Masquerade Mask

Ah….masquerade balls or costume parties could be fun, right? But what do you do if you have glasses? Paint the glasses? Glue a mask onto the glasses? Fit something to glasses? The usual custom curved masks templates don’t work well because they can’t fit with the glasses.

Actually, website had a good method. However, I found that cutting through cardboard got dicey when I just had scissors, so I ended up going with a mask on a stick. But I did use her method of tracing out the glasses.

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First attempt at tracing glasses shape on paper and then cutting out holes for the eyes and smaller holes to loop onto the glasses. This is Bunny’s website’s method. Because it was paper, I could just fold in half to get the outer outlines even on both sides :). Unfortunately, because of the side glasses holes, It looked like i couldn’t actually do a mask with smooth pointy edges. This sort of looks like an Owl, doesn’t it?

 

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This is a satin template mask I bought. However, it still didn’t work with glasses, so I was just goofing with possible designs. I decided to use an unsharpened pencil as the mask “stick”.

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So, I cut out the mask shape (loosely based on the paper cut out I had before and the satin mask in order to get symmetrical lines) . I did this for cardboard and black cardstock. Then I glued the black cardstock onto the cardboard. Every time I made the eyes holes, they got smaller because I was tracing off each cut out…haha.

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Then, I tried to plan the mask. Sequins seems good on the outside, but what to do for the rest?

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So, I used Elmer’s All Purpose glue on the sequins and waited. Then, I started using gold glitter glue to google on the mask.

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All done glitter glue doodling!

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I used a glue gun to glue the black gem and feathers to the top of the mask. Then I wrapped black ribbon around an unsharpened pencil, glue gunned the ends, and then glue-gunned the pencil/ribbon to the back of the mask. I would recommend glue-gunning the ribbon to the pencil in the top, bottom, and middle. I didn’t glue-gun the middle, so the ribbon came loose after the event this mask was used for. But anyway, if you want to make your own mask with just cardboard, glue, and random stuff, here you go!

 

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Carroty for Easter

…or when you buy a giant bag of mini carrots at Costco and realize you need to start getting creative with what to do.

My sibling found a random recipe and wanted me to try it, so this recipe is from Food network. I made some modifications such as cutting down the sugar as usual. This is my first time making carrot cake. I should have tried one of the carrot recipes from the other blogs I’ve read, but since this recipe was shoved in front of me, I worked with it. No, Food network’s recipe does not take 25 hours like it says it does.

 

3 Layer Carrot Cake

 

Cake Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups avocado oil
  • 4 fresh whole eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice (a mix of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg)
  • 3 cups raw shredded or diced carrots
  • 4 ounces chopped walnuts(or just break them by hand and mash them up with a wooden spatula)

Icing Ingredients

  • 4 cups powdered sugar (you can prob use less like 3.5 cups)
  • 12 ounces room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces room temperature butter

Steps for Making Cake/Icing

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 300 F.
  • Mix sugar, oil, eggs in one bowl.
  • If you’re lazy like I was, instead of separately mixing the dry ingredients in a different bowl, you can just slowly start mixing the dry ingredients in afterwards. I did the salt, pumpkin spice, salt first. Then, I started slowly stirring in the flour.
  • Mix in carrots and then nuts.
  • Cutting the carrots and shredding them took by far the most time.
  • Now, you need to split the batter between three 9 inch circular pans, or you can use other containers and not do 3 layers too. I used 2 metal circular pans and 1 silicone one. I used all of them, and at the end the silicone one was the easiest to get the baked cake out.
  • Bake 50 to 60 minutes.
  • Cool pans and cake layers.
  • During this time, you might as well do the icing!

Icing

  • Mix powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and butter. Beat until thoroughly blended. Hold refrigerated and use as needed.
  • Note: When you are beating, be careful! I used a hand mixer, and it started to smell like my motor was burning out! This mixture can be dense. You need the mixer in order to get all that sugar blended into the rest of the ingredients. Take it slow and let the mixer rest so you don’t kill it.

 

Combining Cake and Icing!

