Saturday, 3 December 2016

Christmas in DC


Tonight we came into Washington DC for the Airbus Christmas Party at the Mayflower, a historic hotel in Connecticut Avenue.

As we arrived early we went to see the National Christmas Tree on the White House Lawn.


Around the main tree are individual trees - one for each State.  This is the Virginia tree.  Each year a different youth or arts organization in each state takes responsibility for creating the decorations.


At the hotel was an impressive gingerbread house..although we weren't sure if it depicted a particular building.


The corridor to the function rooms was beautifully decorated with a parade of trees.


The 'do' was a good one..senior executives entering into the Christmas spirit when the raffle was drawn.


Lots of prizes were awarded but it was not our turn this year..


We tried our hand at the Casino tables..


Then retired to appreciate the cookies..


Friday, 2 December 2016

Virginia Gateway & Merryfield


After meeting a friend for lunch today at the Virginia Gateway shopping centre, between here and the Blue Ridge Mountains,  we visited the Merryfield Garden Centre.


Outside there were some beautifully coloured ornamental 'greens'..



Also wonderful cut trees, wreaths and fir swags and arrangements.


Indoors the pavilion was entirely turned over to beautifully decorated trees of all kinds..


This one was a 10 foot beauty - the decorated version of the very realistic tree in the first picture, above.  Pre-lit, the undecorated tree was priced at $1,199!


This was a lovely arrangement of decorations but I am not sure about the idea of an upside-down tree!!


Some trees were themed..



Others were quite exotic..



An interesting afternoon, but I didn't buy the tree, just a couple of wooden train ornaments for my friend's grandsons.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Sunny Morning in Boston


After getting very wet yesterday evening we were pleased to see sunshine and clear skies in Boston this morning.


At the Parker House hotel where we were staying, the decorations were up for Christmas - some quite traditional..


And some giving a rather more contemporary look to this historic hotel..


We had lunch before we left - Boston Scrod (Cod cooked in buttered breadcrumbs) and of course, a slice of Boston Cream Pie...


(Although we only ordered one dessert, as is usually the case, it arrived with two obviously I had to taste it!!)

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Holiday Windows


It has been a grey and rainy day in Boston and even the giant Christmas tree on the front of the Macy's store was doing little to brighten it up.


The Macy's Christmas windows were quite bright and festive.. Unfortunately the reflections of the street outside the windows don't improve the photos..




One window featured Trolls - which were all the rage in the 1960's and 1970's and have now returned, thanks to a new film..


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Fabulous Faberge


I have visited the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond a number of times, but until yesterday I have never managed to see their collection of Faberge and other Russian treasures - as these have been on tour for several years.


The Faberge eggs are, of course, exquisite in their detail and precious materials but there were many other items in the collection - much of which was a bequest to the museum from a very keen American lady collector.


There were many beautiful guilloche enamel and precious metal photo frames from the early 20th century.  At that time   pre-loaded film cameras were a novelty and much of the photographic record of the last Tsar and his family was recorded by them in this way.  The portraits above are formal ones, however.



The Faberge stone and precious metal flowers were very lovely too..




Faberge furniture is understandably rare - little was made and very few pieces have survived.  This nephrite jade table was extraordinary..


Of course there was also beautiful jewelery...



Finally, carvings in semi precious stones..



All in all an amazing collection!

Monday, 28 November 2016

Holiday Lights in Richmond


When we arrived at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond yesterday the sun was just setting and the lights were coming on.


Soon it was dark and the lights were really glowing..








Inside there were some unusually decorated trees..