Monday, August 09, 2004

Now for "Das Weekend Roundup"

Got back from Cape May, NJ late Friday and dropped the kid off at her mother's place, giving me and the girl the weekend alone. Kinda important detail as this was the girl's birthday weeked.

Saturday, I had made plans to hit the Smithsonian and check out the "Orkin Bug Exhibit" then see the Imax movie "Bugs in 3D". Dunno exactly why, but the girl is a fan of bugs, so I decided to make this a theme weekend. I framed up three 4x6" shots (in a single frame) that I'd taken back during the height of the cicada invasion this past summer, bought her a couple of books on insects and bugs, and planned the Smithsonian/Imax bug outing (among other things...I'm not gonna give away all my secrets, fool).

The outing went well. I found the sooper secret way to get into the Museum of Natural History even during ultra-scary code orange days which I will here share with you, my loyal reader(s): use the back door. Seriously. If you go to the main front entrance, right off of the mall, you're gonna stand in a line of 100 tourists for half an hour as everybody gets their bags searched and sets off the metal detectors a few times. If you go to the entrance off of Constitution Ave (the rear of the building), you walk up, drop your keys in the little basket, step through the metal detectors, grab your keys and you're in. All of about 3 seconds. No lines, no problems. Don't tell anybody else, I don't want everybody screwing up my secret passages.

For dinner Saturday we decided we wanted sushi, but didn't feel like spending outlandish sushi prices, so we went to WholeFoods and got a nice slab of tuna steak, some sushi rice and other fixens and headed for home. Once home, we decided were weren't brave enough to eat the tuna raw, so we tried to flash-sear it for a second, but we ended up cooking it totally. So, while it wasn't sushi, we had tuna and rice and wasabi...which was really good, but didn't fix the craving for sushi totally.

Sunday, keeping wtih the nature/bugs theme, the girl and I went out to western VA/eastern WV and did a hike called "Big Schloss". It was a cool, not too long hike. About 5 miles total. The only suck part was the first long ass section is a solid climb to the ridgeline. Theoretically it's only a 700' elevation gain, but it seems to go on a whole lot more than 700' up. Once on the ridgeline, it's a fairly rolling hike with no harsh climbs. As you get out towards Big Schloss Rocks itself, there are a couple of hidy-hole campsites right off the trail that would be awesome to wake up in. One is maybe 20' from a rock that acts as an overlook over the valley below. Seems like this site has more info than any human ever needs about the mountain/trail. Good stuff, but almost too indepth for me.

There is also the option of going further (12 miles total) to the next mountain. I'm thinking it would be a cool weekend campout to do 6 miles out, camp, and 6 miles back the next day.

Dinner last night, skirting the sushi theme again, we went to PFChangs for chinese food. Evidently it's still the new hotness, since there was a 1.5 hour wait on a Sunday night. So we dined at the bar and skipped the wait. Mmmm...salt-n-pepper calamari...