Category Archives: Travel

Soweto and The Apartheid Museum

This is a post from a little over two years ago but in light of the passing of Nelson Mandela I thought I would repost it tonight.
Elizabeth

Soweto and The Apartheid Museum.

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Sunset on Lake Winnipesaukee

August 18, 2013

August 18, 2013

Lake Winnipesaukee Sunset

Lake Winnipesaukee Sunset

As summer winds to a close and I get ready to go back to school (work) I will miss the life I lead when I am at Lake Winnipesaukee. It always seems like the sunsets the last few nights are the best of the season, making it even more difficult to leave.

The New England Quilt Museum

The New England Quilt Museum, a repurposed bank shaped in a triangle

The New England Quilt Museum, a repurposed bank shaped in a triangle

Sue and Mom at lunch in the Greek restaurant

Sue and Mom at lunch in the Greek restaurant

Laborers built a series of canals in Lowell.

Laborers built a series of canals in Lowell.

The shuttle and loom

The shuttle and loom

If you close your eyes you can imagine all the noise and activity coming from these mills.

If you close your eyes you can imagine all the noise and activity coming from these mills.

My mother, my friend, Sue and I went to Lowell Massachusetts to see The New England Quilt Museum and their exhibit called “Silk”, because it was closing at the end of the weekend.  It had been a few years since we went to the museum and we enjoyed the exhibit and the expanded gift shop.  Sadly, because of the museum photo policy I can not show you any of the beautiful quilts which were on display.  Many were log cabins, a few were crazy quilts, including one which had spectacular embroidery work on it, and a few were contemporary in design.  Most were very old, ranging from the 1700s to one’s created within the last decade.

In my opinion the best part of the show were six modern quilts which had been transformed by the Luminarium Dance Company to “take on the concept of threading motion” where dancers interacted with each quilt projected on to a backdrop.  It is rather hard to explain, but the videos were very creative and I do hope this group continues to create this innovative art to highlight quilting with such a spectacular display of videography.  My favorite was a quilt that included a vertical line with short horizontal lines projected onto the dancers back.  As the dancer moved the quilt moved just like a spinal cord would move.  It was fantastic to watch.  The director’s portfolio can be viewed at:  http://www.merliguerra.com/HOME-bio.html

The museum includes a quilt research library as well as a lending library for quilt books.  With membership you can use the library database and the librarian will send you any book they have in the lending library via the US mail, no matter where in the US you live.  Check it out!  http://nequiltmuseum.org/neqm-library.html

Lowell was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution and the US Park Service has incorporated a major section of the city into a national park.  My quilting friends, who visit Lowell, should not just go the quilt museum but explore this mill town’s history for a full understanding of how women and technology made this historic change happen in America.

Tour guide Saturday

Friends from our community on Lake Winnipesaukee arrived in DC this week to help with the installation of One Million Bones on The National Mall.  One Million Bones is an art installation to bring awareness to genocide around the globe.  Bob and I arrived to see the exhibit just as they finished laying down the handcrafted bones along two city blocks starting at the base of the reflecting pool in front of the US Capitol.  Shortly after we arrived the four of us went to The National Gallery so they could cool down and eat lunch followed by a walk over to the Sachler Gallery of Asian Art and the Freer Gallery.

Back at the Air and Space Museum we picked up our car from the underground parking lot and headed out-of-town to see the 911 Memorial at the Pentagon.  Since everyone was hot, thirsty and tired of walking we headed down the parkway towards Mount Vernon and then back to Old Town Alexandria for dinner outside at La Madeline before returning them to their hotel at Dupont Circle.  We had a good time.

Mount Vernon Plantation as seen from the original entrance.

Mount Vernon Plantation as seen from the original entrance.

Sign by the original entrance to Mount Vernon

Sign by the original entrance to Mount Vernon

Paul and Roberta at the Pentagon 911 memorial

Paul and Roberta at the Pentagon 911 memorial

Pentagon 911 Memorial

Pentagon 911 Memorial

String of kites flying on one line; The National Mall, Washington DC

String of kites flying on one line; The National Mall, Washington DC

Bob, resting on a bench at The National Mall

Bob, resting on a bench at The National Mall

Resting on a bench at The National Mall

Resting on a bench at The National Mall

Bones laying out in the grass on The National Mall, Washington, DC

Bones laying out in the grass on The National Mall, Washington, DC

Bones with the US Capitol in the background

Bones with the US Capitol in the background

White bones are mostly made of clay and the brownish bones are paper mache, purchased to represent bones created too far away to ship to DC.

