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broodings from the burrow

July 16, 2018

national ice cream weekend and the beach
posted by soe 1:42 am

Today was National Ice Cream Day, but July is National Ice Cream Month, which means that this was National Ice Cream Weekend, even if only so decreed by Rudi and me.

D.C. Scoop

Friday evening we started out with the D.C. Scoop festival at Union Market, where local ice cream shops sent representatives with free samples for folks to try.

We downed the Trickling Spring (a local dairy) samples too quickly to get photos, but their flavors were a very mild chocolate and a chocolate covered strawberry. Dolcezza, a gelateria around the corner from my apartment, offered peach gelato and lemon opal basil sorbet:


Love ‘n’ Faith Cafe was making liquid nitrogen ice cream on the spot:

Making Ice Cream

They ran out of their free samples, but were selling cups for a reasonable price. Rudi really liked their salted caramel and I was highly impressed by their cookies and cream. (D.C. folks: Their ice cream was delicious, but apparently they are inches away from having to close their cafe, which is located between U Street and Columbia Heights on 14th St. If you’re hankering for coffee or ice cream and are in the vicinity, it’s worth stopping in.)

Ice Cream

Saturday was Bastille Day, so after spending the morning working, I stopped by a French restaurant that was celebrating the holiday for some glace. That’s a scoop of mamey sapote, a tropical African tree fruit, that has a distinctive flavor, and one of pineapple sorbet. I walked my bike until I ate the ice cream down to the cone and then biked (in the bike lane) while eating the rest. I’m pretty sure that negates any caloric intake, don’t you think?

Today, we headed out to the Delaware shore for a beach day.

Beach Day

Toes in Sand

We finished our time at the shore with scoops from one of the local ice cream shops. Mine is raspberry truffle and Rudi opted for mocha chip:

National Ice Cream Day

It was quite a good weekend!

Category: dc life,travel. There is/are 1 Comment.

July 12, 2018

walking in fields of gold
posted by soe 1:18 am

Rudi’s job has him working a non-standard week, which means his days off can vary. This week he was off today, so I decided to take a vacation day and join him for some time together before our disparate evening activities. The internet said that the sunflowers at Maryland’s McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area were in full bloom, and since we often see them at non-peak times we decided to take a day trip to catch them.

They were absolutely perfect:

Field of Gold


Rudi and the Sunflowers



Just a Sunflower and Me

If you have someplace growing sunflowers near you, may I suggest you plan a visit this summer? I can’t tell you how joyful these made us feel.

Category: travel. There is/are 2 Comments.

June 24, 2018

angel of the waters
posted by soe 1:29 am


This statue, “Casting Bread Upon the Waters,” is located in Boston’s Public Gardens and is part of the George Robert White Memorial, created in memory of an early-20th century local philanthropist. It was sculpted by Daniel Chester French, who also created the Abraham Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial. Both memorials were architected by Henry Bacon. (The duo were frequent collaborators who worked together on a number of well-known projects, including my local Dupont Circle fountain.)

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June 18, 2018

music for monday: paul simon’s homeward bound tour
posted by soe 3:09 am

Rudi and I headed north for a long weekend to catch Paul Simon on his final tour, Homeward Bound, up in Boston. He played many of our favorites and songs that spanned nearly his entire career, from his Simon & Garfunkel days to his most recent album.

For the first few songs, Paul’s voice was a little wavery and I wondered if that was to emphasize that it was time to hang up his touring hat. I was a little sad for that because my favorite, “American Tune,” was the lead-off song.

I’ve seen Paul a bunch of times over the years, and, all signs to the contrary, he’s not usually my favorite performer. He tends to be a little tight and a little terse and would prefer to let his music do the talking for him. But this time, either because he’s actually enjoying himself or because he’s relieved his touring days are nearly behind him, he seemed looser and to truly be enjoying himself. He told stories, he mused about some random thoughts he was having while performing, he danced…

His band includes a sextet, yMusic, who were phenomenal. The songs they were featured on don’t seem to have been uploaded from Boston, but this is from the Vancouver, B.C., from earlier in the tour:

I was able to capture a shot of the photo that Paul said inspired “RenĂ© and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War,” which he called a surrealist song for a surrealist painter:

Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War and Paul Simon and Band in Boston

And this is from the Hollywood Bowl:

He also played some of his more popular songs, such as “Homeward Bound”:

“You Can Call Me Al”:

“Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard”:

And “The Boxer”:

It was a great show and one that I am so glad we traveled to see. If you’ve been thinking about catching Paul on his final tour, I’d say it’s definitely worth the splurge.

Category: arts,travel. There is/are 1 Comment.

June 16, 2018

on the road again
posted by soe 11:13 pm

Make Way for Proud Ducklings

Can you guess where we were yesterday?

Category: travel. There is/are 1 Comment.

June 12, 2018

books that awaken the travel bug in me
posted by soe 1:03 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday invites us to consider our favorite books that inspire a love of travel:

  1. Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence: Our trip to France took us to Provence — Aix and Avignon — in large part because of this book and how much it made me laugh.
  2. L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: One of these days I’m going to Prince Edward Island and it will be largely because of this series (and the charm of raidergirl3, of course).
  3. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: Similarly, I long to see the moors of Yorkshire simply because of this book.
  4. Heidi Heilig’s The Girl from Everywhere: It didn’t kindle an interest in seeing Hawaii (that would be Buffy Saint Marie’s appearances on Sesame Street when I was a kid), but it underscored it.
  5. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares: I can’t remember everywhere they went, but the Greek islands stand out (and then was reinforced by the film adaptation).
  6. Gayle Forman’s Just One Day: That whole bop around Europe thing is so appealing.
  7. Maureen Johnson’s 13 Little Blue Envelopes: Ditto.
  8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: It might be the romance, but boarding school in Paris has never sounded so good.
  9. The Magician by Michael Scott: In the second book of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, they end up in Paris in the catacombs, which sounds really cool, particularly if you don’t encounter monsters in them.
  10. Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods: Hiking does not especially appeal to me, but Bryson mixes history, humor, and hubris so well in his works — but particularly this one about the Appalachian Trail — that it nearly makes want reconsider. (But not quite.)

There are others of course (Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and the Great Plain states, for instance), but these were the first ten I thought of. How about you? Have you read books that particularly made you want to travel?

Category: books,travel. There is/are 5 Comments.