Saturday, July 31, 2010

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I'm back from my trip, and I did have fun in spite of the record-breaking heat in DC.  I thought I'd share a bit about it, while trying not to bore you with too many "tourist photos".  The best thing about my vacation, of course, was getting to spend time with my son, Colin, and his girlfriend, Lindsey.

Here we are at the Potomac River in Old Alexandria.

Old Alexandria is touristy, but very cute, with lots of cool shops and restaurants.  If you're into old buildings that are beautifully restored (which I am), this is a great place to see them.

The Vietnam War Memorial.  I wanted to get the reflection of the wreath in the foreground, with the Washington Monument in the back.  With a little help from Photoshop, it's not too bad.

Part of the World War II Memorial, which was huge and beautiful.

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History was so cool, I couldn't resist including a couple of photos from inside.

The obligatory bones of extinct animals: this one's a giant sloth.  It was REALLY giant, so if it was coming after you, you'd be REALLY glad that sloths are so slow.

A beautiful old totem pole guards the stairwell.

The Smithsonian Museum of American Art and Portraiture had an exhibit of presidents' portraits...

as well as the winners of the National Portrait Contest.  Here, two girls talk to a sculpture of an old naked guy called, "The sad thing is that I'm so darn happy."  (Well, maybe they weren't actually talking to him, but it looks pretty funny.)

One of my favorite things was the Eastern Market.  There were vendors selling everything from produce to antiques to handmade jewelry.

 We ate two whole pints of these blueberries before we got back on the Metro- yum!

But my favorite booth at the market was the one that sold - incredibly- VINTAGE MAPS!  Can you believe it?  An entire booth that sold vintage maps, prints, stereoscope pictures and lantern slides!  Needless to say, I was a bit excited.  I was determined, however, to show some self-restraint.  I did buy some very nice prints from a 1904 Encyclopedia Britannica, including this:

 Obviously, rock hound that I am, I could not pass this one up!

This one, along with the minerals, will no doubt find places in frames and on my wall.  I don't think I'd dream of cutting them up.

I like the bright colors and designs on this one.

I think this might be my favorite.  It's from an 1889 encyclopedia.

When I got home, I was shocked to realize that I had only bought 3 maps.  What?!!  What was I thinking?  This self-restraint thing has gone entirely too far!  Now I'll have to go back... just to get more maps, of course!

If you haven't entered yet, it's not too late to get in the drawing for my give away.  Just leave a comment on the post previous to this one; entries are open until 4:00 pm Sunday, August 1.


  1. We found a cute antique map and documents store when we were in Charleston. My favorite print was this old map of North America from the French atlas L'Amérique Septentrionale. I found a picture of it online. But the actual print was like $500 and Wes wouldn't buy it for me.

  2. looks like a fabulous trip to Washington DC-- I went many years ago.
    and yes you can come see all the stuff in my house-- I just posted more today-- I may have too much :-)

  3. I love DC. I'm glad you had a great time there. We haven't been since we moved west back in '03, but we got the see the WWII memorial right after it opened. I think I spent 2 hours there. It is amazing - as are the other memorials, of course.

    The map of Nevada is obviously pre-1930's since Lake Mead does not exist on it. I find it interesting that they cut the map right across Las Vegas. How rude! :-D

    Have fun with your new treasures.


  4. you made some great finds...but of course, you should go back :)

    i love the photo of the sloth, thanks for that! and the darn happy guy, too--great shot :D

  5. Thanks for the photo vacation...I haven't been to Washington DC for ages...I can tell you had a good time!
    Restraint...that is a tough choice when it comes to buying stuff!ha

  6. great trip and what an awesome shot of the V memorial, been there and I would say you captured it,
    yes you will have to go back to get some more maps, a girl can never have too much ephemera!!

  7. Love DC.

    Your tours are always so informative and fun.

    I would have devoured the berries and brought home tons of maps too...even though you only got the three it will be great to see how they live on in your beautiful work.

  8. I have a whole BOX full of old maps from encyclopedias, along with plenty of other old paper in the studio, send me your snail mail and I'll send you a few!! So excited I won your drawing :)


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