Thursday, October 31, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Sunday, October 13, 2013
What a gorgeous weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving!
On our walk to the wharf we were thrilled to see a family of otters
playing in and out of the water.
It appeared to be a family of four - a mother with three offspring sliding in and out,
rolling in the water, loping along the empty wharves in the sunshine.
John's sister and brother-in-law drove out from Moose Jaw to spend a few days with family.
John is garbed for winter with his gloves, hat and jacket
while Marylou and Don look like they're out for a summer stroll!
Leaves are changing colour and falling around McGuire Lake.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Sunday, October 6, 2013
We are back home to falling leaves and much cooler temperatures. Time to turn on the furnace and wear sweaters!
While I was in Washington DC, John went to Seattle Washington with our son-in-law to see his first "live" MLB game. They drove through torrential rainfall in both directions but the game was played at Safeco Field, covered and protected from the weather. It was a memorable day for both of them.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Despite the promise of an 88 degree heat, we decided to forego the Metro and do a walkabout. Thankfully there was a refreshing breeze and we clung to the shaded sides of every street. Our first goal was to find the Hotel where my son would stay tonight. It was just an easy 15 minute walk away from our hotel but we were delayed by a sweet dog that required much stroking from my sister who never passes a dog on the street without sharing a doggie conversation.
After her initial greeting, the creature lay down and refused to continue with his owner until Dorothy returned for more loving attention! Finally able to proceed on our quest, we identified several more embassies in the area and a sculpture of the Ukrainian Bard Taras Shevchenko.
Alongside his statue was this dramatic frieze.
In a back alley we spotted this brilliant mural of Duke Ellington
Mitch's hotel was near 12th Street which led directly into Georgetown so we wandered through some of the narrow streets admiring doors and gardens.
An old door/gate in Georgetown
After sharing iced drinks at Dupont Circle we decided to revisit the House of the Temple, the National Headquarters for the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction. Last week it was closed for a private function. This time my sister took the tour (1 1/2 hours) while I sat in the cool interior to work on a couple of drawings. Our fascination with Freemasonry dates back to our father's membership in the fraternity and also recent published works. Fourteen of the 44 US Presidents have been Freemasons including George Washington, both Roosevelts, Harry S. Truman and Gerald Ford.
After lunch and a rest from the heat we walked down to Mitch's Hotel for a reunion before enjoying dinner at Grillfish. Our meals included scampi, scallops and a variety of fish. Two of us (my sister abstained) shared key lime pie and sambucca. Mitch shared stories of Bali and we told him tales of Washington. We were back in our hotel by 10:30, packed for the morning and ready to go.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
This morning we took the Metro to Alexandria. The walk down King Street took us over a brick sidewalk that had been tilted and tipped by the root systems of its tree lined street. The shop facades on the old street were quaint, featuring too many spas, hair salons and yoga venues mixed in between eateries and pubs.
From the Metro station to the Information Centre was approximately 2 km which left us wondering why it wasn't positioned at the Metro/Train station. A few blocks later we discovered the Torpedo Factory with its labyrinth of artist studios. The Factory offers studio spaces of varying sizes to painters, ceramicists, sculptors, photographers and printmakers. It is also home to the Art League, a non-profit organization that offers classes to adults and children.
The stairway to the second floor studios is composed of sculpture pieces.
Old rows of seats have been brightly painting to provide rest spots for weary visitors.
After a filling lunch of pizza and salad we walked back up King Street in the 82 degree heat, past the Metro station to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Whew!!! It was a struggle!
This neo-classical monument was erected and is maintained by the Freemasons of the USA in memory of George Washington, a brother of the Masonic fraternity. The tower is capped with a flame-like finial to indicate that he was a guiding light in the formation of this country. The architecture includes many Greco-Roman elements through the use of marble floors and columns, elaborate ceilings and open spaces. An interior elevator carried us at a 7 1/2 degree angle from the bottom to the observation level in the tower. It is one of only four in the world!
This statue of Washington in full Masonic regalia
was dedicated by fellow Freemason Harry S. Truman.
was dedicated by fellow Freemason Harry S. Truman.
View from the ninth story observation deck in the tower, looking down King Street
to the Potomac River and across to Washington DC.
After a hot day of walking, shopping, eating and researching we finally climbed onto the Metro and headed back to the hotel. My feet will never recover!!
800,000 Federal government employees have been "furloughed"...such an odd military word for being locked out of your job, without pay, for an indefinite period of time! Of course the elected officials who locked you out and severed your pay will continue to be paid(approx. $670/day) while they play games with each other.
Fortunately we visited all of the National and Smithsonian sites during the past week. Today we will head to Alexandria. Maybe we will find some shopping opportunities because it seems that the only shops in DC are in the museums which offer a very pricey selection. This city has a vast assortment of pubs, eateries and cafes but very few shops.