I Love VACATION!!!
Before I left, I managed to finish my bead crocheted bracelet:
I like how it looks and I really like bead crocheting. However, I don't like how thick this is. I used 6 beads per row and size 8 beads. Good for a beginner, but I think I'll try some size 10 beads next time.
Thursday, Kerry and I left for Washington/Maryland. Unbelievably, everything went according to Hoyle. I had a few tense moments when we ran into traffic getting back to the airport and then there was an unbelievably long line for security, but we had plenty of time. After a drink and some nibbles at the Hotel Manager's Reception, we drove into Baltimore. The Inner Harbor has changed so much since I was last there, over a decade ago! The Bay was beautiful and we decided to have dinner in Little Italy. There were so many cute looking restaurants that we just randomly chose Rocco's Capriccio, which turned out very well. It was a really lovely restaurant - very romantic. I had a nice gnocchi and got a cannoli to go, but I was so stuffed every day when we returned to the hotel, I only ate one bite.
We got up early and headed into Washington to tour the International Spy Museum.
This is really a fun museum! You adopt a spy identity when you walk in and get quizzed on your ability to keep your story straight at little kiosks. There are objects of spycraft throughout history and lots of good tips for lock picking, surveillence, disguise, etc. I think this would be a fun museum for kids, too.
We ate lunch at Zola (named for Emile Zola), which is attached to the museum. It's an absolutely gorgeous restaurant! We didn't have reservations, so we sat at the bar to eat, which you can see on the website, if you want to click on the link. I was glad to sit at the bar because most of the patrons were in business dress, so we were a bit under-dressed. The food was pretty good as well. I had a hamburger, which was gigantic and tried Kerry's ham and gouda, which was fantastic.
After we felt well-rested and well-fed, we walked over to the Mall. We stopped a spell at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. I love Sculpture Gardens and this is a good one! My favorite was the Lichtenstein that I linked above.
The rest of the afternoon was spent at the National Museum of the American Indian.
What a beautiful museum! The architecture of the building is stunning - all flowing curves and gorgeous colors. The outside walls are made of Kasota stone from Minnesota. There are numerous displays of different tribes, told by members of those tribes. I was happy to see the Lakota and Anishinabe tribes represented. There was an exhibition of modern art by George Morrison (a Minnesota native) and Allan Houser. I wasn't familiar with Allan Houser before and really enjoyed his sculpture. I think The Smithsonian has done a wonderful job with this one.
After so much walking, we were pretty tuckered out, so we hired a cab driver to drive us around downtown for an hour and saw the Monuments, Capitol and Supreme Court, Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, etc. The World War II Memorial is new since my last time in D.C. and is very nice. Our driver was in D.C. on 9/11 and talked about it a little. I can't even imagine how surreal that day must have been for people in Washington. After our tour we had dinner at what is now one of my all-time favorite restaurants, The Bombay Club. It is a gorgeous, elegant restaurant. It is designed like a colonial British officer's club (I know, colonialism is gross, but they did know how to live it up). The food was unbelievably good. The naan was heavenly! I wanted to bring some more back with us, but managed not to make a pig of myself. I had a chicken curry and ate every speck of it. Our server recommended a chocolate dessert that was perfect. Speaking of the service - impeccable. Our server was very attentive, but not at all annoying. The manager checked on us and the maitre d' was charming. As the Washington Post wrote, "...What accounts for the Bombay Club's success is the sense of well being it imparts, as if you have had the good luck to be assigned to a foreign post where every need is attended to by an extensive staff." I can't wait to go back and try the Salmon Tandoori. We finished up the evening by walking over to the White House and checking things out, since the current occupant was out of town.
On Sunday, we headed back into D.C. to tour the U.S. Holocaust Museum. Wow. What an impactful experience. I've studied the Holocaust quite a bit, but actually seeing things like the patches and measurement tools for eye color and nose size were really moving. I really lost it in a room with a huge pile of shoes from one of the camps. I wish we had more time - I sort of booked through the last floor.
I had my dogs kenneled while I was gone and had them groomed for me. They're so beautiful and soft!
Fiona in particular looks so good!
Finbar is always beautiful!
Hmmmm.... I feel like I'm forgetting something. Oh yeah! We went to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival on Saturday!
I had a fantastic time! We got up nice and early so we got a great parking spot! There was so much beautiful, lovely, soft yarn! I bought more than my fair share. We walked and walked and walked. We were there from about 8:30 to 5:00. We were late getting to the bloggers meet up at 12:30, so we missed everyone. We didn't see The Yarn Harlot, either. Turns out that we were right where she was meeting up with people, but didn't realize it. Oh well, it was such a great day anyway! Afterwards, we met up with some of Kerry's friends from the Fiber Traditions list. They were super, super nice to me even though I'm not on the list. After such a long day, we were pretty tired, so we headed back to the hotel early and ate some more Italian food at the restaurant next to the hotel. Such a great day!
I'm photographing and entering all of my yarn purchases in the stash inventory, so I'll share a little bit each day with y'all.