Family Values

This past week was pretty epic in terms of the Jays. With the arrival of my parents last Wednesday, my Uncle Bruce and his son Justin came down to DC after the Orioles game in Baltimore, courtesy of my Uncle George with his daughter Jessica, Jason, and Jason’s wife Emily. It ended up being a miniature reunion of sorts, definitely the most Jays in one room since Jason’s wedding in November of ’07. It was great to see all of them, and I highly encourage everyone who was there to come out and see us in Colorado or Montana!

After we parted ways, I found myself once again in full visitation of my parents, vaguely similar to November, 2008, including a partial return to Sweden which will be continued and shared later.

I gave my folks their own private tour of the Capitol Building on Thursday (where I forgot my camera memory card) and the fun continued onto Friday, when my dad graciously paid for my entry into the International Spy Museum, which was neat for the actual history of espionage, but failed miserably in the cheesy spy scenario game. No pictures were allowed there, but afterwards we visited my mother across the street at the National Portrait Gallery, where I snapped a few shots of some of the coolest bronze sculptures I have ever seen, one of “Carry Me and I’ll Drum On” and another of a Saint.

“Carry Me and I’ll Drum On” Detail
Saint in Bronze
Another painting in the National Portrait Gallery

After this Gallery, we discovered Jazz in the (National Sculpture) Garden, and rounded out the night with some Aretha Franklin rehearsal in the Capitol Gardens. She still has an amazing voice and I recommend seeing her whenever you get the chance.

For Independence Day, we were lucky to be able to go on a long bike ride around the National Mall, where all of the streets were closed to car traffic, making for some amazingly beautiful bike riding.

Parents on Bikes along the Potomac
Segway Train (epic.)

After the bikes, we walked back to the Jefferson Memorial to watch the fireworks, which were easily the largest morters I have ever seen in a show. We were downwind from the show, however, so we had to deal with smoke in the view along with a good amount of raining ash. It was still a pretty great show, and the only one I have seen the comes close was in Honolulu.

Looking out from the Jefferson Memorial at Dusk
More Fireworks

The Jefferson Memorial in the dim light was also really cool and worth seeing if you come here (photo also at the top of this post).

Jefferson Statue

After the 4th of July hoopla, I spent Sunday with my parents between the Eastern Market, the Catholic University of America, and then to the final weekend of the Folk Life Festival, where we spent most of our time in the Welsh section of the festival. I was lucky enough to meet Eric Jones, who is without a doubt one of the best Welsh climbers of all time and ranks highly in a league of extraordinary British Climbers. He started BASE jumping at the young age of 51, was the first person to BASE jump off of the Eiger (a few years after his epic solo ascent in 1981), and BASE jumped off of Angel Falls at 61 years young. He was amazing to talk to, and at 71, he seemed light years younger than my own father. He will be in Denver in September, and I really hope I can meet him again. Yet another awesome mountaineering connection I have made this summer!

On Monday, my grandparents arrived from North Carolina, and I was lucky enough to give them a tour of the Capitol building, and also was able to get them access to a tour of the White House. They seemed extremely excited about being able to see me as well as two of the landmark sights in DC, and I was more than happy just to see them alive and well! It rounded off a week of enjoyable family time, one in which I am extremely happy took place and I can only hope that some of these east coast Jays come visit out in Colorado! Here is a shot of me, my dad, and my Grandparents before setting off on the Capitol tour.

Darcy arrives on Friday, and I am continuously reminded of Sweden almost everyday, so stay tuned for the next two (and most likely final) posts from Washington, DC!


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