"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

September Updates

“Never forget that it takes only one person or one idea to change your life forever.” –Author Unknown 
September was a busy month and I've made a lot of posts of the main events, but I wanted to include a few other things we did during the month. During Marina Day in June we won the door prize...two tickets to ride on The Teal. This cruise boat runs educational, ecological and sunset excursions on Cayuga Lake. We decided to use our tickets during the full moon on September 1st. It was a wonderful trip.
The Teal is docked across the marina from our boat.
The beautiful full moon from the stern of The Pearl.
Labor Day weekend we drove to Bloomsburg to celebrate Hattie's birthday and spend the holiday with family. We always have fun with them.

Hattie had her 4th birthday party at the city park.
S'mores and the fire pit are some of the best parts of summer.
The final dock party on pier 3...days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler...fall has arrived.
We said good-bye to summer the same way we welcomed it in...a picnic at Sheldrake Winery and dinner at the Boatyard Grill.
Here's to the end of another wonderful summer and the start to more adventures this fall.
Our little runabout.
This picture was taken on September 20 and the following picture just ten days later...fall is arriving very fast.

Sept. 29 - Cirque du Soleil Echo

"Because our days are filled with the rational, practical and expected, Cirque du Soleil exists to bring us that which has never existed. And makes us feel things we’ve never felt. Life needs folly, life needs cirque" -Cirque du Soleil
The highlight of our family trip to DC was attending Cirque du Soleil Echo. The show was in the nearby town of Tysons, Virginia. Getting there on the Metro was part of the fun. The train stopped right next to the show sight. This particular show takes place under a huge big top, which gave us the feeling we were at the circus.
The grounds of Cirque du Soleil Echo.
There was a lot to see and do while we waited for the show to begin. Of course there were things to buy...souvenirs, drinks and food. And lots of photo op places.
Our seats are the red dots on this seating photo. We Loved being up close seeing the expressions on the actors.
Our first look at the stage. 
The set revolves around the mysterious CUBE that is as tall as a 2-story apartment building. At different points during the show it is dismantled, stripped, and rebuilt, scaled by animals, swung from by artists, and used as a mesmerizing projection surface. Surrounding the cube is the stage that resembles water in a lake, every interaction with the CUBE creates a unique effect that ripples into the future.

Echo a story about connection, collaboration and the power of intention. The ability to have a strong vision and put all your energy into it to make that idea come to life. The main protagonist Future is a young girl who represents the youth of today and the awareness that the youth have for what’s going on in the world. At the beginning of the show she discovers how the world is changing and the effects this change has on the world, negative or positive and then at one specific moment something happens which changes everything for her. She makes this big decision and she brings everyone together, animals and humans, to work together to rebuild our world.

Future and her companion Ewai.
The opening act blew us away. The actors were so close and it was aww inspiring.
Watching the kid's faces was just as entertaining for me.
These two were the clowns for the show. Entertaining during set changes. We truly enjoyed them.
Icarian Games...a very popular acrobatic circus act that is described as human foot juggling.
Hair Suspension Duo. The hair hang is an aerial circus act where performers are suspended by their hair, performing acrobatic poses and manipulation.
Banquine/Korean Cradle entertained us with a dizzying array of stunts. At one point we actually thought they might land on us.
The largest puppet I've ever seen. There were people inside helping it to move.
Slackwire duo. It's an acrobatic circus act that involves balancing and moving along a flexible, thin wire suspended in the air.      
This flying poles act features a first-of-its-kind pole apparatus named Chrysalid that is semi-attached to the stage floor. This groundbreaking performance requires exceptional strength.
The Contortion. This act left us wondering just how he could move the way he did and left my joints aching.
The Teeterboard Act was fun to watch as they flew high in the air.
The cube filled with all the actors. It was beautiful.
More Fun Facts:
  • Cirque du Soleil ECHO is the 20th Big Top creation from Cirque du Soleil and its 51st overall.
  • It takes 10 projectors to cover the entire stage and the rotating CUBE–the most ever for a Cirque du Soleil Big Top show.
  • At one of the most surprising points in the show, one of the CUBE’s walls supports 40 artists.
  • The roof of the CUBE contains a light box with 1.68 miles of LED strips.
Dinner after the show at Founding Farmers.
Waiting for the train to take us home.
Our last look at the Cirque from the train platform.

Sept. 25-30 Washington, DC (Part II)

“Travel has a way of stretching the mind.” -Ralph Crawshaw 

On our second day we figured out how to use the Metro and that made it a little easier on our legs. We spent our morning at the International Spy Museum. It's an independent history museum which documents the tradecraft, history and contemporary role of espionage. It houses more than 7,000 artifacts with around 1,000 on public display. The permanent collection traces the complete history of espionage, from the Ancient Greeks and the Roman Empire through present day. We started our visit in the briefing room where we received our undercover mission badge and our cover identity. From there we were given the chance to learn the tricks of the trade in interactive exhibits that test our powers of observation. 

Waiting for our ride.
International Spy Museum
That afternoon we relaxed...enjoying the park and our beautiful home. After all the walking we'd done it was nice to play and paint. On the third morning we went to the Smithsonian National Air and Space MuseumThe museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. The National Mall building has hundreds of artifacts on display, including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, The Apollo 11 Command Module and old commercial aircraft.

We had to reserve tickets to enter the museum. These pictures were taken while we waited to go in.
The main hall of the museum.
We ate lunch in the cafeteria at the museum so we could spend more time seeing all the exhibits. Our next stop on this day was the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. This museum opened in 1910. Its green dome and immense size (comparable to 18 football fields) are signatures, as well as the 140 million-plus natural science specimens and cultural artifacts that the museum contains. It's the world's most popular natural history museum and is dedicated to understanding the natural world and our place in it. It includes the Hall of Human Origins, National Fossil Hall and the Ocean Hall. Exhibits such as the Hope Diamond, Egyptian mummies and gemstones are just a few of the things you can see.  

It was impossible to get a nice picture of the museum so I borrowed this one from the Internet.   
The entry hall of the museum.
Ocean Hall
The Hope Diamond is one of history’s most famous diamonds. This 45.52 carat fancy deep grayish-blue diamond has an incomparable history and an extraordinary combination of physical properties.  During its long history, it has intersected with the French monarchy, Kings Louis XIV through XVI, and likely the British monarch King George IV.  It has been owned by wealthy merchants and some of the most well-known individuals within the jewelry world, including Pierre Cartier and Harry Winston. The Hope Diamond got its name from one of its first documented owners, Henry Philip Hope,  It was donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958.
Fun Facts about the National Mall:
  • There are 100 unique monuments and memorials on the mall.
  • More than 25 million people visit the National Mall each year. That’s more visitors than Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks combined.
  • 8 million visitors are brought to and from the National Mall by an estimated 200,000 tour buses each year.
  • Every weekday, over 440,000 vehicles travel along or through the National Mall on Constitution and Independence Avenues.
  • The National Mall is home to more than 26 miles of pedestrian sidewalks and 8 miles of bike trails.
  • 10 tons of grass seed and nearly 3,000 yards of sod and turf are installed and planted on the National Mall annually.  
  • Over 9,000 trees are located on the National Mall.   
  • Three to four tons of trash are collected and removed from the National Mall daily.