Posts from September, 2007

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

Wedding: Schedule and Maps

Sunday, 30 September 2007

We have thrown together a schedule of this weekend’s events, complete with a map with where everything is in relation to each other. We’ve got printed copies for people, but if you want to do some poking around before-hand, download the map/schedule here. The map also has a dozen (or more) places to eat within a mile of the church / hotel.

If you are a little uncertain about getting around the city, we also have a map explaining the taxi-cab zone system and one showing where the closest metro stops are to the hotels. (Again, we will have copies for you if you would like one.)

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Wedding: Weather Watch

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Well, we’ve been watching since 15 days out … and the forcast for the 6th has been holding at 80 degrees and mostly sunny for the last week. We have been looking at but The Weather Channel seems to be saying much the same thing.

Now, we must focus our collective attention on keeping Belize hurricane-free for the next two weeks.

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Wedding: You *can* go back again …

Sunday, 23 September 2007

IMG_7267We had a great day today. Two weeks out from “D-Day” and this morning we felt like we were far enough ahead that we could go hiking for the first time in 6 months.

We drove out to Shenandoah National Park, which is exactly what we did on our first date way back when. Oddly enough, we ended up doing a hike on the very same mountain. To completely beat the symbolism into the ground, we decided to top the day off by going out to the same restaurant (Ruby Tuesday’s … oh, were there something in Warrenton that ISN’T a chain).

It was great getting out. It’s good to get away and remember exactly why were are going through all this work 🙂

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Photos: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Sunday, 23 September 2007

IMG_7267, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
The Lady Sparkler gave me a new lens as a wedding present, and before we hopped the plane to Belize, I wanted to shoot it around for a few hours to make sure it, well, worked. The lens is a Canon 10-22mm f3.5/4.5 USM, which means it is an ultra-wide zoom, and from the few snaps you see here, it seems to take some pretty great pics.
Explore the Photo Set:
Insert Flickr Set Name Here

Wedding: Dancing with the Sparklers

Sunday, 16 September 2007

(not us)The Lady Sparkler has wanted to learn how to waltz since we met. I haven’t waltzed since April 1997, but something happened to my senses and I gave dance lessons to The Lady Sparkler for her birthday in May. Needless to say, she just “cashed” them.

Honestly, the topic is just ripe for a feast of self-depricating comedy, but I have to admit it went better than I ever expected (given that I have size 15 feet). The Lady Sparkler does have a rather funny habit of wanting to lead, tho.

Anyway, we only have one more lesson before the wedding, so don’t expect anything too, well, impressive. Our highest aspiration is to avoid killing each other, not end in an elaborate pose to waves of rapturous applause.

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Travel: Chicago, Illinois

Saturday, 8 September 2007


IMG_7153, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
I love Chicago, and would move out here in a heart-beat if the winters weren’t so miserable. A great friend of mine (Chrissy, the groomsmaid) moved out here after college, and we came out for a long weekend as a kind of last hurrah before the wedding. We had such a fabulous time, and Chicago is an incredibly photogenic city.
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Chicago, Illinois

Wedding: Our Favorite Things to Do in D.C.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

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[Arial View of Washington, D.C.]This is (hopefully) the first in a series of posts about things to do, places to eat, the best ways to get around the city, etc. In case you are coming to D.C. to see something other than us get married, let’s start off with a list of some of our favorite things to do while in the District. Let us know if you have questions, or if you need additional inspiration.

The Korean War Memorial

Why? It is the most interesting of all the National Mall memorials, composed of a group of soldiers making their way through Korean rice paddies. See it on a cloudy day or at night for the best effect. Easily the “local” favorite of all the monuments.

How? It’s on the very west end of the Mall, next to the Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials. A long, but nice walk from the Smithsonian metro, and tour bus accessiable. Open 24 hours.

ONLINE: The Korean War Memorial

PHOTOS: ‘koreanwarmemorial’ on Flickr

MAP: The Korean War Veterens Memorial on Google Maps

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Why? It’s one of the newest monuments, and is easily the greatest departure from the rest because it is a little more interactive than the more somber downtown monuments. in its layout. It occupies over seven acres, with dozens of statues and waterfalls.

How? It’s a little remote, being on the west side of the Tidal Basin (ie. the far side if you are standing on the Mall) in between the Lincoln and the Jefferson memorials. There is plenty of parking, a longer (but nicer) walk if you are up for it, and tour bus accessiable. Open 24 hours.

