Old Town Alexandria, Virginia…. 2012

Anyone who has visited Old Town Alexandria, Virginia knows that it is located on the west bank of the Potomac River, just a short distance from downtown Washington, D.C., and not by mistake!  History repeatedly demonstrates the importance of water, in all its forms, to the survival and advancement of life itself and of course the human race!  Whether in the form of rivers, lakes or oceans, water has always been absolutely necessary for life to thrive!  Not surprisingly, 70% of the world’s population centers are located on waterways.  Now getting back to Old Town, located on the Potomac River, it was an ideal location for shipping goods, say tobacco, to England or to the rest of the world for that matter.  So to over simplify things, Old Town is where it is today because it allowed for commerce into and out of the area with ease!
King Street is probably where you want to begin your visit to Old Town, it’s certainly the most popular place to dine, and really is a great overview of the city.  One can find just about any type of cuisine on King Street, from Italian to Iranian and from Fish and Chips to French Baguettes.  Start down by the water and work your way west to the King Street metro Station and then cross the street and walk back on the other side of King Street.  Along the way you will have numerous opportunities to eat, drink, shop and be merry!  As you walk along imagine what is was like centuries ago when George Washington walked these streets and Robert E. Lee played in the fields near his boyhood home only a few blocks away!   

Above, an example of some of the beautiful row homes in Old Town Alexandria.

Below, cobblestone streets help you imagine what life was like over 200 years ago for the residents of Old Town Alexandria.

Above and Below, as a young boy Old Town was home to Robert E. Lee.

Above,  The Potomac River looking toward Washington, D.C.

Below, one of the many beautiful homes that give Old Town Alexandria such extraordinary charm!

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The Day in D.C….. 2012….

After a busy week of meetings, briefings. corporate training and preparations before going to Africa, I decided to take in some of the great tourist attractions here in Washington, D.C.  From my hotel in Old Town, Alexandria, I took the Metro’s Blue Line from the King Street Station to the Smithsonian Museum.  The weather was near perfect for walking, cool and a little bit overcast!  I walked the entire length of the Mall starting at the Smithsonian Museum and first going east to the Capital and then back west past the Washington Memorial, then to the Lincoln Memorial.  Along the way I also stopped at the Natural History Museum,  the Korean War Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and finally made it back to the Metro.  It was a long day of site-seeing, about 8 hours on my feet!  Now back at my hotel… I can feel my dogs are a little sore….  

Above, one of the many buildings that make up the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Below, the African Bull Elephant welcomes visitors to the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum.

Above, the U.S. Capital, Washington, D.C.

Below, the Washington Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Above and Below, the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Below, a view of the Washington Memorial from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Below,  a few of the typical row-houses of Old Town Alexandria, Va.

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Update

I know I have not posted anything in a few weeks.  Sorry for the long delay, but…  I have been really, really busy.  A few weeks ago I accepted a job overseas and have been getting ready to leave Kentucky for a little while.  The job was on short notice and I only had a few weeks to prepare.  I am now in DC for a week or two (meetings, corporate training…) before I deploy overseas to Africa.  Yesterday I took the AmTrak Acela Express Train from DC to NYC for a meeting… it was a great way to travel, the train was comfortable, clean, great service and pretty darn fast (we arrived in NYC in about 2 hours and 45 mins).  My meeting lasted only about an hour and then I was back on the Acela Express heading to DC…. I didn’t have time to do anything in NYC other than the meeting.  I only snapped one cell phone picture with my iPhone in front of Penn Station while waiting for a taxi.  I hope to be in Africa in a week or two and will post some great pictures!

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A Little Sunshine and a-Lot-a Rain….

It’s amazing what just a little sunshine and a little rain (actually a lot of rain in the last 3 days) will do to plants.  The pumpkins I planted about 6 weeks ago have really taken off.  They might not be the size of the “Great Pumpkin” by Halloween but I am confident they will be ready for someone to turn them into pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving!  That is provided the deer don’t eat them first!  So far so good, the deer have stayed clear of the great pumpkin patch…. keep your fingers crossed!

Above, after about 6 weeks of growth, the pumpkin plants are really starting to take off…. amazing what a little sunshine and a little rain will do….Anyone care for some pumpkin pie?  What else can I make with pumpkins!

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Cooking in a Thermos

Tropical Storm Isaac has brought rain and clouds to Central Kentucky for the past few days.  As you know, solar cooking doesn’t do as well in cloudy conditions.  So today I decided to cook lunch using a single burner camp stove and my “Nissan Thermos.”  The “Thermos” functions much like my thermal cooker with a few differences.  The inner-pot of the thermal cooker can be placed over the cooking flame and once the contents are rapidly boiling, you then place the inner-pot into the outer pot.  With the “Thermos” you need to have a separate pot to cook in and then you transfer the boiling food into the Thermos.  The advantage the “Thermos” has over a thermal cooker is that the thermos has a secure top and can be easily placed in a backpack, or laid on its side without spilling.  A thermal cooker is less secure, or at least the one I have is…. I need to use small bungee cords to securely hold the outer pot’s lid in place if I am driving on a rough road in the Truck Camper!  But, both a “Thermos” and a “Thermal Cooker” cook in the same way…. they maintain the food’s temperature high enough to continue to cook without a heat source.  They are great for the mobile lifestyle, where you want to use as little fuel as possible and let your food safely cook while you do other things!  Would you feel safe leaving a pot over a gas burner on low in your RV for 3 hours while you went hiking?  Probably not!  That’s why the Thermos or Thermal cooker are so awesome…. You simply, cook the food long enough to get it to a rolling boil and then place it into the “Thermos” or “Thermal Cooker” and it continues to cook!  And cook safely!  Even a crock-pot requires a constant heat source!  Not a “Thermos” or a “Thermal Cooker”…. Cook for a few minutes, place the food into the Thermos or Thermal Cooker and let stand for a few hours… then the meal is ready!

Above and Below, cooking with a single burner multi-fuel camp stove and a “Nissan Thermos.”

Today’s meal was, black beans with diced ham.

Ingredients;
-one can low sodium black beans.
-one small can of lean diced ham.
-one small can of diced jalapeƱo peppers.
-a few dashes of habanero sauce.
-a pinch of sea salt.

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