Easter Weekend

Let me start this off by saying I didn’t spend the whole weekend eating Easter candy and confections…but there were plenty of delicious things to eat all weekend and I didn’t hesitate to take part! Honestly – the pictures below are an amalgamation of sweet treats that accrued over the week…but Easter only comes once a year and I certainly wasn’t going to miss out on the goodies!

My parents spent the previous weekend in Charleston and returned with cupcakes and especially for me, some light and fluffy macarons! Later in the week our intern; an 18 year old boy that we are all trying to groom to be the perfect gentleman, went down to the bakery and bought us all Easter cookies – I guess he is taking in some of the things we’re teaching him, ha-ha! My Mom bought more Easter cookies on Thursday evening…so there was just sugar coming from every angle!

Friday was the start of a three day weekend and when I got home on Thursday evening, I exulted in the knowledge that I had nothing to do that was related to getting up early or going in to the office on Friday! I slept in on Friday, sipped coffee while watching an episode of The Office and blogging…and sure; I did do some laundry and go by the DMV, but over all the day was very low key!

I managed to snag the perfect personalized Washington Nationals car tag(s) and took it as a positive sign that my Nationals would be starting the 2018 off on a good foot! We got dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant on Friday night, grabbed a couple things from Martin’s (that’s a grocery store y’all…) and then returned home, where I binged a few more episodes of The Office with a side of sugar cookie(s). The Nationals won their first game on Friday afternoon behind the fierce arm of Max Schrezer and between the win, the weekend and the sugar rush…I went to sleep quite happy on Friday night!

Saturday was a full day – and it was wonderful! The weather was absolutely gorgeous; sunny and in the low 60’s and after munching on a red velvet muffin and sipping my required two cups of coffee, it was off to Georgetown for the day!

We arrived in the bustle of the city around 10:30 and parked along the street before setting out on foot to check out the campus of Georgetown University – in all the years I’ve lived in Northern Virginia and all the times I’ve visited the DC area before I lived here – I have never set foot on the campus of Georgetown! I remedied that on Saturday, via the steps from The Exorcist…ha-ha! Seriously though – we climbed all 75 steps that were used in the filming of The Exorcist, hung a left and headed up the street and on to the campus – which was gorgeous!

Healy Hall is the building that is most notable on the campus; it’s the building that can be spied across the Potomac as you race past the Key Bridge and into DC and it really is just one of many gorgeous buildings on campus. The weeping cherry trees and Japanese magnolias were blooming and made for some beautiful shots – especially with the amazing blue sky in the background!

We made our way through the campus and down the streets of Georgetown, walking slowly back toward the main street and the shops we wanted to pop into. I absolutely love the row houses in Georgetown and if I somehow was gifted all the money in the world, I’d buy myself one and live happily wandering down to Dean and Deluca on Saturday morning for coffee and goodies. We happened on Georgetown Cupcakes and for once, the line wasn’t halfway up the block – so that meant we had to get cupcakes!

By the time we finished choosing our cupcakes and making our purchase, the line had extended out the door and up the sidewalk…it’s crazy how fast that place gets busy! The one place I was most interested in getting to was Olivia Macaron; hands down some of the best macarons I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, I popped in and grabbed a box of seven – and they added on a bunny macaron for no extra charge! We grabbed sandwiches from Dean and Deluca for lunch, munched on them out on the patio seating and then headed back toward our car…

We did pop into Pie Sisters before heading to our next stop; we were parked right beside them and April 2nd is my Dad’s birthday, he’s more of a pie guy anyway…so we grabbed a coconut cream pie for him! It was off to Tudor Place for our 1:00 tour – and amazingly, we found parking on the road right outside the gorgeous house and had time to snap some pictures of the house prior to our tour – again, the day was so perfect as far as the weather was concerned, we couldn’t have asked for a better day!

Tudor Place is a Federal style mansion that belonged to the Peter family; the original owner was Martha Custis Peter, a granddaughter of Martha Washington. The home was originally built as two separate and defined building and as each owner took over the house and added on, the home eventually met in the middle. The feature the home is known for; the Temple Portico at it’s center, was designed by William Thornton – the architect of the original US Capitol building (whose columns are now at the US Arboretum). The portico is unique because while most portico are only a half moon shape off the front of a home, the portico on Tudor Place is a full circle that curves inward on the front of the home.

The home tour was full of information – our guide was very chatty and loaded with knowledge about the house, which she shared at length and I ate up every word. The home is known for having over 100 items from Mount Vernon; the Washington’s furnishings and knick knacks were sold off in an estate sale following their death and many of the items were purchased by their granddaughter Martha. There were so many fascinating tidbits that were shared during the tour – I could tell you all of them, but then this post would be way too long…

A few of my favorite points include the copies of the Washington Post on display from the days directly following the sinking of the Titanic, the cast iron stove in the kitchen that weighed so much that the kitchen floor had to be reinforced! The metal duck that looks inauspicious enough but was actually an old school humidifier – you put water in the duck and as it heated up, steam poured from the duck’s beak! And lastly, the couture collection on display in the closet; once worn by the home’s final owner’s wife – Caroline Ogden-Jones Peter.

