Gina and I recently spent Independence Day weekend in Alexandria with Katie and Joe. OK, so we were actually in Charlottesville on July 4th, but we were in Northern Virginia the preceding weekend. Anyway, Joe had gotten tickets for us to watch the Nationals play the Tampa Ray Devil Rays. Our seats were about 12 rows up on the 3rd base line. Although it seemed the Rays were going to run away with the game early on, the Nats came back and tied the game. After several pretty good defensive innings, Nick Johnson hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th, sealing the win. It was definitely the most exciting game I have ever attended. For those of you who don't know this, the Nationals play in historic RFK Stadium. There is nothing spectacular about the stadium itself, but for someone like me who became a football fan in the '80's, RFK was the home to some great football teams (including one that blew out my beloved Broncos in Super Bowl XXII). To top it all off, we got to stuff our faces with chicken fingers, french fries, Dippin' Dots ice cream and fresh lemonade. It was a great time, and now I am hoping Joe can come through with tickets for D.C. United and the 'Skins (just kidding, Joe!).

The next day we attended church at First Baptist Church Alexandria, the same place where Katie and Joe were married almost a year ago. We had a nice time meeting all of their friends and worshipping with the believers there. Later that day we grilled chicken and asparagus, took a nap, and I got caught up on my World Cup highlights (though it was in Spanish and the only word I could understand was "Goal!").

In the afternoon we went to Catholic University of America to see where Joe will be attending law school at the Columbus School of Law. It is a beautiful campus, and the law building is especially nice. Brand new, well kept, beautiful architecture. I had never been to this campus before and was surprised at how pretty it was. The Basilica for the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (say that 10 times fast!) is on the CUA campus. We walked through the church and heard the end of a service, capped off by music from the biggest pipe organ I've ever seen. Overall, I think Joe has a great opportunity and is really excited about starting law school. After seeing the campus, I know he has a lot to look forward to.

The most interesting part of our trip came when we returned to Alexandria. As we were leaving to see the law school, it began to rain. Thinking it was no big deal we continued with our plans. The weather in D.C. was overcast but no rain was falling. When we returned to Alexandria we were shocked to see tree branches all over the street, traffic lights were out, and in some cases entire trees were uprooted. What in the world!? Apparently a wicked storm came in just as we were leaving. One of Katie's friends told us it turned into a white squall and they couldn't even see out the window. Katie and Joe's apartment complex had trees everywhere, including one that split three ways down the middle (pictured above). Obviously, the power was knocked out and we spent the evening eating hamburgers by candlelight! They didn't get power back until around 3:00 p.m. the next day, but we were gone by then. We had to come back and get Sydney, then prepare to host some friends for dinner.

Well, that's all for now. Come back soon to read about the other adventures we plan to have this summer!