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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Guided Tour of the US Capitol

This tour starts at the US Capitol Visitor Center. Please be aware that security screenings are done prior to going in. You are not allowed to bring liquids (including water), food, pointed objects and other potential weapons.

It starts by watching a 13-minute film called "Out of Many, One" in one of the visitor center's orientation theaters, It shows a journey through our country's struggle to establish the world's first truly representative democracy and introduces you to the magnificent building which houses the Congress. The parts that will be visited are the Crypt, the Rotunda, and the National Statuary Hall.

The Crypt

At the Rotunda is a captivating painting on the ceiling

The US Capitol Visitor Center is the newly added building to this historic complex. It almost measures 580,000 sq. ft., considered to be the largest project in the Capitol's more than 2 century history and is approximately 3 quarters the size of the Capitol itself. This entire facility is located underground on the east side of the Capitol.

The US Capitol is considered to be a symbol of the American people and their government and the meeting place of the nation's legislature. It also houses an important collection of American art and is among the most architecturally symbolical and impressive important building in the world.
It functions as a working office facility as well as a tourist attraction visited by millions of tourists every year.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Our Guided Tour of the Pentagon

I've been wanting to visit the Pentagon ever since, so that when Rill's Bus offered the tour, I and my husband signed up for it.
It takes a while before you can get in due to security checks and all, but it was worth it! :)

The tour was approximately an hour duration with a walking distance of about 1.5 miles through all the Pentagon's corridors and staircases. So, there was a lot of walking. You need to wear shoes that are comfy.

The tour is a dynamic one; - it highlights the mission of the Department of defense, explains and shows the historical facts pertaining to each of its branches of service, and showcases numerous displays that highlight and depict those significant moments in military history.
The highlight of the tour was a visit to the memorial placed inside the Pentagon near the Sept. 11th Memorial Chapel. 
The Hall of Heroes can also be seen wherein names of all the recipients of the Medal of Honor are on it, as well as an up-close look at an actual Medal of Honor.

Take note however that what you see inside, stays inside, which means strictly no photos allowed!

Another heads up...every visitor is subject to security screening. You need at least one proper ID which must be current with a clear, recent photo, such as US passport or US passport card, DL, State ID, etc...
No large bags, pointed instruments and other potential weapons that can inflict bodily harm. Cameras and cellphones are permitted but should be turned off.
Cameras are allowed at the lobby/visitors area though, so get a good photo there ;).

We had our photo souvenir taken! :)

The Pentagon is one of the world's largest office buildings and is the headquarters of the Department of Defense.

Before taking a Pentagon tour, all visitors are required to provide their full name, address, DOB and SSN. For non-US citizens, your citizenship and the name of your country should also be provided.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sight & Sound Theater - "SAMSON"

The Sight & Sound's Millenium Theater has once again touched the hearts of the public portraying the life of "Samson" - one of the Bible characters' first superheroes; - the strongest man who ever lived.
He was not only considered a hero because of his physical strength, but also because of his faith in God.

Samson's life is one of the most captivating stories in the Bible. You can read his story beginning from the book of Judges chapter 13. His father is Manoah from the tribe of Dan.
The play was filled with colorful characters with amazing special effects that you will always love. You will witness the peak excitement when Samson stands between the two colossal columns and started to push, - showing the audience an immersive scene that literally brings the house down!

The life of Samson conveys a message of hope for the wayward, comfort for the weary and the incredible grace of God that enables each person to become truly be strong in Him.

Me and my husband

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Visiting Nemours (Estate & Mansion)

Nemours Mansion is an estate owned by Alfred DuPont who was an influential member of the DuPont Company. It is considered to be the grandest residence ever constructed in Wilmington, Delaware with a 300-acre of space.
The mansion has 5 floors (only 3 floors were currently accessible to the public when we were there), encompassing 47,000 sq. feet with one full acre under a roof! 

