Month: May 2013

A Gem of a Day

By just about any measure, it was a pretty wonderful day for a baseball game in the nation’s capital. Sunday of Memorial Day weekend…the start of summer. (Check.) Sunny skies with temps in the high sixties/low seventies throughout the afternoon. (Check.) A huge crowd at the yard.  Official attendance of 39,033.  (You look for these things when you’re scoring the game.) (Check.) Wonderful daughter along for the afternoon. (Check!) As we left home for the metro around noon for the 1:35 first pitch, Claire and I had on appropriate game-day attire.  (I think she still finds it amazing that someone who is 20 – her age – can play major league baseball, so I offered up the Harper shirt.) Strasburg was on the mound, and he was sharp! The Phillies were confused all day.  Eight strong innings and nine strikeouts later – with the only blemish being a balk on his next to last pitch allowing a man on third to score – he showed that despite the strange 3-5 W-L record this year, he’s …

Maybe I Should Come to the Office More Often

I recently did the math. In one three month period this spring I am in the office less than one-third of the time.  True, I’ve been to some wonderful places, but if my two days in Washington this week are any indication, perhaps I should come to the office more often. When she was in fourth grade, my daughter told her class that her dad’s job was to “sign papers and go to meetings.” This hasn’t been one of those weeks. At the National Trust, we’ve been working hard to help Americans understand and protect the full story of our nation’s life together.  That  work was front and center yesterday and today. On Wednesday, our great friends at American Express announced a $1 million grant to the National Trust Historic Site Decatur House and our partners at the White House Historical Association.  The grant will help ensure that the site’s slave quarters – one of the few remaining urban examples of slave quarters – are preserved and used in the educational work at the site.  …

A Wonderful Week

Travel for work often deserves the brickbats thrown its way. But then there are the sublime trips that more than make it all worthwhile. My travel last week falls in the latter category. As posted here, here, here, here, and here, Candice and I have been on the road, seeing a variety of special places with friends and supporters of the National Trust. But because internet connections were slow-to-nonexistent on the road, I kept the posts short and to the point. So this is my “bring it all home” post.  I’ll give a short update of each stop, and then will post several new photos from that portion of the trip that weren’t included in the original updates. Our first port was Porto, Portugal, a wonderful city with a historic center that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It was a great kick-off, with a strong mix of monumental buildings and streets full of markets like the one at the top of the post.  We saw the coffee shop where J.K. Rowling wrote …

Remembering Their Sacrifice

  Our last day touring in Europe was the most emotional. If you don’t cry, you may not have a soul. We saw Normandy, and the place names from the U.S. that will resonate through history:  Utah Beach, Omaha Beach. We walked among row after row of headstones at the American cemetery.  Crosses and Star of Davids.  Most with names of men who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Some whose names are known only to God. And it was made all the more personal because of a chance encounter last week.  When we were headed out the door to leave on this trip, we saw our 90-year-old next-door neighbor and told him we were going to Europe and would visit Normandy. “I’ve never been to Normandy,” he said, “but I was flying over it on D-Day, trying to take out a German gun placement.”  We can’t wait to show August the photos of the beaches and,  yes, the craters that remain from the bombs that fell on that day. Heroes all — and they even live …

Island Hopping

The past two days we’ve visited two islands on our tour of European Coastal Civilizations:  the beautiful Belle-Ile in France and the equally intriguing British island of Guernsey. In the spirit of “quick posts” from the field, I’ll include three pictures, with “more to come” after our return home over the weekend. The first two are of Belle-Ile:  a detail from the very impressive Citadel restoration and a view of the town. The final one shows a German gun placement on a Napoleonic ruin along the rugged Guernsey coast. Our tours were very different in style and topic, with Belle-Ile focused on the beauty of the island and its coastline.  In Guernsey we toured sites of the German occupation of WWII, in anticipation of today’s visit to the beaches at Normandy. This will probably be the last post from the trip until we return home, so thanks for checking in and look forward to one or two more extensive follow-up posts…with many more pictures…in the coming days. More to come… DJB