Arlington, Rock Creek, and firework lookout from Iwo Jima Memorial - Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!  We are excited again to be back near our nation's capital.  This time, we are staying in Virginia and we know it's going to be a great day.

We had a very good night sleep at the B-N home. They bought their house three years ago and have added quite a few new rooms to it. They just finished construction and the house is amazing!!! They invited us to stay with them and it was a very generous offer. We took them up on the offer so we could spend time together and it would give us a break from staying at hotels. We have the entire basement to ourselves. It's above ground so they made a guest room, large playroom, a sitting area and a bathroom. It's very comfortable and private.  It also has doors that lead out to the backyard.  The house sits on a hill with a view of the woods.  

We went to bed a little after midnight last night, yet the children all woke up relatively early. By 8:15 a.m., Alissa had managed to try to wake me up at least 5 or 6 times. Dad went out to run with D, so she had carteblanche to try to wake me up. Slowly, the B-N kids eventually made it down and the kids all played and watched T.V. in the playroom.
When D and Dad returned, most of the girls drove to the Farmer's market by the courthouse in Arlington. It was great and it made me feel guilty that I don't take advantage and go to the Farmer's Market in Pinecrest. I made myself a promise that I would start going upon my return to Miami.  It wasn't very large, but they had beautiful and delicious fruits, vegetables, orchids, flowers, breads, desserts, etc.  I like spending time with M because I am reminded that we should be more "green," should eat more fruits and veggies and less sugar and junk.  Also, she cooks well and usually makes delicious meals. I still make the eggplant parmigiana that she made us at their former house over 8 years ago!

At the Farmer's Market I sampled a fresh Corn Zucchini Torte from Willow Restaurant at 4301 North Fairfax Dr. in Arlington.  The torte was delicious. I would love to make it when I return to Miami. I am including the recipe because I don't want to lose it:

Fresh Corn Zucchini Torte

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 ears corn (kernels off cob)
1 cup whole milk
1 shallot finely diced
1 lg Max tyson zucchini (shredded on grater)
6 leaves fresh basil chiffonade
4 tbsp melted butter
2 large eggs poly face

Directions:  Cook Corn in milk over low heat until tender. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Mix the corn milk mixture with the grated zucchini, butter, eggs. Stir by hand the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Scoop into buttered 4 oz. ramekins. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with sauteed cherry tomatoes.

Sweet Orange Cherry Tomatoes

1 pint sweet orange cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup Endless summer basil
4 cloves slice blanched garlic
3 tbsp EVOO
kosher salt
black pepper to taste

Directions:  Cut the tomatoes in half. heat a saute pan until moderately hot, add the oil and garlic, brown slightly, add the tomatoes saute quickly, toss with basil, season with salt and pepper.

This is a fabulous dish. I hope my children like it when I make it. We returned from the market and D had whipped up homemade waffles.  We had them with fruit, whipped cream and/or syrup. After breakfast, the kids played in the yard for a bit and the adults hung out.

For the afternoon, we decided to go to Rock Creek Park to hike and see the waterfall. The children had a wonderful time hiking and rock-climbing. The park has a Virginia side and a Maryland side. We went on the Virginia side. We also saw people climbing the rocks and kayaking down below in the river.

We were starving when we left. We had lunch at Amoo's Kabob in McLean, VA.  This was a Persian restaurant and the entrees were delicious. All of us were thrilled with our selection. The chicken and fillet were both very good. I think the rice with raspberries was my favorite. We ate so much we were ready for naps when we left. Unfortunately, there was no time for napping. We quickly got our things together and left for the Iwo Jima Memorial where we were planning to see the fireworks. We drove around for a long time looking for parking. We finally parked in a garage about 10 blocks away.

We met friends of the B-Ns there. We found a great spot on a hill with a view of DC and the Washington Monument. The children had a fabulous time, as did the adults. We talked, walked through Arlington Cemetery, snacked, played catch with rackets with suction cups, caught fireflies, and Dad led the kids in a game of Simon Says. The folks behind us were also very entertaining. We had a funny commentary going on throughout the fireworks display. It was a memorable night. When we got back to the house three of the five kids were sleeping. We took advantage and got ready for bed early. Again, Happy 4th!!!!

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