Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A road trip (Part 1)

The Hubster and I recently took a work / vacay trip. Long post ahead; heavy on photos and ruminations.

And what a trip it was. I had to go to D.C. for a training session for a peer evaluation assignment I'll have for the next 2 years. We decided to make a mini-vacation out of it. We planned a very large loop of a route.
The Route; roughly 2,500 miles
We left town Friday afternoon and spent the night at my sister's in Memphis, then left early the next morning to drive to Charlottesville, Virginia. This was sort of a foodie trip; we like to stop at out-of-the-way places that we find on our journeys. Our first foodie stop was to Phil's Dream Pit in Kingsport, Tennessee for some excellent barbeque. GET THE RIBS. It's all good, but get the ribs. Forgot to take photos of this stop!

We continued on to Charlottesville. What a gorgeous drive it was through Virginia! Checked into the dumpiest motel I have stayed in since my 20s...it was the only room available. I don't know what was going on at UVA that weekend, but it was nuts, and for this old person that goes to bed before the kids do, I was reminded of staying in dumps like this are not for the early risers. Lesson learned! Couldn't get out of there fast enough the next morning and headed to breakfast at Moose's on the Creek. Not so bad, not so great, but really lovely people. (Also, one of those lovely people insists upon customers having their photo made with the adjustable moose horns...)
Scenic overlook on I-64
And then, Monticello! I have wanted to go there for most of my life and finally got the chance. We lucked out on Sunday because it was the anniversary of the British's attempt to kidnap Jefferson (who was then governor of Virginia) on that day in 1781, and there was a reenactment of the event. This visit was a rich, visual experience, and all staff members and volunteers were extremely well-versed and knowledgeable on all things Jefferson and Monticello. We will return in a few years, and by then the textiles house will be completed!

And textile geek that I am, I had to discuss construction techniques and fabric fibers with the soldiers:

Reenactors from the rebellion interacting with visitors

Tools for carding and spinning wool

Garden grounds

Slave's quarters

Another shot of one of the gardens

The rear of the home. People are gathering for the reenactment.

Mr. Jefferson remembering the attempted kidnapping
We spent all morning there, and then headed toward D.C., with A QUILT SHOW on the way to our hotel! More on that in Part 2.

Checked into our hotel in Alexandria, Virginia Sunday afternoon. Had dinner at a little Italian restaurant, Fratelli, and it was delicious. Darn it, no photos.

Monday we slept in just a little, then hopped on the Metro and rode into D.C. This was a first-time trip for both of us, and a bit overwhelming. We decided to head to the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum. FANTASTIC! We spent the entire day there and still didn't see everything.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am the proud daughter of a Marine airplane mechanic who also worked for NASA during the Gemini and Apollo missions. He was one of the lucky people who worked on the lunar module--he tested the booster rockets for it. And while I've seen the one at Kennedy Space Center, this one was glorious:

I won't bore you with everything we saw that day, but it was wonderful and here are a few shots. I actually had chills when I saw the original winged flyer flown by the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk.

Just a few more:

Amelia Earhart's Winnie Mae

Gene Kranz's vest during Apollo 13 mission

NASA's milestones during the years my father was with the program
We weren't prepared for the hundreds of kids in town on their annual school trips, and we were tripping all over them. Crazy! When we return, we'll pick a different week.

A quick dinner at Pidzza (which included a gluten free pizza), then off to Union Station to board a trolley bus for the Monuments at Moonlight tour. TAKE THE TOUR. We had a knowledgeable, witty tour guide, Adam, who did an outstanding job of driving us around town, telling stories along the way of the major monuments (as well as lesser known ones).

Our nation's capital

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial -- the quotes below represent some of my favorites:

The Lincoln Memorial:

The Vietnam Memorial--it was too dark to get good images of the wall. I was reminded of two brothers I knew when I was a kid that both perished in the war. I found their names in the book that accompanies the Wall.

And the most important stop for me; the Marine Corps Memorial:
For my father: MGySgt Jack W. Sherman (deceased)

Thanks, Daddy. 💝

The next 2 days were the working part of the trip. I met some great people from across the country that I'll be working with over the next 2 years.

Part 2 will be about the trip back home and my thoughts about the quilt show I attended (and a couple of great quilt shops I visited along the way!).

Thanks for humoring me on this journey. Go quilt!