Friday, May 31, 2013

Mount Vernon....and our "interesting" evening

After our morning at Arlington we drove to Mount Vernon in Alexandria  (a scary prospect in itself - the driving, not Mount Vernon).

The house tour itself was a little lame.  They basically had you shuffle through and listen as the woman repeated the same info over and over again.  I guess it's the best way they could think of to get people in and out quickly.   The best part was hearing little tidbits about Washington's daily life.

Besides the main house, there were lots of little outbuildings, and the gardens were very pretty.

The view of the Potomac River from the back porch, which was covered in rocking chairs, was beautiful as well.

We walked all the way down to the wharf and were rewarded with a really cool nest made by an Osprey.

And of course, we saw Washington's grave (I have this exact same picture from when I went as a kid)

We saw our very first Magnolia Tree - I thought it was a giant rhododendron!

But the very best thing about our visit to Mount Vernon was our visit with Martha Washington.  This woman was fantastic.  She sat for hours and just chatted with anyone who came in.  She talked about her life with George,  her family, running her household, caring for the soldiers.  If anyone had any questions she answered.  She even taught some of the "young people" in the audience the proper way to greet each other!

And now, on to the story of our evening.  Hubby had checked online for some Open Mics for us to attend.  We thought it would be fun just to see what the area had to offer.  He found one in Virginia that said it was an acoustic open mic and it was in a small cafe.   Sounded just perfect.  We call the Open Mics we like "Old Men with Guitars".

We programmed the GPS and off we went.  What we didn't realize was that our new car's lighter fuse was gone, and the GPS was not charging as we drove along.  Partway into our drive, the GPS died.  Now we were in the middle of Virginia with no clear idea of where we were.  Fooling around with the GPS, I found that if I shut it off, I could turn it back on and get about 10 seconds of use before it died again.  So we drove to Alexandria turning the GPS on and off every ten seconds.  But.....we got there!

The "cafe" was a bar, and a dive bar at that.  The one and only musician we saw was a young kid playing an electric guitar.....badly.  We sat off to the side and decided immediately that we didn't want to eat in this "cafe".   We didn't even want to stay.

So we left after 15 minutes and now had to find a place to eat.  Hubby's eyes lit up when we walked past a Cheesecake Factory, but we'd eaten at one the night before so I vetoed that.  We finally found a directory that showed a Bertucci's a few blocks away.   When we arrived at the destination, there was no Bertucci's.  Apparently there hadn't been one there for quite some time.   We asked some girls sitting at a sidewalk cafe where we could eat, and they directed us a few blocks further away.   We couldn't find that restaurant either.  Finally, I turned to Hubby and said, "Cheesecake Factory it is!"  

So we ate at the Cheesecake Factory two nights in a row (which is certainly not a bad thing).    The waitress was quite surprised when we declined to order any cheesecake for dessert because we already had some in our hotel refrigerator from the night before.  She did, however, give us great directions to get back to our hotel!

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