Father of our country

You might be wondering when I would visit the iconic sights — Lincoln Memorial, Capitol, White House, well obviously I don’t want to run into the current tenant.  I remember those places from living here long ago.

The one place I wanted to revisit was Mount Vernon.  I wanted to touch into the amazing leader George Washington was.  And it must be one of the most beautiful locations for a house in the world.  And it didn’t disappoint.

Rainy day

Which means a museum for me.  Today it was the Phillips Collection.  This began in a private mansion in an interesting part of Washington, which could almost be the Passeig de Gracia for the imaginative houses.

Perhaps not quite.  Nice fall colors though.

The collection is arranged in interesting conjunction.  And there is an audio guide with yoga meditation on some works.  Nice experience.

And there was a good cafe with French onion soup for the gloomy day.

img_20191016_123047184

 

Northwest passage

Of Washington DC that is.  I visited the estate of Marjorie Merryweather Post, whose father invented Grape Nuts and Jell-O.  She renovated an older house to hold her collections and made beautiful gardens.  I got to drive through Rock Creek Park on the way there.

Then I visited the National Cathedral which is quite large and impressive, with glowing stained glass.

And there is a lovely Bishop’s Garden next to it, full of bees and butterflies.

And since I was nearby, I drove by the house we lived in when I was in high school.  They have added on but the street is much the same.

img_20191015_143856283_hdr

It was a good place to live.

Tenuous thread

From Ancestry my distant relatives claim William Claiborne as our ancestor.  He was a fascinating man and I am glad to claim him.  He came to Jamestown in 1621, at the age of 21, as official Surveyor for the Colony of Virginia.  He went on to serve as Treasurer and Secretary of State for Virginia.

But, in 1632, he bought Kent Island from the local tribe and built his own colony.  Unfortunately, King James granted that land to the Catholic Lord Baltimore.  Which led Claiborne to spend the rest of his life fighting to reclaim if by legal and military action.  He lost in the end and retired to his large estate in Virginia.

But I had to see the island.  Today it’s the eastern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  There’s a more recent historic town of Stevensville, with charming houses

And a good fish restaurant where I had a soft crab sandwich

img_20191014_115607786

While my neighbors tackled the hard shell

img_20191014_121640732A visit to the beach and marina after lunch.

And then the museum and the park.

All of which left me wanting to retire there.

 

 

 

Monumental

Downtown Washington DC.  Imposing Federal office buildings.

And the multiple museums of the Smithsonian.  I chose the American History museum, which covers three floors and lots of aspects of history.  It’s visually interesting but a bit dark and maze like.  Fun stuff.

But that was enough walking for my first day.  I was glad to drive back to my quiet home away from home in Virginia.

Last day

We took the train from Grenoble to Paris, the direct TGV, which took three hours. Most of the way we passed green fields with cows and spots of woodland.

We checked into a hotel near the Gare de Lyon, where we arrived and where we can get the bus to the airport. I took a little walk to the park by the canal.

Resting up for the trip home.

Misty morning

After the brilliant sun of Saturday, Sunday began with rain. So I chose to drive up the beautiful valley to the north which we went through on the train on the way to Geneva.

There is a freeway which parallels the train tracks. But also the old road through the villages at the base of the cliffs. Now there are tech companies and nice houses between the old stone main streets. And it’s all lovely and green.

OK

Today everything worked. GPS, gorgeous weather. And a stunning drive up a mountain gorge.

A good lunch break in the suburbs.

Followed by some time in a park.

And a drive up to where the ski jumping was for the Olympics here in 1968.

And back to the apartment in time to see the end of the Djokovic Theim match.

Preparation

Yesterday I rented a car so we could go out in the countryside. Problem number one was finding the Avis office at the train station. We could see the other companies across the street and I asked one and they said Avis was in the station. I finally had to ask information who told me it was downstairs.

Then I found out that Google maps, which had faithfully taken me all over Ireland and the Occitaine, didn’t function here. We drove towards the mountains, discovering new parts of town. Finally I stopped at a gas station but the clerk didn’t have a clue. Meanwhile Kevin was trying to learn how to use the navigation system in the car. I asked a man nearby on a motorcycle and he gave me directions. By the way it’s hard to find maps anymore.

By that time it was time to go home and watch the Federer and Nadal match from the French Open. It is handy to have tram tracks to follow to get home. And we had to find the person parked in front of the garage and get him to move.

And then the wind was blowing so much in Paris they could barely play. I had a cuppa tea and Swiss chocolate and a new book. And a market right around the corner. And French wine. Sorry that there are no pictures.