Swayed

SWAYED

It is easier to lean

With

     The

     Crowd,

Than it is for one to stand

Tall,

Strong-

Alone.

05-08 Trees

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

These trees caught my attention because I usually only see one or two trees at an angle.  It looks like the smaller trees are leaning to get a good look at the tall tree’s branches 🙂

I’ve been on a procrastination binge lately, so I’m quite pleased with myself at the moment, because I managed to finally update my ‘About Me’ page.  It was last updated in 2011 and I meant to look at it around my third blog anniversary in March… that obviously didn’t happen!  I’m good for another two years, so I think I’ll just relax and be cat now:

Computers are hard work...
Computers are hard work…

On second thought, maybe being a cat isn’t all that great…

Do I look merry?
Do I look merry?

Disclaimer:  no cats were forced to work or permanently traumatized as a result of any of the photos.  Sammy (the elf cat) has since retired as Santa’s elf.  She much prefers climbing the Christmas tree and breaking ornaments instead.

Since you are smiling (I hope) and in a good mood, I hope you can be swayed to respond to my solicitation for input:  Can anyone share any lesser-known things (or favorite things) to do around Washington DC (or within a 2-hour drive) that may not be on the radar for tourists?

I’m looking for a scenic 3 to 5 mile hike, inexpensive local restaurants, or other kid-friendly things we should consider checking out while we’re in the area next month (our kids are 10 years and 7 years).  Of course, if the suggestions provide blog photo opportunities, that’s even better 😀

I appreciate any ideas!

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52 thoughts on “Swayed

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge May 8, 2013 / 4:27 PM

    Those little trees are really curious. DId the big mama tree say “NO! You are not pining for anything.” really really loud shocking them all?
    (Big storm’s prevailing wind shove them over? Great pix – fits the words and word picture just right.)
    The Newsmuesum is good – but may have people. Check/email JM (She’s in that area and has been doing DC stuff recently).
    http://jmmcdowell.com/2012/03/24/taking-my-own-advice/

      • jannatwrites May 9, 2013 / 11:46 PM

        Thanks for your suggestions, Phil. My husband did some checking on hiking and found an eleven mile trail. Too far! (Gives him too much time to lose me in the woods :))

        • philosophermouseofthehedge May 10, 2013 / 8:05 AM

          if you can dawdle and look at stuff – it’s no fun…there are various spots along a canal trail somewhere to hop on and off…but I couldn’t tell you accurate info

        • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 10:56 AM

          I’ll do more checking into hiking places. I’m sure I’ll find something good, Phil 🙂

  2. suzicate May 8, 2013 / 4:54 PM

    What a cool shot of the trees, and it prompted a great poem.
    Kitty does NOT look merry!

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2013 / 11:47 PM

      I’m glad you like the picture, SuziCate. That elf shirt has disappeared, so maybe Sammy can be merry this year 🙂

  3. Debbie May 8, 2013 / 5:00 PM

    Lovely poem — and photo — of the trees. Poor Sammy doesn’t look like a happy elf to me! I’ve only been to D.C. once (as an adult), so I’d be the last person to look to for advice; however, this site (http://dc.about.com/od/childrensactivities/tp/15BestforKids.htm) offers some recommendations you might investigate. Hope you’re not driving!!

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2013 / 11:51 PM

      My son was convinced she liked it…he has much to learn about kitty body language! Sammy was so sweet and patient with it, though.

      Thanks for the link, Debbie! I checked it out and I’ve got most of the things on our list of possibilities (no way we can do it all!) Oh, and no, we aren’t driving. As anxious as flying makes me, I’m going to deal with it because it would take way too long to drive it.

  4. chlost May 8, 2013 / 5:41 PM

    Love that photo, and the poem is perfect for it.

    When my son (then age 14) was in DC with a small group of kids, they took a limo tour. Not sure how much that cost, but the kids were Very Impressed.

    The limo driver knew some out-of-the-way spots. One was a sculpture of a very large hand reaching up out of the ground. Not sure where it is, but not on the mall for sure.

    Oh, I googled it and here is a link to a flickr site with a photo. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcolman/2156136869/

    Our kids were very aware of the homeless when we were in DC when they were in their tweens. It was a big life lesson for them. One of the favorites on that trip was watching the money be made.

    Have a fun trip!

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2013 / 11:54 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the picture, Chlost!

