Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Baltimore, MD




Place Visited: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Date: September 2017

I arrived too early to go aboard the Chesapeake Lightship (some Girl Scouts had spent the night there and hadn't left yet), but the man at the gate was charming and knowledgable. He also had the only lighthouse stamp with the challenge dates on it.

Seven Foot Knoll was very neat.  I'd kind of forgotten it existed, to be honest, despite all my trips to Baltimore over the years.

A note on the "rip off!" comment - I got inside a garage that was going to charge me $20 for two hours, so I left.  And got charged $5 for the seven minutes I was in there.  I wish this was atypical for Baltimore parking garages, but it is not, so I take the blame for that.  Ah well.

Visited as part of the 2017 Maryland Lighthouse Challenge.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Solomons, MD




Place Visited: Solomons, Maryland, USA
Date: September 2017

Cove Point and Drum Point lighthouses are both owned by the Calvert Marine Museum.  Drum Point is on the premises (and is really neat to go inside), and we took a bus to nearby Cove Point (which was less interesting, to be honest).

Visited as part of the 2017 Maryland Lighthouse Challenge.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Piney Point and Fort Washington, MD




Place Visited: Piney Point and Fort Washington, Maryland, USA
Date: September 2017

Piney Point lighthouse and museum is a charming place with an enthusiastic staff, and Fort Washington is my 10-year-old self's dream playground.  It was a great way to kick off the weekend.


Visited as part of the 2017 Maryland Lighthouse Challenge.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Maryland Lighthouses



Date: September 2017

I completed the 2017 Maryland Lighthouse Challenge, visiting nine lighthouses and one lightship over the course of two day.  To be honest, I haven't the foggiest idea why I did it.  I just decided it was something I wanted to do.  The silly part is that I'd actually visited all of these lighthouses before, though I hadn't been inside all of them.  (And still haven't - not all of them were open for tours even for the challenge.)  This year's challenge souvenirs were coasters and I collected them all, including the bonus one for finishing.  It was fun, but wow was that ever a lot of driving.

The next few posts are of the lighthouses I visited during that weekend. I also purchased the 2015 souvenir stickers, so those pages will also have some 2015 dates.  Don't be fooled!  It was all 2017! ;)

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Library of Congress





Place Visited: Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA
Date: September 2017

One fun thing about the Library of Congress is that every single one of their exhibits has its own brochure.  Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I was chock full of information, so much that I didn't have time to see it all.  So I picked out the images that spoke to me the most, like the haunting "Enlist" poster at the bottom right corner of the second page, a Fred Spear poster depicting a woman and infant drowning after the sinking of the Lusitania.  And the bizarre "War Gardens Over The Top" poster that appears to have a pumpkin trying to eat a potato.  Look, I don't know.  It was war.  Times were crazy.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Midlothian, VA




Place Visited: Midlothian, Virginia, USA
Date: September 2017

Mid-Lothian Mines Park is very cool and I wish we'd had more time (and less rain) to explore it.  I have an inexplicable fascination with mining.  Plus, the trees were very nice and the paths well maintained.  Too bad it's so far away from home.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Chesterfield, VA






Place Visited: Chesterfield, Virginia, USA
Date: September 2017

The girls and I took a road trip down to the Midlothian area to see what we could see. (These are the kinds of things we do.)  We started our day at the very cool Chesterfield County Museum and Magnolia Grange, where we received a personal guided tour from a delightful and knowledgable guide.  We also managed to see the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, tucked away inside Pocahontas State Park.  I admit I didn't know anything about the CCC, but it's an interesting idea I simply cannot fathom happening today.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Leesburg, VA





Place Visited: Leesburg, Virginia, USA
Date: July 2017

Oatlands is one of those places that I'd like to visit in better weather.  It was rainy and hot when I went, so while the gardens were beautiful, I really didn't want to spend much time in them.  The upstairs of the un-air-conditioned house was nigh unbearable.  But it's a neat house full of interesting history (featuring the ubiquitous Carters of Virginia, among others), so I'm glad I went.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Youngstown, OH





Place Visited: Youngstown, Ohio, USA
Date: April 2017

My father-in-law worked in the steel mills for almost two decades, so the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor was quite the trip down memory lane for him.  From the statue out front to the locker room replicas to the whole rooms transplanted from the mills to the museum, it covered every aspect of the steel making process. Quite the hidden gem.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Winchester, VA







Place Visited: Winchester, Virginia, USA
Date: March 2017

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley has a great collection of local history but my favorites were the temporary exhibits.  The Alex Ross stuff was neat - I'm not a comic book expert but I can appreciate the artistry.  The landscapes were especially cool, presented almost like old school Urban Sketching, with photographs next to the paintings.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Manassas, VA