  • Ok, now you can invert one cake layer from its pan in order to get it out. If you can’t get it out, start eding along the side of the pan with a thin flexible spatula. I cracked the two layers I made in the metal tins…sooo my cake looks a little crumbly in the picture above.
  • So, once you put down the one layer, ice the top of it.
  • Then put down another layer, and ice the top of that. Repeat with third layer.
  • You will still have icing left over. You can use the rest to ice the sides of the cake. I was lazy, so I didn’t do that.
  • Since the icing has cream cheese and butter, store the cake in the fridge when you’re not going to eat it. I put mine in a Wilton cake carrier because it has the snap ons to “Seal” the cake inside.

 

Enjoy! Happy early Easter!

 

 

The Turkey Struggle

About a week before Thanksgiving, I found out that my parents, despite not really wanting a turkey, had bought a turkey…the smallest one they could find. It was still a 10 pound Butterball though… We haven’t made turkey in the family for years and may have only done it once. So, my brother decided to take it upon himself to find a recipe, him being the one in the family who doesn’t know how to cook and literally just tosses meat in the oven, drizzles it with sauce, and waits while hoping the oven doesn’t blow up. That’s about the extent of his cooking.

So, here’s what he found: Link to Recipe Base

And well, we followed that recipe as closely as we could, and this is what we did based on the ingredients we could find and our limited pot sizes(Did not know that turkeys are this big and wasn’t prepared to make turkey…so our biggest pots were…not big enough to pull off the original recipe). We couldn’t find peppercorns and berries at the grocery store nearby, so we just improvised and use Pumpkin pie spice. .and how come we met a bunch of coworkers all shopping in that same grocery store for supplies at like 8-9pm at night? Guess some grocery stores can be hang outs/places to go “Oops…we need food for Thanksgiving”.

Ingredients:

  • 1o pound thawed turkey (instead of original recipe’s 14-16 pound)
  • Avocado oil (but any oil that can survive 500 F is good. The original recipe said canola is fine.)

Brine:

  • 1/2 cup salt (instead of original recipe’s 1 cup)
  • About 1/4 cup brown sugar(instead of original recipe’s 1/2 cup)
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock (instead of original recipe’s 1 gallon)
  • About 5 or so shakings from a McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice(mix of cinnamon, ginger nutmeg, allspice)(instead of original recipe’s 1 TBSP black peppercorn, 1.5 TSP Allspice berries, 1.5TSP chopped candied ginger, and 1 cinnamon stick)
  • 2-3 quarts iced water (guestimating since we did it based on how much our container could hold)(instead of original recipe’s 1 gallon)

Stuff to put inside Turkey/Aromatics 

  • 1 sliced apple (we used Fuji, original says red)
  • 1/2 sliced onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 sprigs rosemary (instead of original recipe’s 4)
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Stuffing(optional)

Steps

Making Da Brine:

  • The night before roasting the turkey…. find a pot. Then add the veggie stock, brown sugar, salt, spice in the pot over medium heat. Stir and boil.  (We didn’t have a 5 gallon bucket. Our biggest container was a mixing bowl that would hold 2 gallons, but that couldn’t go on the stove…which is required…sooo we used a smaller pot and halved the ingredients from the original recipe.)
  • Let it cool and then refrigerate it.

Prepping the Turkey

  • Your turkey should be thawed already.  Remove all the inside stuff. Usually, if store bought, there is a white pouch which contain the innards and there may also be a neck in there. We tossed those out. The white pouch looked weird under the skin, but it was stuck by the hole where the neck would have been if the turkey neck wasn’t chopped.
  • Prep some iced water. We just ran some filtered water into our 2 gal mixing bowl and added ice. It was the biggest container we had.
  • Next, combine the brine and iced water(water with ice) in that mixing bowl/container. Rather, put the turkey into that container first and then add the brine, so you don’t overflow the container. We probably used less iced water because I dumped the ice out to get the turkey to the bottom.  Make sure to pour some of that brine inside the turkey cavity if you can’t submerge the whole turkey…we couldn’t get it to fit.

Turkey Brine

  • Push it down as far as you can and then put the whole thing in the fridge. The idea is for the salty brine to trick the turkey into absorbing more water, so the turkey won’t dry out while roasting in the oven. We put some plastic wrap so the turkey wouldn’t be exposed to air, and so the brine wouldn’t affect anything else. Be careful, this mixture is heavy…turkey plus liquid! Could be a good weights workout if it wasn’t so dangerous to drop! We put the turkey in the fridge at 11:30pm Wednesday night.

