crankymonkeys in london
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 Flight: London Heathrow — Washington Dulles 

7 hours and 30 minutes

We left after 3 p.m. sometime and I was hoping that Oskar would fall asleep around 8 local time, but he didn't. He saw the TV screens and wanted to watch a 'dee-bee-deep' as soon as we sat down.
When the movies finally started, the one kids movie they had didn't have sound in English. He watched it a little bit in French and then gave up. Luckily we had our own portable DVD player with us,
so on and off he watched it for the entire 2 hours that the batteries lasted. In between he occupied himself with his cars and sticker books and James and I were both able to watch a movie. When we
landed at Dulles, Oskar was finally tired and fell asleep in the customs queue. His pram was not waiting for us at the gate as promised and I had to carry him until we got to the baggage carousel.

First stop: Franconia, Virginia; Nicki's place


When we arrived at Nicki's place, Dave and Franci had already arrived from Chicago and had made us pizza for dinner. I put Oskar to bed and we spent the next few hours
catching up. Then we crashed. Until Oskar woke up at 4 a.m. and thought it was the morning. We let him watch a DVD on the floor and pretended to sleep. Finally around 6
we dragged ourselves out of bed and downstairs for breakfast.

That day three more people arrived, Nicole and Vicki & Garrett from PA. I should mention at this point that all of us (minus Garrett who's Vicki's husband) met in Munich in
1996 when we were studying there. We caught up a few times during our senior year in college and a year later when Nicki and I were living in Arlington, VA, but I hadn't seen
most of these people since - for about 9 years. It's crazy how time flies. I was worried that everyone will want to drink lots, but it turned out that I'm not the only one who's
gotten old - after a glass of wine after dinner, everyone switched to peppermint tea :)

We spent Saturday and Sunday just reminiscing and looking through old photos and talking about what so and so is doing, etc. etc. etc. It was awesome to see everyone again.
The plan is to catch up in New York sometime in the fall.
From left to right: Franci, Nicole, Nicki, Vicki and Garrett                                           + Dave (Dave & Franci are married now)
Oskar kept busy with the toys Nicki has for her niece and nephew to play with.            Nicole showing everyone photos of her 2-year old son Porter.
And some mandatory group photos...





An American pantry. I could survive a year living here without going to the shops :)
Oskar and James decorating Easter eggs. There were no chocolate ones this year as Oskar doesn't eat chocolate much and would rather spend 30 minutes peeling a
hard boiled egg and then hand it to me and watch me until I finish eating it.

Snapshots from the city - Washington D.C.

The first day in the city was cloudy and cool, the second day was
almost summery. Last time we were in D.C., the Washington
monument was covered with scaffolding and a cover, some
references were made to a giant condom....
We saw quite a few people on Segways. Even the cops were using them.
The new National World War II Memorial.

Oskar's snack break.




The Lincoln Memorial
Our snack break on the top step of the Lincoln Memorial.
The view from the memorial.
For lunch we caught up with Laura in Chinatown. Laura used to work with us at Borders and encouraged me to ask James out :) I saw her last in 2000 when she
came to visit me in Estonia, we took the ferry to Helsinki for a day as well.
And this is where James and I met - Borders on the corner of 18th and L; January 1999.
This brave squirrel made Oskar's day. We had to look for squirrels to feed for days after this enounter.
Oskar is 'gardening' here with some gadget we bought from the
Air and Space museum.
The new museum of Native Americans. Oskar praticed beading techniques and begged me to take a picture in front of the teppees oustide.

Next stop: Reston, Virginia; Sami and Marlene's place



James rented a room from Sami and Marlene in 1999. I met Marlene for the first time,
Sami came to visit us in London last year and she's long become my friend as well :)

They have a little poodle puppy called Rosie. Oskar loved playing wit her and being licked.

Just some snaps from the local Giant supermarket.
Houses in Reston

To be continued in Part 2 - California