Saturday, 14 February 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Arriving back at Heathrow early this morning it was foggy and grey, though the sun soon started to break through.

We have had a quiet day with Lauren and James, catching up with news and, in our case, catching up with sleep.

Photos are of a few of the Valentines Day treats that were on offer at our local Giant supermarket before we left Reston.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Flying home ...on a new plane

Even for David, this is a first.  We are flying from Dulles to Heathrow tonight on a new addition to the Virgin Atlantic fleet and indeed a new plane.  Only problem is, it is not an Airbus!

Here is the best shot that I could manage in the evening light and through two sets of windows of 'Birthday Girl' - a Boeing 787.  Will try and add some photos of the interior in due course.

Thursday, 12 February 2015


Entitled 'Partners in Evolution - Butterflies and Plants', there is a live butterfly exhibit at the Natural History Museum.

Housed in a long tunnel-shaped greenhouse, the exhibit is very warm and moist with a constant fine water spray in the air.  

You are asked to be very careful not to step on any butterflies or allow them to attach to your clothes at the end of the tunnel.

They seemed to like David!

These butterflies were very large and when their wings were open, a beautiful iridescent blue.  Unfortunately as soon as they landed they closed their wings..  

There were many different varieties..

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Gems at the Natural History Museum

Our last port of call on Sunday was the Smithsonian Natural History Museum where we headed for the Hope Diamond and Gem and Geology exhibit.

The Hope Diamond itself proved to be quite difficult to photograph in its large glass case.  At almost 46 carats it is one of the most famous diamonds in the world.

Next to the diamond was this huge Aquamarine stone which has been cut and scored to accentuate the planes of light.

There were some massive crystals - several feet high.

It was a huge and very beautiful collection, we did not have time to do it justice!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Dean and Deluca

It was fun to visit this gourmet food, wine and housewares store at its branch in Georgetown - so cool that it sells its own t shirts and aprons!

My attempts to photograph the outside of the building, across busy 'M' Street, were not very successful.  The building is a long, narrow, brick built, market hall, running back from the road.  It dates from the 19th century.

Inside it is an Aladdin's Cave of luxury food items - the handmade chocolates for example were worth zooming in on!

The vibrantly colored hearts are made with a pearlised candy shell ..

Needless to say they have a princely price tag of $80 per lb!  Which makes the adjacent treats look rather reasonable..

Another very photogenic counter was nearby..

Cookies galore!

These bride and groom cookies reminded us of the ones that Ele made for Lauren & James' wedding..

Monday, 9 February 2015

Walking in Georgetown (2)

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is quite a busy thoroughfare through Georgetown - not on the water but on the towpath - walkers, cyclists and many joggers.

This rather unassuming (but steep) staircase has featured in a number of films - including the Exorcist.

With Georgetown University in the background, the residential streets of the district are very colourful and on N Street in particular - where members of the Kennedy family lived in the 1950's and 1960's - there are some very impressive homes (with multi-million dollar price tags).

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Sunday walk in Georgetown

As the forecast was so good for today, we decided to go to the Georgetown district of DC to follow part of a walk which Andrea and Steve enjoyed when they visited last summer and to explore the area around 'M Street' a little more.

We started by visiting the 'Old Stone House'  - a late 18th century house, and the oldest in DC, which stands in its own garden, on the edge of the busy main street and is managed by the National Park Service.

From there we walked to the historic Chesapeake and Ohio canal which, in parts, is very photogenic..

From there we walked on to Washington Harbour on the Potomac river where the views were spectacular..

There was a busy ice-rink at the edge of the water but in today's temperatures (this afternoon it reached 18C) it seemed incongruous and many people were sitting out and enjoying coffee or brunch.

I have many more pictures from today so will share some more tomorrow.

Just one final shot..

Sunset at the Washington Monument after a beautiful February day..