Turkey Brine in Fridge

  •  So, here’s where having a night owl comes in handy. After a couple hours, you’ll want to flip the turkey so you can soak the other side of the turkey if it’s not submerged or just try to make the brine even. My brother stayed up and flipped the turkey at around 3:30am in the morning and then tossed a big ketchup bottle on the turkey to weight it down, and then he passed out.
  • No one woke up early on Thanksgiving day. I just remember the turkey was ready to eat at 2pm.  Anyhow, next you want to dump all the brine out and rinse the turkey with cold water.
  • Put the rinsed turkey on your roasting rack in your pan! We used a V shaped rack, which helps to hold the bird in place. Dry the turkey with a paper towel.

Stuffing/aromatics

  • Parents didn’t know what they were doing and grabbed Kraft stove top stuffing because everyone else was grabbing it in the grocery store a couple days before. So…you could put stuffing into the turkey and stuff it from the butt side, not the neck cavity. I forgot and ended up wasting time trying to stuff the stuffing into the neck and yelling at my brother when it kept falling out. The stuffing mix that ended up on the bottom of the pan would burn in the oven later (and I would keep randomly tossing water ingo the pan while the turkey roasted because Kraft stuffing said it needed butter and water…and I failed to read the directions beforehand). Alternatively, just cook the stuffing separately and don’t stuff the turkey with it.
  • Next, slice your apple, onion. Then put the 1 cup water, apple, onion inside a microwave safe dish and microwave for 4 minutes. Then pour that into the turkey cavity.
  • Take the sage and rosemary and stuff it into the turkey cavity too.
  • Tuck the bird’s wings (or give up because this one bird wing wanted to defy all tucking and just stick up for itself…) and then coat everything with oil.

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Roasting

  • Preheat the oven to 500 F.
  • Roast the turkey for 30 minutes at a lower rack in the oven. We used the 3rd lowest rack because the oven thermometer was hanging under it. (Don’t accidentally change the temperature to 470 to save energy because making the aromatics took too long while arguing with brother and nearly dropping heavy turkey in brine.)
  • Then roast at 350 F for about 2 hours. Toss water into the pan randomly a few times if you put the stuffing in and realized it requires water.
  • Take the turkey out and cover lightly with aluminum foil for 15 minutes. My brother just cut a rectangle and shoved it only on the top of the turkey. I have a feeling you’re supposed to cover the pan sides too… but apparently it didn’t matter!
  • Voila! Then you are ready to serve!

Cooked

We had the turkey with Heinz Homestyle Beef Gravy and jellied cranberry sauce. We didn’t make gravy out of  the turkey grease because the stuffing already burned the bottom of the pan. The turkey skin was crispy, and if you want it crispier, then more oil and longer roasting probably works. The inside could get dry, but it wasn’t as dry as it could be (that’s good!). It was great with the gravy and sauce though!

 

 

 

An International Flight in Business Class on Seats with “Mattress Pads”?

Passports expiring are a hassle for travelers who don’t travel abroad often and then find themselves in a pinch after booking a trip. Unfortunately, this means coughing up expediting fees in order to hopefully get your new passport on time. Such was my dilemma and I found myself in limbo until a few days before a trip to Taiwan because I hadn’t bothered checking my passport earlier.

But despite the passport troubles, I was comforted by the fact that I had miraculously been upgraded on my international airplane flight, so I would be able to try out business class!  I learned that with this came another bonus, the ability to access an airline lounge at the airport (unfortunately, these airline lounges weren’t very impressive because while they had food available, the food always seemed to be out and not refilled)!

Now to the airplane! This was an ANA (Japanese airline) flight that was quite long since I was flying from the East Coast of the U.S. to Japan and then connecting with another flight to Taiwan! In business class, they provided us with seats that could go all the way down! It took me a while to figure out how the chair worked. There were so many buttons, and of course, being an explorer, I wanted to figure out how the seat worked without reading the instruction manual! At the end, I did find and look at the instructions to see if I had discovered all the functions of the seat. To make it feel more like a mattress, they also provided an extra thin padded mat to put on top of the flat seat. It was interesting as I have never seen this all before, but it was not very comfortable. I may be biased because the pillow they gave me was so flat I couldn’t really sleep. Anyway, here’s a picture of the seat commands and then the seating area. There is a table with the magazine rack attached to it instead of the usual magazine pocket attached to the back of the seat in front of you in economy. I found this a bit awkward because I’m used to grabbing the magazines from in front of me and not the side. After the flight, I personally think the table is a waste of space. If anything, it’s really there to take up more space so you have privacy from other people. The TV is in front of the seat. Items can be stowed on the shelves under the TV screen. However, those items just kept falling on me during take off.  But anyway, the benefits of the seat are definitely more privacy and more space! Additionally, all the seats were aisle seats because they were organized that way!IMG_0656