Nemours Mansion was created by Alfred DuPont as a gift for his 2nd wife, Alicia in 1909-10 and got its name from DuPont's great, great grandfather, - Pierre Samuel DuPont de Nemours, - a French writer, publisher, economist and government official of France.
Furnishings consist of eclectic collection of fine European, American and rare 18th-century French furniture, tapestries and outstanding works of art.
The Long Walk

At the sunken gardens

The gardens remained as the finest example in North America of a formal French garden which are exquisitely landscaped with pools, fountains and surrounded by natural woodlands. The grounds were inspired by Versailles in France covering 222-acres of lands.

Both the mansion and the gardens were renovated and restored and re opened on May 1, 2008 with a $39 million budget in a 3-year timeline renovation.

So far, basing on our experience during our visit, this is one of the mansion tours that allows photography inside and outdoors! Self-guided tours are always offered with some of the staff standing by for any further answer about any questions people would like to ask. At that moment, there were no guided tours available as we heard they were having a transition stage with their management.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Great Deals From Guitar Center!

Hey guys, if you love music and musical instruments as well, it is always a good idea to have at least a credible site to go to online. It's because it's the fastest way and yet efficient method of how you would know the amazing deals they offer everyday! Always check and bookmark guitar center on your PC's! Or at least if you prefer visiting any actual stores, they do have store locations on their website as well depending on your state location.

Besides, it does not only offer musical products but you can as well get to know more about free music lessons in playing your instruments, they have repair services, rentals or you might as well wanna know about special financing offers they have.

Check it out! 

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Monticello Tour

First and foremost, some important facts to remember before visiting the Monticello house. Taking photos and videos inside the house is NOT allowed, but is permitted on the grounds. Of course, you need to buy a ticket in order to tour the house.
The tour guide meets you at the East Walk fronting the house at least 15 minutes before your scheduled tour.

The Monticello is considered to be a designated masterpiece of Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd president of the United States, and the one who drafted the Declaration of Independence. He constructed and redesigned every aspect of Monticello including the landscapes for a period of 40 years. He made this his residence after inheriting the land from his father. It is located outside Charlottesville, Virginia on a mountaintop with a 5,000-acre plantation.

Jefferson started designing and building Monticello when he was 26 with his designing principles inspired from a neoclassical design of an Italian renaissance style and still continued to redesign and integrate more from his own design ideas towards styles that became popular in the late 18th-century styles.

Monticello means an Italian name for "little mount" because of its location on a lofty hill in Albermarle County, Virginia in the southwest mountains, south of the Rivanna Gap.

Inside the house reveals rooms where Jefferson and his family spent their daily life routines. Furnishings, books, gadgets, arts and many more objects are also displayed revealing Jefferson's unique mind.
A Crossroads Exhibit, restored wine cellars, a kitchen, smoke house and the slave quarters can be seen in the cellar area with an entrance shaped like a tunnel.

 Outdoors are historic gardens which were a botanic showpiece with extensive gardens for fruits and vegetables and other gardens for ornamental and useful plants.

Fifteen minutes away from the Monticello house is a walking trail to Jefferson's grave and other members of his family.

There are more exhibits that can be seen at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center as well, including 4 exhibitions that feature interactive technology, historical objects and ground-breaking researches.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Experiencing 18th-Century at Michie Tavern

If you want to relive an 18th-century setting for a bit, visiting Michie Tavern in Charlottesville, VA is worth it!

The original tavern was built in 1784 which used to be a social center during the colonial period. You will experience eating a buffet lunch menu consisting of colonial fried chicken, stewed tomatoes, green beans, gravy, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, etc...Servers will also be dressed in their colonial costumes as they serve your drinks and other special requests you may have.

Self guided tours are mostly ideal if you want to take your time, but guided tours are also available, particularly for bigger groups. Their interactive tour is popularly ideal for groups. This is of course a guided tour and it includes seeing the 18th-century outbuildings, experiencing interactive activities such as dancing a colonial reel (with music) as well as you get the chance to try playing an 18th-century game! 
18th-century toilets!

