Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cherry Blossoms Galore


Greetings Friends!

My favorite (and only) sister and I have made a successful journey to Washington DC to see the sights and take in the cherry blossoms.  We have a pretty strict criteria for "successful" though.  In order for a vacation to be deemed a success, we must A.) limp home B.) broke and C.) exhausted.   Since we accomplished all three, I'd say it was abundantly successful. 

The trees along Lafayette Square were putting on a brilliant show.

On Day 1, we did a six-hour "See It All" overview tour.  For us, it was the perfect way to take in the major monuments and memorials all in one day.  I won't bore you with all 450 pictures I snapped, but here are a few of my favs:

Jefferson Memorial along Tidal Basin
Iwo Jima Memorial
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Fala
To conclude Day 1, we hopped over to the Natural History Museum and saw the Hope Diamond.  Incredible!
Day 2 started early at the National Zoo
Breeding season just concluded.  Mei could have bun in the oven!! 

So regal
We walked and walked and walked and saw everything the zoo had to offer.  At some point, we quit walking and began to hobble.  That's when we knew it was time to make our way back into town.  We had not counted on the near-90 degree heat that day.  One thing I've learned from my travels is when the weather gets nasty, find a cool, peaceful church to enjoy.  We did just that and visited the most impressive St. Matthew's Cathedral this afternoon.  Truly spectacular.  Many of you may remember this is where JFK's funeral was held. 
Sister and I love to tour house museums/mansions and gardens when we are lucky enough to have time in our vacation schedule to take them in.  With a tag line like "Where Fabulous Lives", how could we pass this one up?  We spent the better part of six hours at Hillwood on Wednesday admiring the mansion, furnishings, art, urns, gardens, and generally every-fabulous-thing Ms. Merriweather Post collected.  It was a slendid way to spend a hot (90 degree) day.

And, the salmon cakes at the Hillwood Cafe were a special kind of fabulous!
Again with afternoon temps reaching 90 degrees, we decided to visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception over in the northeast corner of the city to conclude our day.  Talk about amazing!  Wow wow wow.  It is a bit out of the way, but well worth the trek.
Wow!  What a fantastic time we had at the Spy Museum in the heart of downtown DC.  They might have had kids in mind when they designed the "Operation Spy" experience but I can attest to the fact that grown kids will enjoy it too.
As a huge James Bond fan, I was enthralled by all the Bond exhibits and memoribilia.  Fascinating!  (no photos allowed)
After a wonderful dinner at the brewpub next to the Spy Museum we jumped on the metro one last time and ran uptown to see the art at the Phillips Collection, home of Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party.  It was amazing but my favorite might have been a van Gogh I had never seen before called the House at Auvers.  They had several important works by Cezanne, Monet, Degas, Hopper, O'Keeffe, Kandinsky, Pollack, Seurat, Sisley, Goya, El Greco, Gauguin, et al.  In short, the whole gang was there.  I heart art.  :-))
Day 5:  Off to the Outlet Mall!   Boy howdy.  Just when we thought we'd walked ourselves to death, we spent another five hours or so walking the outlet mall just outside of D.C. in Hagerstown MD. 
My dogs were barking, so I tried to hush them with these new loafers... 
  Just call me Dorothy..
 And then, I clicked my heels together and we were home.  :-)
The best part of the whole week was spending quality time with my baby sis.  I think we could have fun in a paper bag.  :-D
Now off to the laundry room and back to work.  Here's hoping you are enjoying the changing season, wherever you are!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Presto Change-o


Abracadabra!  Kalamazoo!! 

What was once circular is now a circle with straight sides, aka, an octagon..  Just to revisit, the more I stitched this design in the round, the more concerned I was about how to finish the edges.  Bright idea was to give the circle straight sides, to ease the finishing process.  So now, each and every blasted line of color has been unstitched, at both ends, and re-stitched in order to convert the rounded border into a series of straight edges. 

People, time I want something tartan, I'm going to take the easy road and get my pilots license, fly solo across the Altantic, hike the Scottish Highlands, and turn it over to the people who make tartans for a LIVING! 

Me and my bright ideas...

Taking off tomorrow for a quick vacation to see the cherry blossoms in DC.  Be back in a week with plenty of pretty photos hopefully...

Until then, here's hoping you all are enjoying the changing seasons, wherever you are!