Sunday, July 31, 2016

Becoming Spies...at the International Spy Museum

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One of our favorite trips that we took all last summer, was to the International Spy Museum. My son had been a few years ago with a group he was part of. Ever since he's been insisting that we all go. Here are some shots of my favorite parts of the day...

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At the beginning our our tour we received our secret spy assignments that we carried throughout the rest of the tour...

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This caught my eye because we had just been to Vint Hill Farms Station, which was connected to Arlington Hall Station.

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Midday we broke for lunch next door at the Shake Shack. That place was great!

We also took a very special tour called Operation Spy where we got to interact with other spies in an actual spy-thrilling adventure.

We learned a lot about spies. We won't be looking at Washington DC (or anywhere else) the same way again!

That night when we came home we watched Charade with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Visiting Historic Occoquan

Our first and only visit to the Occoquan Historic Area was shortly after we moved here in 2009. Then something came up so...we visited at a bit more leisurely pace last summer. Since we are from San Antonio, Texas and miss the Riverwalk waterside dining, we've been looking everywhere for something similar in Virginia. There is so much water (apparently) but we've had trouble finding the deep water (apparently all roads do not lead to...). The few times we do find the waterways we are not finding dining on the waterfront. So we were thrilled to find Madigan's Waterfront Restaurant.
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I loved the architecture!

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It's a bit of a different flair from what I am used to in San Antonio, but this is good. I like seeing the differences in different regions!

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My husband caught me taking pictures (wearing my refashioned white skirt and blue blouse).

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We each ordered different appetizers to share with each other. We were so hungry I forgot to take pictures until after we started eating.

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The food was great!

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After eating we walked around the Victorian building, full of shops, next door. Loved the architecture here too!

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Then we walked further into town...

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This is the historic Mill House...

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This is all that's left of an 18th century grist mill.

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The inside is now a museum with a display of what the grist mill used to look like...

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The Mill House was purchased in 1788 by Lighthorse Harry Lee. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were interested in the design of the mill.

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Then we walked across the pedestrian bridge...

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...to cross the Occoquan River.

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On crossing a little bridge I came within view of the settlement, which is romantic beyond conception. A beautiful river rolls its stream a long mountains that rise abruptly from its bank, while on the opposite rocky shore, which appears to have been enveloped in foam, and here and there a dwelling which has vast masses of stone for its foundation.-Travels of Four Years and a Half in the United States of America by John Davis

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We had to laugh when we saw this artificial waterfall. (sorry) It reminded us of the one in Wichita Falls, Texas.

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It's a great picture taking spot though!

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Then back across the bridge we saw Rockledge Mansion which is across from the Mill House Museum. The oldest portion of it dates back to 1758.

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We walked all over the town...

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Apparently the first settlement here was in 1734, a tobacco warehouse. The town considerably built up by the latter part of the 18th century.