Spring Bustin’ Out All Over

DSC_5585 DSC_5593 DSC_5595 DSC_5599 DSC_5601 DSC_5607 DSC_5611 DSC_5629 DSC_5631 DSC_5634 DSC_5669I set the alarm for 5:30 am this weekend and my friend Carmela and I made our way towards the Tidal Basin in Washington DC to shoot some sunrise shots of the cherry blossoms that peaked there this weekend.  We figured a 6:15 arrival would be plenty early.

We could not have been more wrong.  The parking lots were all nearly full, and by the time we made it to the water, the sun was up, and about a million people were clicking away.  I didn’t really get any shots I loved around the Tidal Basin, but I grabbed a few that I really like along the Potomac River.  The color of the water was gorgeous, and I loved the way the clouds paralleled the bridges. I’m thinking that some of these would make some really nice prints to hang in a bathroom to provide some color.

 

Looped

DSC_0333 DSC_5330 DSC_5334 DSC_5335 DSC_5344 DSC_5343 DSC_5338Hoping to enjoy a spring afternoon in the city, I planned to have brunch a field trip to Looped Yarnworks in Dupont Circle, DC this weekend.  It turned out to be sort of a wintery afternoon, but it was still a great way to spend a day.  We stopped in first at the Afterwords Cafe, attached to Kramerbooks.  This is by far my favorite book shop in the city.  They have an awesome selection of new interesting titles, knowledgable staff who can guide you to a book you might have missed, a great cafe, and even a bar.  Who doesn’t love being able to order a glass of wine in a book shop?

After enjoyed some corned beef hash and some book browsing, we headed north up Connecticut to Looped.  Located above a restaurant, it was a little tricky to spot at first, but it was worth the search.  Looped has things roughly organized by weight, with some featured manufacturers clustered together for easy shopping.  The selection was amazing, and the whole space was light and airy, which on a day like today, felt great.  The staff was super helpful, and I was able to stock up on yarns that I needed to get started on some Christmas projects that I have queued up.  One nice perk is when you spend $250 (over the total of your visits) you get 15% off your next purchase.  Best part? You can apply your discount to your entire purchase, not just one item.  I’ll share photos of what I stocked up on later.  The weather was so bad today that there was no decent light to photograph them in today!

Anybody else have some favorite shops in the DC area?

 

Winter Schminter

DSC_5023 DSC_5025 DSC_5027-2 DSC_5038 DSC_5078 DSC_5124 DSC_5181 DSC_5197Living along the Potomac in Northern Virginia mean that we get to enjoy some pretty healthy weather mood swings.  We spent our Monday afternoon hiking along the beach on Mason Neck State Park wearing just a light fleece, and two days later, the temperature was -2.

The park is an awesome treat just steps from our door.  They host a large Bald Eagle habitat, and miles of bay front trails that allow kids to dig and explore for all sorts of critters.  Googs brought out her new iPod (that she saved for two whole years to get) to take pictures on our hike.

Parking is $4 a car, or for $44 you can get a year pass and come as many times as you wish. For a real bargain, you can pay $66 and get a pass that gets you into any of the Virginia State parks for the whole year.  We are thinking about going for this one this year, since Mama has the idea that 8 is a good age to start camping…

Beer Me

A few weeks ago, my good friend Carm and her sister planned a lovely beer tour of the City of Brotherly Love for her brother-in-law. I don’t remember all the places we went, but I remember that we rode around on a school bus, and that they thought of everything.  They even made labels for everyone in case we got lost and needed to be returned, and made snacks we couldn’t lose.

DSC_4484 DSC_4487My favorite stop of the day was Neshaminy Creek Brewing.  Their pumpkin ale was a-mazing, but there was pretty much nothing I didn’t like.  Carm filled up a growler for us to enjoy later.

DSC_4495I was especially in love with some of the beer that they ferment in bourbon and whiskey barrels. I don’t know enough about beer to actually describe what it does to the finished product other than to say me likey, and they are fun to photograph.

DSC_4492 DSC_4489One of our stops included a pretty graphic view of the excrement that comes out of the barrels as this goodness ferments.

DSC_4534 DSC_4529Hubs decided it might be a great idea to go ahead and accept the challenge to go ahead and give this stuff a taste.  Check out the series of shots to follow.

DSC_4504 DSC_4509 DSC_4519 DSC_4511Apparently it wasn’t half bad.

My favorite shot of the day is still this one.  I love the way that no matter what else is happening, Carm always looks fabulous.  Also, it’s typical that all the dudes that have no idea that a camera is pointing their direction.  Dudes.

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apple picking

DSC_3729 DSC_3741 DSC_3750 DSC_3756Happy Halloween!!!  I’ll post some photos in the coming days of our adventures in the new neighborhood, but for today, I’d thought I’d share some more images of fall.

Earlier this month we drove out to Stribling Orchard out in Markham, Virginia.  It’s become a yearly tradition to trek west along Route 66 in search of some Golden Delicious to much and some other varietals .  This year, we snagged some Jonathans to toss into the most ugly pie of all time.  Didn’t even photograph it, it was so ugly.

I love traditions like this, and I love having photographs of them.  Last year, Gracie girl couldn’t use the picking stick (is that what it’s called???) on her own, and look at her now!  This girl was determined, and she picked almost every apple we took home all on her own.

We highly recommend Stribling for fall fun.  They have a beautiful grassy lawn that’s perfect for picnics, plenty of tools and supplies to help you pick to your heart’s content, and warm caramel apples.  Mmmm… caramel….

4th

DSC_2015Our 4th ended with a beautiful spot in the backyard of a neighbor, who opens up his place and his extensive docks to hundreds of people who grill, hang out, and catch up.  Kids run in and out of the hot tub, and a huge fireworks display is shot off a local’s dredge while a band plays the Star Spangled Banner.  It is a truly country feeling celebration in this quirky little neighborhood.

The end was welcome, because the beginning of our day looked like this.

DSC_1787 DSC_1745 DSC_1467 DSC_2010 DSC_1321 DSC_1994 DSC_1950 DSC_1847Hubs-to-Be and my good friend Carmela took on the GoRuck Light challenge.  I don’t really understand what was light about this.  Six hours of hiking through the city to various muddy and mucky spots to engage in PT sessions, all with a ruck filled with 4 bricks while an Army Special Ops dude with a very close crew cut makes various soul-crushing comments about your lack-luster performance.

And they were smiling the whole time.

Carm did this to see what she was made of, and her friends and family did it with her because they already knew.  It was an awesome day, and I could not have been more proud of my girl or my hubs. Grace got to see what real perseverance, teamwork, and guts look like, and I got some awesome pictures.

On the Waterfront

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Happy Fourth!!!

These are the last of the shots from our afternoon on the Georgetown Waterfront.  The light over the Potomac was completely beautiful, and I loved taking the shots of Googs with the river in the background.  I have been doing a little reading, and I want to play with metering a little bit the next time I shoot in bright sunlight.  I think it might help the slight under exposure of Grace’s face when the light is behind her.  A center point metering might help  correct that without over exposing the whole shot.