Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

McLean Virginia- A More Traditional Halloween

Alexandria exudes the spooky and real spirits Halloween feel (refer to the previous post). McLean is more suburban and traditional. This is near the Total Wine Shop, where we go for discounted wine and cheese. Both require the GW Parkway to get you there, but a tale of two cities to be sure!

A much friendlier vibe than Alexandria- Casper comes to mind?

Pretty, but not as "authentic!"

Alexandria Halloween

Alexandria is a very pretty place, and we visit the city several times a month. It was here that we stayed for Christmas one year a very long time ago. It only takes about 20 minutes from our house, across the bridge, past the airport, and along the GW Parkway to get there. The decorations are always seasonal, festive and typically distinctive. After all, George Washington had a townhouse here, and everything about the place has a certain decorum. We went to see the Halloween displays, and weren't too disappointed. One difference from suburban neighborhoods is that you can actually feel something here- and they say there is a haunted candy shop - among other things. Is it just me- or is there a certain creepy common thread about all these "decorations?" Imagine all the wrongdoing that occurred along these streets over these last few centuries?

The original cobblestone street is quite pretty, but the car hates it

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Union Station, Monuments and Snow

Our friend is traveling to California today by way of Baltimore/Washington Airport and needed a ride to Union Station to catch the train to the airport. The main hall of Union Station was closed because the ceiling plaster fell down yesterday from old earthquake damage.  After we dropped her off, we had a few errands to run. Along the way, it continued to rain. The monuments take on a different feel during this kind of weather. Our grandson was hosting a hot dog/barbecue this afternoon for his baseball team, and there was a dog show in Middleburg, Virginia- on a plantation- that we would have gone to. But the rain slowly turned to snow, and we are now back home watching the flakes fall. This is one time that I miss my fireplace is Milwaukee. I'll just have to crank up the heat and pretend we have one- or get an IPad app with a fireplace burning. I am still amazed at all the people who walk around like it's summer time outside- with no jackets and no umbrellas. Those pictures probably would have been more interesting than any of these.
The pigeons are sitting along the window ledges to avoid the rain

Construction around Union Station

Big raindrops on the Capitol

Not a lot of company for Tom today

On the GW Parkway along the Potomac

Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial

Almost home

What the heck is that white stuff in October?

Friday, October 28, 2011

George Washington Parkway

Every few months we take a ride along the George Washington Parkway towards Mount Vernon. Because we heard it might SNOW tomorrow, we thought today would be a good day to see what might be the end of the Fall color. It didn't seem like things have reached near their peak, but all the same it is always an enjoyable ride. I wonder what George was thinking when he rode back along this way to his home? Much of the scenery remains the same along the mighty Potomac River. There are even better scenes in the Midwest... and my parents from Florida always visited us there in October for that reason. But there is something about this stretch of rode. Imagine all the characters that passed this way- the ones we hated to read about in history class. Regardless, I still think it's too early for that dreadful snow. Since we moved here, we are breaking all kinds of weather records- but none of them are in our favor! Snow and cold was one of the primary reasons we moved here from Milwaukee. I feel like I'm still there.
There are many eagle nests along the Parkway-
but we haven't seen many eagles

A bike trail runs along the entire route from DC

A really dumpy place- like an old supper club- but a great view

A place to contemplate
Mount Vernon entrance

The way to Mount Vernon- a great place to walk in this kind of weather

George picked a great spot

The new Gaylord National Harbor Convention Center across the river in Maryland-
you can take a water taxi from Alexandria to get there

Beavis and Butthead

The last time we watched Beavis and Butthead we lived in Milwaukee. I loved them! I even had the remote control, took it to work, and it was used in a variety of settings. When we visited DC way back when, we went to see the full length feature film here in the capitol city, and loved that too. I also had the CD's of the "best of Beavis and Butthead," and currently have the Application for my IPad. I always hoped they would return. Now, it is many years later. I live in Washingon, DC and have two grandsons... one is sandy haired, and one is dark haired. Our son told our grandson that he really needs to watch Beavis and Butthead to understand Grandma. I'm really looking forward to the first new episode tonight! And it hardly matters where you live.
Who would have thought I would have 2 grandsons that have the same coloring?
(photo from the internet)