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The next set of benefits is food! They actually serve course meals that try to look fancy. Good luck trying to stay hungry because it seems they stuff you with food, and if the meals don’t fill you, they have light meals as snacks. These include curry, ramen, small sandwich, crackers, and so on! I will say though…you may be too full from the meals to try the snacks though! On this flight, for the meals, there was a choice of Japanese or International(which I assume is more Western style). I chose Japanese for the lunch and for the breakfast…or was it dinner (time zones make me so confused what’s called what on the airplane). The first three pictures are the lunch. The first picture was the same appetizer provided for both the Japanese and International meals. The one thing that disappointed me about all the meals was that there is actually a lot of cold food. The only warmish ones were the miso soup and the fish above the miso(I think). Maybe next time, check to see which meal has more hot food? Dessert was also provided, but I didn’t take a picture. Unfortunately, it didn’t hit me to take pictures of the menu because I’m not sure I can identify all the food in here.

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After that, I binge watched movies or tried to sleep. However, as you can probably surmise from above, I couldn’t really sleep well. The entertainment system in business class allows you to choose movies on demand from their in flight selection. There are also in flight games, including multiplayer which I assume you can do battle against other passengers in. However, I didn’t try them. There was not much choice in terms of games, so I stuck to movies to stay awake. I think I watched four or five movies, some of which I fast forwarded through parts because it was moving too slowly. The last three movies I watched were Inside Out, Terminator, Spy, and Pitch Perfect 2. I can’t remember  the other, if there was one.  After all, jet lag needed to account 12 hour difference (for Taiwan) and 13 hour (for Japan). One more hour would have to be added to account for daylight savings later during the trip. So, not sleeping certainly helped! By the way, they had Back to the Future too! Haha. I guess ANA felt it was a classic or they knew about the October 2015 Back to the Future reference!  Now, the other good news about the system is they provided noise cancelling headphones, so you can actually use those to help you sleep too! Just don’t get tangled in the wire by accident! :p

Below is a picture of the breakfast. Miso soup had more seaweed this time. Grapefruit was the most sour grape fruit ever! So… I learned not to eat grapefruit on airplanes! I forgot to take a picture of the dessert again. I think it was something with red bean.

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And then…I had a stopover at Narita airport before I connected to Taiwan. ANA’s customer service is excellent. The flight was enjoyable, and even though my mouth was super dry during it, the flight attendants figured out that water and not alcohol(which you apparently can get unlimited amounts of to drink) was what I needed. I have to give a shout out to Horii, the flight attendant who was responsible for the passengers in my area. She was super nice, and upon learning that it was my first time flying business on ANA, she and the crew even wrote me a card at the end of the flight wishing me a nice trip to Taiwan.

The weather in Narita area was hotter than in the U.S. Indeed, it was clear in Narita Airport as I found myself even sweating just from sitting in the airport. It was slightly better in the ANA lounge, and of course free wifi in the whole airport did make time pass faster too! I guess the Japanese do not set their AC up very high. The WIFI was not fast, but it at least allowed me to load email and chat. I also checked out some of the stores and found tons of people buying tons of boxes of Royce refrigerated chocolate. I personally did not have the opportunity to try the chocolate. The store attendants told me the chocolate would last 2 hours without refrigeration, and that was infeasible since the flight to Taiwan was over 2 hours. Adding their icebox to the chocolate still would have the chocolate last 20 hours if I tried to take it back to the U.S. with me. So, it was a dud for me, and there was no way I could try the chocolate without wasting a ton. I can’t eat a whole box that fast! ….and I also was too lazy to change currency at the airport while waiting for the connection flight.

