Saturday, 19 December 2015

Homeward Bound

And so, with a glass of champagne to celebrate, our Christmas trip home begins!

Looking forward to seeing friends and family - particularly this little chap..

Friday, 18 December 2015

More Christmas Goodies

I called into a bakery in Herndon this morning on my way for a last quick visit to the Loft before our trip home tonight.

This bakery always has interesting cookies and cakes but they have excelled themselves for Christmas...

(I particularly like the reindeer and the bobble hat)

In the back of the shop is the bakery itself and I have never seen it so busy!  Like Santas elves everyone had their task, rolling, cutting, baking, decorating!

Unfortunately no space in the luggage to bring them home!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Gingerbread House

At our hotel in Richmond earlier in the week there was a gingerbread house in the foyer.  This was no model but an almost garden shed sized structure!

The main wall panels were made of slabs of gingerbread joined together with icing.

The roof 'tiles' were actually cookies.

The front door and walls were decorated with sweets and candy-canes.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Keeping up with the Jones's

At the weekend, after seeing all the neighbours lights, David decided that we should have some too.  He chose some solar powered strings of lights and wound them around the two small trees in front of the house.

They are very effective and stay on for most of the night.

When we were in Richmond, however, we saw in a small park adjacent to the hotel the light display that David would really like to have on our lawn..

It really was quite spectacular - a whole herd of illuminated reindeer!

Maybe next year!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Rodin at the VMFA

While David attended his meeting, I made a visit to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts at Richmond.  This installation 'Red Reeds' is by the glass artist Dale Chihuly and is in the reflecting pool outside the cafe terrace.  It was warm enough to sit out there today and enjoy the sunshine.

But that was not the reason for my visit, which was to see an exhibition called RODIN - Evolution of a Genius, featuring the development of the work of the 19th century French sculptor Auguste Rodin.  On display was a series of 200 exhibits including marble sculptures, castings in plaster and bronze and even a series of photographs of the artist at work in his studio and with the models, often friends, who inspired him.

A quotation from Rodin throws light on his preferred subjects and way of working and this is evident in the works on display, created by Rodin himself and his team of studio workers..

'I can only work from a model.  The sight of the human form comforts and feeds me.  I have infinite worship for the nude'.

It was a very beautifully displayed collection of work - and captivating to see such famous sculptures as 'The Thinker' and 'The Kiss' 'in the flesh'.

Monday, 14 December 2015

'Gardenfest of Lights'

David has a meeting in Richmond tomorrow and so this afternoon we drove down, the weather getting steadily wetter.  Disappointing as we planned to visit the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for its  'Gardenfest of Lights'.

When we arrived it was still raining on and off but we decided to tour the garden anyway, starting with a couple of indoor Christmas trees, one in the education center and the second in the conservatory.

This one had an undersea theme..

In the conservatory the giant tree was created largely from flowers..

In the garden itself, many of the illuminated 'flowers' were created from recycled plastic bottles..

As were the fish..

And the rainbow..

The garden was very well lit with literally thousands of tiny lights..

It was damp but still great to see.  Very strange once again to be enjoying Christmas lights when the weather was so warm and you could still hear the cicadas in the trees!