Archive for April 2013

Weekend Away: Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta

While Keith was off running around Kentucky, I decided to head down south as well to Atlanta for a little time with my sister. Aside from spending a little QT with her, the highlight had to be the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.

Yes, I'm a bit of a nerd. I have a goal of visiting each presidential library, even those presidents I whose politics I may not agree with. Since she moved to Atlanta five years ago, visiting the Carter's has been on the list. Realizing she couldn't avoid it any longer, she finally decided this last trip would be the one.

I was familiar with his policies and accomplishments in office, but what was most interesting was everything he's achieved since. Here's a few of the photos I was able to take of the highlights.

Now to work on Keith so we can make our way to Little Rock for President Clinton's. Do you have any where you want to visit in your lifetime?

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Kentucky Barrel Pickin'

I just got back from visiting Kentucky to pick some bourbon barrels for a group of like-minded bourbon aficionados. I had an amazing time and I wanted to share some pictures of the experience.

The Willett still house
Rick houses at Willett
Barrels lined up for tasting at Buffalo Trace
Bonded rick house at Buffalo Trace
Elmer T. Lee barrel at Buffalo Trace
The tasting assembly line at Buffalo Trace
The barrels lined up for tasting at Four Roses
Jim Rutledge, Four Roses Master Distiller
thieving out the bourbon
Four Roses barrel prepared for tasting
Four Roses rick houses
Four Roses tasting place settings

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Sunday afternoon at the National Gallery of Art

I've found that you make Washington, DC home for the promise of the gorgeous spring and the mild fall. Well, that's why I live here. It's definitely not for the oppressive summers with their 100 degree heat and 90 percent humidity.

When you combine the beautiful spring weather and football free Sundays, you really don't have an excuse for staying inside. And throwing in the fact that you can find something free to do every day, it's like you're losing money. Okay, well, maybe I'm stretching it a bit. But you get the idea.

Yesterday, at a friend's recommendation, we made our way down to the National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery of Art includes a good balance of classical works with the modern. Keith's not much of an art guy. Oh the things, one does for love.  I could have spent a few hours just admiring the impressionist work. I also got to see a few paintings from Degas's dancers series. That series is one of my absolute favorites. 

And you may not realize this, but the National Gallery consists of two buildings - an East and West Building. The West Building with its classical architecture houses the classics - Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, etc. and the East Building with its contemporary designs includes the modern art.  There is an underground walkway that connects the two, which even includes an intriguing light installation. 

They have a photography exhibit that I want to go back for. Now to convince Keith. Do you have a favorite artist or style of art? I always wondered how people would explain they could admire a work for hours. But now after seeing several impressionist's works in person, I get it. Who knew?

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Bartholdi Park

While out looking at the cherry blossoms Sunday, we stopped at Bartholdi Park before making our way  up the Hill and ultimately home. This park has always captured my attention with its beautiful fountain in the center and constant rotation of plants and flowers. Ready for some random DC trivia? Bartholdi Park is part of the U.S. Botanic Gardens and is named after the sculptor of the historic fountain in the center.

After reading more about the history of Bartholdi Park, I'm even more enamored with it. During the 1880s, the park was a popular destination for its gas lamps, making it one of the first attractions in the nation's capitol to be brightly illuminated at night.  There are always little pockets of solitude tucked away throughout the park. I only wish it was closer to my office so I could sneak out during the middle of the day for lunch or a quiet break with coffee.

Since I can't escape to one of its quiet benches during the day, we may find ourselves down there with a picnic some weekend soon.

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The Cherry Blossoms

Spring time in Washington, DC equals tourists blocking your path on the metro, opening day for the Nationals, and of course, the cherry blossoms. Keith and I talked about heading down when they first announced the peak dates, but after living here a while your interest starts to fade. You think there's always next year. Or good lord, don't make me fight the crowds.

This past weekend we decided to brave the crowds and walk down to take a look along with a few photos.

As you can tell from my photos the blooms have already peaked and are quickly falling off. Guess I learned my lesson in why one should not procrastinate, but there's always next year, right?

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Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

Even though the cherry blossoms haven't fully bloomed, the big National Cherry Blossom Festival is well underway her in the nation's capitol. The tourists have taken over the metro. And my allergies are convinced the blossoms will peak at any moment.

I have been meaning to make my way down to check out the Kite Festival as part of the cherry blossom festivities for several years now. This past Saturday I finally got around to it. The events kicked off at 10:00 am and I'm sure the kites would have been out in full force later in the afternoon. (But I had a massage appointment that couldn't be missed.)

For a brief moment, I was all warm and fuzzy seeing the little kids trying to fly their kites on the Mall with the capitol dome or Washington monument as their backdrop. Even better the weather was absolutely gorgeous.

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