Friday, August 16, 2013

Biking in DC

The summer monsoon has returned to Columbia.  At least it is cool today.  It is mid-August and we still have not had a temperature of 100 this summer.  We have had more rain this summer than I can remember, and everything is green.  I wish we could send some of it out west!  Last Thursday I left for Washington, DC for two days while Susan was in the UK.  I filled the car with antiquarian prints for the auction house in Falls Church, packed my bike on the back of the car, and left.


 The car loaded with antiquarian prints heading to the auction house

I was hoping for a Thursday afternoon bike ride, but a heavy thunderstorm ruined this plan and forced me to go to Tyson's Corner Mall instead.  I stayed at the Tyson's Corner Marriott which has and is undergoing a major renovation since my last visit.  The hotel lobby has completely changed (for the better) with a open restaurant/bar that is quite inviting for a hotel. Because I am "special" (i.e., a Gold Marriott Rewards member), I was upgraded to an executive King room with access to the Concierge Lounge.

After dropping off the prints I opted to go into DC and save my bike trip for Saturday morning (a smart move as they had one of their hottest days that Friday) before I returned to Columbia.  I spent most of the day at the National Gallery of Art which has a fantastic exhibit on Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes, complete with costumes, videos, photos, etc.  I later went to the Hirshhorn Museum to see the found object art exhibit.  It was equally fantastic.  Before returning to Vienna and the hotel I went to the Kennedy Center to see what was playing at the Millennium Stage.  To anyone unfamiliar to the Kennedy Center, they always have free concerts/performances 365 days a year (including Christmas!) at 6PM sharp.  Susan and I try to see as many performances as possible since they are free.  Back in June 2008 I happened to be in DC for the 11TH Anniversary of the Millennium Stage and watched The Manhattan Transfer, along with a few thousand other people for FREE.  On this visit I had the pleasure to watch the Shanghai Students Folk Music Troupe, composed of 40 middle and high school students performing Chinese folk music with traditional musical instruments.  It was a great show.

On Saturday morning I drove to the Dunn Lorning bike stop, parked my car and rode for 20 miles (in 1:45).  I rode to Herndon and back, and now I have been on all of the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) trail.

 A view of the W&OD bike trail from the Vienna Station (click to enlarge)

My self-portrait at the Vienna Station (click to enlarge, if you dare!)

There are so many ways to enjoy and ride the various bike trails in VA/DC.  You can ride to Mount Vernon  (done that), ride to Georgetown and up to Bethesda, MD (done that), ride Rock Creek Parkway to the Kennedy Center (done that), and ride the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail to Cumberland MD and parts west (I have not done that!), to name a few trips.  Wanda, we need to do some of these bike rides before we get too old...I can't get Susan to do them!...her last bike trip was all over Martha's Vinyard back in 2004 when Mathias was dancing in the inaugural Stiefel and Stars summer program.  She complained of a sore butt the whole day!

On the way home I stopped at Foamhenge, in Natural Bridge, VA. off US 11 and less than one mile from Natural Bridge.  For anyone who drives up I-81 in Virginia, please stop and visit this place.  It is a hoot and Susan and I have had the pleasure of meeting its creator, Mark Cline back on Halloween night (quite fitting), 2008.

My self-portrail at Foamhenge, Natural Bridge, VA.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Off to DC and Bicycling

My plans are now confirmed and I will be driving to Washington, DC on Thursday.  I will be bringing another car load of antiquarian prints to the local auction gallery in Falls Church for consignment, and then I will make another biking adventure on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.  For anyone interested in the print lots that will be leaving Thursday, please come by Monday-Wednesday during my normal business hours.  All prints will be 1/2 off original prices!  This includes all matted botanicals, maps, the large Shakespeare engravings, the architectural engravings, etc. 

Susan leaves for England on Tuesday and will return the following Wednesday.  Normal business hours will be conducted during her absence (except for Thursday-Saturday of this week).  I will hope to take some pictures and ride the only section of the bike trail that I have never been on.  I hope it doesn't rain too much.