Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fort Ward, VA

Location: Fort Ward, Alexandria, Virginia, USA

I've been to Fort Ward three times now, and I think I've finally finished snarfing the darned thing. It's a lovely park, don't get me wrong, but dang do those historical markers like to hide!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Alexandria, VA

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Visited: December 2011

Though I'm in Alexandria often, this was a special occasion. A couple friends and I went on the annual Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tour, where we got to actually enter several buildings we'd previously only seen from the outside: Gadsby's Tavern, Carlyle House, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary and Lee-Fendall House (for which I unfortunately did not pick up a brochure). My favorite was the apothecary; I wish we'd had more time to really look at it all. Everything was decked out to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, but the costumed guides threw in plenty of tidbits from the rest of the buildings' histories. We didn't dally that long at any place (save about ten minutes of sitting with hot cider at Carlyle), and yet it took us the full three hours to see all four sites. They evidently do a different time period each year, so there's a decent chance this could become part of my holiday traditions.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Page - Places Visited

Now that I'm all caught up on pages, I made a quick reference page of everywhere I've visited (and showcased here, that is). I just used tags, so several of the separate entries lead to the same page, since often I included multiple locations on a single spread. I only narrowed it down to the city level; if I went to individual attractions it'd get silly. Let me know if anything's broken.

In the meantime, here's a little bonus page: the first page of my Japan journal. This is one of the few times I used actual scrapbooking stickers, but I really liked these. The Totoro stamps were purchased at the Ghibli Museum.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Asheville, NC

Location: Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Visited: October 2011

One of the best parts of Asheville was the large number of local shops and restaurants. Links ahoy!

  • We spent quite a bit of time at Malaprop's, an independent bookstore and cafe. Tasty food and fun selection of merchandise.
  • I very much enjoyed shopping at the Mast General Store, the Kress Emporium, Grove Arcade, and ZaPow art gallery.
  • The Chocolate Fetish had some seriously delicious treats.
  • Mellow Mushroom gave me flashbacks. (There's one in Charlottesville, VA, where I went to graduate school.)
  • Awesome noms were, er, nommed at Laurey's, Asheville Brewing Company, and Twisted Crepe.
  • I stopped by West End Bakery and enjoyed some delicious cookies solely because there was an OBCZ there. This isn't the first time I've eaten somewhere directly because of BookCrossing. I also caught a wild book there that had mysteriously transported some 250 miles from West Virginia to North Carolina.
  • I walked the entire Asheville Urban Trail, thirty plaques and statues detailing the history of the area. Some truly strange pieces (hello, giant iron?) but some beautiful ones too.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Asheville, NC

Location: Thomas Wolfe Memorial, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Visited: October 2011

The house tour was all of a dollar, and our guide was simply excellent. Check out the replica of Julia Wolfe's business card in the upper right corner! I've never read any Thomas Wolfe (and, to be perfectly honest, don't intend to either), but the memorial was really great. And if there's a biopic, he should totally be played by Tim Robbins. The end.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Asheville, NC

Location: Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Visited: October 2011

I did not visit Biltmore because it cost $60 to get in, but I did wander nearby Biltmore Village, and hey, the brochures were just chock full of pretty pictures.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Asheville, NC

Location: Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Visited: October 2011

My husband went to Asheville to attend MoogFest. I joined him to explore the town. It's full of art and history and steep hills - in other words, just my cup of tea. Like many places, there was an Occupy Asheville group. I included the Miss Gay Latina Asheville ad because while the flyers were posted around town, I saw exactly no Latin people of either gender the entire time I was there, gay or otherwise. The Asheville Art Museum was pretty underwhelming for the price.

I suppose this would be a lovely time to mention that my husband's remix of "The Rocket Wife" by Tara Busch won third place. It's for sale and all proceeds go toward the Bob Moog Foundation. Go give it a listen!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gettysburg, PA

Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Visited: April 2011

Downtown Gettysburg is tourist central. Plenty of markers and souvenir shops. The highlight of the place for me, of course, was the Lincoln and Perry Como statue. Oh yeah, and we didn't actually see Bob Newhart, but he was advertised as the guest of honor at some upcoming festival. It was just so incongruous that I had to include him.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gettysburg, PA

Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Visited: April 2011

The folks at the Rupp House were especially friendly, though we did get a bit of a chuckle out of the "Lincoln Slept Here" brochure. You too can buy a brick of a building that once house Lincoln for a night or two! Reminds me of our favorite marker of the trip, a tree with a plaque informing us that Lincoln "passed by" that tree. He didn't stop there, he didn't have any kind of interaction with it: he just walked past it. Excellent.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gettysburg, PA

Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Visited: April 2011

This was a rather momentous trip for me. It's pretty much the motherload of snarfs, it was the last time I saw Cookie, and it was the trip when I completely screwed up my ankle, an injury which resulted in five months in a brace and from which I am still recovering. The visitor's center is lovely and the driving tour was a lot of fun. We didn't come anywhere close to hitting all the historical markers in the place; we'll have to spend another weekend mopping up the rest at some point.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brandy Station, VA

Location: Graffiti House, Brandy Station, Virginia, USA
Visited: June 2011

Brandy Station is easy to miss while traveling south on VA-28, but the Graffiti House is pretty nifty: lots of signatures and doodles from Civil War troops, both Union and Confederate. Had I not been on my way to Culpeper that day, I probably would have stayed longer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Centreville, VA

