Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On the Road: DC, December 2014

Just got back from our annual December trip to Washington, DC.  As regular readers may recall, I grew up in suburban Maryland and my parents have since moved into the city.  Our recent tradition has been spending Christmas Day at home in Vermont, then down to DC the day after.  A few highlights from our latest visit...


Mount Vernon


George Washington's northern Virginia estate was a popular destination for school field trips growing up so I had been a couple of times before but not in about 25 years.  Saturday was a gorgeous day, weather-wise, our best of the trip.  It seemed like a great day to go.  Unfortunately, a lot of other folks thought the same thing - huge crowd.  Parking was a nightmare, then a long line for tickets.


Worth the wait, though.  Mount Vernon is beautiful, particularly the mansion and the view of the river.  George Washington was a great man.  And, as with many of the Founding Fathers, he was also an obscenely wealthy man.  One must not forget the slavery upon which such opulence was built.

Slave Cottage


Beauty and the Beast

On Sunday, we ventured bravely back to northern Virginia - Crystal City, this time - to Synetic Theater for a production of Beauty and the Beast.  The company specializes in wordless performances of Shakespeare and other classics.  This production did include spoken narration but most of the story was told through movement, dance and elaborate staging.  The fairy tale was told from the perspective of the witch who placed the original curse on the beast.  Without the narration, that would have been difficult to follow I think, but I still would have preferred the show without it.  Even so, the show was dazzling, especially for the lighting, set design and the strong performances of the two leads.
via Synetic Theater
The theater recently took a big hit in its public funding.  They're still a little short of their fundraising goal to make up the difference so if, in your post-Christmas cheer, you're feeling generous, they would be grateful for your contributionBeauty and the Beast runs through January 11th.  Their next show, a wordless Much Ado About Nothing, begins in February.


Tono Sushi

My parents are regulars at Tono Sushi, a Japanese/Thai establishment on Connecticut Avenue.   The co-proprietor recognizes their voices when they call for a reservation (or so he claims, I'm guessing there's a technological assist on that one) and always comes over to the table to chat.  Our server was an older Japanese woman, both charming and attentive.  The food is excellent, of course - chirashi is my go-to at sushi restaurants these days.


As always, it was fun to go but it's great to be home, too - even with nothing but sub-freezing temperatures in the forecast for the rest of the week.

34 comments:

  1. Washington is one of my favorite destinations, but I've never been there in the winter. It looks like you had a wonderful time and saw some amazing sites.

    Thank you for being a blog pal and I hope you have a happy, healthy, safe and abundantly blessed new year. <3

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    1. Winter is generally quite mild. Saturday was lovely: high 50s.

      Thank you, too, Cherdo. You're a good friend. Happy new year!

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  2. Awww it sounds like you had a lovely time. I Hope the same can be said for the new year.
    Have a good night and happy new year! xx

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  3. Sounds like a terrific trip. Happy New Year to you.

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  4. What a wonderful time you must have had. My daughter was stationed in DC area for a time at Walter Reed, and we had great fun prowling around the city.

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    1. It's a city I know well - in theory, the one I know best.

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  5. The greatest thing about George: He refused to be king.

    Have a great New Year.

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    1. Absolutely. He set all of his slaves free in his will, too.

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    2. That's also true, which is a lot more than can be said for Jefferson.

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  6. Wonderful !
    I loved my visit to Mount Vernon. Amazing !
    Even with the freezing temperatures, there is no place like home.

    Happy New Year
    cheers, parsnip

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  7. It sounds like great fun especially Washington's place. That Beauty and the Beast production sounds wonderful, so thanks for sharing!

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  8. That's a trip I've never made. Mount Vernon would be a "must see" if I were to go. Happy New Year to you!

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    1. It's definitely a must for a history buff.

      Happy New Year, Nellie!

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  9. My "bucket list" includes seeing landmarks like Mount Vernon. Glad they don't, er, whitewash its past...

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    1. They certainly don't. The contributions of the slaves are fully acknowledged. It certainly doesn't excuse the sins of the past but it is an important gesture.

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  10. Oh, I would love to visit that area. Wishing you all the best for 2015!

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    1. Thanks, Romance Reader. All the best to you, too!

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  11. One of the trips I'd like to take someday is a Found Father's Tour (I just made that up but I bet there is an actually tour like that somewhere). And just do the rounds, Mount Vernon, Monticello, maybe throw in a couple of the early tycoons too.

    One of my favorite places is The Vanderbilt Manor in Hyde Park, New York. I grew up just a few towns away and loved going there and to FDR's house as well - which was right down the street from the Vanderbilts.

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    1. That sounds like a great idea. I love themed vacations.

      We have our own Vanderbilt family estate in Vermont: Shelburne Farms. The Biltmore in North Carolina is spectacular, too. That tour includes a wine tasting. The Vanderbilts would be a worthy travel theme of their own.

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  12. I haven't been to Mt. Vernon in about 25 years. I haven't been to DC in just as long. I definitely have to make a trip there again soon. I am sure things will look different through my adult eyes. :) Looks and sounds like you had a great vacation. Beauty and the Beast sounds very interesting and well done!
    ~Jess

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  13. Wonderful pictures. I hope to explore that area one day.

    Happy New Year.

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  14. Lovely photos! My husband is from Maryland as well. Near the PA border. Glad you had such a nice trip!

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    1. Maryland's a very odd state. Geographically, the PA border isn't far from where I lived at all but culturally, it's like another universe. There are plenty who would say I'm not from the real Maryland. Your husband is.

      Go Orioles!

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  15. Nice photographs.
    Beauty and the Bast looks amazing. I like seeing old classics come to life.

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    1. It was a fun show. I'm sorry to miss Much Ado.

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