Category: Washington DC Metro Area

Tourist For a Day

By , March 4, 2011 3:43 pm

We spent our 11th wedding anniversary being a tourist in DC. It’s fun being a tourist in your own city. Washington DC has so much to offer it is just too bad that most people who live in the area are just too busy or too stressed to enjoy its many parks, world class museums (they are free!!) and history.

We began our day at the National Gallery of Art. We picked the exhibit featuring Paul Gauguin’s work which it available February 27th -  June 5th. What an interesting man! Here is a man who went to the South Pacific in search of happiness in “Paradise”.

USDAArch Segway

GauginSignTwo Tahitian Women

 Gauguin, Tahitian Landscape Tahitian_women_painting_by_Paul_Gauguin_1891

Our next stop was the US Botanic Garden, it is right next to the Capitol building. We’ve been here a few times before and have enjoyed the garden each time. It’s not too big that you feel overwhelmed and not too small that you’ll loose interest.

USBG

Enjoy some of nature’s color in bloom:

Peacocks

FrontEntrance1FrontEntrance

AmaryllisFernsMoss

 OrangeFuzzyOrangeWhiteTip 

PurpleOrangeWhiteOrchid

Afterwards we had supper at Neisha Thai in Tysons Corner Mall and then bought ourselves some goodies from Shilla Bakery in Annandale. Yummy!

ShilaBakery

It was a good day. Thank you for the sunshine and flowers. And family and good food. Smile

Harbingers of Spring

By , March 3, 2011 7:18 am

The Star is still parked in Central Florida but we are both in Northern Virginia right now. Jonathan will be here for another week or so and I be here for two to three months. I’ve committed to a work project in the DC area and I will be staying with my family during this time.  We’ll be going back and forth to visit each other.

Yes, it’s cold here but it is slowly warming up. It is early March and the crocuses and daffodils are out in the yard. These flowers are harbingers of Spring!

Crocuses_Purple

Daffodils2

Crocuses2Daffodil

The year 2011 will see a lot of changes for us. So far, it has been quite busy already. Our 11th wedding anniversary is tomorrow. We will attend a friend’s wedding in Bruceton, West Virginia the following day. We will have to miss another friend’s Memorial Service that is taking place in Falls Church, VA that same day. It’s too bad we cannot be in two places at once. On the one hand  there is hope and new beginning (wedding) and on the other there is death and sadness but there is hope too. That hope is the resurrection hope of a better future to come. Maintaining a balance and the right frame of mind can be a challenge sometimes when “life happens”.

A Month Full of Activities

By , October 21, 2010 9:29 am

We saw Cirque Du Soleil show “OVO” at the National Harbor last night with my sister and her husband. It was entertaining and delightful. We have seen a number of shows in the DC Metro area, Baltimore, Orlando and Las Vegas. Our favorite show is KA in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel!

CirqueDuSoleilOvo CirqueDuSoleilOvo3  CirqueDuSoleilOvo2

We arrived in Northern Virginia at the beginning of the month. We parked in the driveway of my sister’s house. The driveway isn’t level so it required some ingenuity (and trips to Home Depot & RV store) to get the RV  leveled satisfactorily. It was such a hassle getting it leveled that we bought a portable macerator instead of moving the RV to dump its contents. With a macerator you can pump the holding tank contents into the commode in the house!

LevelingRV1LevelingRV2 LevelingRV 

We helped rip out the old kitchen floor and put in new resilient vinyl tiles that look like ceramic using real grout. We finished the floor just in time for a family gathering the next day!

KitchenFloorDemo  KitchenFloorConcrete KitchenFloorNew

We have enjoyed eating some great food! One thing I love about this area is the great variety of delicious foods available both at home and at restaurants.

FGFood KoreanBBQ Pho

As always, it is great to see and be with our family and friends again whether taking in a show, eating out or doing fall clean up. It is great to be with the ones you love!

 ViennaHallCleaning AtOvo  RichmondDinner TheGirlz Girls TheBabies

The weather is getting cool – high in the 60s/70s and low in the 40s/50s. The Star (I want to call the RV the “Death Star”!) will be heading south at the end of the month. We’ll be back with our other family and friends in Florida this winter.

Washington DC Metro vs Ocala Metro

By , November 20, 2009 8:58 pm

I grew up in the Washington DC Metropolitan area most of my life (my immediate family is still there).  DC, NY, LA, Chicago and cities like that (along with its suburban areas) are what I consider a metropolitan area.

I was surprised to discover that Ocklawaha is part of the “Ocala Metropolitan area”.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the group that oversees the activities of federal agencies in the United States, produced a formal definition of metropolitan areas. These are defined as "Metropolitan Statistical Areas" (MSAs) and "Combined Statistical Areas" (CSAs).

Apparently, Marion County is a “metropolitan area”. Marion County is coterminous (has the same boundaries) with the Ocala Metropolitan Statistical Area, Ocala being the principle city in Marion County. Thus, Ocala Metro area was first defined in 1981.

Some of you may find the 2006-2008 Census Data of the two areas interesting.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2006-2008 American Community Survey

Items of Interest

Marion County, FL

Fairfax County, VA

Estimate

%

Estimate

%

Total population

322,494

 

1,005,980

 

 

Population 25 years and over

232,857

 

 

673,883

 

 

65 yrs and over

78,146

24.2

96,099

9.6

White

266,983

82.8

674,417

67.0

Black

37,357

11.6

94,102

9.4

Asian

4,522

1.4

159,247

15.8

Hispanic

29,583

9.2

136,192

13.5

Foreign born

22,974

7.1

278,319

27.7

Speak a language other than English at home

32,130

 

10.5

319,832

34.2

Mean travel time to work in minutes

24.3

 

30.8

 

 

Median household income

41,128

 

106,785

 

 

Median home value

159,600

 

556,100

 

 

Land/Water

Total =1,663 Square Mile

1,579 Land/84 Water

Total = 407 Square Mile

395 Land/ 12 Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are some vast differences between the two areas (population, income, home value, land, etc…)!

What I like/miss about Washington DC Metro area:

  • Family & friends (of course!)
  • Cuisines/restaurants (the variety is awesome!)
  • Shopping (Tysons Corner, Pentagon City, Tysons Galleria, etc…)
  • Culture (cultural diversity, museums, shows, etc…)
  • Asian grocery stores! (I have yet to find an Asian grocery store here. I admit, I haven’t look very hard. I hope I find one soon. I have a hankering for kimchi and other Southeast Asian goodies that are wrapped in banana leaves.)

What I do NOT miss about Washington DC Metro area:

  • Traffic/Congestion (it’s bad! the construction of the HOT lanes are making it worse, ironic!)

What I like about the Ocala Metro:

  • New friends!
  • Ocala National Forest (it’s huge! and it is a stone’s throw away from the house!)
  • Natural Florida springs
  • Slower pace of life
  • Palm trees
  • Citrus groves
  • Live oaks
  • Bougainvilleas
  • Critters in the backyard (bears! turkeys, deer, owls, hawk and sandhill cranes)

Turkeys pigs

What I am still getting used to in the Ocala Metro:

  • Dirt roads! (There are quite a bit of sandy roads here. No clay, so no sticky muddy roads.)

dusty_rd

  • Only two traffic lights in Ocklawaha
  • Constant changing of speed limit on the major roads (speed limit change depending on presence of houses/communities along the road)
  • Name of the streets! (It’s too long to explain here…)

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