Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer fun in Washington DC (taking a break)

This summer is turning out to be busier than I thought! I'll still be posting, but it will probably be a little more sporadic than I have been in recent months. If you are looking for something specific that is going on in the area, many summer events in Washington DC and Northern Virginia I wrote about last year are perennial. If you'd like to find these, you can do a search in the box to the right of this blog.

Thanks for reading! Hope you're having a great summer.

A summer view of the U.S. Capitol (a couple of years ago) taken from the top of the Old Post Office building. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: Monastery Creamed Honey is a Real Treat

Last summer I was exploring one of the local farmers markets in Northern Virginia and came across a product called "Monastery Creamed Honey". This creamed honey was made in Virginia and contained no artificial ingredients, so I took the advice of the farmer selling it and picked up a container. I wasn't sure which one to choose (there were at least 3 flavors carried at this market), so I went with the almond-flavored.

This honey was great! I usually buy traditional honey, and hadn't eaten a creamed variety in ages. When my almond honey ran out, the farmers market was over for the season so I  figured I'd have to wait until spring to pick some up. However, I had traveled out to Winchester in December and in one of the museum gift shops was a large supply of Monastery Creamed Honey with several other different flavors! I bought four containers. I picked up another container of the almond since it was so good and decided to try some new flavors too - I bought orange, raspberry and lemon.

 The orange is very good, the raspberry was a bit strong for my taste, but still enjoyed it. The lemon I haven't opened yet, but I am looking forward to trying it once I finish the containers I've already opened.

Other flavors I haven't bought yet include natural (plain), blueberry, cinnamon and brandy. I'll definitely be trying these in the future. The monastery is only about an hour from me so I'm sure I'll be able to find it locally. However, I also learned the monastery also sells honey (and many other food products) online.

I usually mix a 1/2 to 1 spoonful in Greek yogurt for breakfast or an afternoon snack. It has a buttery consistency so also goes great on toast, with crackers or pretty much anything you might want to mix in or add as a spread. I'm still exploring ways to eat it.The farmer told me its also good in tea.

(Confession: there have been times I've simply eaten a spoonful when I had a craving for something sweet).

The honey is made by the Monks of Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Va. It comes in a 10 oz container and costs approximately $7. You can learn more about their products on their website or by calling 877-264-6785 (toll-free).  They also take online orders or you can buy it on Amazon.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Photos on Friday: 'Action shots' from Sully Historic Site's WWII Weekend

Since tomorrow morning kicks off Sully Historic Site's annual WWII living history weekend event, I thought I'd dedicate today's Photos on Friday to some "action" shots I'd taken during a 2012 visit.

To learn more about Sully's WWII Weekend, I have a much more detailed post with some additional photos posted a few week's back you can find here.

Without further ado, here are the photos:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Civil War Encampment Weekend at Sully Historic Site

Every August the Sully Historic Site has its annual Civil War Encampment Weekend. Come watch and interact with re-enactors as they live out their lives during the war-torn years of the 19th century.

Visitors during this weekend will see firsthand how people lived, worked and/or served in one of the armies during this era. Living history participants will "skirmish" and you'll see infantry, artillery and cavalry as it existed in the 1860s. You can view and/or ask questions to learn more about this pivotal time in American history. See what encampments looked like and also experience live music and fashion of that era.

This year's event takes place on Aug. 15 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Aug. 16 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). The Civil War Weekend is one of a series of historic weekends and events the county-owned facility runs. These are all family-friendly events.

As customary with any of Sully Historic Site's events, a house tour of the property is also included in the price of admission. For the Civil War Weekend event, prices are $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and children.

Photos taken a few years back -we had a great day out.

Monday, July 6, 2015

11 fun facts about the Supreme Court building

The Supreme Court was established in the late 18th century and initially met in New York City in the Merchants Exchange Building. Later, in 1790, it moved to Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. Next, the Court was moved to Washington D.C. in 1800, along with the federal government, but still did not have a building of its own. At that time it was housed inside the U.S. Capitol.

It wasn’t until the 1930s the Supreme Court finally received a building to call its own. Hard to believe the building is relatively new in comparison to many of the other structures in the area. Here are some other fun facts about the Supreme Court building:
1. In 1929 former President Taft, who was now Chief Justice, convinced Congress to allow construction of the Supreme Court Building. He never saw construction as he passed away before it was finished.

2. The building is Corinthian-style and is primarily made of various types of marble from both domestic and foreign sources.

There is a spiral staircase inside the Supreme Court, it's blocked off to visitors but you can peek in and look up.
3. The interior wood throughout the Supreme Court is made of American quartered white oak.

4. The cornerstone to what is now the Supreme Court building was laid on Oct. 13, 1932. 

5. The Supreme Court moved into its new home in 1935. It came under the budget authorized by Congress and $94,000 was saved.

6. Two large statues stand on either side of the court building – one is Contemplation of Justice, the other Authority of Law. 

7. The front door is bronze and depicts many different scenes of history, as law developed. Each of the doors weighs 6.5 tons each. 
One panel of one of the grand doors to the Supreme Court

8. The main corridor in the Supreme Court is known as the “Great Hall”. Here visitors are allowed to come inside the Court when it is not in session. 

You cannot take photos once inside the Court. The talk during the hours when Court is not in session is quite interesting!

9. There are busts representing all of the Chief Justices along the walls of the hall.
10. The Court chamber is 82 by 91 feet; its ceiling is 44 feet high.
11. The Supreme Court is a location that definitely sees lots of protests for various social and other legal issues. 

Photo of some activists taken in 2013. You can see in the photo the building was still undergoing some restoration.

Located directly behind the U.S. Capitol Building and to the side of the Library of Congress, The Supreme Court is very convenient to plan to see when visiting these other landmark buildings. It's also a relatively close walk to both the Orange and Red Metro lines.