Saturday, July 4

Old(e) Town(e) Alexandria(e)

(Unfortunately, as authenticke as "Old Town Alexandria" is, they don't use Olde E's.)

Joseph making friends on the street.

Last month I rolled back into DC for an interview, and Melissa and I did a little interstate exploring: Old Town Alexandria, Va.


You never know when you might run into someone cool in OTA.

Photo Op on the Pier

Within a few seconds, the handler was putting another bird on the mom's head. She took it like a champ.

On the Waterfront, one can watch and listen to performers, visit gift shops and restaurants, catch a boat or visit the Torpedo Factory Art Center, an art museum, studio and school housed in - you guessed it - an old torpedo factory.

Joseph Gets Himself Straightened Out

On our wanderings, we came across the Carlyle House (pronounced CarLYLE, apparently), a restored home once belonging to John Carlyle, a prominent figure in colonial Virginia.

Sitting Room

We allowed ourselves to be convinced to take the tour, for which we were immensely grateful - it ended up being the highlight of our day. Unlike many historic homes, at the Carlyle House visitors enter rooms and can even touch period and original items.

After watching a 15-minute video, you are first taken upstairs via the old back stairs - a narrow and harrowing ascent even without hoop skirts, buckets of water or full bedpans - to the Carlyles' bedroom. For such a wealthy man, the room is modest by modern standards, but the restorers have been as meticulous as possible in bringing it back to its original state.

The bedroom has several items original to the house, including a four-poster bed where Carlyle's children and grandchildren were born, where his daughter died and where, until recently, an elderly descendant was spending her nights.

The rest of the house has some original pieces, some period pieces and even some new pieces, such as the windows and a painted-canvas rug that were created using techniques and materials of the time. Our guide was SUPER knowledgeable, and since it was just the two of us on our tour, we had plenty of opportunity to ask questions and spend time in each of the rooms.

Main Stairway Landing

After the museum, we strolled about and had a yummy lunch at The Pita House, on Cameron Street.

Along Cameron Street

After lunch, we strolled about some more, visited shops, lost Melissa's keys, found Melissa's keys, didn't get Ben and Jerry's, and had a lovely afternoon.

The Elusive Melissa

Real Gas Lights

712 Prince St.
Care to purchase it?

The Welcome Pineapple

In the Oldenne Dayes, sailors would often buy pineapples in the Caribbean and bring them home. Upon returning to their towns, they would place the pineapples in front of the house to show that they were back and receiving visitors. A luxury item, pineapples often graced the most decorative tables when entertaining guests. It has come to be a symbol of welcoming and hospitality.

Getcher Founding Fathers Here
Taken just shortly before the fateful moment when Melissa traded her keys for a sample of lotion over at the Christmas store.


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