Place Visited: Manassas, Virginia, USA
Date: October 2017

The Freedom Museum is an unassuming collection of military memorabilia at the Manassas Regional Airport.  It's not huge, but neither is the airport, but it covers every conflict of the 20th century in some detail.  And it's free!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Alexandria, VA




Place Visited: Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Date: August 2017

I went here as part of a sketch outing.  It was hot and muggy and buggy but the gardens are very pretty.  I just want to go back sometime in better weather.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Library of Congress






Place Visited: Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA
Date: September 2017

Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration is an amazing exhibit.  The speed and talent of these sketch artists is amazing.  Too bad it's dying out.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Vienna, VA





Place Visited: Vienna, Virginia, USA
Date: March 2017

The Freeman Store is a neat little museum.  The exhibit at the time was about the suffragettes, which was pretty huge in Northern Virginia.  I also was lucky enough to have the opportunity to see the Little Library, which is only open the first Sunday of the month.  Amazing that such a tiny space can hold so many books.  (Also, Cocoa Vienna makes very tasty treats.)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Berkeley Springs, WV






Place Visited: Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, USA
Date: November 2016

Atasia was my very first spa experience and I must say, it was delightful.  I was like jelly the rest of the day.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Berryville, VA





Place Visited: Berryville, Virginia, USA
Date: May 2017

The Josephine School Community Museum is very small but very informative.  Worth a stop.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Wilmington, DE





Place Visited: Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Date: July 2017

I had a coupon for free admission to the Delaware Museum of Natural History, so I decided to go.  No, it's really not anywhere close to me, and no, it wasn't really worth the drive.  It was small and had some very clever displays (and yes, I spotted Dude), but not something worth driving across two states for. That said, the drive itself did wonders for my mood and clearing my head, so the trip in general was totally worth it.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Washington, DC







Place Visited: U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC, USA
Date: September 2017

My visit to the Capitol started with breakfast at Pete's Diner, a delightfully eclectic little place with the cutest business cards I've ever seen.  I met up with friends for some sketching, after which we ate lunch at Union Station, where I experienced Bold Bite (which was tasty but not extraordinary).  Later that afternoon I took a break for coffee at Firehook, where I sat at a table on the sidewalk for over an hour, writing a bit and otherwise just watching the world go by.  Quite the lovely outing.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Falmouth and Goldvein, VA



Place Visited: Falmouth and Goldvein, Virginia, USA
Date: March 2017

I had a lovely outing one sunny spring day to the Gold Mining Museum and Gari Melchers's Belmont Estate.  The gold mining museum was surprisingly hands-on, which was fun, though it felt like it was in the middle of nowhere.  I wasn't familiar with Melchers's work but the location was quite lovely.  On the way home, I had Duck Donuts for the first time.  Definitely worth the stop.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Berkeley Springs, WV







Place Visited: Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, USA
Date: November 2016

Berkeley Springs is a tourist town, with plenty of food and shopping options.  This particular weekend there was also a Festival of Light - a psychic fair.  That was...interesting.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Youngstown, OH



Place Visited: Youngstown, Ohio, USA
Date: April 2017

Mill Creek Park is a nice place to visit in the spring.  But I don't really have much to say about it.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Library of Congress









Place Visited: Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA
Date: September 2017

I kind of want to live at the Library of Congress.  I had a few hours to kill before meeting up with friends so I took my time and really saw everything.  I'd taken the tour a few years ago but this was really nice.  Mapping a Growing Nation was a collection of old US maps, including an early Confederate map of Virginia that included my tiny hometown of Centreville.  Hope for America was about political satire and humor - mostly Bob Hope, but other stuff as well.  I'd forgotten how funny Bob Hope could be.  The most fascinating exhibit was Exploring the Early Americas, full of artifacts from the civilizations first encountered by European explorers. The maps were probably my favorite part.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Manassas, VA


Place Visited: Ben Lomond, Manassas, Virginia, USA
Date: October 2017

Ben Lomond would be your regular historic house except that it was a field hospital during the Civil War, and is dressed up like that today, complete with sounds and smells.  Not for the faint of heart, I suppose (that gangrene scent is something else), but fascinating nonetheless.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Berkeley Springs, WV








Place Visited: Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, USA
Date: November 2016

A friend invited me to her annual ladies' spa weekend in Berkeley Springs.  We didn't use the public baths, but my appointments were in the afternoon so I had a lot of time to wander the town, including the cute little museum.  The weather was lovely as well - quite warm and sunny for November.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Culpeper, VA





Place Visited: Culpeper, Virginia, USA
Date: August 2016

The first two spreads I refer to as Pinterest Pages, since they're just so pretty and artistic: first the Culpeper postcards, then all the maps. It's kind of how I want all my spreads to turn out, but as we have seen, that does not happen very often.  One of the highlights of my visit was Raven's Nest Coffee House, which employs some of the friendliest people I've ever met.