History is Cool! Visit Mount Vernon.

Trying to take advantage of the amazing history of this area, we get out as much as we can. Yesterday we used one of the last nice warm days to visit Mount Vernon and get to know George Washington better. How cool to go through the house the Father of America lived and died in!

His home is on the Potomac River just a few miles south of DC. Of course when his half brother’s father started the farm in the early 1700s there was no DC. President Adams moved from Philadelphia to a half finished White House the year George Washington died from complications of a severe sore throat in 1799.

At any rate, it was a very cool visit to a magnificent heritage of the U.S., and every single person should go.

This is in front of the greenhouse for his gardens. We even visited his distilllery and flour mill. Did you know Washington wanted to be the largest flour producer in the world and almost did it?

This is in front of his and Martha’s crypt. People lay those flowers right behind Shelly and Ryan. Washington left notes in his will to build this crypt. There are over 25 household members interred there.

Fundraising for paws4vets continues unabated. Last weekend we participated in a 2.2K run for veterans and their dogs on the Mall in front of the Capitol. The sun was just coming up when we got there. When the race started Goose was absolutely going to be first and just about jerked Shelly’s arm out to get going. I took over and let Goose lead me around the mile course to finish fifth. There was a USA Today reporter who interviewed us at the finish line.

What we did not know until we got there was the scheduled 10k race after ours with an attendance of 40,000 racers. It was crowded… This is a cool shot of the Washington Monument behind the crowd.

We took a day to run up to the first Capitol at Philadelphia to visit our friend David and to get Goose’s recertification as a Psychiatric Service Dog.

David chaperoned us into Philly for cheese steaks, and a visit to a really neat pumpkin carving fair. We also met Davids friend Sharon who definately seemed too nice for him.

Of course, Goose was the only dog there and Shelly had her hands full getting Goose to visit with all the kids.

It was quite the treat to go downtown and visit the buildings where the Continental Congress met to write the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. Ryan is walking in the square where the Declaration was first read July 8, 1776.
The liberty bell hung in the tower in the first pic. I absolutely love history.

Shelly is becoming quite the front person for paws4vets. You can see the attention these women at the Bureau of Prisons are giving to her. (And Goose of course!)

We have also been to several Department of Defence buildings (they are everywhere!), the Federal Marshals, SSA, DISA, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Army Audit and more… Here Goose has just shown how he can read!

Today we rode the Metro for the first time to the Pentagon and wowed the 28,000 people who work there. (Well maybe a few of them!)

We have maybe a month more at the most as the weather gets colder, and the decreasing number of events makes the cost of staying here combined with pain of the weather time to go…

Thanks for the comments and calls. We enjoy hearing from you!

 

Update from Ft Washington MD

How many 16 year olds get to wander the halls of Congress, in and out of Senator offices, where so much history has been made?

Not many I bet.

This is outside the Senate office that was occupied by John Kennedy.

 
 

We would like to say Ryan and Goose were asked to speak to the U.S. Senate, but this conference room was open so we shot the picture!

We all visited every Senator’s office where paws4vets had operations or business, told our story, introduced Goose, and asked for help. It was interesting, fun, we were very well received and helped on our way with recommendations and help where they could. The halls of the office buildings were very quiet as Congress is out of session with a lot of politicians home fighting for their political lives.

This week our goal was to visit the monuments and Congress to talk about p4v as our other events have slowed down a lot.

Yesterday the White House was on the list. You can’t even get close to the “house of the people” as there are armed guards out two blocks in a perimeter every 25 feet. Those are just the ones we saw.

We have enjoyed other less highly guarded places, although every single place we have been has security to make the airports blush.

The Thomas Jefferson memorial was really cool. After coming from the National Archives (documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) reading about Jefferson’s life surely gave us a much greater appreciation of what the U.S. is about, and how we seem so close to losing it.

We have also visited the National Botanical Gardens, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Union Station, the Senate Offices, and all the war memorials.

After our events Tuesday and Wednesday, given decent weather we are planning to sail the 12 miles upriver and anchor 5 blocks off the Mall so we can easily walk to the museums without having to worry about parking.

We have driven about 1500 miles in the rental car covering events from Aberdeen Proving Grounds north of Baltimore, over to Ft Fredrick in the middle of Maryland north of the city, and down into Virginia. Traffic is just awful. It sure will be nice to head south again at 6 mph and not have to worry about a billion other drivers, crazy roadways, one way streets etc.