Tours include visiting the oldest section of the tavern as you will continue to discover its 18th-century history.
Photos are allowed while touring inside the tavern, so bring your camera!
Some onsite shops are available at the area such as the Metal Smith Shop, The Armory, Artifacts Shop, The General Store and The Tavern Gift Shop.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Visit to the MacArthur Memorial Museum

This museum also functions as a research center dedicated to present and preserve the story of Gen. Douglas McArthur's life, his military career and achievements, his speeches, his family background and his role during the WW I & II including the Korean War.

The memorial also pays tribute to all men and women who supported McArthur in his battles during the war.

The first floor Memorial contains the Rotunda (the round-shaped area at the center of the first floor.) This is the focal point of the first floor. At the center of the Rotunda are the tombs of Gen. McArthur and his wife. On the walls are flag displays that can be easily seen.

There are 4 main galleries here; - Galleries 1, 7, 8 & 9.
The Second Floor Memorial contains 5 galleries; - 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. In here is a life-sized trench diorama, artifacts, artworks and interactive maps, - telling all about the happenings during the WW I & II, the occupation of Japan and the early beginnings of the Cold War.

By the way, there is also a visitor center where you can watch a 25-minute film about the life of Gen. Douglas McArthur. Adjacent to it are the special exhibit gallery, a gift shop, a visitor's lounge and some displays. It's purely all-history exhibits. If you're doing a research, bring your notebooks, a pen and your camera!'ll never know ;).

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Virginia International Tattoo 2016...(I was there!)

This world-class international event is held annually in Norfolk, Virginia with a purpose to honor our nation's military, to educate the youth, strengthen international relations and to celebrate American freedom and patriotism.
The Virginia International Tattoo is supported by a group of government and military leaders who serve as an advisory committee.
This year's celebration was on its 20th anniversary! How time flies! It is always dedicated to the 3 million men and women of America's armed services who stood courageously and continously to stand guard around the world.

The event was inspiring. For many who regularly watch it, many say they have always feel a renewed sense of pride and optimism.
This year's show featured the finest Tattoo cast ever assembled with a magnificent 200 person massed pipes and drums, 1,000 glorious voices, and nearly 2,000 military and civilian performers from 8 nations. The entire show consisted of show-stopping drill teams, inspirational music played by both military and non-military bands, majestic bagpipe and drum bands, colorful and elegant dancers and many more, creating an extraordinary unified performance.

I saw the 2016 Virginia International Tattoo! :)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The 63rd Norfolk International NATO Festival "Parade of Nations"

Being the longest continously presented parade in the region and the only United States parade that salutes NATO, - this fabulous parade celebrated annually comprises more than 100 parade units, including visiting high school and local bands, US and international military bands.

The parade also showcases various performers and colorful floats that represent all 28 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) members. (nations)

It's patriotically entertaining! A salute to the performers and participants for a job well done! :)

I was there! ;)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Experiencing Lantern Asia at Norfolk Botanical Gardens

Since Lantern Asia has been sponsored by Norfolk Botanical Gardens for the year 2016 (spring), this was a great chance to visit as it was the first ever Chinese Lantern Exhibition in Virginia. The art exhibits become spectacular better at night, but it is still good to see the arts during the day.

Both walking and tram tours were available, and since it was raining when we visited, we opted to do the tram tour. It was true!; - "an art by day, magic by night."
There were 36 enormous, magical illuminating works of art, crafted with eco-friendly materials, silk and steel making the garden's landscape transforms into a colorful, magical work of art ;).

These works of art (lantern festivals) also highlight traditional Asian themes, which are rich in history dating back to the Han Dynasty considered to be the largest of its kind in the US. Judging by the photos I took, I must admit it's truly a magnificent lantern exhibition!