Saturday, 11 June 2016

Summer Picnic

Today was the day of the Airbus summer picnic, run by the staff association and held at the Marriott Ranch, some 40 miles to the west of Reston, below the Blue Ridge mountains.

Open countryside rolled out around the ranch, which comprises more than 4,000 acres around a restored 19th century manor house which is run as a bed and breakfast location.

There were few cattle to be seen in the fields but some were sheltering from the (35C) heat in this traditional red barn.

The ranch was bought by the founder of the Marriott chain of hotels and is a venue for large semi outdoor events such as today's picnic, a western style cook-out.

Trail rides were available (real horses - although these inflatable hobby horses were very cute!).  We decided against riding out for a couple of hours in that heat, but it is apparently beautiful and we may well return to the ranch in the autumn when it will be a bit cooler!

The guys doing the cooking had a warm job but we were lucky to be able to sit in the shade of a covered barn for lunch..

Over lunch (there were other people there - some 400 in all), we were serenaded by a Country and Western singer.

There were lots of activities for children..

After lunch we headed to the nearby Desert Rose Winery for a tasting.

A good day but a very warm one!  This evening it is still around 30 C at 10pm.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Miniature giant in a big world

I didn't really take any photos today and so I am sharing this one that I took in Bath last week.

We were walking down the lane to Mum and Dad's house and this little chap had been dropped and was on the ground.

Inspired by some novelty photography that we had seen recently I decided to pose him somewhere and take his picture.

I thought that he fitted in rather well with this pink plant.

If you would like to see the novelty photography that we saw at the Reston Fine Arts Fair, have a look at the following website..

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Leaving Boston

Once David had finished his meetings today we walked into the centre of Boston and had lunch in the historic Quincy Market hall.

Everywhere was busy with visitors and school trips.

After lunch we headed for the airport to fly back to Dulles.  

It was quite clear as we took off and so we had a good view of both Boston and Cambridge, each side of the river.

The view of New York as we flew over was too distant and hazy to photograph, however flying over Pennsylvania we had a clear view of the farmland below us and the fascinating patterns of agriculture..

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The Onyx Hotel

We didn't get an upgrade to a suite at our hotel in Boston as had happened last time, but it is a very quirky room!

There are mock leopard skin bath robes, as before.

On the wall is a silhouette of Sherlock Holmes where the background is a story featuring the great detective but written in such tiny print that it is almost impossible to read.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Honor Flight

This evening when we arrived at Dulles airport to take a flight to Boston there was a group of school age children with red white and blue banners waiting to welcome a group of veterans.

We thought that maybe the veterans were just arriving at Dulles but when we reached our gate it turned out that just opposite was their flight back to San Francisco.

At the gate there was Glenn Miller music and some of the veterans, their companions and a number of volunteer performers were dancing.  The veterans (in the red t shirts) were all WWII service men and women and several of them, I was told, took part in the D-Day landings.

I spoke to some of the volunteers who organised these flights, via a charity known as Honor Flights.  They raise funds and organise flights for veterans from all over the US to come to Washington DC free of charge to visit the WWII memorial and take part in ceremonies to remember and pay homage to their fellow servicemen.

The flights arrive in Washington during the summer at the rate of several each day.  Other flights are organised for the veterans of the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

It was very moving to watch these happy and smiling veterans who were obviously pleased to have achieved a dream which they did not think that they would ever fulfill and who had no doubt enjoyed meeting other veterans along the way.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Lunchtime walk

Today was very warm but not too humid and at lunch time I went to meet David and we walked over to a canteen in a neighboring building.

This took us past the lake - a man-made one but home to large and small turtles, lots of fish and hence herons.

I tried to creep up on this one but he spotted me and flew away.

Oh yes, that other photo has turned up from yesterday..

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Summer BBQ

have been carefully watching the weather forecast for days, worrying that the promised heavy rain and thunderstorms would spoil our Women's Club BBQ - the final event before the summer break and my last as Special Events Chair.

As last time the event was in the outdoor covered pavilion and when we arrived to set up it was extremely warm and muggy with very black clouds gathering.

We had a beach party theme with nibbles in buckets with spades and toy inflatables to decorate the edge of the seating area.

One of our members had brought a 'corn hole' game - a traditional Amerucan game where teams of two test their skill at throwing bean bags onto a board with a hole.  A tournament was soon under way.

Another member brought the game tic-tac-toe in a garden version..

We celebrated three birthdays - one on the day and two from the previous day, with a very large (there were 50 of us!) and vibrant cake..

Many people had their photos taken in the seaside themed 'Aunt Sally' (not sure if this is the right name as no sponges were thrown!).

This is the lady who painted it with her husband.

Mysteriously, the picture of David and myself as mermaid and octopus seems to have disappeared.  Here I am as octopus with last year's Special Events chair..

It was a great afternoon in the end with very little rain, the clouds passed us by..