Thursday, June 13, 2019

Really Random Thursday, 6/13/19: Some actual quilt blocks in this post!!

Because I didn't write a "really random" post last Thursday, I couldn't include my "monthly marker" for June. Even though a picture of this bouquet is included in the post about the White House, they are so gorgeous I don't mind seeing them again.
After writing all those long posts about Washington, DC, this will be short. Although if you read any of the many posts about the trip, you deserve to see all those pins on my Range backpack.
I'm anxious to get back to my sewing machine. I thought I'd start with a few of the "tall tales" blocks by Kate Basti--she is having a sew along and all the blocks on Instagram are so cute (#summerbookclubqal).

Each of my blocks will contain selvages, and when I first made this block back in January 2017, I chose the quilt name of "Best Sellers." 
While traveling, I did some more work on my "Grand Prismatic" quilt (pattern by Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter, and pattern available through @karenatdiyaddict).

I took this photograph in my brother's courtyard. The colors are completely out of whack. Crossweaves and shot cottons are hard to photograph correctly.
This is much more accurate.
I took this one from an angle while it was on my coffee table the other night. You can see how the light changes those dark crossweaves.
My friend, Kelly, sent this picture to me from the Michael Miller booth at quilt market in Kansas City. The quilt on the left really resembles my My Swedish Ex pattern. I'd love to know who made it. And I wish I could see the whole quilt because the colors look really pretty.
Finally, @broadclothstudio has a fun questionnaire to find out which quilt block you are. 

I have never heard of the quilt block Handy Andy, but I quite like it. I'm trying to decide whether it is an accurate description...
And with that, I think I'm done with blog writing for a couple of days...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Washington, DC: A recap

There are a few things that are hard to include in the chronological travelog, so I will put them here.

Quilty inspiration, close to my brother's office, which is on K Street.
I had purchased a couple of books on Amazon--walking tours, "things to see in DC." We didn't use either one. But this--this was used every.single.day.


Google made it easy to plot our daily trips.
My father had two falls while we were gone. That had been a real concern. His care facility sent him to ER two days in a row, but each time he was only there for a few hours before they sent him back to Palm Village. Christa went down one day to check on him. And share some cookies together. Thanks, Christa!
While we ate in several chain restaurants (Starbucks on the way to the metro, Shake Shack and Chipotle in Union Station, and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse across the street--which has a killer happy hour by the way), we tried to eat local.

These included:
A bar and grill on the waterfront
Black Salt in Georgetown

And everything else was within walking distance:
Glen's Garden Market
Magnolia Kitchen and Bar
Sette Osteria
La Tomate (Italian)
Bistrot du Coin (French)
James Hoban's Irish Restaurant (which turned out to be an adventure--Jeff kept telling us it was "close." Um, no. We kept telling him it was supposed to rain. Which it did. It poured! We hadn't brought our raincoats because we thought it was "close." Ha.) Because Jeff had brought Moose along, he had to stay outside in the rain. Oops...
Afterwords
Alero (Mexican)
Bethesda Bagels
Thai Chef
Old Ebbitt Grill

It was interesting to see this "diplomat" license plate in front of Jeff's house.
We had several thunderstorms, including one with hail. I know it's hard to see the pouring rain. You can just make out the hail on the sidewalk. However, I love this picture because everything is so green and lush. Also, that door on the left up the steps is the home of Maxine Waters, representative from California, although we never saw her coming or going.
Did I mention there was a Steinway grand piano and a cello in our bedroom?

And here's an interesting stat, at least to us: According to our Apple watches, we walked nearly 65 miles, including 74 flights of stairs.

June 6, 4:30 a.m., while waiting for Lyft.


Bye-bye, Washington, DC. It was a dream trip. We hope it's not the last time we see you.

Washington, DC, June 5

Our last day...

My brother took the morning off from work, and we treated him to lunch at the Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington's oldest saloon, founded in 1856.
After we got off the metro and walked to the grill, we passed this orange Vespa, which also had a lot of other orange-y goodness with the banners and umbrellas. I couldn't resist taking a picture. (that is Mark and my brother in the center of the picture, probably wondering what I stopped for...)
The grill was beautiful!