Right at home (photo from the internet)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Last night we were watching Mike Judge on TV in anticipation of Beavis and Butthead returning tomorrow night when the doorbell rang. In walked our son and grandson with a 6 pack of cupcakes. They had just gone out to eat and stopped off at the local cupcake shop for some dessert- and they always think of us! Of course, they would be joining us in devouring these delicious foodstuffs. I don't quite understand all the hullabaloo about cupcakes. And they were $20.00 for six of them, and weighed a ton. There are shops everywhere- one in Georgetown, 2 new ones on 8th street Barracks Row, and a cupcake truck that circles the neighborhood. Regardless of what it is, we appreciate the thought. But we did send at least one back home to Mom- so she would not feel left out. Now that is a really good reason to live close by! We certainly would not have these little perks if we still lived in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Time Out (Again)

At about the same time today, I passed by the dog walker that I saw yesterday. Except this time, the dogs were going wild and barking...I take back what I said yesterday about well-mannered. But there was one less of them today, making for a pack of three instead of 4. And a lady from across the street was getting them all excited. Anyway, they still "look" cute, even though they were not behaving so well. Maybe the next time I see them, I'll ask them to pose. I still miss my dog, and would like to have another one.... my grandson has no interest in them, and I was counting on that. Rats!
The Golden, Shepherd & I'm not sure what

They could easily pull him down

A very common sight in the neighborhood at lunch time

Monday, October 24, 2011

Time Out

I love dogs. But not all dogs- just the big furry ones. I had a borzoi who lived to be 13 years old, and she was the sweetest animal around. Before her, we had a Golden Retriever, who was sweet, but had a lot of health problems. I wish I had taken the picture sooner, as 4 really big dogs (and their noon hour walker) came towards me as I was heading back to work this afternoon after lunch. They were so well mannered- the Golden, the German Shepherd, and the twin (what looked like) Bernese Mountain Dogs (but weren't) as they passed by. But the cutest thing to see is the Husky that lives across the street. He must be about 20 years old, and his owners let him lead the way to go one step every five minutes. You know the animal lovers when you see them- and this town is full of them.
The Golden, the Shepherd, and the twins heading south


Today was a day trip to Baltimore- not very far away, with our best friends. We've gone on many trips together and they are luckily always non-eventful and very memorable.  The funny thing is that we ended up at the same place for brunch that my husband and I stayed in the 80's- at Fell's Point- when it was just renovated. Baltimore reminds us a lot of Milwaukee. In fact, a marketing guy I used to work with there now works at the Baltimore Aquarium. It was a beautiful day ...  after exploring the water front, we drove to North Point Park. The leaves are beginning to change, and Fall is in the air. All in all a great day. But we've always known it's not the place, but the people we are with.
Fell's Point

Halloween ready

Wall art

North Point Park

A gentle reminder of where we are


A view of the city from Key Bridge

Saturday, October 22, 2011

US National Arboretum

Seasonally we like to visit the US National Arboretum. The Azaleas are brilliant in spring. I think we were a little too early for the fall foliage- and it was a bit cloudy. Nevertheless, there is always something to see as one meanders through the acreage. The foul weather must have had an impact on a lot of the trees, as there were trucks and trucks of tree trimmers getting things pruned and removed. Though we did not see yet what typically the cooler weather brings, a few items caught our attention. It's always worth the trip, and it's only a few miles away. We used to travel to the Chicago botanical garden annually, but this is a lot more convenient, and the views of the city are breathtaking. We'll have to try it again in a couple of weeks- on a sunny day.

A lot to clean up

Trucks were everywhere & streets were blocked off

The columns from the Capitol Building

Feels like Fall

Reminds me of a sea urchin