On the connection from Narita to Taoyuan, Taiwan Airport, I passed out on a normal seat (not the fancy one from the first flight). Apparently, the lack of sleep had gotten to me. The flight was around 3 hours or so. There was another meal on the flight, which I also chose Japanese. We landed around 10pm Taiwan time, so I think the meal was dinner. However, I forgot to take a picture, and all I remember was a lot of cold food. But all that food on the flights keep you full anyway! I couldn’t even eat all the food even if I wanted to. Anyhow, by the time I reached Taiwan, I felt almost fished out from all the seafood provided in the airplane meals. I started to crave American food, even if it’s not as healthy. But no can do! Because I can’t just eat American food in Taiwan and Japan! That would almost be a crime, right? Must try the food!

A Short Trip to Taiwan and a Skedaddle over to Japan

Pumpkin Swiss Roll

Swiss rolls are pretty good, and while trying to figure out how to not waste a pumpkin, I stumbled upon SquishyMonster’s recipe of a pumpkin roll cake. If you want to see my “carve pumpkin attempt” from last year and how to get a pumpkin ready for carving, click here.

But first, in order to use pumpkin for pie or cake stuff, you need to get it into puree form.

Pumpkin Puree

  1. After you get all the stringy stuff and seeds out of your pumpkin, you’ll need to cut the pumpkin into pieces.

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2. Then if you want, you can to coat the outside of the pumpkin with some oil. I used avocado oil because that was what I had on hand. Alternatively, you can skip the oil. Honestly, I tried with and without the oil, and I didn’t see any difference in my case. I know some people say there is a difference.

3. Anyhow, then you bake the pumpkin! 350 F for at least 40 min. It also depends on the size of your pumpkin. You know it’s done baking when it’s soft and you can stab it with a fork and scoop it out.

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4. Scoop the soft stuff out and start mashing! Toss the rind. Be careful! You may get splashed while masking ! It gets watery! I didn’t have a very powerful food processor, so I mashed before blending it in my mixer.  You’re done and ready to use the pumpkin puree now! 🙂

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Pumpkin Swiss Roll

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This is from SquishyMonster’s blog. But since I never seem to have all the ingredients, I made some modifications. Anyhow, most of the wording is the same.

Ingredients
  • ¾ flour
  • 3/4 ish  ts baking soda
  • 1½ ts McCormick pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ish ts salt
  • 3  eggs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ts pure vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
Filling:
  • 8 oz room temperature cream cheese
  • 4 oz room temperature butter
  • 1 tb heavy cream
  • 1 ts vanilla extract
  • 1 ts McCormick pumpkin pie spice(honestly, I just dumped some..not sure if I really used 1 ts per Squishy’s recipe)
  • ¼ ts salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar(I always put less sugar because my friends don’t like stuff to be too sweet, but if you want it sweeter, you can put in more)
Instructions
1. In the first bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and salt.
2. In the second bowl, crack in the eggs and blend them together with both sugars. Splash in the vanilla and blend in the pumpkin.
3. Combine the first and second bowl slowly. Stir until just combined and don’t over mix.

IMG_05054. Line a baking sheet with parchment and evenly spread the batter.

IMG_05065. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.

6. While the cake is baking, create the filling by blending the cream cheese, butter, cream, pumpkin spice, salt, and sugar until light and fluffy. I hit a snag because my cream cheese and butter just didn’t want to melt and get soft enough. I also did not use a blender. If you have one, that might be a good thing…or let your cream cheese and butter sit outside for a while until they are really soft.

IMG_05087. When the cake is baked, lift out of the pan and roll to “train” the cake to stay in the rolled shape. Allow to cool.

8. When the cake is completely cooled, peel off the parchment and spread the filling all over, leaving about an inch of a border all around. Re-roll (as tightly as you can without tearing) and slice to serve. The ends of the roll might look ugly (mine did) because not enough filling. So, just cut a piece off each end, and it should look perfect 🙂IMG_0509IMG_0507

Enjoy!

A Foray into Washington DC: The “Beach” and the Spy

Summer time is for traveling, right? Well…depends. Some friends and I decided to attempt a trip to the capital of the United States. Perhaps, we were lured by the idea of a gigantic beach of plastic balls, or just because we were tourists who wanted to check out Washington DC. We had it all planned out and accounted for the weather which had been predicted to be over 95 degrees. And of course,  weather, being weather, decided to rain instead.

Our first task was to secure transportation, and we did so by using the WMATA metro/subway system. For those of us that have been to NYC, we noted that the DC metro at least had cushioned seats compared to the hard plastic seats of NY subway. There was also more green in the stations because more of the DC subway was outside. Either way, unlike NY, the subway fare is not a one flat fee per ride. The fare depends on the distance/stations traveled.

