Tuesday, July 12, 2016

One if by land...

As happens when cruising and living overseas, we don't get to see much of the family often. It takes big occasions to get us across the pond and we had a biggie this year. We traveled to America this time to meet our niece and nephew's new baby and visit their new home in Alexandria, Virginia. We flew into JFK (which is amazingly better now) and drove down to VA, then worked our way back up the coast for the christening in Philadelphia.

First stop was to meet baby Alexander in Alexandria, where Alex and I spent three days with Alexis and Andrew. I call Alexander Zander. (It's wierd that Zander was the lead character in my novel before I knew Alexis was pregnant.) Alex calls him Alexander. Alexis calls him Ziggy. And Andrew calls him "little guy". What a cutie! Great disposition, good demeanor, lovely smile, engaging attitude. A keeper! And they take it all in stride. "Oh, there's three of us now. Let's bundle him up and go out." No fuss, no muss, no worries. Lots of germs to get exposed to and develop a healthy immune system.

We had some time to spend in Virginia along the banks of the Potomac River visiting George Washington's home estate, Mount Vernon and the Olde Towne district. When I sailed on the Chesapeake in the late 1980s I never sailed up the Potomac past St. Mary's near the mouth. It's really not very clean looking so I don't think I missed much, but seeing DC from the water must be a very different experience.

It was hot, very hot. And there were people, lots of people. I'm just not used to that. We gave up on trying to see the inside of the house even though we'd paid a lot of money to tour it. Beautiful grounds, including the crypt where Washington is buried and a memorial to all the slaves who worked on the estate. The place is a working farm and there are demos of period activities ongoing.

So we spent three nights in Alexandria before heading north, first to Annapolis and then Cape May, before a stop in Philadelphia and then Lambertville.  All the old stomping grounds.

Strange GW hologram in the entry building to Mount Vernon. 

Mochs and Blackwells

Beautiful family

Beautful fencing

We were shushed into silence

Washington's burial place

Memorial to the slaves




Boat building demo

A farm building.

A farm building

The carriage house. 

The view.

The back of the house. 

A really good young GW guide. 

The view from the house. Those are bald eagles flying. 

The front of the house 

Making anchor chain 

We always gravitate toward boats

A great artists and craft facility in the old torpedo factory. 

Decadent brunch of eggs with crab cakes a la Benedict. 

Lovely home of Alexis and Andrew. 

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