Monday, December 24, 2007

Live from DC!

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!!!
Oh the fun! Oh the surprises!!!

What a hint?
Yup, yours truly is going to NYC. lol And, yes, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Last place I ever thought I'd go, but my sneaky sister and brother (aka brother-in-law) have made us hotel reservations at their favorite Moroccan-themed hotel near Times Square, gotten us tickets to the Rockettes, and say the rest of or 3 days there is up to me. Decisions! Decisions! Things I've contemplated so far are the Botanic Gardens, Ellis Island, Nero Wolfe's house (although lucky for the family, Rex Stout never settled on a firm address for the famed brownstone so no pilgrimage is possible), Grant's Tomb, Central Park, the famed Christmas windows of the stores, and St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Got any suggestions for me??????

A quick recap of my adventures so far....
I arrived on Wednesday evening via a lovely flight on Virgin America (go on try it, I think you'll like them--- although the lighting is made for media viewing NOT stitching lol) to grocery shop with my sister, and then crash into bed to find:
12/19/2007 Look what was on my pillow
... a box of Jo Jos amidst my pillows. If you haven't had them, hop over to a Trader Joes and pick up some boxes. they are peppermint flavored oreo-ish cookies and they are wonderful. They are only available around Christmas though, so enjoy while you can!

Unlikely as it sounds I spent Thursday all day glued to my laptop doing office battle. I know, I know, I'm an idiot. I'm on vacation and yet I spend THE WHOLE DAY doing office crap. Apparently I'm not so terribly bright. I learned on Friday though-- after a morning spent officing, I spent the afternoon playing at the DC craft and art fair and going through every inch of the Reynolds Center (aka the National Portrait Gallery and the National Art Museum). You really should visit there. Their most recent "big" feature is their new roof. They used to have a central courtyard that was open air, but they covered it for all-weather events with this amazing undulating roof
12_20_21_2007 015
12_20_21_2007 014

Among the nifty exhibits in the Reynolds are:
A current exhibit of John Alexander (through March 2008) who does an amazing array of fantastic paintings. He's modern, and yet I love him -- he must be a miracle worker! For instance I fell in love with these:
12_21_2007 003
12_21_2007 007

Another current exhibit on WWI Bond posters (through February 2008)-- including my all time favorite:
12_20_21_2007 043

The Reynolds is also home to my favorite collection -- The George Catlin Indian paintings. Here's George and a part of the collection in a stairway:
12_20_21_2007 052
12_20_21_2007 050

There are also many beautiful pieces throughout the permanent exhibits:
12_20_21_2007 056
"Villa Malta, Roma" by Gifford

12_20_21_2007 059
"Woman with Red Hair" by Herter

12_20_21_2007 080
12_20_21_2007 082
What can I say -- I have a Joan of Arc thing -- "Adoration of Saint Joan" by Fosdick

12_20_21_2007 085
"Angel" by Thayer

There's this amazing Norman Rockwell portrait of Nixon -- I mean it's an amazing painting. You have to go see it!
12_20_21_2007 113
12_20_21_2007 116

And this hysterical piece of George Bush (the elder) horseshoe pitching -- it's so very him!
12_20_21_2007 120
by Oliphant

Saturday my brother installed my sister's Christmas present -- a giant HDTV above their fireplace. It was a most-of-the-day-affair and was fairly entertaining and definitely successful --
12_22_2007 100

Sunday we went to church, went a bought me shoes (for the NYC adventure) despite my insistence that I had plenty of shoes, had dinner guests, and waited for my nephew, niece, and great nephew to arrive for Christmas Eve partying.

Today we had Christmas. My grand nephew needed to be home so Santa could visit him at his house so we celebrated early. We opened packages, laughed a lot, made cookies and candy, laughed some more, then helped wave the family off to wait for Santa. We also learned a few useful lessons--
he's still not big enough for Daddy's letterman jacket
12_24_2007 046

chocolate always tastes good-- even if it's red and you stick it on your aunt's nose
12_24_2007 159

silver platters, even those covered with beef drippings, scare the dog
12_24_2007 4017 Honest, she wouldn't eat the leavings. She just sniffed and snuck around the platter looking confused and skittish.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to convince my brother and sister to go to Arlington National Cemetery. I just heard tonight on the news that they put a wreath on each marker for Christmas, and I want to go see Uncle Ellis'... and everyone else's. This is it from a previous year.
We'll have no snow unless the weather completely turns tonight, but I still expect a moving experience.

In between events I've done a little stitching (side one of my Fair Square for Laura is nearly done), lots of yawning (vacation really takes it out of you!!!!), too much cookie eating, a fair amount of dog walking, and absolutely no reading. Maybe tonight will be my book's lucky night!


Amy said...

Dear Ruthie,
I'm so glad you're enjoying your Christmas vacation! THANK YOU for my lovely wonderful gifts! Yours will be waiting for you when you get home. Yes, I am slow, I must admit. I've emailed you but apparently they didn't get through or you aren't reading them. Either way it doesn't matter! Thanks for another wonderful year of your friendship! May you have all of the blessings you so greatly deserve! And have a WONDERFUL TIME in NYC!!! Can't wait to see the pics!! Love & hugs to you my dear!

nutmeg5 said...

Hi Ruth, sounds like your having a fantastic holiday. Love all the pictures. You will have a blast in NYC. And I am exactly in step with you on the exchange square...almost done with the first square :).

Anonymous said...

From a fellow Nero Wolfe fan, re: "Rex Stout never settled on a firm address for the famed brownstone so no pilgrimage is possible."

Right, but you can in fact make a pilgrimage to the Brownstone house used in the "Nero Wolfe" TV series. Although the series was shot mostly in Toronto with a specially constructed Brownstone set, Timothy Hutton, a longtime Nero Wolfe fan himself, insisted on a real NYC Brownstone for some exteriors and street scenes. The address is 44 West 76th Street, a stone's throw from Central Park West and the Museum of Natural History.

You can see thumbnails of Tim/"Archie" during the film shoot here on the WireImage site --

The Brownstone and the street where it lives appear prominently in "The Doorbell Rang" and "Prisoner's Base."

Hope you have a chance to check it out when you're in NYC!

Jane Cleland said...

Hi -- Nero Wolfe address at 454 West 35th Street has a plaque put there by the New York City Parks Dept. and The Wolfe Pack. So it is possible to visit a Wolfe address. Most other addresses specified by Mr. Stout are in the Hudson River.

Hope you enjoy NYC!

Janaina said...

Aaaawww... auntie Ruth with her nose all covered with chocolate: priceless!:o)