I feasted on squid ink pasta with seafood and Mark had crab cakes.

An interesting thing we had noticed was how many steps you had to take to get to the bathrooms in nearly every building we were in. We are so used to ADA compliance here in California, but after inquiring, of course it made sense that there really no way to retrofit these old buildings to make them compliant. How inconvenient though!
It was a good and relaxing time with Jeff.
Then we grabbed a Lyft and headed back to the National Cathedral, to get my coveted pin.
We didn't want to pay for the tour again, since that was not why we were there, so I still had my tickets from Saturday and was prepared to tell my sad story of losing my bag, etc. We really planned on just going in the gift shop, buying the pin, and leaving. However...we heard someone talking about the 7th floor observation deck. Hmmm...

So we took the elevator to the 7th floor and were greeted with stunning views of the city. At this point, until the Washington Monument opens again (scheduled for August of this year), the 7th floor affords the highest viewpoint in the city, helped by the fact that the cathedral is built on a hill.




It was such a treat and we were so glad that we made the second trip. We had another snack at the cafe (this is the door into the cafe).
I took one last picture of this cathedral entrance door.
We headed back to my brother's house, as rain was forecast to begin any time. However, I had wanted to walk around his neighborhood, at least walk around the block. I needed to get one last fix of the beautiful architecture.





Just as we rounded the corner back to his house, the rain started. It was actually a good ending to an amazing two weeks.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Washington, DC: June 4

Tuesday was a beautiful day--and it was the day we had chosen to do the hop-on/hop-off  bus tour, with an add-on of Monuments at Moonlight.

We picked up the bus at the Washington Hilton, where we were reminded that it was the place Ronald Reagan had been shot.

We didn't "hop off" at any of the first 12 stops, as they were places we had already been. But we saw some nice things along the way. As I posted this, I just noticed the California street sign. If you haven't been to DC, the city is laid out with numbered streets running north-south, streets with alphabet letters running east-west, and streets named after the states running diagonally. My brother lives in a triangle bordered by S Street NW, 21st Street, and Connecticut Avenue.

Peace Monument.
I never ever got tired of seeing the Capitol.
Our main goal for the day was Arlington National Cemetery.

Our first stop was the visitors center.


Next we took the shuttle to the eternal flame (which doesn't photograph well at all in the middle of the day) at the grave of John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy.
It's hard to capture the huge number of graves at Arlington.

Next was the opportunity to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. What a moving and reverent ceremony it is.





Such precision. The guards move in absolute unison even when they are facing away from each other.

This building is immediately behind where the ceremony takes place.


We got back on the bus to take us to the Lincoln Memorial.

Even though by now we were used to seeing monuments and buildings on a massive scale, I think Mark and I were both in awe at the size of the Lincoln Memorial.



We walked the short distance to the Vietnam Memorial. It's very difficult to get a good picture of the memorial because its immense size.
Very heart wrenching to see the number of names engraved there, as well as one from Mark's home town, Roger Fast, four rows up from the bottom.

We only saw the Jefferson Memorial from a distance.
A little piece of trivia we picked up along the way. Marvel Comics tried to sue the Harrington Hotel for copyright infringement as their logo is so similar to the Batman logo. However, the Harrington has had this logo for 100 years, which makes it older than Batman, so Marvel lost their case.
After dinner at Union Station, we got on the bus for Monuments by Moonlight. It was still early so there was not much moonlight yet.
 The United States Botanic Garden.
 The National Mall.

Next was the Martin Luther King Memorial--again, not prepared for its massive size.


 You can see the Jefferson Memorial in the distance. The sun was hitting it at that point, and it was so pretty.

The sky was gorgeous as we got to the Marine Corps War Memorial, which is located in Arlington.


We again made our way back to the Lincoln Memorial.

The reflecting pool had been drained, but there was enough water to get my favorite reflection photo.
From this vantage point we turned around to the look at the Lincoln Memorial again, and it almost seemed to be floating.
We walked over to the Vietnam Memorial again.
Then we returned to the bus, where we were dropped off at Union Station. It was about 10 p.m., the crowds were gone, and it was so peaceful. The perfect ending to a wonderful day.