      Wow, a limo tour – that IS impressive! (We’ll have a mini van…not nearly as flashy :))

      Thanks for the photo link,,,it does look cool…I think we’ll have to find that!

  5. pattyabr May 8, 2013 / 5:50 PM

    Hi Janna. Sorry I’ve been absent lately commenting on your posts 😦

    I like your tree picture. We finally planted three new trees in our yard and hubby planted two new bushes after ripping out three woody old ones.

    Wash DC is one of my favorite places to visit as we lived there for one year 22 years ago. Time flies eh? I have been back three times since then to visit. Take one of the bus tours to see a specific site that, like Mt Vernon. The metro subway is very accessible to most of the Smithsonian sites and most of them are free. Last time I was there was 2011. My daughter loved the Newseum. It is quite pricey admission but worth the money. There are newspapers from every state in the US and several foreign countries posted on the exterior of the museum. The day we visited was the day after the Japan Tsunami in March 2011. Each headline was quite interesting portraying that event. I ALWAYS go to the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean, Vietnam and WWII memorials are nearby.

    Wear walking shoes. You will walk everywhere and be quite tired. Take a bus tour or drive when the metro is not close. If you can’t get into the Washington Monument then go to the Old Post Office to get a good view of the Wash DC area from high point in town. If you want a tour of the Capitol building contact your congressperson to get a ticket. Quite tedious process to enter due to all the security.

    Union Station has shopping and eating areas. It is a metro stop, train and bus stop area too. The Old Post Office has shopping and a food court too but only during the day. Have fun

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:00 AM

      Ooh, what kind of trees did you decide on?

      I’ll definitely be putting comfort over fashion. I don’t wear tennis shoes often, but I’ll make sure I have them at least for the hike. My husband really wanted to tour the Capitol building – if he wants to contact our congressman, I’ll let him go there! Maybe he can call John McCain.

      Thanks for all the suggestions, Patty!

  6. nrhatch May 8, 2013 / 6:55 PM

    1. Check out this site: http://washington.org/

    2. 100 Free (and almost free) things to do: http://washington.org/100-free-and-almost-free-things-do-dc

    Outdoor stuff:

    *Trek your way down the C&O Canal Towpath, which traces the Potomac from Georgetown to Cumberland, Md.

    * Head to Gravelly Point, a park area off the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Mount Vernon Trail, to watch the planes take off from Reagan National Airport.

    * Let DC’s green space surprise you with a visit to the National Arboretum.

    * Browse through the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden to take in art and fresh air at the same time. The garden features seating for visitors and a fountain.

    * Lincoln Park on pet-friendly Capitol Hill to make nice with the neighborhood’s four-legged friends. Art and Soul at the Liaison Capitol Hill lists Bowser Beer on its dog-friendly patio menu.

    * Spend just $5 per vehicle, or $3 a person if you go on bike, via the C&O Canal Trail to explore nature in Great Falls Park. These 800 acres of beautiful parkland with green space, cascading rapids and waterfalls are located just beyond the Beltway.

    * Enjoy a veritable feast for the senses each Sunday at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market. During peak season, there are more than 30 farmers offering items which include fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, fish and baked goods. Samples are always available. Market hours are 9 a.m.-1 p.m. April through December and 10 a.m.-1p.m. January through March.

    * Amble up Massachusetts Avenue to get a firsthand look at the beautiful architecture of embassies from around the world.

    * Everyone knows Washington, DC is a seat of power, but did you know it’s also home to the world’s biggest chair? The Big Chair in Anacostia happens to be the world’s largest (at 19 feet, it stands as tall as Lady Freedom atop the Capitol). Check it out – it’s free to visit and serves as a gathering spot for the Anacostia neighborhood.

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:02 AM

      Holy cow, Nancy – you’ve given me tons of stuff to look up – thanks!

  7. Lance May 8, 2013 / 6:56 PM

    cute kittys, great poem

    I like the first three lines a lot.

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:03 AM

      Thanks for reading (and appreciating the kitties’ cuteness), Lance.

  8. Eric Alagan May 8, 2013 / 6:58 PM

    The leaning trees are interesting. On a long drive in South Island, New Zealand – I came across a whole stretch of leaning trees – the constant wind, I reckon.

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:04 AM

      I can see how constant wind could affect their growth. I’ll have to go back to the spot and see if there are hills nearby….

      Thanks for stopping by, Eric. I’m behind on reading your posts, but I’ll check them out soon!