ONLINE: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

PHOTOS: ‘fdrmemorial’ on Flickr

MAP: FDR Memorial on Google Maps

View from the Washington Monument

Why? Easily the best view of the city, and a nice short cut to see a lot (as in ALL) of the city in a short period of time. There is an elevator to the top — since the renovation, you aren’t allowed to take the 896 stairs — and they give you a great overview of the monument on the way up.

How? It’s hard to miss, so I will spare you the directions. Timed-entry tickets are required, but they are free and can be obtained for same day visits from the kiosk at the bottom of the monument’s hill. Tickets run out early in the summer, but you should be fine on off-peak weekends. Open 9 am to 4:45 pm.

ONLINE: Washington Monument

PHOTOS: ‘washingtonmonument’ on Flickr

MAP: Washington Monument on Google Maps

Smithsonian Museums

Why? Normally, the National Air and Space Museum wouldn’t make our personal top 10 — been there 10,439 times — but the National Museum of American History is closed and the Smithsonian has relocated their “Treasures” collection here (think “Ruby Slippers”). Across the Mall is the National Museum of Natural History, which was magnificantly redone in the last 5 years, with the addition of a brand new IMAX theater (which makes a great break in a day of touring). You also have the Castle (houses special exhibitions) and the National Gallery of Art (best gallery outside of the Met in New York City).

How? The whole DC transportation system is geared to get you to these places. Take the metro (Smithsonian), drive or take any of the tour bus operators’ offerings. Most are open 10 am to 5pm, everyday.

ONLINE: The Smithsonian Institute

PHOTOS: ‘smithsonian’ on Flickr

MAP: Smithsonian Museums on the Mall

U.S Botanic Garden

Why? This is a great place to visit, rain or shine. It is a giant greenhouse, with some of the most exotic plants you will ever see. There is a brand new external garden next door as well, and a rotation of new and permanent exhibits inside the conservatory.

How? It’s on the east end of the Mall, between the Capitol and the Smithsonian museums. Smithsonian Metro, although Union Station will work in a pinch. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

ONLINE: U.S. Botanic Garden

PHOTOS: ‘usbotanicgarden’ on Flickr

MAP: U.S. Botanic Garden on Google Maps

National Geographic Museum

Why? Always with a global flavor, you can view changing and permanent exhibitions on a variety of scientific, geographic, and cultural themes. Check to see if they have something for you on their website.

How? Located on 17th between L and M, this is about three blocks from the wedding hotel. Open Monday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ONLINE: National Geographic Museum

MAP: Museum Hours and Directions

Eastern Market

Why? Absolutely beloved by locals, Eastern Market is the last traditional city market in DC. The main building recently burned down, but it relocated just across the street while being restored. There are several “sub-markets” including a flea market, farmers market and arts-and-crafts market every weekend.

How? Located on the opposite side of the Capitol, the market has its very own metro station (cryptically named “Eastern Market”). The flea market is open Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; farmers market Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; arts-and-crafts market Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

ONLINE: Eastern Market

PHOTOS: ‘easternmarket’ on Flickr

MAP: Historic Eastern Market on Google Maps

The Library of Congress

Why? The reading room is one of the most spectacular inside spaces in DC, and their collection is easily holds its own with the Smithsonian. The Library of Congress also offers book talks, gallery talks, poetry readings, lectures, and vintage movies that are open to the public.

How? To get the most out, you should do a tour, which is available Monday thru Friday at 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 and Saturday at 10:30, 11:30, 1:30 and 2:30. Visitors should arrive 15 minutes early for a security check. Capitol South is closest, though Union Station will again work in a pinch.

ONLINE: Library of Congress

PHOTOS: ‘libraryofcongress’ on Flickr

MAP: Library of Congress on Google Maps

Arlington National Cemetary

Why? On the other side of the Potomac from DC, there is something for everyone from the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to JFK’s eternal flame. The cemetary is huge, so plan on walking… quite a bit.

How? There is a metro station at the base of the grounds. The guard changes every hour on the hour from October 1 through March 14, and every half-hour from March 15 through September 30. The cemetery is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. from October 1 to March 31, and 8 a.m.-7 p.m. from April 1 to September 30.

ONLINE: Arlington National Cemetary

PHOTOS: ‘arlingtonnationalcemetary’ on Flickr

MAP: Arlington National Cemetary on Google Maps

Cultural Tourism DC

Why? There is a DC beyond the Mall, and these guys will help you find it. Oddly enough, not all of DC is made out of marble and granite.

How? Check out their web site, as there are dozens of walking tours that you can take to get a much better flavor of the city.

ONLINE: Cultural Tourism DC

PHOTOS: ‘culturaltourismdc’ on Flickr

MORE: Check out their Trip Manager

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