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.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Montross, VA

Place Visited: Stratford Hall, Montross, Virginia, USA
Date: February 2017

It's interesting how much of Stratford Hall's publicity focuses on Robert E. Lee, since he only lived there until he was about three years old.  More interesting (to me) are the Lee brothers who signed the Declaration of Independence.  And, of course, it's always worthwhile to see houses from that era, to see how people lived before indoor plumbing and Emancipation.  I could have done without the bratty kid on my tour, who was so annoying even the tour guide stopped letting him ask questions, but otherwise it was nice.

Confession: I included the "Relevance" picture because it made me laugh.  It just sounds so desperate.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Colonial Beach, VA

Place Visited: Colonial Beach, Virginia, USA
Date: February 2017

I asked Siri where George Washington was born.  She replied, "George Washington was born at George Washington Birthplace National Monument."  And I thought, well, that's quite the lucky name.

The last time I tried to visit, the colonial farm portion was closed, so it was nice to see the main section of the monument this time around.  Honestly, it was somewhat underwhelming.  The house on the site was based off nothing in particular (certainly not anything to do with Washington's family); the foundation of the actual house was found years later, about a hundred feet away.  Still, it's a very lovely location and I had fun drawing the house George Washington never slept in.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Quicksburg and New Market, VA

Place Visited: Quicksburg and New Market, Virginia, USA
Date: October 2016

Shenandoah Caverns was a delightful surprise.  The caverns themselves weren't that amazing (geologically they're not too different from Luray or Crystal Grottos), but the rest of the place was just the kind of tourist trap I adore.  The main building includes Main Street of Yesteryear, a selection of shop windows decorated with animatronic scenes that are supposed to be charming but are mostly the nightmarish variety of uncanny.  Which I love.

Then I went down to American Celebration on Parade, a collection of parade floats created by the owners of the caverns.  Turns out they've made floats for every Presidential inauguration since Truman, plus countless others.  These things are massive and so detailed.  I spent quite a lot of time here.

Afterward I decided to grab a bite to eat at Southern Kitchen, where I enjoyed Lloyd's famous fried chicken.  All in all, a very nice day.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Orrtanna, PA

Place Visited: Orrtanna, Pennsylvania, USA
Date: January 2017

I discovered Mister Ed's via Roadside America and since it isn't too terribly far from home, one day I decided to just go.  It was fairly entertaining, though the rain and fog made the outside exhibits unintentionally creepy.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Alexandria, VA

Place Visited: Mount Vernon, Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Date Visited: September 2016

I wasn't going to post another Mount Vernon spread, but this time around I did something a little different: I took a Potomac River ferry and attended the Colonial Market & Fair.  Both were lovely, though the weather was terribly hot.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Washington, DC

Place Visited: Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Washington, DC, USA
Date: November 2016

I'd never been in Frederick Douglass's house before and it is amazing.  I went with some sketching buddies and we sat on a stump in the front lawn and drew the house until the staff told us they were closing.  (The gold foil is from a delicious candy one of my friends gave me.)  I wish I'd had a chance to see the informational video beforehand, but that's all right.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fredericksburg, VA

Place Visited: Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA
Date: February 2017

I arrived fairly late in the day, so after wandering the grounds of Chatham Manor and looking at all the rather creepy statues, I stopped by Agora for one of the most amazing mochas I've ever had.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Gettysburg, PA

Place Visited: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Date: January 2017

I went for a drive and ended up in Gettysburg, as you do.  I had a delicious hot buttered rum at Dobbin House Tavern, watched the somewhat baffling presentation of the Gettysburg Diorama, and eventually ended up at the Shamrock Restaurant in Thurmont, Maryland, on the way home, which was pretty tasty.  It was a chilly, rainy day, but I think it was just the sort of outing I needed.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Colonial Williamsburg, VA

Place Visited: Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
Date: October 2016

We spent a pleasant weekend in Colonial Williamsburg in the fall with friends.  We ate a lot of good food, but I think the best in terms of meal and ambiance was Shields Tavern.  The Official Ghost Walk was just okay - I'd been hoping for history but it was actually just weird stuff that happened to people who worked there.  It was still fun to walk around at night, though.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Alexandria, VA

Place Visited: Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Date: January 2016

I had lunch with some friends at Gadsby's Tavern. Ben Franklin's beer was surprisingly good, and the peanut soup is not to be missed (and I don't even like soup usually).

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Plains, VA

Place Visited: The Plains, Virginia, USA
Date: May 2016

I actually had plans for a sketch outing at the National Zoo that day, but I'd neglected to account for the Rolling Thunder Memorial Day ride, which involves hundreds or maybe even thousands of motorcycles descending upon DC. When it took me two hours just to get to Arlington, I turned around and headed back west. On a whim, I took the exit for The Plains. I stopped by a farmers market for lunch, then enjoyed my first cold-brew coffee at Happy Creek, where I drew the scenery. After that I wandered the local shops and galleries. All in all a nice day.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Silver Spring, MD

Place Visited: Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Date: August 2016

This was my very first DC Drink & Draw meetup, and my first time at Denizens Brewing Co. The beer and food were both quite good, but the company was even better. I love this crowd. There's often an informal theme, and this time was Thank You For Riding Metro (because of the crazy scheduling and closings that is SafeTrack). We each drew our own Metro car, then linked them all together on the wall. It was fantastic.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Champaign, IL

Place Visited: Champaign, Illinois, USA
Date: June 2016

I visited my usual spots (The IDEA Store, Habitat ReStore, and Cafe Kopi), plus made a couple of new stops. I discovered CU Woodshop Supply through a billboard on the drive in. We had a great time checking out all the tools and gorgeous wood. Oishi Hibachi Steakhouse was recommended by friends. It was standard hibachi, which means it was fun and delicious. Oh yeah, and the Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight are fantastic gel pens I had a blast playing with. I love Champaign. My trips there are never long enough.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Manassas, VA

Place Visited: Manassas, Virginia, USA
Date: July 2016

I finally made it down to the Manassas Museum, then spent some time wandering downtown. I stopped by my favorite coffee shop in town (Grounds Central Station), drew the train station, and browsed Prospero's Books, which was quite the adventure. The nice ladies at the visitor center had me pick up a brochure for the art installation downtown, where the paintings had been turned into banners that hung from the street lights. I included my favorites that depicted Manassas in some way.