Our first stop was the National Building Museum, a museum focused on architecture, building, and engineering. But mainly, we were here because of an attraction called “The Beach”. Dun Dun Dun!

Beach Entrance

Entrance to “The Beach”

Of course, our next challenge was getting into line and waiting forever to get tickets. So…there was a line to get tickets, and then a separate line after getting tickets to get into the “Beach” attraction. Apparently, all the parents had brought their kids. The admission for the beach and the museum was $16 per adults and $13 per student. Alas, we had obtained groupons that said $8 for admission for 2 people to the museum, so we ended up paying another $8 each to get into the museum. Word of advice. Either get there early or late. The museum opened at 10am, and getting there at 10:40 resulted in a a lot of waiting. I think between the two lines, we finally got into the beach at around 12pm.

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Inside the Beach…closer to the Side with the Sea of Balls

Beach View from Top

Beach View from Top/ Side with Sea of Balls

Upon entering “The Beach” area, we saw a mass of white. The walls and the floor were all white, and the plastic balls which made up the “sea” further away were clear. The “sandy white floor” area contained white umbrella and chairs and a concession stand, but the real attraction was the other half of the area, the “Sea of clear plastic balls”. Naturally, we walked to the far end of the attraction and jumped in to the deepest part. The sea is probably waist height, but it was a bit hard to stand anyway with all those disruptions from people jumping in happily around us. In fact, some of us started sinking deeper and deeper as more people jumped in (and sometimes peopled landed on top of us), and eventually we needed some help to get out of the “Sea”. As with all actual seas, there are sloped areas where the “sea” is shallower. We decided to take it safe after escaping the “drowning” and stick our feet there. That was a bit more manageable.  We finally left feeling accomplished and lol-ing at drowning in the sea.

Afterwards, we swept through the other museum exhibits in the National Building Museum. There actually isn’t a lot. There are building areas for kids, but there really wasn’t too much stuff that would warrant another visit. We enjoyed looking at some miniature houses and mock wind tunnel tested shape of rooves against winds.

And then we were off to a late lunch, stopping at a stall by the Verizon Center for savory crepes made by “Crepes by the Walk”. These crepes are pretty good. I tried them a couple years ago. But this day, there weren’t as good. We got the California Brunch crepe, which contained cheese, turkey, tomato, mushrooms, egg, avocado, and …I think that was it? The avocado was a little hard this time, and the crepe just didn’t taste as satisfying as it used to. Maybe they changed management? You can still see them make the crepes in front of you, but there were noticeably more flyers and signs covering the stall to obscure the view. Gelato from walking distance “Pitango Gelato” was pretty decent though, and great because the weather was heating up.

Auric Goldfinger's Car

International Spy Museum – Auric Goldfinger’s Car

Villain Car

Green Car from…. one of the more recent Bond Movies

And then…spy museum! What do you know? A line out the door too on this one. I’d probably just recommend going on weekdays to visit attractions instead of weekends. It was crowded inside the museum too. Since the ticket prices are over $20 per persion, I would definitely recommend trying to find a coupon. This museum also isn’t worth multiple visits unless the special exhibits are very interesting to you. The “special” exhibit was for the Spy Museum was a focus on the villains in the James Bond movies. First, we were led to an identity room, where we had to choose an identity to pretend to be. Unfortunately, that was as far that went because that information was never used further in the exhibit. The rest of the exhibit featured information/history about espionage items and events some props from James Bond with film clips and items such as those cars in the pictures above. There were also “fact or fiction/real world or film world” trivia questions scattered about that were interesting to learn about. The most hands on experience was crawling through an air duct.

After some other random stuff, someone wanted decided to check out Ray’s Hell Burger, which is a restaurant in Arlington, Virginia. So, we went, and  I ordered the Soul Burger, and I have to say it is rather lacking compared to the other burger place I tried in DC called “Duke’s Grocery“. Duke’s burgers were more flavorful and prob more expensive too. Nevertheless, the tax rate in Arlington and DC are both 10% right now apparently, sooo..I’d prob suggest going to Duke’s.

RaySoulBurger

Ray’s Soul Burger

DukesProperBurger

Duke’s Proper Burger. The one in the middle is the straight up Proper Burger without any additions.