Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Washington, DC

Location: Washington, DC, USA
Visited: June 2013

My friend Ruby was moving to upstate New York, so we all gathered in DC for one last day of cavorting around the city. The DC Aquarium is just a teeny collection of tanks in the basement of the Department of Commerce, and takes almost no time at all to see, but I always enjoy looking at critters. Afterward we got drinks and snacks at Old Ebbitt Grill on 15th Street. It was tasty but the waiter never did figure out that I was being completely serious about just leaving the pitcher of water on the table.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Prince William County, VA

Location: Bristow, Haymarket, and Brentsville, Virginia, USA
Visited: April 2013

The following is my LiveJournal entry from this day, because it covers everything I want to say and I am far too lazy to think up new words, much less type them all in:

Knowing it was the last chance I'd have for some snarfage before Europe, I took advantage of the gorgeous weather to explore some of Prince William County. It's kind of stupid that I haven't done more snarfing here, since it's far closer to my house than Loudoun County or, in fact, most of Fairfax County. I started near Haymarket, stopping at Beverley Mill. It's a ruin now, just four walls and no roof, but it's reinforced and has rows of benches inside. I suppose that means they must hold events there, but there's no lighting or stage area so I'm not sure what that would be. Anyway, I eventually pulled myself out of the rather relaxing area inside the mill and relocated at a nearby picnic table so I could sketch.

It's my first attempt at urban (well, rural) sketching, and it didn't come out quite as nicely as I'd hoped, but hey, it's a learning experience. I'm used to drawing things much smaller and closer, like pottery or photographs, so this was a nice challenge. I probably should have spent more time on it, but as usual, I rushed through because my attention span is far too short to worry about rendering all that stonework accurately. I almost didn't even draw the tree.

Afterward I headed into Haymarket proper, and noticed that the road to my next snarf was blocked off with flashing blue lights and a bunch of tents. It turned out I'd stumbled upon Haymarket's Earth Day festival. I enjoyed chatting with the goats, donkeys, and turkey. They also had chicks and bunnies and ducklings. As I browsed the stalls among the crowds, I was mistaken for a mother twice. The second time was most entertaining, as the woman at the table asked me if the children could have snacks. I was confused, said, "What children?" as the family near me began walking away, and the woman realized her mistake. I said, "They're not my children, so...yes!" I guess I must look matronly.

My next stop was Brentsville, and when I arrived at the historic centre I saw another group of tents - pup tents, housing Civil War re-enactors. I got a photograph of some of the guys, figuring that would work as a representative shot of the Brentsville Historic District.

My final stop of the day was Bristoe Station Battlefield. It was a nice walk, though by that point the sun was at such an angle as to make my sunglasses not so useful anymore. Either way, by the time I got home I was pleasantly exhausted.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA
Visited: May 2013

On a whim, I drove up to Artisphere in Rosslyn to attend a mail art making session hosted by a Craftgasm, a lady I know on Twitter. It was all kinds of fun and inspiring. The scan of the first page is kind of awful because the Artisphere sticker is a little glossy, and I think the reflection did weird things to the contrast. The stamp-covered person on the Artisphere pamphlet was, as far as I can tell, a coincidence, but it certainly fit in well with this spread.