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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Washington, D.C.


For my birthday present, my husband took me to Washington, D.C. for the day.

Tours:  I’m usually a fan of hop-on-hop-off buses, but D.C. is very walkable and the tourist attractions are fairly close together, or you can at least visit several locations within an afternoon by walking.  One fantastic thing about Washington is that most of the tourist attractions are free of charge!

We visited:  The Smithsonian Museum of American History http://americanhistory.si.edu/.  The Smithsonian has many museums – it would take more than a day to see all of them.  The American History Museum has clothing and artifacts from every American war, pop culture and social events.  Highlights included George Washington’s outfit that he is wearing in one of his better known portraits; Dorothy’s ruby slippers from Wizard of Oz; Archie Bunker’s chair; Julia Child’s kitchen; the actual drugstore counter where in the 1960s 4 African-American youths sat down and refused to move to the black section of the drugstore; a collection of First Lady gowns; an actual pioneer covered wagon; metal beams from the World Trade Center, as well as a crushed AirFone from one of the planes.

The White House http://www.whitehouse.gov/, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial, Reflecting Pool, Women of Vietnam.  Each very powerful. 

Arlington Cemetery – http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/ Eternal flame by the graves of JFK, Jackie and two of their children.  All three of JFK’s brothers are buried nearby.  We caved and took a tram bus for $9 each.  We were so tired after walking across the Arlington bridge from the Lincoln Memorial – a much longer hike than it looks! The $9 tour was no big deal, considering we had barely spent any money all day with so many attractions being free.

Hotel:  We were only there for the day, but if I went back, I would want to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn-Downtown http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/district-of-columbia/hilton-garden-inn-washington-dc-downtown-DCACHGI/about/index.html or the Willard Intercontinental http://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/washington/washa/hoteldetail.  Both are right in the heart of everything – short walking distance to all the major attractions. 

Restaurants:  We had breakfast at Ollie’s Trolley.  http://www.olliestrolleydc.com/  Kitschy place with antiques everywhere and very good food.  Note, they only accept cash, no credit cards, but they have an ATM on site.  The meal was enough that we weren’t hungry for lunch.  We had a beer nearby the Vietnam Memorial, right in the park.  Dinner was at the airport – the National Airport Grill – http://reaganfoodandshops.com/directory/1-terminals-c-bc-b/82 good beers on tap and great food.  I had the fish and chips and my husband had a Philly cheesesteak. 

I’m not sure if my kids would enjoy D.C. at their age.  (8 and 9 and autistic)  Maybe when they’re older.  There were so many museums we didn’t get to see – so many it will take several trips before we see them all!

 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Autistic Wiki: Why Autistic Wiki?

I'm very interested to see how this develops.  My kids are a bit young for this, but what a great resource for older ASD kids and those that care for them.



Autistic Wiki: Why Autistic Wiki?:  The Autistic Wiki - Where Autism Really Speaks The autistic wiki is a free library of information about autism. It is written and monitor...

‘Refreshed’ autism strategy is all too stale, say activists

‘Refreshed’ autism strategy is all too stale, say activists

Friday, August 8, 2014

Graziano's - West Loop

When the weather is nice, I make the time to explore the neighborhood around my office, trying food from restaurants I've never been to.

I subscribe to a million email newsletters (information junkie) and this morning, I came across this one:

http://www.thrillist.com/eat/chicago/best-native-chicago-sandwiches-will-special-cemitas-italian-beef-and-more?ref=twitter-869

Most of the sandwiches look really good, although I was disappointed they didn't include the Freddie from Calabria on the South Side.  Jeff Mauro included the Freddie on his Sandwich King show on Food Network:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/il/chicago/calabria-imports.html#!

The first sandwich listed in the Thrillist article is from J.P. Graziano Grocery, which is a healthy walk from my office.

http://www.jpgraziano.com/

It's a small place with some outdoor seating, but has lots of character. 

I ordered the Will Special, as Thrillest recommended - wow!  Seriously one of the best sandwiches I've ever had in my life - fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, hot giardiniera, Italian deli meats on really good fresh Italian bread. 

When I ordered the Will Special, the man behind the counter smiled.  I didn't see a Will Special on the menu, so maybe it's an "in the know" kinda thing.  When I was leaving, he asked if I had read "the article."  Guess I wasn't the first person there today for the sandwich.  Glad I discovered this place, though - will be back to try other things on the menu!
 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Link regarding social skills

A link to this page was posted on one of my favorite Facebook pages.  Good exercise for ASD kids or anyone who needs help with language and social skills.

http://ideas.ted.com/2014/07/28/how-to-turn-small-talk-into-smart-conversation/

 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cleveland Part 3



On our last day in Cleveland, we were getting ready to check out of the hotel.  I brought up a trolley and we loaded all our bags – was struggling to maneuver the trolley out the door and down the hall – looked around – where’s Todd?  A couple standing by the elevators said, “oh, he got on the elevator.” 
 
Went downstairs hoping he was in the lobby.  No.  My dad and brother went out to the parking lot to see if maybe he walked to the car.  No.  Starting to panic a little.  Did he go up the elevator instead of down?  He could be anywhere in the hotel!  Told the front desk clerk what happened – she was wonderful – got on her walkie-talkie to housekeeping, explained to them he was non-verbal.  A few long minutes later, a housekeeper brought him down  - he had been on the third floor.
 
I want to give a shout out to the employees at the Courtyard Marriott in Willoughby, Ohio – they were immediately helpful, calm and non-judgmental.  Thank you!