  9. nrhatch May 8, 2013 / 6:59 PM

    Dining ideas:

    * The handwritten sign above the register in Ben’s Chili Bowl lists Bill Cosby and Barack Obama as the only customers who can eat for free. But you can sup inexpensively at this city signature, where the famous chili half-smoke is $5.45.

    * Head over to Julia’s Empanadas for a taste of South America. A variety of handmade, generously stuffed, freshly baked hand-pies are $3.49 each.

    * Explore the richness of DC’s Little Ethiopia starting at 9th and U Street NW. Pick a restaurant and explore mildly spiced stews served communally on circles of spongy bread. On Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons, Dukem offers a free cultural show: traditional dancing, music and coffee great for groups and families.

    * Snag a seat at the bar at Casa Nonna and score specially priced happy-hour drinks and free appetizers. This Dupont Circle restaubar has a rep for being generous with thin-crust pizzas, hot risotto balls and salumi.

    * Eat organic at Johnny’s Half Shell, where James Beard award-winning Chef Ann Cashion’s mini burgers and mini Asian tuna sandwiches are just $2.50, and her fried oysters and gumbo are $7.50 each during happy hour.

    * Watch the chef make ropes of skinny noodles in the window of Chinatown Express before ordering a big bowl for under $5.

    * Ten bucks will get you falafel, twice-fried fries and change until 4 a.m. on weekends at Amsterdam Falafelshop. Make sure to snag a napkin; in an effort to reduce waste, they don’t use spoons, forks or plates.

    * Catch the newest trend in dining with food trucks, a fleet of independent kitchens on wheels that serve global cuisine all day. Try a bulgogi steak taco from TaKorean for $3.50 or a smoked corned beef sandwich at Sixth & Rye from $9.

    * Even sushi has a happy hour in DC. Try Café Asia, where Nigiri is $1 a piece and maki rolls are discounted.

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:06 AM

      There’s some good stuff in this list, Nancy! I love the Happy Hour deals (I’m really happy when I’m spending less money :))

  10. nrhatch May 8, 2013 / 7:01 PM

    Alexandria Virginia:

    A short Metro ride from Washington DC, Alexandria, Virginia is the perfect escape from the fast-paced capital. First settled in 1695, the city retains its colonial spirit, with cobblestone streets and historic buildings in the Old Town, Gadsby’s Tavern, a restaurant serving food since 1770, and centers of learning like the Black History Museum. For a more contemporary side of Alexandria, wander the streets of the stylish Del Ray neighborhood, where local artists operate boutiques and studios.

      • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:09 AM

        You’ve gone above and beyond, Nancy! I have a feeling there’s more to see than what we can fit in for our vacation. I’ve added your suggestions to my log and I’ll start checking them out so we (as a family) can rank the activities. (We’ve got to build in some down time and the kids will want to swim, I’m sure…perfect father/sons bonding time while mom reads a book :))

  11. pattisj May 8, 2013 / 9:07 PM

    Has anyone recommended the National Zoo? As far as I know, it is still free, 2000 animals, nearly 400 species.
    It does appear the small trees are trying to see the top of the big tree. Love the kitty!

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:11 AM

      We do have the zoo on the list of possibilities. I like that the admission is free! Thanks for adding your suggestion, Patti!

  12. Imelda May 8, 2013 / 9:35 PM

    The poem – it’s true even of people. It is easier to be just one with the crowd than to stand up all by oneself – especially when it is the right thing to do, right.

    I am glad you are having a downtime – updating my own About page is like a dream for me as well.

    Washington D.C> is quite nice. While you want to go for the road less traveled, don’t forget to travel the Smithsonian. Your kids might enjoy the Natural History Museum – there’s a butterfly garden there to. You can visit Mt. Vernon. 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:14 AM

      I saw the butterfly garden – I’d like to see that. They had an Monarch exhibit here at the Botanical Garden and we liked it. Mt. Vernon is also on our list – my parents are going with us and that’s the one thing my mom wanted to do. I agree, Imelda, we do have to see the Smithsonian. Thanks for sharing your recommendations!

  13. Diane Turner May 8, 2013 / 10:33 PM

    Beautiful and apt poem.
    Washington DC? Ah, love it! The Newseum is interesting, and the kids may enjoy watching money being made at the Bureau of Engraving.
    Thanks for sharing your excellent work.

