Filed under Weekend escapes

Spring on The High Line

Spring on The High Line

An an oasis of wildflowers, suspended over the buzz and industry of Chelsea and its meatpacking district, The High Line is my New York City favorite. A mile of abandoned freight rails transformed into a garden path of native blooms, urban art, and peaceful nooks, it is a public space extraordinaire, enchanting even in early spring, when … Continue reading

Poe, Some Bones, and a Cask of Amontillado

Poe, Some Bones, and a Cask of Amontillado

” The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” The Cask of Amontillado has always been one of my favorite Poe stories. How could I miss the 2013 Cask of Amontillado Wine Tasting Among the Bones? A Saturday of sampling wine and beer … Continue reading

Orchid Magic

Orchid Magic

I’ve been aching for some aliveness, something bright, and fragrant, and growing, so this Washington Post love letter to Orchids of Latin America, an exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History, cemented my weekend plans. A stroll through a tropical rainforest abloom–a fleeting visit to “the jungles of Costa Rica, the vanilla farms of Mexico, the conservation forests of … Continue reading

Baltimore in Winter: The Other Mount Vernon

Baltimore in Winter: The Other Mount Vernon

Much to my embarrassment, it took me years to appreciate Baltimore beyond its aquarium. The turning point was one wintry day last year. We woke up early, the flat, frozen city before us, and decided to explore. Our primary destinations on that visit were the two museums–the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum–and I … Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home (and Garden)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home (and Garden)

This week’s photo challenge is Home: “share a picture that evokes HOME for you.“ Apart from my family–the one I was born to, and the one that grew around me over the years–my home is the garden that embraces our house. When I garden, I imagine myself the Little Prince, tending his planet against the catastrophe of … Continue reading

A President’s Sanctuary: Lincoln’s Cottage

A President’s Sanctuary: Lincoln’s Cottage

Three miles north of the White House and the Capitol stands the 19th-century equivalent to Camp David. Housed on the stately grounds of the Soldiers’ Home, a refuge for veterans since the 1850s, this 34-room Gothic Revival cottage offered summer respite to Presidents Buchanan, Hayes, Garfield, and Arthur. Its heyday, though, was in the 1860s, when … Continue reading

Walls: Barboursville Ruins

Walls: Barboursville Ruins

“Walls,” this week’s Where’s My Backpack travel theme challenge, made me think of Barboursville Ruins, tucked away along Virginia’s Monticello Wine Trail. This yawning brick skeleton is all that remains of the grand mansion designed by the local demigod, Thomas Jefferson, for his friend James Barbour, Governor of Virginia and, later, the US Secretary of War. The … Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

This week’s photo challenge is Love. As I close my eyes and think of it, several images assemble, each a memorable moment from someplace that comforted or surprised me. Here are five of them. 1. The feisty old goat Crackerjack snuggling with his friend at the Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, one of my favorite peaceful places. 2. The … Continue reading

Travel Theme: Multiples

Travel Theme: Multiples

I loved the whirlwind of color, movement, and imagination stirred up by this week’s travel theme challenge from Ailsa’s Where’s My Backpack: Multiples. There are so many great responses. I’d like to add mine to the chorus. My swarms, rows, and badelynges of multiples are grouped by season and month when I encountered them. 1. Winter  2. … Continue reading

A Winter Escape: Blackwater Falls State Park

A Winter Escape: Blackwater Falls State Park

I was longing for some snow. Serious winter snow. So when our friends proposed a pre-New Year escape to the Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia, we signed up. We stayed at the lodge in the park, a comfortable place overlooking the canyon that the Blackwater River has carved over millennia (it is worth the extra … Continue reading

My Peaceful Place: Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary

My Peaceful Place: Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary

In this season of “must-haves” and “must-dos,” it is easy to lose one’s balance. There is one place I usually think of when I need to catch my breath: Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, one of our favorite places in the world. Poplar Spring is a 400-acre refuge for farm animals and wildlife in Poolesville, Maryland. … Continue reading