Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Caspari Displays

One place I knew I always wanted to visit was the retail showcase of Caspari. I have long admired their website and products sold locally.
They were in Virginia, but when would I ever be there? Low and behold they are located in the same town as Monticello, Charlottesville! We spent part of a day there on our vacation and the store was heavenly!!

Display after display of tablescapes. I knew I wanted to share them all with you so I snapped a ton of pictures (this is only part of the store).

Layer upon layer of heaven in their tablescapes.

Combinations of real and paper dishes along with exciting tabletop touches made these displays divine!
I loved this pink and green table with the faux flowers sprinkled around.

Green and yellow with botanicals.

Elegant chargers with linen napkins and paper plates and lettered napkins (yep those are paper floral plates!).

Ahh blue and white - a table setting after my own heart :)

I was a fool - literally squealing with delight at each table.
Mr. B was staying 200 feet away from me and was
sure they were going to call security on me, but
the sales person was very friendly.

Even the window display had a gorgeous tabletop :)
I will share the rest of the store with you later, but I hope you enjoyed these table tops.
I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch today.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Tour of Monticello Part II

We continue today with our tour of Monticello. Part one found here was posted last week.
Our group of 25 was ushered into the entry hall. This picture (all interior pictures) was taken from the Monticello website, which is a wonderful resource of information regarding the house, grounds and background of Thomas Jefferson. All guests were greeted here and Jefferson used this space as a exhibit hall of sorts for natural history specimens, busts and paintings.

The next room was the South Square Room, which served as a sitting room for Martha Jefferson, Thomas' daughter, and her family. She also taught her children and managed the plantation for her father from this room.

The library or bookroom was next and was a very small room for our group of 25 to assemble to continue to listen to the tour guide. Remember she warned us before we entered the home that no one was to touch anything in the home, including the door knobs. As we entered and exited rooms, the doors were shut behind us and the guide stood in front of the door as she described in detail the items in each room.
It was sometime in the few minutes of the speech that Mr. B tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out that I was leaning against the wall of the room. I was very, very warm at this point and getting jello legs.

We progressed to the next room, where you could view the Cabinet from the door way. Here Jefferson wrote, read and performed scientific observations. This room connected into his bedroom.

In his bedroom the bed is situated to divide the Cabinet from the bedroom in half. While the guide was educating us on the obelisk clock at the foot of the bed it happened. The roller coaster feeling of all my blood rushing to my feet. I just knew I was going to pass out onto some irreplaceable piece of American History. I whispered to Mr. B "I have to leave", to which he said "We're in the middle of a tour and anyway you can't touch the door knob" - that sounds about right doesn't ladies??
I interrupted the guide and explained I was ill and had to leave immediately. Well, you would have thought I'd announced a bomb planting, because staff came out from the woodwork (according to Mr. B) and ushered me back into the "offices" of the home. They were so kind to offer me water, a wheel chair, a sick bag, etc. After a few minutes of resting and cooling off I was much better.

We took the shuttle back down the mountain to the visitor's center.

I had managed to get these pictures of the center and gift shop where they sell many wonderful plants and gifts.

We thought about purchasing a perennial to plant at home, but decided it would not survive the 5 days left on the road.

Here are some additional shots of the plant material offered for sale.

Here we are inside the gift shop.

This is a dark picture, but I wanted to give you an idea of the size of the gift shop. It is quite large and on this day was really busy.

More items for sale.

They offered a lot of botanical. Here's a wreath for sale.

And some Mary Lake Thompson towels!
Other than passing out in Jefferson's bedroom, it was a wonderful tour. I hope you enjoyed the visit.
I am joining Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Day Dream.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Little Red Wagon

Welcome to Tuesday! I have yet again changed out my entry way table. What can I say, I like to see something different
when I come home from work.
I've used a wreath I recently received along
with a blue and white vase.

Isn't this little red wagon so cute?

This is my old faithful. If I'd known I would have used
this so much over the years I would have bought five
more 10 years ago (Stein Mart I think).

Here's a side angle. I like the red white and blue ribbon.

And the red, white and blue flowers.

They say summer without screaming 4th of July.

A bird's eye view.

