because it is an old library that has been converted into a place to eat. The best part of the restaraunt was that all of the menu items were named after famous authors and books. I thought that was a cute touch. Later that same week, I headed up to my sister's house in Lanham, Maryland. Just entering her city helped me to cross off the L (Lanham) on my list, but the best was yet to come. I only spent four days with my sister this summer (most summers I go for a week), so our days were jam-packed with things to do. On the day that I arrived, Sara and I went to the campus of the University of Maryland, where she is currently working on getting her Ph.d. This was the U on my list. There, we went to see Sara's office and to get our pictures taken with a statue of Jim Henson with Kermit the Frog. It turns out that the famous muppet man was once a student at this school. Of course, we also went to see the Testudo statue, rubbing the mascot's nose for good luck. After leaving the campus, we headed straight for IKEA, which helped me to cross the I off my list. I love IKEA because you can get some quality items for very cheap prices. Still, my favorite part of the store is simply walking through all of the models that are set up. The only problem is that the beds are never made because weird people walk through and lay down in them. Don't they realize how many other people have done the same thing? Anyway, they had a lot of things that I wanted to buy there, but I only ended up getting a pretty, red-flowered bottle for my bedroom and a movie-strip-inspired frame that holds several pictures. The next day, Sara and I headed to the Egyptian Theater (my letter E) to see the movie "The Restaraunt." While we could have seen this movie at any theater, it just seems so much cooler to see the movie in a place with a Egyptian theme. Of course, I had to get my picture taken with some of the ancient decor! The movie was very good but a lot sadder than I expected. Despite that, I would still reccommend that everyone see it. After the movie, Sara and I ate at DuClaw, where they make several kinds of custom beer. Since I don't drink, that wasn't a big draw for me, but the food was yummy. Finally, we ended the night by meeting up with Ann, Sara's roommate and one of my best friends, at Dave and Buster's, the D on my list. We spent the next three hours playing Skiball, basketball, a very realistic tennis video game, football, and several other games. It was tons of fun, especially since I won most of the Skiball and basketball games! I will admit, though, that Sara kicked my butt in tennis every time (Sampras would have been so ashamed). One of the highlights of the evening was definitely when Ann won a kickball for me out of one of those giant claw machines (on the first try no less)! I just wanted to prove to the Crazy Kickers that while I may have missed the beginning of the season because I was out of town, I was still thinking about the team!!! Thanks for your help, Ann! On my third day with my sister, we went into Washington, D.C. (my W) on the metro. I think I am starting to get the hang of the metro, but I am still constantly surprised by some of the people you see while riding it, especially those who are clearly on drugs. Once in D.C., Sara and I headed to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, where we saw tons of fossils and dinosaur bones. The best part of this was that I got lots of pictures to use in my classroom during our fossil and energy units later in the year. At the museum, we also saw the Hope Diamond, but I must admit that it was pretty disappointing and not nearly as glamorous as anticipated. After another metro ride, Sara and I met up with Ann at the National Zoo. It was soooo much fun. Although things started out slowly with our being denied entrance into the panda house (due to time constraints) and with several animals hiding from visitors, things eventually picked up as we saw a slumbering cheetah, a very entertaining elephant bathing himself, the cutest red pandas, and many other animals! That took care of the Z on my list. After returning from Maryland, my friend, Sarah, and I decided to send out the summer with a bang by heading back up to Williamsburg to go on a ghost walk (the letter G) through the colonial city. The tour started at 8:00, which meant that it was a nice, dark time of the day. The tour started on campus at William and Mary (my future school) and covered a good portion of Duke of Gloucester Street. While it was very entertaining, our guide was extremely long-winded and could have probably told more stories if he hadn't taken so long to get each story out. I can't say that I was ever spooked by the stories, but I did learn the meanings behind many idioms that we all use everyday (such as "Put your best foot forward," "Pulling the wool over his eyes," and "Pulling your leg"). In the end, we had a good time, but we are going to try the ghost walk led by tavern employees who have, supposedly, "seen" the ghosts next year. Aside from all of these activities, I also completed my O twice over the last few weeks when I visited different outlet malls with my mom, Sara, and Sarah. First, I went to the Potomac Mills Outlet with my mom and my sister about a week ago. I got a few outfits for work while on this trip. Then, last weekend, Sarah and I went to the Williamsburg Outlets to again shop for work clothes. Unfortunately, I didn't see anything I had to have while on this excursion. Still, I love to shop, so I thoroughly enjoyed both shopping trips. So there you have it. All of the alphabet activities that I completed over the last few weeks. I may not have completely finished all of my planned activities, but I think I came pretty close. When all was said and done, it was a great summer! I'll have to come up with a new list for next summer (not that I'm already counting down the days....180....haha)!