Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Home Sweet Home Is Homemade

Good afternoon darlings, I cannot believe how fast the days, the weeks, and the months have gone by so far this year. It is only days away from May - my birthday month. Today, I thought I'd write about some things that have happened lately...


Two weeks ago, I received my copy of Susan Branch's book Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams. I spent one afternoon at my local coffee shop reading. I was there for several hours until I noticed I should get home. I finished it that weekend. She is such an encourager, and although I'm, 29, and she's 69, I feel like we have a lot in common.

Oh my goodness, guess what? Susan Branch is going on a book tour this summer, and one of her stops is in Asheville, North Carolina. I cannot wait, obviously.


In other news, I got a bee in my bonnet one weekend and decided to re-decorate our powder bathroom. When we moved in two years ago, we installed a new toilet (with flat sides, as I abhor pipes) a new vanity, and flooring. I painted the walls, the trim, and ceiling.


I shopped for décor items from around our house. Before, I had a beach sign, and two seagulls. I replaced it with a antique gold mirror and my golden birds. My mother's maiden name is Bird, so I collect pairs of them and have them in several places around our home.


While we're talking about keeping home, I made a pecan cake, with light vanilla frosting and chopped walnuts. It turned out delicious.


I like the moisture of adding icing, but don't cover it excessively, as it becomes far too sweet. I've also considered making a glaze, any ideas?


This week, I also watercolored my childhood home, set in an idyllic village, in the heart of England.

I'm writing my childhood memoir, which will be a collection of my memories, with many watercolors, and photos from the 1980's and 1990's. I've never written a book before, but realize how important it is for family history and the least I can do is try.



Lastly, I wanted to share that we recently went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Have you seen it? We enjoy watching wholesome family movies - especially these days. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but I may have teared up when the daughter went to her prom. Aww.



Once I get over a case of spring fever, I'll post about our Queens Tea at Ballantyne, where we celebrated Her Majesty's 90th birthday.

Have a blessed week,
Kiki Nakita


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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Letters From Libby Part Three

Remember the previous letters [1] [2]

Elizabeth "Libby" Jane Curtis Wright

1851-1936

My husband's 3rd great-grandmother
John Charles Freemont and Libby Wright Family
This letter was in the care of the Arthur Wright family (far left) and sent to her daughter-in-love Mayme.

- Page One -

- Page Two - 

 - Page Three-

 - Page Four -

 - Page Five -

- Page Six -
Thank you for reading.

Kiki Nakita

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Our Trip To Washington DC

On Sunday morning, after saying goodbye to our friends in Richmond, Virginia we got on the road to Washington DC. The drive was less than two hours, and the day was sunny as we drove along the tree lined I-95.


Luckily, we arrived without any traffic and found our way to our first hotel. We followed the signs to the parking garage, and up the elevator. When the doors opened, we were in a grocery store. We walked around, and eventually got pointed into the direction of our hotel.

We crossed the street, and the lady at the front desk said we couldn't check in, or even pay to check in early. We'd have to wait a few hours, and she suggested we wait at her favorite "hangout" - a bar several blocks away.

We went back to the car, and decided to find another hotel, with an earlier check in, as the last thing I wanted to do was "hangout". We found a hotel on the corner of 5th and H called the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Chinatown. Cory ended up making friends with the front desk man, as he kept going down to ask for more coffee and somehow learned his whole life story.

After we settled into our room, we changed and decided we wanted to walk towards the White House, on 16th and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Donald W. Reynolds Center For American Art And Portraiture

Modern Head
Our first stop was for lunch at the French Patisserie, Le Pain. I liked the rustic décor. We both got open faced sandwiches, ate half then swapped plates, that way we both got to try different dishes.





After lunch we were determined to walk to 16th and Pennsylvania to go see the White House. Along the way, we saw several landmarks including the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building.

Washington Monument
Capitol Building


The White House

My first impression of the White House was how small it was. I had always assumed that the scale was much larger. We asked Siri "how big is the White House?" and she responded, 55,000 square foot.

The White House
The White House
Tulips


The Eisenhower Executive Office Building


The White House
The White House


Selfie with The White House behind us

The treasury Department

President and First Lady

For about a minute we were President and First Lady. Near the White House, there's a gift shop that offers free photos for those who purchase. We had purchased "touristy" t-shirts, ornaments etc. then got guided around the corner to a mock room for cheesy photos.

President Cory, and First Lady Kiki
Votes for President Cory.


One of my favorite photos from our time in Washington DC
Votes for President Kiki.



Thankfully, for y'all we decided that we didn't care to be President and First Lady. Could you imagine? I would be using tax dollars to add floral gardens to all the green spaces in DC, and Cory would give each child Lego credit. Ha ha!


That evening, after going back to our hotel to freshen up, we went down to the lobby to meet my college roommate, Lauren and her boyfriend. They whisked us away to a favorite Thai restaurant to catch up.


We learned more about life in the city through the lens of an architect and an interior designer. I joked with Lauren that she went from "Whitefish to White House" as she's established a life, and career here. We learned the average rent is between 2.5K and 4.5K, that parking at work can cost upwards of $250, and that they shop at Whole Foods.

After dinner, they drove us around so we could get our bearings and see the sights at night. The city looked spectacular lit up at night. 


The next day, after stopping for breakfast, we decided we'd each pick one museum we'd each like to visit. I chose the National Archives, and Cory chose the National Museum of Natural History. Both were great choices.




National Archives

If we'd known, we would have got passes to go into the archive area where you can do genealogical research. I enjoyed all the exhibits we could go see. One being the Magna Carta - a document created in 1215.





The Museum Of Natural History

We both enjoyed the Museum of Natural History. There was so much to see, so we went to our favorite exhibits. From mummy's, to rocks and crystals, (and how they mined them) to learning more about the African wilderness.



The Hope Diamond
Oh Mummy

Pointing on the map to where I was born.


After the Museum of Natural History, we walked to the Washington Monument. The wind started to pick up, and the skies began to turn gray. We were wondering if we'd get rained on, but luckily, and most likely because Cory was carrying an umbrella the whole day, we didn't.

The Washington Monument





The Washington Monument
World War II Memorial

Lincoln Memorial in the background

God Bless North Carolina
The Lincoln Memorial









On our last night in Washington DC, we decided to have a casual dinner. Ironically, our Chinatown hotel had an authentic Irish pub, with an Oregon Ducks flag and the infamous NCAA tournament in the background. We didn't even know that the North Carolina Tar Heels, were playing, and for a second time this year (think Superbowl 50) we came second. It was Cory's brother's birthday, so we gave him a call, and he couldn't believe how ironic it all was, too.

The next morning, we got up, had some coffee, and I looked at the incredible view from our hotel window, (of a wall) one more time. Then we headed on the six hour drive home. I'm glad I got to visit, but felt glad to be back home, sweet home.

Hope you enjoyed travelling along with us,

Kiki Nakita
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