As many people know, my husband is a VW nut. He loves to drive them and work on them and has even turned that hobby into a profitable part time job at home. He even has this decal on his car that explains it all:(translation: Eat, Sleep, VW!!)Often during the year, he will go for a day or a weekend to a gathering of other VW nuts to hang out and play with their cars all day. On a weekend in May, there is a gathering near Baltimore, MD that he likes to go to, called "ImpexFest" (sponsored by a parts supplier, Impex) held at that business. He really wanted me to go with him this year. I have NO interest in the car stuff, but I was honored that he wanted me to go. He said while at the gathering, I could do what I wanted- just relax or whatever, and after we were there for a while, we could go to nearby D.C. or anywhere and just spend time together for the weekend. I decided it did sound nice just to be able to get away and my parents HAD mentioned wanting to take the kids for a weekend sometime to give us a break.....so, I asked and mom was able to rearrange her work schedule so they could take them! We had an AMAZING weekend! Here is the recap with pictures and (relatively) few words...
We actually stayed at the Hyatt at Dulles airport even though it was a distance from where we were going. But, it was a super nice hotel that Aaron got for a STEAL ($75/night!!) with a promo he found online. It was probably one of, if not THE, nicest hotel room I have slept in. When we got there, we met some of his friends for dinner at a Thai restaurant. I had never been to one before. The one who took us went on and on that we HAD to try the duck rolls. I had to laugh though when I saw the chef's specials menu:I couldn't help but wonder how I was supposed to eat them when they had this cute picture of a duck next to it. But, I did and it was good! Everything was awesome. I soooooo over ate!
Saturday, we went to the Impex gathering, and even there I had a great time! While Aaron did his thing and helped someone fix their car, I literally sat in a lawn chair and read this book:
In fact, I finished it before we got home today. I have NEVER been able to finish a book so quick. It was nice to have so much spare time to relax and read! It is sooooo good. This is book two; the first is called the Hunger Games. It is a little dark and very bizarre, but so interesting I had trouble putting it down! I don't know how I will wait until Book 3 comes out in August!!!
After reading for a while, I decided to go on a walk. Several people had brought their dogs with them. One person in particular brought this beautiful dog:His name is, appropriately, Diesel (considering this was a gathering of VW's with turbo diesels engines....). Apparently, the dog was given this name before his current owners got him! It was a match meant to be! Anyway, the dog was so good and so cute so I borrowed him from his owner so I could take him with me on my walk. We both enjoyed the exercise and scenery.
Aaron took time out during his day to hang with me also!
When we left there, we followed the advice of others there and, instead of going to D.C., we went into downtown Baltimore, to Chesapeake Bay.
One friend suggested the National Aquarium there.
So, as we were walking toward the aquarium (pictured above) we saw these little electric boats you could rent and ride on the water (see picture above). It looked fun until we saw it cost $20 to rent a boat. That seemed expensive so we just kept walking. But then found out it would cost $60 (!!!!!!) to get into the aquarium! Suddenly, the $20 boat ride didn't seem so bad, so we went back there. It was actually well worth it- very fun!This duck paddled right past our boat:
And I remembered dinner from the night before....
We saw these street performers:
(this guy was painting on cardboard. I wish I had gotten a close up of one of his pieces- they were VERY good!)
Then, we went to the top of the Baltimore World Trade Center
(and you can see the affects of being outside ALL day...I was transforming into a lobster...)
And saw THIS view:
Then, based on several recommendations, we went to this area of town for dinner:
which was filled with little authentic Italian restaurants- which we quickly came to realize were all above our price range, despite someone telling us it was actually cheap..... ha! But, we were already there and it was a loooooong walk back to our car, so we settled on this adorable little restaurant:
It had such a neat atmosphere to it- it was all open to the outside with breezes blowing through and the food was soooooo good. It was very expensive, so we shared our meal- and it was STILL too expensive, but we never eat at fancy places and we were on vacation so we decided it was worth it!
Driving back to our hotel, we saw THIS as we got on the freeway near D.C.:
This is the Washington D.C. temple of our church. A totally breathtaking view and this picture does NOT do it justice.
Sunday morning, we slept in enjoying the fact that we never had to get up to take anyone potty, or deal with a heavy cat sleeping at our feet. We drove home happy after the wonderful weekend we spent together. We really had a lot of good quality time that we were well due for. I am lucky to be married to such a loving man who enjoys spending time with me and was excited for me to come along on what started as HIS weekend. I am lucky for two wonderful parents and a sister who helped care for my kids all weekend. Thank you!!!!!! Though it was quite funny just how thoroughly EXHAUSTED my parents seemed we we got back. My mom said, "There is a reason why raising children is meant for the young....." I am sure they passed out about 60 seconds after we left.... But, I know my kids had an amazing time and have told me many stories of all the cool stuff they got to do. I really needed this break and I really enjoyed it and am now happy to be home with my babies!