Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia’

Little did I know, the American Horticultural Society headquarters is located just four miles south of Old Town Alexandria,VA. I love plants and beautifully blooming flowers but my mother was the green thumb of the family. It must have skipped a generation, but I try.

American Horticultural Society River Farm
Entrance to River Farm

Because I have visions of lovely gardens, I’m planning to attend the Annual Spring Garden Market at River Farm scheduled for April 10 and 11, 2015. The market will have:

  • plants for sale (including natives, specialty plants and edibles)
  • garden books
  • garden accessories
  • garden paintings for sale by local artist
  • Food from Rockland’s BBQ and Grilling Company
  • Whole Food’s Cooking demonstrations
  • Free raffle for garden prizes
  • “Pet the Alpaca”
  • Family-friendly activities for kids

Even if you’re not a gardener, a day at the beautiful River Farm’s estate is worth the visit. The views of the Potomac River are lovely.

If you want to go, the location is 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, VA. AHS members-only morning is Friday, April 10 from 10-noon. The public sales will be Friday, April 10 from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday, April 11 from 10 am to 6 pm. Parking is $5.00 per car. For more information go to AHS or call 703-768-5700.

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Despite the continued cool temperatures, I’ve been getting glimpses of spring. Most recently I saw the lambs at Mount Vernon. Such sweetness:

Peeking around the corner


Lamb III

The Rear View (lambs at Mount Vernon)
“Rear View”

Mount Vernon is requesting name suggestions for these adorable lambs. Go to their Facebook page here to give your clever names. Someone has already suggested Charles and Camilla in honor of the recent Royal visit.

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George Washington paid 18 shillings (a lot of money back in the day) for a camel to visit Mount Vernon Estate for Christmas in 1787. General Washington was known for his interest in all kinds of animals including the then rare camel. Mount Vernon continues the tradition by bringing Aladdin the Camel to Mount Vernon Estate for several weeks during December. I’ve enjoyed seeing him over the past few years and highly recommend it to everyone. Especially children.

Camel Alladin with Baby
Aladdin is very friendly. This baby giggled the whole time Aladdin slobbered kisses on her.

Camel Alladin

Patti and Alladin II

Camel and Leslie at Mount Vernon

After visiting with Aladdin, we took a tour of the main house. As many tours as I’ve been on, I still learn something new each time. Our guide Donald, retired from the Army where he was in the Pipe and Fife Band and he had a lot of interesting stories about the house. Another bonus when visiting this time of year is the lack of crowds. There were only 6 people on the house tour and the third floor was open. Usually it’s close because there are too many people going through the house.

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The beautiful town of Alexandria (Old Town) was officially established by three Scottish merchants and the town is named after one of them, John Alexander. The city celebrated its Scottish heritage with the 44th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk. It’s actually an entire weekend of activities and a major fundraiser for The Campagna Center which supports children programs in Alexandria.

I’m a big fan of Scotland so, even with the threat of a downpour, I’m glad I attended the parade. Pipers in kilts and lots of dogs ranks as some of my favorite things.

Scottish Parade 2014
Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend

Scottish Parade Grand Marshal
Representative from the Scottish Government as the Grand Marshal

Scottish Parade Flags

Scottish Parade St Andrews Society
There were Scottish Societies from Baltimore, Philadelphia and Ocean County, New Jersey

Scottish Walk Father and son
Father and Son

Scottish Walk Shamrock and Thistle
Shamrock and Thistle

Scottish Parade Re-creation

Scottish Walk Horse and dog
Mary Queen of Scots representative

Scottish Parade socks

Scottish Parade Pipers

Scottish Parade Men in Kilts

Scottish Parade Boy scout
Boy Scout with the flag

Scottish Walk Darth
And then there’s the Scottish Darth Vader

Scottish Parade Comicon
…little more Star Wars characters

Dogs on Parade:

Scottish Walk Fluffy dog

Scottish Parade 4 fluffy dogs

Scottish Parade Unfortunate looking dog

Scottish Walk Harley with Sheltie
Biker with his sheltie dog

Scottish Parade Scotties

Scottish Parade Happy dog

Scottish Parade dog

Scottish Parade dog in kilt

Scottish Parade Animal Welfare League

Scottish Parade Westies
Lots of Westies

And of course there was a Santa with pipes:
Scottish Parade Santa

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Mount Vernon Estate

George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Northern Virginia is a favorite place of mine. I love the history and the serene setting. It’s only 14 miles south of DC and can be reached by car, bike, bus or boat. There’s always an interesting event happening. Here are the events coming up this fall:

  • September 12  Gentleman Distiller: Whiskey Tasting and Dinner 6-9 pm $125.00

  • September 20-21  Colonial Market and free Potomac River Sightseeing cruises  9am to 5pm (included in general admission price)

  • October 2,4,5   Fall Wine Festival 6-9 pm $38  (Saturday already sold out)

  • October 11    Slave Commemoration Ceremony  11 am  (included in general admission price)

  • October 24   Brewing History: Beer Tasting, Tour and Dinner   6-9 pm  $95  

  • October 25-26  Fall Harvest Family Days  9 am-5 pm   (included in general admission price)

  • November 11  Mount Vernon Salutes Veterans  9 am -5 pm  (included in general admission price)

  • November 15  Our American Girl  1 pm  $30 for youth, $20 for adult

To reserve any of the above, go to their events page.

Mount Vernon, VA

Mount Vernon Tea on the grass

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White House

It’s not too late to enter the White House Easter Egg Roll. I’ve had a few friends attend the Easter Roll and, for them, it ranked as an experience of a lifetime. My daughter has aged out (it’s for children 13 and younger) but for anyone with young children who are within the DC area, here are the details:

The online White House Easter Egg Roll lottery will be open this weekend only. It ends Monday, 10 March at 10 am. The non-transferable tickets are free.

This year the event, which dates back to 1878, will be held on April 21 and will consist of several types of events. Besides the traditional rolling of hard-boiled eggs on the South Lawn, there will be live music, storytelling, sports courts and cooking stations. The results of the lottery will be available on March 14 and over 30,000 people are expected to attend.

For lottery registration go here. GOOD LUCK!

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