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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Holiday part 2

Annoyingly, blogger is not letting me upload photos. And I did have some more good photos of Iceland.

The plane flight over to BWI was painless and I have to say that I like BWI much better than Dulles. However, once we stepped outside, it was like stepping back into the steam room at the Blue Lagoon.
Heat and humidity remained the themes for the trip.
We spent the first fewdays recovering, and then went to the newly reopened National Portrait Gallery. It has been closed for over seven years and it was good to see all the portraits. I particularly enjoyed the portraits from the early years...The modern hanging foam heads were a bit disconcerting. We also went to Mt Vernon. The house and the grounds do not really change very much, but at this time of year, the swallowtail butterflies are out and the gardens are good. They are busy building a new museum though.
Afterwards we went to Alexandria for lunch and walk around. There we went into Barkley Square -- an upmarket dog bakery. When a small dog wearing pink ribbons tried to attack my youngest, its owner apologized. The dog was grumpy because she was trying on clothes. It was only when I look at the racks of dog dresses that I realized it was the DOG and not the owner who was trying on clothes! No wonder she was so upset. However the shop is wonderful for all things doggie and I managed to get a new collar and lead for Chile -- our Lab.
We drove up to the Adirondacks via the Hudson Valley. Stops on the way included West Point and FDR's home in Hyde Park. More properly it was his mother's house where he lived. Sarah Delano Roosevelt was an amazing woman. A bit overbearing, but determined. Our tour guide was wonderfully informative about FDR and his life there. FDR's library and museum was fascinating.
Eleanor Roosevelt's house Val-Kill is being renovated and will reopen this autumn. She preferred the cozy comforts of that house to the formality of Springwood. Eleanor Roosevelt was a truly great woman and one of my heroines.
Adirondacks were peaceful and relaxing and I can thoroughly recommend them to anyone. The only caveat is to bring lots and lots of bug spray.
On the way back to DC, we drove through Pennsylvania and stayed over night in Bird In Hand in the middle of the Amish country. It is a different way of life. On the Saturday morning, lots of buggies competed with cars as the Amish went about their business. The funniest sight was a horse drawn carriage at a petrol station as the Amish man filled up his petrol can. The Amish are allowed certain self contained tools. Strimmers appeared to be popular. The farms and houses were immaculate. It was a salutary reminder that life does not have to go at a thousand miles per hour.
The holiday went by very quickly, too quickly and now seems a long time ago as jet lag has finished.

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