Saturday, 30 August 2014

Skyline Drive

In the mist!  No bears yet but a few beautiful butterflies..

And a great picnic location..

Friday, 29 August 2014

Beer and more beer

We made a visit to the supermarket the other day and surveyed the beers on offer - a surprisingly wide variety, including a number of British favourites - albeit at a price that the British beer drinker may not be happy to pay!

A further extensive range of cooled beers is on offer from the chiller cabinet.

This evening we went into Reston for dinner and chose from the drinks menu a 'beer flight' - comprising four American beers of very different types (these glasses may look large but they were quite tiny really!)

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Great Falls Park

Today we visited Great Falls - a national park on the Virginia side of the Potomac river.  The Falls are a long set of rapids and there are three overlooks which give different views of the rushing water.

There were turkey vultures flying overhead.

We had a picnic on a shady rock overlooking the river.

The water level today was fairly low as rainfall has been low over the Potomac watershed which comprises Virginia, West Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Library of Congress & the National Mall

We took the bus and metro into Washington DC today and started our walk at the Library of Congress, the world 's largest depository of books, including one of only three copies of the Guttenberg Bible..

The Library was originally based around the collection of Thomas Jefferson and was housed in the Capitol before the current building was completed in the late 19th century.  The building is situated behind the Capitol and is linked by a tunnel.

Inside the Library of Congress the decor is very ornate and with carved marble pillars and marble floors and staircases.

The main reading room, viewed from a gallery high above, is very impressive.

We then walked to the Capitol building, seen here from the back and from there down the National Mall as far as Smithsonian Castle.

After lunch and a quick look around we headed on to the Washington Monument where we made the most of the shadow of the obelisk while walking up to it to protect us from the sun - the temperature by now was 32C.

We then walked to the WWII memorial.  I had visited this several times before but we chose a shady spot and rested there for a while.  We were surprised to learn from Andrea's guide book that it was only completed 10 years ago!

The water was very appealing and we sat close by to feel the spray.

We also found a new angle on an iconic view...

Our last visit of the day was to the Lincoln Memorial where some members of the navy were practicing for a heritage day.

Our final walk back to the metro brought the 'steps' total to more than 12,000 and we were glad to be home at the end of the day.

Pucklechurch Visitors!

Andrea and Steve arrived yesterday afternoon and after cups of tea and lots of catching up we headed into Reston for dinner at Clyde's where we were able to sit outside and enjoy the deafening sound of cicadas in the trees above!

David is at work in Richmond until Thursday but we are looking forward to getting out and about all together over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Sushi, Sashimi and more...

Just down the road from here is a Japanese restaurant.  We had often talked about going there but on Sunday we tried it out.  

As well as the Sashimi and Sushi, above, there was a variety of other dishes on offer.

We ordered a 'Bento' box to sample various dishes..

Great flavours but quite a lot of food - we ended up bringing home a doggy bag!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Nashville Warbler

It may sound like a description of a Country and Western singer but, in fact, it is a little bird - about half way between a hummingbird and a chickadee - which visited the garden this afternoon.

Just 4.5 inches long, he is one of some twenty different types of warblers that live in or visit the Eastern US .

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Unleashed in the Snow!

While I was travelling back yesterday David visited Reston town centre and came across the first 'Snow Day' for dogs being held there under the pavilion!

Despite it being a dull and rainy day the temperature was still around 27C and the event was due to last until all the specially created snow had melted.

Dogs are normally allowed in the town centre but not off their leads so they were all making the most of the opportunity!

David's verdict?  You've probably guessed already..'Barking!!'