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:15 AM

      You’re the third person to recommend the Newseum. That was one I didn’t have on my list, but I do now 🙂 I appreciate you taking time to share your suggestions, Diane!

  14. Sean May 9, 2013 / 6:19 AM

    I admit, I saw the picture before I finished the poem and you captured a good expression for these trees. I can see another point besides standing alone, although that was the first thought. These are small trees with large trees around them, they are reaching for the sunlight. Just like we need to do, we need to search and look for the light instead of staying in the shade. When we are kept hidden, we struggle to grow. Now the big trees around the small trees protect them from snow and wind even though the small trees want to be on their own.

    As far as DC goes, It looks like you already have some good ideas posted. It’s been 20 years since I have been in that area so who knows what changed. I tend to gravitate to battlefields and sites such as that. I enjoy just walking around the sites and seeing history and nature. There are quite a few thoroughbred farms around also.

    • Sean May 9, 2013 / 12:52 PM

      One Kitty is thinking, OOOHHHHH Warmth while other kitty is saying, me no elf, me teenage mutant ninja kitty.

      • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:20 AM

        🙂 The cat on the laptop might be a sign I need to turn the heater on, eh? Ninja kitty was a good sport about the elf shirt. Things might have turned if he tried to put a hat on her, though.

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:19 AM

      You’ve interpreted quite a story from the photo, Sean! Isn’t it fun how two people can look at the same photo and conjure up different ideas about it? I need to get out soon and find more inspiration. I haven’t had an outing with my camera for several weeks 🙂

      My older son wanted to see Gettysburg, but I don’t know if we’ll end up there or not. It’s on the long list for now. Thanks for adding your insights to the poem and your DC suggestions!

  15. diannegray May 9, 2013 / 1:33 PM

    I love the pic of those trees, Janna – it’s very interesting indeed! The cats look totally delightful (and yes – I was smiling) 😀

    I can’t help you with Washington DC because I’ve never been there, but I’m looking forward to a post on how you go with it all 😉

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 12:23 AM

      Yay! I’m glad the kitties made you smile (that’s what I do when I see them, but I’m biased!)

      Well, if I ever make it to Australia (that would be fun) I know who to ask 🙂 (My son really wants to see a gecko egg- I told him about your experience with squeezing the “Tic-Tac”!)

      • diannegray May 10, 2013 / 1:23 PM

        If you’re ever in Australia I have heaps of Tic Tacs to show your son! I found a whole lot in the shed the other day (and I didn’t squeeze them because I knew what they were this time!) 😉

        • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 5:18 PM

          Oh, he would love that, Dianne. Getting to Australia is the hard part 🙂 I hope you get some pictures of the little guys.

  16. Sangita May 10, 2013 / 3:08 AM

    Cats never looked cuter. And yes I am smiling here. Delightful read?

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 10:55 AM

      I’m glad you got a smile from them. They make me smile every day, Sangita!

  17. Sangita May 10, 2013 / 3:09 AM

    Ah that was supposed go be a full stop not a question mark..Still not comfy with ipads keypad here

    • jannatwrites May 10, 2013 / 10:55 AM

      Understandable – I’ve never tried blog commenting on a tablet.

  18. Tessa May 10, 2013 / 2:34 PM

    I don’t know if you can see that I hit like on this or not. It doesn’t show on my side. It just says like, no pic and goes away when I leave the page. It is not just you it is everyone. Nice poem.

  19. Tessa May 10, 2013 / 2:35 PM

    Aha! It says I wasn’t signed in. I don’t know why I stay signed in. Oh well, it made me sign in to send the message and then I was allowed to like your post.

    • jannatwrites May 11, 2013 / 10:34 AM

      I’m glad you went to all that trouble to ‘like’ it, Tessa. I’ve been having trouble commenting lately on some non-Wordpress blogs… I’m glad you figured this one out, though!

      • Tessa May 12, 2013 / 11:16 AM

        I can’t comment on a lot of them either. I don’t know why that is though.

  20. Sandra May 21, 2013 / 8:27 PM

    Very interesting photo of the trees! And I adore the look of your sleeping cat! Not so much the elf costume, but still, very cute. 🙂 Don’t worry about responding to this comment, as I’m way overdue for a visit here…

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 9:23 PM

      I know you’ve been busy, so I do appreciate you taking time to read some of my posts, Sandra. To me, sleeping cats are so peaceful. They even make me sleepy when they curl up in my lap 🙂

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