Location: Centreville, Virginia, USA

Despite living here for over four years, 2011 was my very first visit to Centreville Day. The very notion of "historic downtown Centreville" was somewhat amusing to me, since we don't really have a downtown area, but there are a handful of structures still standing in the tiny area that has been known as Centreville since the 1720s. It was really great to tour the historic structures around the area and the fascinating Spindle Sears House - a house bought from the Sears catalog in the 1930s. I also got to talk to some lovely folks from Patch, the Bull Run Civil War Round Table, and the NoVa Chapter of the Archaeological Society of Virginia. I was amused when the lady from Shen Yu was absolutely convinced she'd met me two weeks before at a wine festival I hadn't attended, and the treats I enjoyed from Mindy's Cupcakes and Gotta Have Chocolate were simply fabulous.

I'll definitely be stopping by again next year.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Elkridge, MD

Location: Elkridge, Maryland, USA
Visited: July 2011

I stopped by the Elkridge Furnace Inn because it's on the National Register of Historic Places, and while I was snooping around the grounds, looking for any additional snarfs, the head chef saw me and brought me inside for a tour. Super nice guy, as I noted. I have to go back and eat there sometime.

The "brief history" that takes up the bulk of the page is actually a single fold pamphlet that opens up to reveal - what else? - a brief history of the inn.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Location: Wisconsin Dells and Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Visited: June 2011

I separated the H.H. Bennett Studio from the rest of the Dells pages because it was by far my favorite stop of the entire trip. The photo in the upper left corner also folds out to reveal another photo of Bennett in a boat, but I like the jumping dude better. It was one of the first pictures created with "high speed" photography, to the point where many people at the time believed it was faked.

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison was an impulse stop, but very interesting nonetheless. It is made up mostly of life-sized dioramas of every American military conflict, including the most recent.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Osaka, Japan

Location: Osaka, Japan
Visited: March 2010

We spent our one night in Osaka in a capsule hotel. It wasn't nearly as claustrophobic as I'd feared, though the fact that the bathroom (showers), lavatory (sinks), and toilets (commodes) were three separate rooms kind of confused me at first. BookOff is a chain of largish bookstores, and the white page of Japanese writing to the right of that is my fortune I got at one of the shrines. The (American) friend we were with said it was just okay, not great and not bad either - but she didn't actually translate it word for word, unfortunately. That's okay. It's still pretty.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Warrenton, VA

Location: Warrenton, Virginia, USA
Visited: October 2011

Warrenton was another "pick a place and go" sort of day. It's a pretty quiet and not so very interesting town, but I really enjoyed the Old Jail Museum. That was definitely worth visiting.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Washington, D.C.

Location: Washington, DC, USA

Okay, this post is a bit of a cop-out, as these pages are from three different spreads in two different journals. The first is from a trip with a couple of good friends to the house where Lincoln died (across the street from Ford's Theatre) and the National Building Museum. The second is from one of my favorite spots, the Old Post Office. The third is a generic catch-all page from my 2011 BookCrossing Convention journal. All the same, I do drop by DC from time to time, and I often pick up pamphlets of the places I visit, even if I've visited them a hundred times before. It's all part of being a tourist everywhere you go.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Japanese Noms

Location: Japan
Visited: March 2010

Foods! One of the best parts of our trip to Japan was the constant availability of interesting snack foods. From amazing ramen to fresh taiyaki to bento boxes to a zillion flavors of Kit Kats, our palettes were never bored. So tasty!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bethlehem, PA

Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
Visited: September 2010

I've attended the Celtic Classic numerous times, but these pages are from 2010, when we went with my in-laws. They had a great time, as did we. All the old stand-bys were there, such as Seamus Kennedy, plus we watched some great new-to-us bands, like Blackwater and McPeake. If you're ever in Bethlehem, be sure to stop by the Moravian Book Shop, because it's awesome.

The final page is a random pamphlet I picked up about the ice house, which was one of the venues at the Celtic Classic. It's a favorite due to the mere fact that it has air conditioning and slightly more comfortable seating, but the history of the place is pretty cool too.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Germany and Switzerland

Location: Landstuhl, Trier, and Freiburg, Germany; and Biel, Switzerland
Visited: April 2010

Due to a certain volcano, we ended up stuck in Europe for an extra week. So we rented a car and drove to Switzerland (as you do). These were some of our stops along the way. The Metropol was kind of ridiculous, what with the motion-sensitive lights in the bathroom and lengthy labyrinth leading to breakfast. My favorite part by far was Nanstein Castle in Landstuhl. I love me some gorgeous ruins, let me tell you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wisconsin Dells, WI

Location: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, USA
Visited: June 2011

Remember how I said how pleased I am with myself when I make fold-out pages? Well, here's another one. The other side is just a generic photo of the Dells. I had a marvelous time here in the land of kitsch. And let me tell you: the doughnuts at Paul Bunyan's are not to be missed. Yum!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Osaka, Japan

Location: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Osaka, Japan
Visited: March 2010

This is one of several pages devoted to the aquarium in my journal. I kept nearly the entire pamphlet due to the awkwardly translated English, such as "Please enjoy playful sea otters being popular among children." Maybe it makes me a bad person to laugh, since I can speak all of about three words of Japanese, but it still entertains me.