Saturday, 24 January 2015

Annapolis, Maryland

We have been planning to make a trip to Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay coastline (Maryland western shore) ever since I arrived in the US.  Annapolis is the historic state capital of Maryland and is characterised by its amazing variety of historic houses - some very colourful.   The house above is painted in the colours of the Maryland flag.

Annapolis is also famous as the home of the United States Naval Academy - with some four thousand midshipmen in training - three of whom were kind enough to walk into my picture!

Today wasn't necessarily the ideal weather for the trip but at least it wasn't busy!  In the summer it is a very popular place.  It was cold as well as wet and so we initially had a very quick look at the harbour..

We stopped to have a look at a lovely sculpture featuring Alex Haley, author of Roots, between the harbour and market square.

We then took refuge in the warmth of 'Buddy's Crab and Ribs' restaurant on the waterfront.  A number of different sizes of crab were on offer..

As well as a variety of other seafood..

After lunch we explored some of the historic downtown area, starting with the State House.

Walking around we saw a wide variety of different styles of historic house, spanning three centuries. Some were very large and elegant and others simply very colourful (known as the 'Annapolis Vernacular' style).

This house had a great porch - note the chairs, flag and brush by the door!

We walked along to see the chapel of the Naval Academy which was an imposing building..

At the end of the afternoon we moved on to Chesapeake Beach, just in time to take a sunset view over Chesapeake Bay from the window of our hotel room..

Friday, 23 January 2015

Colourful Cookies

Waiting at the pharmacy counter in Giant today there was quite a long queue in front of the bakery section - and so I found myself spending a little time contemplating the cookies that they are selling for the weekend.

Several sports themed designs..

Some rather vibrant creatures..

And some fairly tasteful ones for Valentines Day..

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A Pair of Bookends?

In yesterday's snow, I scattered bird seed along the rail of the decking which the squirrels were quick to discover as the snow thawed this morning.

These two worked their way along from each end, getting closer and closer..

Until one got too close and was chased away.,

Then there was one..

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Another Snowy Day

This morning I went into the Bargain Loft to work through a large donation of costume jewellery brooches and pins.  

Researching about 30 of them and pricing them (between $2 and $20) took a few hours and by then it was snowing hard and time to go home.  The Loft closed early as there had been so few customers and only about a tenth of a normal day's takings.

This time the snow was quite wet and I don't think that it will hang around for long. 

The birds were not taking any chances though and were busy stocking up as the evening closed in ..

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Sugarland Crossing

I am sorry to disappoint you, but the above shopping centre is Sugarland Crossing, or it is now - maybe once it was a more romantic, rural place, as the name suggests.

There are many road names in this area which when you first see them on a map seem to hold out hope of sightings of historical places and landmarks.. Alas though there is no longer any sign of anything bovine near White Ox Road or any bridge on Chain Bridge Road.  We are not quite sure how Lawyers Road got its name, as it is fairly rural.

The reason that I was at Sugarland Crossing this morning was to have the car serviced and while I was waiting I had a little wander around.

One of the stores there, the rather aptly named 'Tuesday Morning' (I don't know why), is gearing up ready for Easter it seems!

This evening we went to a local restaurant which was participating in Restaurant Week (fixed price menus for either lunch or dinner).  

At Vinifera they have outside seating - mainly for the summer - with fire pits and these were lit tonight so David tested one out..and proclaimed it very warming!

We are due to have some snow tomorrow..

Monday, 19 January 2015

Good to Grow?

Today is Martin Luther King day and a holiday for some but not all workers in the US.  David was on leave and so we went shopping this afternoon.  

In one of the shops I was unable to resist this bargain plant.. priced at just $2.00!  I was particularly attracted by the fact that it was clearly labelled as 'guaranteed to grow' since I am not the most green-fingered member of the family..

It was quite a substantial box but inside was a rather more modest pot with a bulb which was already making a bid for freedom.  

Finally there was the growing medium - although it looked more like an oversized Oreo cookie. (There is a warning in the instructions not to eat it but frankly it was not that tempting).  Made of coconut fibre it will apparently rehydrate into a pot full of professional growing material!

will report on progress in due course..

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Looking back to the 70's

The Women's Club of Greater Reston was formed in 1970 and today there was a celebration in the local Community Centre for the 45th birthday!

Members of the club had prepared posters of key moments, trends and culture from each of the decades since 1970..

There were two for the seventies and this second one featured magazine illustrations of fashion and cuisine..

Who could forget bell-bottomed 'loon' pants.

I think that this cake, made with Oreo biscuits, would also be unforgettable.. but maybe not in a good way..

This rainbow loaf is smothered in cream cheese and has layers of chopped ham and egg..

The fondue set was also an essential 1970's item!

The 1980's featured the first personal computer..

As well as the Rubik's cube..

The opening of the 'Vietnam Wall' war memorial in Washington DC in 1982.

The (failed) Equal Rights Amendment Act of 1982.

This is a potential piece of legislation designed to give equality to women in terms of pay and in other aspects of life.  It didn't pass into law in1982 and  33 years on it still hasn't passed into law - last time it was brought to Congress once again three states objected.  Sadly one of them was/is Virginia!