Monday, September 8, 2008

Alexandria, VA

After my August trip to So California I flew to meet Jerry in Alexandria, VA where he was doing some work with The Motley Fool. I had a great time, slow paced and relaxing. We stayed at the Westin in the Carlyle area just outside of Old Towne Alexandria. It's a new hotel and quite lovely and luxurious. It was gray and/or raining for most of my visit but it was also warm so enjoyed the out of doors anyway.

I love to take photographs, I love to bird, I love old cemetaries, I love to take photos of birds in old cemetaries. So one day I hit the Trifecta (or is that a quadfecta?) in Alexandria, VA. I went for a walk in search of the Alexandria National Cemetary founded by Abraham Lincoln as one of several created for the remains and in the memory of Civil War Veterans (eventually expanding to veterans of other wars). What I found was a warren of cemetaries sited side by side, fence to fence. Episcopal, Methodist, Jewish, Quaker (I think), presbyterian and then finally the National cemetary. Gravestones date from the late 1700s to 2008, the interwoven history of the peoples who lived or ended up in Alexandria.

It was a gray, muted day. Only a few dogs and their owners were out. Oh dogs and robins and squirrels. Hundreds of Robins! So in watching for the "ideal" robin on a gravestone shot, I hear the chatterburr of a belted kingfisher. What? I say. That means water somewhere. Yep, adjacent to the National Cemetary runs Hooff's Run...a small creek with a historic stone bridge. And next to the bridge on a bush almost under the bridge was a noisy, fluffy adolescent mockingbird nagging its hard working parent for more food! Quite could almost see it stamping its little foot!

I spent another walk exploring King Street (the main street in Old Towne Alexandria). Visited Christ Church cemetary just off King Street which was in use even before the Wilkes Ave Complex. Had a lovely salad at a little French bakery. Ate dinner with Jerry one night at Bistro Lafayette (also on King Street) which was good.

Several other nights I had the good fortune to have dinner with Jerry and some of the fellows he was meeting/working with at The Motley Fool. Very interesting and entertaining dinner conversation and good food. On Friday, I got a tour of The Motley Fool headquarters and attended Jerry's "sage talk" (not where we burned the herb and did hippie chants but where he shared the wisdom of his years).

Took the train home from the Alexandria Amtrak station (where the train was over 90 minutes Jerry would say "characteristically...isn't transit great???).

Scenes from Old Alexandria

Sitting on King Street

Christ Church and Graveyard

Hooff's Run Bridge

Mockingbird youngster and patient parent

Other photos are found in my Alexandria, VA set on my flickr site:

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