We even found time to go to an air show in Leesburg and pass out lots of cards, Although it is hard to see, Goose was absolutely fascinated by the model planes flying upside down just 50 ft away from him. I really, really wanted to let him chase it down!

Meanwhile back at Yume, work on the boat has almost stopped. Shelly did finish the interior cushions and they look awesome!

I am making lists for things to do once we turn south and start moving again. Spreader lights, varnish, deck paint, rigging work etc.

Until then, we continue to focus on this opportunity to create as much difference as possible for the paws4people foundation by raising as much funding as we can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fundraising and Fun Raising

Our days seem to flow by, as we attempt to reach as many federal employees as possible to tell them about paws4vets, and ask them to consider pledging a part of their paycheck for 2015.

One of the really cool places to find these employees is at the historical sites. The parks are much quieter now as the season is mostly over, the weather is just glorious, and the rangers have time to talk to us.

(I keep having strong urges to say “hey Yogi, the ranger’s not gonna like this”…)

Yesterday we had to leave the boat at 6am to be at the Coast Guard Drydock Yard in Baltimore for a CFC event. We were asked to speak to the group, and Goose put on a great show for them.

Back to the boat by noon, some lunch, and then computer work until our eyes crossed.

Since Ft Washington is literally across the little creek from us we jumped in the car to tour the fort in the late afternoon.

Although very cool, this fort is another example of govt waste. They built this massive fort, and the two times the British came up the river the fort was abandoned without firing a single shot. In 1812 they just ran. In 1814 the officer in charge thought they would lose, so before firing a single shot, he ordered the fort blown up and they ran too! He was courtmartialed.

So the fort has been here since then and we pay to maintain it (somewhat).

Ft McHenry, on the other hand, definatly saw action as the British not only tried to bomb the fort into oblivion for an entire night, but also sent a formidable force overland to take the town from the rear at the same time.

As we all know from the Star-Spangled Banner the fort held, the British called back their ships and infantry and sailed off into the early morning sunrise.

The fort is an amazing place to visit.

We were able to help raise a replica flag that was raised the morning after the bombardment to show the British that the fort was still there. It was especially sewn for that purpose and is huge!

Behind Shelly is the ‘little’ flag coming down…

To date we have made presentations for the Marines at Quantico, the Coast Guard, and the Dept of Defense Inspectors General offices. We leave at 9 this morning for Fredericksburg and Ft Detrick for another presentation. Lots of people to talk to about helping veterans stop committing suicide due to Post Traumatic Stress.

Time is already flying by. The weather has turned cool in the mornings, with highs in the 70′s and it feels like winter is just around the corner. We will stay as long as we feel we can before we have to sail south. (Remember someone has to outside in the cockpit in the weather piloting the boat so we can’t wait too long!)

Time to go to work!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let The Campaign Begin!

We have sailed and motored Yume over 1200 miles from Marathon in the Fl keys to Washington DC to help an organization called paws4vets get more funding.

Every year federal government employees are encouraged to pledge and contribute to their favorite charity. The cumulative efforts raise over 250 million dollars spread among 2500 of the best charities in the county.

Fully half of paws4vets previous two year's contributions have come from the DC area. Our hope is that by being here, and representing p4v at as many events as possible this campaign season (Sept to Dec) the overall contributions will be increased.

We get out of our shorts and flip flops, put on some slacks and nice shirts and tell the paws4vets story – over and over and over. It is story that never gets old.

Today was the Dept of Defense Office of the Inspector General. This is a BIG office with multiple layers of serious security…

Last week we stopped in Quantico Marine base for an event. We were able to take the time to visit the Marine Museum which was just awesome. If you ever get the chance you must visit.

We are in a small marina in Fort Washington right off the Potomac River just ten miles out of DC on the Maryland side.

And yes, there really is a Fort Washington which guarded the entrance to the Capitol. When we get over to visit, I'll tell you more…

We rented a car to drive in today and the traffic was simply awful. They tell us the 14 miles to DC can take four hours on a bad day. Yuk

What we are really looking forward to is being able to visit all the museums and other historical places in around the Capitol. Ryan's homeschool will be very heavy on federal government and American history these next few months!

A weather front came through two days ago and the temps went from 93 in the day to highs in the 70's. I hope it is not a sign of what is to come. I already miss Marathon.

Just trying to catch up and keep in touch. Thanks for your emails and calls. It's great to hear from you!

 

The Yume Odyssey – a Different Approach to Life!