Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mount Vernon Take 2

We took advantage of our annual pass and the beautiful weather to visit the other parts of Mount Vernon that we had not seen previously. First stop was the Grist Mill and Distillery. We watched the demo (below) of grinding the grain.

The grain then lands on this sifter and into a barrel.

The outside of the grist mill. The individual pieces were quite large, and so was the overall building. Washington shipped his fine ground flour to Europe and the West Indies.

The distillery was only open for a few years making whisky, but Washington was the largest producer in Virginia.

We then went to Mount Vernon's main property and were pleasantly surprised to find a craft fair and lots of activities going on.

The authentic looking soldier's camp is set up behind this cannon.

While standing in line for the tour of the house, we watched them march up the bowling green.

The demo was really loud! Especially when the entire troup fired at the same time.

Almost closing time, so we wandered briefly through the Lower Gardens (kitchen) and headed back for the exit.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


It's been a long time since we went bowling, so we decided to try out the Falls Church Bowling Alley. It has a lot of lanes, and was probably once considered state-of-the-art. But the important thing is that Ryan bowled a turkey. (For real, not on the Wii). Here's the proof.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

The last few weeks we've been busy getting ready to go home to the Tri-Cities, visiting friends at home, and helping out with weddings. We're back in Falls Church and decided to take in a truly unique cultural adventure this weekend: Maryland Renaissance Festival. It claims to be the second largest Renaissance Festival in the country. According to their website ( Eighty-five acres of parking space handle an average of 14,700 customers daily. The English Tudor village is 25 acres of woods and field that transport patrons to an era of chivalry, bawdiness, and good fun. There are more than 130 craft shops displaying many wares handmade by the village artisans. Forty-two food outlets provide a feast of foods rarely seen at other festivals. Each season, more than half a million beverages are served at the Festival's eight soft drink stands, five beer stands, and five taverns.
We had fun wandering around the village, visiting the shops, marveling at the food (fried everything!) and admiring the costumes.
We happened to wander to the main stage at the right time for the joust. King Henry the VIII and his court were in attendance.

Wandering musicians playing instruments that we rarely hear today popped up around the grounds, played a song and then moved on.

Several of the vendors gave demonstrations, like this hand blown glass demo right at the entrance.
There were tons of games in the Renaissance theme for kids and adults. Here, the kids were shooting ping pong balls out of cannons.

The replica of the crown jewels were in this chapel. The grounds and buildings were amazing.

There were lots of clothing vendors. I like the name of this leather vendor - Holy Cow.

Acrobats had set up right as we were trying to navigate our way to the exit. The last adventure was finding the car.