Simple & Summery.
I'm joining Ruby Tuesday and Tabletop Tuesday.

Oh and Miss Madison wants me to remind you
tomorrow is Part II of the Monticello tour.
We hope you will stop back by to visit!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Best Crab Cakes Annapolis

I'm still recovering from a vacation cold so I missed Tablescape Thursday yesterday, which was disappointing because I have some great tablescapes from my visit to Caspari in Charlottesville. They will have to wait till next time, now onto Foodie Friday!

When I knew we were going to Annapolis I googled best crab cakes in the DC area and found Hell Point Seafood. Located on the waterfront, with in walking distance from our hotel and voted one of the best crab cakes by the Washington Post I was looking forward to an excellent dinner.

Views of the waterfront do not disappoint. There were many, many boats to admire in addition to the people watching.

I was disappointed that the seating is outside and it was an unusually hot June evening, with temps in the 90's. I'm an air conditioning girl, especially when I'm eating, so this was not so good for me.

We ordered the crab cake entree, which came with mashed potato and corn.

And the grilled salmon with accompanying vegetables. Both were very good in both presentation and taste. Not sure if it was the best crab cake I've ever had, but it was very good
and the atmosphere was excellent (sans ac).

After dinner the guys wanted ice cream
so we walked down to the local ice cream parlor.

Which according to their window display, had won many awards.

The ice cream (according to my critics) was very good.
Heading back to the hotel we were a happy bunch.
Thanks for stopping by to visit!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Tour of Monticello Part I

Grab a glass of iced tea, it's time for a story. One of my bucket list items was to visit Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia. When we knew we were going to be driving up to visit the Naval Academy, I added a side trip to Charlottesville for me and Mr. B. Three hours from Annapolis you will arrive in Charlottesville. Like most historical home tours, it is not just a matter of honey pull over the car and let's drop in on Monticello. You are directed to a general parking area then walk to the visitor's center to purchase timed tickets. You then wait to take the shuttle up to the house. You then wait till 5 minutes prior to the time on your ticket where you line up in groups of 25 to begin the tour.
This is the view once you unload from the shuttle. It was a soupy steamy June Virginia day. The haze hugged the mountain but you could get an appreciation for the amazing view of the landscape.
While waiting for your timed tour to begin, you are encouraged to tour the outside grounds of the home. We began by walking down the gravel path around the left side of the home to the vegetable garden where you walk up to this view.
Literally cut into the side of the mountain, the two-acre garden is a horticultural delight.24 growing beds were planted with 330 varieties of more than 70 species of vegetables during Jefferson's time.A six acre orchard lies below the garden.This garden pavilion is the centerpiece to the vegetable garden and used by Jefferson as a quiet place to read in the evening.Above is a long shot of the 1,000 foot long section known as Mulberry Row which surrounds the home. In 1796 there would have been 17 structures used for day to day operations of the plantation such as the smokehouse, blacksmith, carpenter's shop and slave quarters.

Beneath the main house there are work spaces and housing built into the hillside like a modern day walk out basement. Above is picture of the restored slave quarters.

The kitchen was separate from the main house and contained French cooper cookware.

I had to snap a picture of the blue and white dishes! The north wall of the Monticello kitchen, which was one of the finest equipped kitchens in Virgina.

This is a picture of the brick sidewalk around the home, notice the inlay of the bricks in a herringbone pattern.

It was very busy the day we visited, which was a Tuesday afternoon so it was difficult to get a good picture of the outside of the home, but I think this gives you an idea of the proportions.Finally it was time for our tour to begin and we were led up to the front of the home by our very friendly tour guide.I tried to take a lot of shots of the front of the home because we were told there would be no photography allowed once inside.

We enter the home in our little group of 25 but before we may enter we are advised by our guide that NO ONE is allowed to touch ANYTHING in the home. Okay I get that because it's historically important, but she means NOTHING including the door handles, door frames, don't lean on the wall, don't touch anything. This is an important part of the story, which I will leave you hanging about until next week, because in Part II one, okay several, of these rules are violated.

I'm joining parties at Always Nesting (maybe)

& A Southern Day Dreamer.