Once the tour of the house was completed, we were able to stroll through the gardens at Tudor Place and while they aren’t large – they are lovely. Boxwoods, gravel pathways and multiple Japanese magnolias in both pink and white, all bursting into bloom. I feel like my pictures do a much better job than my words – so check those out!

Around 2:30 we headed right up the street…probably what amounted to less than a tenth of a mile and hopped in the line to get tickets for Dumbarton Oaks Gardens & Museum. I’ll preface this by telling you that Dumbarton Oaks and Dumbarton House are two different things…although Dumbarton Oaks also includes a house (but you can’t go inside)… isn’t that all clear as mud? The home (or the earlier parts of the home) was built in the early 1800’s on a parcel of land called The Rock of Dumbarton and would pass through many owners, including Vice President John C. Calhoun.

The Bliss family acquired the house in 1920, named it Dumbarton Oaks, redesigned the house and added expansive gardens over the fifty-four acres of land and filled the home with the art they had collected on their travels. The Bliss family gifted Dumbarton Oaks to Harvard University in 1940 and included the house, the gardens, the outbuildings and their expansive library and collection of art. The house has a storied history…but we came to check out the gardens.

The gardens spread out over the fifty-four acres and backs up to Rock Creek at it’s boundaries. The layout includes pools, terraced gardens, a pebble garden, a swimming pool, roses and a cherry tree lined lane…to name a few of the many features that you can take in. I may not make it to the Tidal Basin this year to see the cherry trees, but the trees on Dumbarton’s Cherry Tree Hill were blooming beautifully and compelled me to take multiple pictures.

The House; as I mentioned, is not open for tours but now serves as a museum and teaching facility for lectures and events related to arts and humanities. I did get a quick peek into one of the windows to glimpse the front hall of the house – and the house itself is large and stunningly beautiful. The pebble garden was one of the more unique “gardens” that we saw; although I’m more accustomed to calling a garden something with flowering vegetation…and this garden had only pebbles.

After a good couple hours wandering the expansive gardens and taking so many pictures (seriously y’all – these aren’t all my pictures…), we hopped back in the car and attempted to make our way toward the Tidal Basin just to sneak a peek at the cherry trees. I’d forgotten that as part of the month long Cherry Blossom Festival, the kite flying around the Washington Monument was taking place…and coupled with that; the cherry blossoms are not fully bloomed but already looking gorgeous… traffic was a nightmare!

It took us twenty-five minutes to go about two miles and we watched some crazy drivers have some near misses with pedestrians (eek!) – but the slow crawl gave me a chance to snap a picture or three of all the kites floating on the breeze around the Washington Monument. After spinning past the Tidal Basin (we didn’t get out…oh well..) we headed out of DC and grabbed an early supper at Sweetwater Tavern en route to the house.

I would love to say that I passed Saturday evening continuing the fun of the day – but I only sort of did. I poked around on my phone some and ended up starting Spider-Man Homecoming (such a good movie if you’ve never watched it)…but not finishing it. I’m not sure what triggered it, but about halfway through I started getting a headache and it got progressively worse – so much so that I finally took some medicine and tapped out at about 9:30 – on a Saturday night.

I did get a couple funny pictures of my goofy pup sitting beside me on the couch, deeply engrossed in watching the adventures of Spider-Man. I sure do love that sweet little pup!

Thankfully when I woke up on Sunday, all signs of my headache were gone! I sipped my coffee, had a muffin for breakfast and then got myself all dolled up (ha-ha) for church service. The Easter service at my church was wonderful – I shared the video from the Easter service here on the blog on Sunday – and I am so thankful that I know that my mistakes and sins are covered by the grace of Jesus’ death on the cross. He is risen indeed and what a celebration the church service was!

My parents and I had our Easter dinner at Olive Garden – which my younger sister found incredibly funny (she was in California celebrating with cousins) – but hey; the food was good and the company was better! The Easter bunny brought me some delicious chocolate(s), Peeps, some gift cards and tickets to the show Baz at the Venetian in Las Vegas! The show is compromised of musical performances from three of Baz Luhrmann’s films: Romeo & Juliet, Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby – my sister and I have been wanting to see it for some time – and now we will be seeing it in May!

The rest of my Easter Sunday was quite low key – I watched my Nationals win their third straight game and sweep the Reds to open the season… I did a little blogging… I re-worked a pot of Mexican street corn soup into potato chicken corn chowder (it was the saving of a failed soup, reborn as something better…) and I took a bubble bath. All in all, a nice way to wind down a long weekend.

And now here we are – it’s Tuesday already (it’s only Tuesday?) and time marches on!

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