White bones are mostly made of clay and the brownish bones are paper mache, purchased to represent bones created too far away to ship to DC.

One million bones are laid out on The National Mall in Washington, DC

One million bones are laid out on The National Mall in Washington, DC

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

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Today I went with my friend Sue to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival at the Howard County Fairgrounds.  It was a glorious weather day and the fairgrounds were very crowded.  If you have never gone but are interested in knitting, crocheting, felting, dyeing, farming, or anything else related to sheep or wool from the beginning of the process to a finished product, including eating lamb, this festival is well worth your time.  Both parking and admittance are free.  It seems I took most of the photos of sheep even though we spent about 15 minutes with sheep and 6 hours on shopping!

Baskets full of roving

Baskets full of roving

These roving batts look good enough to eat, true eye candy for me.

These roving batts look good enough to eat, true eye candy for me.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove

The Columbia Island Marina

The Columbia Island Marina

Pink Granite Monolith with Washington Monument

Pink Granite Monolith with Washington Monument

Bob looks up at the planes flying overhead from Regan National Airport while at the LBJ Memorial Grove

Bob looks up at the planes flying overhead from Regan National Airport while at the LBJ Memorial Grove

Scaffolding on the Washington Monument while they repair damage from the August 2012 earthquake

Scaffolding on the Washington Monument while they repair damage from the August 2012 earthquake

Across the Potomac can see the Lincoln Memorial and the new Peace Center

Across the Potomac can see the Lincoln Memorial and the new Peace Center

Lots of ligustrum hedges in the Memorial Grove.  They are in full bloom.  I really hate the smell.

Lots of ligustrum hedges in the Memorial Grove. They are in full bloom. I really hate the smell.

Map of Boundary Channel and Columbia Island

Map of Boundary Channel and Columbia Island

Airplanes fly overhead

Airplanes fly overhead

The Pentagon is on one side of the Park and the Parkway on the other

The Pentagon is on one side of the Park and the Parkway on the other

Bob on the bridge crossing Boundary Channel

Bob on the bridge crossing Boundary Channel

Sign for LBJ park

Sign for LBJ park

Last night Bob and I stopped at the Lyndon Johnson Memorial Grove.  I had been there once before to watch fourth of July fireworks launched from the grounds of the Washington Monument but that was around 1978.  Ever since then I thought I had been to Lady Byrd Johnson Park but I was wrong.  The two parks adjoin each other on the opposite side of the Potomac River between the Pentagon and the West Potomac Park which butts up against the Tidal Basin.  From LBJ Memorial Grove Park you have nice views of the monuments in DC as well as Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon.  I can see why the Johnsons stopped there to look out on the city whenever they returned from Texas to Washington.  I am sure when they were living in Washington all the tall buildings beyond the Jefferson and the Lincoln memorials were not there and the view was better than it is today.  While not tall enough to totally obstruct views they certainly give it a cluttered feeling.

We parked in the lot overlooking the Pentagon and used the walking bridge across Boundary Channel to access the park.  So, in effect we parked in Virginia and walked into DC.

Smithsonian Gardens

The Smithsonian Institution maintains some lovely gardens and grounds around their museums.  Yesterday, Bob and I visited two of them; the Ripley Garden- a narrow garden with a pathway that winds between the Arts and Industry Building and the Hirschhorn Museum and the Enid A Haupt Garden behind the Castle Building.   Walkers can easily cut through to the mall from Independence Avenue by walking along the pathway of the Ripley Garden.  It is narrow but filled with mostly small scaled plants, many of which were in bloom after a very cool March.  It also has benches so you can sit and rest those tired sightseer feet.

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The Haupt Garden is on the Independence Avenue side of the Smithsonian Castle building.  Even though it is on ground level it is really a rooftop garden since several different museum buildings are under the garden and have entrances among the plantings.  The Saucer Magnolias were in bloom along with one weeping cherry (I think).  The surrounding buildings and the underground warmth of this rooftop garden make this ecosystem different from the general area around DC.  This makes it possible to plant varieties that otherwise might find it too cold.

Haupt garden Smithsonian castle2 Smithsonian castle saucermagnolia5 Hauptfloweringfruit2 Hauptfloweringfruit Haupt garden2