Sunday, June 10, 2007

In Which We Visit Three Homes in Alexandria, Virginia

We visited three homes in the past twenty-four hours, and two of them are pictured in this blog. The best home we visited, that of Andrew and Amy, is not pictured.
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We left home early on Saturday morning, stopping for breakfast at one of the I-95 rest stops, and arriving at A&A's before lunch. We visited for a bit and then we out to a place in Old Town Alexandria that A&A like quite a bit to have some lunch. It turned out to be a very nice place, and apparently A&A are not the only Alexandrians who enjoy eating there -- shortly after we placed our order, I heard a familiar voice to my left and looked up to find this gentleman there, gabbing away, and wearing a red shirt. We saw Mr. Carville a second time, later in the afternoon, when he was out jogging.
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After lunch we drove off to our destination -- the joint historic sites of Woodlawn Plantation, pictured to the left, and another famous building. We had a guided tour of Woodlawn, and the docent was so good at her job. Instead of focusing on the building and the furnishings, and she did include quite a bit about both of those, her emphasis was on the people who had lived in the house and the culture of the time when they inhabited it. I confess to not being of a historical bent, and this woman made Woodlawn Plantation -- not at all far from Mt. Vernon, if you are ever in the D.C. area -- fascinating. It was a warm afternoon and the tour lasted about forty-five minutes. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Next we walked across the parking lot to visit the Pope-Leighey House, one of the Usonian designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. It was way, way smaller than Woodlawn, and much more appealing! The guide for this property was well informed, too, and of course Joe already knew quite about the architectural nuances. We loved the cut-out motifs under the roofline, the emphasis on the horizontal planes and the use of natural materials. The house was 1200 square feet. The miniscule kitchen notwithstanding, I could actually picture enjoying living in this house! There was no wasted space, and there were a lot of built-in shelves and drawers. I thought afterwards that living in this lovely home would force me to choose what is important to have, to keep, to own, because there would be no way we could move into this house (not that it is available, mind you!) without having the Yard Sale of the Century
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A&A were so hospitable; their guest room is comfy and well-appointed, and they made a delectable dinner for us last night before taking us out to their favorite ice cream stand for a late night treat.
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Two consecutive weekends visiting our sons and their lovely wives. You might think that life does not get any better that this, but you would be pleasantly mistaken -- for now we are off to Sherry and Chris's where we will have dinner with them and with Sam and then go to attend a little end-of-year program at his Day Care Center!
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Life is Rich!
(with a bow to Mrs. Goodneedle)

6 comments:

Ms. Jan said...

You are so right. It doesn't get much better than all of this!

Tanya said...

Sounds like fun! Frank Lloyd Wright's architect is loved in Japan because he designed the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and he used a lot of the native Oya stone in that hotel. There are other architectural works of his throughout Japan.

frank said...

dear energiser bunny,
don't you ever slow down. i get tired reading your blog. think I'll take a nap. keep up the good work.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

At first glance, I couldn't imagine why James Carville was the first picture, unless his was one of the homes you visited... until reading on and discovered that you only lunched with him! Sounds like a glorious weekend, Nancy! Lucky you, indeed!

kdmade said...

Did you see and good stained glass??!! Sounds like a good trip:)

atet said...

Oh, I LOVE Old Town. If you get the chance (and I THINK it's still there) the Silver Parrot is a lovely little shop with some beautiful pieces of jewlery. Also, the Torpedo Factory. Artists rent space and both create and sell their work. I've been lucky enough to be gifted with some pieces by a woman named Susan who (last I knew) had workspace/retail space there. The artist in you would appreciate it!

Yes -- I live in cornfields -- but my roots, now my roots take me back to Virginia.