Posts from May, 2006

The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

Hike: Fraser Preserve, Virginia

Monday, 29 May 2006


Hiked another Nature Convervancy preserve, this on called the Fraser Preserve near Great Falls, Virginia.

It’s a nice hike, relatively flat and easily navigatable … except for one tiny little problem. Apparently, the trail crosses onto the property of a neighboors who doesn’t like the Conservancy much. There is a 5-string barbed wire fence blocking off fifteen (yes, 15) feet of the circuit trail. How much do you have to hate conservationists (not to mention the baptists that co-own the preserve) to do that?!?

To make matters worse, everything around that part of the path is swamp-land, so you have to go all the way back past the river and use the government access road to get across the property … just to get to where the blue blazed trail picks back up.

When you do make the trip, you’ll have the opportunity to stand at the barbed wire fence and stare at the neighboor has he fishes away on his fancy-pants barbed-off stream. I did, and it was a heck of a lot of fun … tho he didn’t seem to enjoy it that much.

Fraser Preserve, Great Falls, Virginia…9698/

Wedding: Full Steam Ahead

Monday, 29 May 2006


Success. My parents just left after a really nice six day visit. We’re still engaged. During their time here we managed to tackle quite a few wedding details in addition to sight seeing, touring museums, and eating lots of crab cakes at Eastern Market.

Last weekend we took them to see the leading contender for the reception, The Heritage Inn and also look at the Primitive Baptist Church and Presbyterian Church in Clifton. Everyone was in agreement that Clifton, VA is a beautiful town and perfect spot for our wedding.

Right now we’re leaning toward using the Presbyterian Church. They are in the middle of expanding the church facilities but we were able to see the sanctuary. We loved it — the wood pews with carvings, the huge windows, and a bell with a real bell pull in the back of the sanctuary.

The biggest challenge will be picking out bridesmaid dresses that work well with the deep, vibrant red front curtain, pew cushions, and carpet. Oh, and there’s no center isle, so we’ll need to research if there are rules or superstitions that determine if it’s better to walk down the left or right aisle.

This past week I also finally managed to ask my bridal party to be part of our wedding: Christy is my m.o.h. (maid of honor). My bridesmaids are Melissa and sisters, Joanna and Nadine. Thankfully everyone said yes! Photos will follow soon … maybe.





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Photos: National Arboretum

Saturday, 27 May 2006


Spent a cloudy day touring the National Arboretum in extreme Northeast DC. The trees and plants were wonderful, but due to the heavy clouds blotting out the sun, it was very hard to get anything to “pop.” Definately going to make a return trip some afternoon when the sun is a little more cooperative.

National Arboretum, Washington, DC…9407/

Travel: Kayaking the Shenandoah, Virginia

Sunday, 14 May 2006

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Every six months or so, my father and I try to take a couple of kayaks down the Shenandoah, using a great outrigger near Bentonville, Virginia. Despite how it looked in the pictures, we had pretty spectacular weather both days.

Short of my father trying to kill himself in Compton’s rapids (it was his turn this year, mine was last year), it was nother great trip. I look forward to it each time.

Kayaking the Shenandoah…9432/

Travel: Cheasapeake Bay, Maryland

Thursday, 11 May 2006


Part of our planning retreat was a lunchtime tour of the Cheasapeake Bay, including a discussion about its ecological significance and uniqueness. It had been a looong time since I was last on the water …

Sailing on the Cheasapeake…7908/

Travel: Annapolis, Maryland

Thursday, 11 May 2006


My department had a planning retreat in Annapolis, in a suite of hotels right by the State House. We had about half an hour of free time in between events where we could wander the grounds.

Maryland State House…7908/

Wedding: The Attendants, Part I — A New Hope

Monday, 1 May 2006

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With The Lady Sparkler out of town reprising her role as big muckety-muck at a “conference” in some posh resort in the hills of Virginia, I took the opportunity make a couple of “Hey, I’m throwing a wedding, do you want to be an attendant?” phone calls.

Actually, my brother Collin came on board as best man when we talked the night after the proposal, but the rest signed on yesterday and today.

Chrissy, my best friend from William & Mary, happily agreed to join the very selective society of groomsmaid. (Does my use of the gender-ambiguous word “attendants” seem less awkward, now?) John (remember that “h”, it will become more confusing in a moment) also seemed very happy and willing, though this probably makes him eligible for some kind of veteran / valor / danger pay as he’s been putting up with me since sixth grade. Finally, I asked Jon (without the “h” and very territorial about it) today at work, and he agreed as well … tho he IS my Siamese twin, so it would have been pretty awkward if he had said “no.”

Pictures of the group below, with me showing off my stunning range of haircuts and complete inability to smile on film …

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT: Collin (at my W&M graduation, 1997); John (camping on the Shenandoah, 2001); Chrissy (at her wedding, 2002)’ Jonathon (at a 2005 Nationals’ game).





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