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We spent several hours in the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC, yesterday.
It is an amazing place and anyone who enjoys fine art should put aside at least a day to cruise the halls.
I've only posted a few images here. Since there is a restriction on commercial use of photos from the Gallery, I've disabled downloads on those few image.
If you're in the area, you owe it to yourself to put aside a day or so to cruise this treasure of a museum.
  • Listening to: http://youtu.be/7gphiFVVtUI
  • Eating: Homemade egg McBagel
  • Drinking: Ice tea
We spent most of yesterday playing tourist at the National Botanic Garden and the National Native American Museum. We managed to get soaking wet, but it was fun.
We made a run up to the Paw Paw Tunnel on the C&O Canal national park. If you happen to find yourself in the area, it's a nice walk with plenty of gorgeous scenery.
When we finished the walk, I drove up Rt 9 to Berkley Springs, WV. The is a great restaurant and bar called the Earth Dog Cafe. The food and service is great and the prices are reasonable.
This past week, we had a chance to visit the George Washington Memorial Masonic Temple in Alexandria, Virginia. It you find yourself in the area, I can recommend it not only as a nice piece of history, but also for some lovely views of the area.
We made a quick, overnight run down to South Carolina and I managed to grab a few shots along the way.
A dozen of them are going to make it to my gallery in the next day or so.
As usual, comments are welcome.
Thank you for all the faves!
We drove down to Richmond, Virginia on Saturday. It was a dreary, thunderstorm day, but I managed to grab about two hundred shots. A few of them, I've posted.
I'm hoping to go back down there again in the next couple of months. It means I'll also get a chance to take the back roads once more. They are always more fun.
I also want to take a moment to thank everyone who has faved one of my pieces in the past couple of weeks. I've been lax and have fallen way behind. Thank you!
We went on a photo expedition to Fort Washington. It is on the Maryland side of the Potomac, a short distance south of the Capitol. It was an active military base from revolutionary war times up until shortly after WWI.
I will probably go back again, as there are some more areas to explore.
On the way home, we detoured to some back roads south and west of Quantico Marine Base.
Whooopeee! [undignified happy dance]
My new camera arrived this week. It's a Panasonic Lumix FZ-200. Detailed reviews are available online.
I just posted a couple of the first dozen or so experimental shots. They're not great, but it will take time to get comfortable with the new stuff.
We took a road trip out to see Story Book Trail. It is a very pretty area and we'll probably go back again, after things get good and green.
virginiatrailguide.com/2010/09…
We're heading back to Virginia tomorrow. [deep sigh] I'm enjoying another sunny day in Florida.
We took the grand daughters to see Lindsey Stirling in concert over in Tampa. This is about a three hour drive, each way. So we left before noon and I took my time, driving over and wandering around for a couple of hours, before the show. That gave me a chance to take a bunch of pix. Some of them came out okay.
We attended a wonderful Readers and Writers convention in St. Augustine, Florida this past weekend and I just posted a few of the pix.
When we left Falls Church this morning, there was a thin, misting and cold rain. Ten minutes later and five miles north, on the Beltway, the rain had turned to real snow and it was already laying down some white. When we were another ten miles north, turning onto Hwy27, the gentle, but steady snow had turned into a friggin' blizzard! Everyone was doing about 20mph and few of the roads had any salt. When we got up to Westminster, MD, it was coming down in huge, ornamental snowflakes.
We had lunch with friends at a marvellous farm market and restaurant called. Baugher's. Here's the www.baughers.com/
I stood in their parking lot and took the photos of the winter sport folks enjoying sledding on a hill about a quarter mile away. I love my SuperZoom Leica lens system!
Hope y'all enjoy and feel free to leave comments.
May everyone enjoy a happy and safe holiday season!

I just added three images grabbed with my cellphone. Unfortunately, the main course suddenly disappeared before I got any photos. Wonder why? [burp]
On Saturday, we just had to escape the stench of the big city and drove an hour or so west. The ride was totally unplanned and we ended up coming out of Strasburg, Virginia on Rt 11, southbound. The next community south is Woodstock and I can highly recommend a great breakfast and lunch restaurant. It's called Sunrise Cafe and this is their website sunrise-cafe.webs.com/ .
All of the foodstocks come from local sources. I had a chicken cordon bleu sandwich. It was a fried chicken breast, sitting on a slab of country ham, with melted cheese, on a kaiser roll. A generous fruit bowl and a handful of thick kettle-cooked potato chips completed my meal.
They also have a swapping library in the back dining room. Bring in your old books, drop 'em off and take one-fer-one, some of theirs.
The Sunrise Cafe is on Rt11, just south of the Woodstock I-81 exit. Stop by if you're in the area.
St. Mary's City in southern Maryland is a lovely historical site. If you're in the area, I highly recommend a visit.
This was the second time we visited. The first was a pure accident and it was too late to wander about as I wished. Today, we spent about three hours, enjoying the fall foliage, brisk, clean air, and taking photos.
This is not a historical theme park like Colonial Williamsburg or St. Augustine. This is much quieter and of more interest to the real history buff. Bring your walking shoes, camera and enjoy the experience. Here's the www.stmaryscity.org/.
You know that feeling, don't you? When you see a new toy and even though it's not really critical, you really want it?
Well after looking at this early review asia.cnet.com/product/panasoni… , I now want one of these even more.
What sort of toys can't you do without?
We discovered a new (for us anyway) Green Market that meets every Friday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.
For those in the DC Beltway area, it is in front of the Giant supermarket on the corner of South Van Dorn St. and Kingstowne Blvd.
We got a bag of fresh goodness for weekend meals.
We spent most of yesterday wandering around some backroads in the mountains of western Virginia and eastern West Virginia. We shot more than almost 500 photos and I'll be sharing some of them over the next couple of days.
One of the highlights was finding another abandoned 19th century iron furnace in the middle of the George Washington National Forest. I've already posted a few pix of that. The Wardensville Iron Furnace is located inside George Washington National Forest at 39.0331°N 78.6028°W.
If you'd like more info on them, you can find it here www.wvencyclopedia.org/article… and here www.appaltree.net/aba/ironwork….
The Wardensville Iron Furnace is quite similar to the Shannodale fav.me/d3kyu77 one I documented a few years ago.
We also got a few macro insect shots and mountain scenery. I'll be adding them in the next day or so.
Hope everyone is having a great summer!
Panasonic just announced a new camera and I think that is what I'll ask Santa for this coming holiday season. It's going to be a bit pricey at first, but hopefully, it will drop this fall.
Here's the www.panasonic.net/avc/lumix/co… to their sample image and video page.
One of the features I'm looking forward to using is the built in HDR mode.