Even though St. Patrick’s Day is about two weeks away, we got the month started off in full holiday mode by going to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Alexandria, VA this weekend (as some of you may have seen on our Instagram feed).
We went as part of a quick overnight trip to see some of our family that lives in Northern Virginia (about 2 hours away). You can see them all the photo below, starting from left, my little sister Carrie, her boyfriend Robert, Sherry, some guy we don’t know in the background, my cousin Travis (holding almost-2-year-old Edison) and his wife / Sherry’s BFF Cat (who is sporting a “Kiss Me I’m Iowish” shirt to show off her Iowa pride). Oh yeah, and that’s Clara and Elsa (Travis & Cat’s 3 year old) in the strollers.
As you can tell by how everyone’s dressed – particularly Carrie – it was FREEZING. The forecast was originally for somewhere near 50 degrees, but instead was in the mid-30s. We thought the temperature might make the outing miserable – especially with three toddlers. But, surprise, they seemed oblivious to the weather (yanking off their gloves every chance they got) and everyone had a great time. Phew!
Clara must take after her Grammy, who could be happy watching parades (or fireworks) all day every day.
Since we were in the historic part of Alexandria (Old Town) there of course had to be some old school marchers (complete with fifes).
We ended up finding a spot on the parade route after hitting up a very cool toy store called Why Not? (see my bag below) – which gave us the chance to encounter this dog character who Clara absolutely adored (just check out that smile). She was convinced it was Snoofy (that’s her version of Snoopy) and totally leaned in with a giant grin.
And these sweet Irish dancers got us all into the Irish spirit (my mom’s maiden name is Kelley after all). You should have seen Clara’s face as they danced by. She was mesmerized.
I’m not sure these Kena Shriner cars are Irish, but I’m not one to complain whenever they show up in a parade. They’re always a crowd pleaser – along with the free lolly pops that banks or credit unions hand out as they parade by (Clara screams “thank you lady!” or “thank you man!” whenever she gets offered one).
And of course, there was an appearance from the fabled St. Patrick’s Day Unicorn who’s believed to show up at your doorsteps in the night so that the leprechaun on his back can deliver chocolate gold coins to the good little boys and girls inside. Okay, I totally made that up. I think this was just a local restaurant’s attempt to be festive. But I think the St. Patrick’s Unicorn should become a thing.
We didn’t quite survive the temperatures all the way to the end of the parade. The kids were doing fine, but us adults were starting to loose feeling in our hands and feet since we didn’t get to be snuggled under blankets. We felt terrible ripping the girls away from the fun, but luckily we still got to watch a bit more as we the made the long (and toe-numbing) walk back to where he had parked.
How hilarious is Elsa in that pic above? She’d doing the classic toddler expression of “You told me to smile. Am I doing it right?This is a smile, right?”
Happy early St. Patrick’s day folks!
I’ve already admitted to committing the occasional text message faux pax. But sometimes even my Instagram hashtags don’t go as planned. Take this shot from last month.
Sherry and I were watching the premiere of the new Fox show “The Following” and, like many shows involving the FBI, it supposedly takes places in Virginia (the FBI Academy is located about an hour north of us in Quantico, VA). And since the plot centers around Edgar Allen Poe’s work, I assume the show chose the Virginia setting because Poe grew up in Richmond and went to my alma mater, UVA. Despite the show’s grim storylines and gruesome scenes, Sherry and I were psyched to see our area getting some airtime. So excited that this was my original attempt at a hashtag:
Since hashtags don’t allow for spaces, my attempt to write “Boo that it’s murder related” suddenly became a string of random nouns – boot, hat, and – uh – a certain slang for the female chest area. Oops. #hashfail
So Sherry quickly nixed my hashtag attempt and we settled on the simpler (and less spacing dependent) #richmondrepresent.
Have you guys had any hashtag fails or text oops moments lately?
You may have heard us talk about the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) here in Richmond before it. We love it. The building and the grounds are just plain awesome, not to mention most of it is free – meaning there’s just about zero excuse not to take in some art every now and again.
The VMFA has been home to a big Dale Chihuly exhibit since October. It’s a paid exhibit so we’ve been putting off actually checking it out, but at the last minute (it’s final day is February 10th) we decided we’d kick ourselves if we didn’t check out what all of Richmond has been talking about for months.
I’ll admit I don’t know a lot about Chihuly besides he’s a much-buzzed about glass sculptor. Nor did I have much time to read about the exhibit while we were there. It was a crowded day, so I was more focused on keeping the stroller off of other people’s toes than reading plaques. But what I do know is that we had a great time and even Clara enjoyed all of the colorful eye candy.
I think everyone’s favorite part was the corridor with the illuminated glass ceiling (which is apparently reminiscent of a spot at Bellagio in Las Vegas).
Sherry was quick to get Instagram ready.
I mean, how could you not want to take a bazillion pictures?
Well, we actually didn’t take a bazillion because the crowd eventually made us migrate out of there. I could’ve lingered in there for hours.
Again, my inability to pause to read any description of the pieces means I don’t have much more to say about these pictures than “oooh, pretty. So here goes nothing…
Anytime we paused to think about how much time it took to blow all of this glass – and how much care it took to not destroy it – it was almost too much for our brains to handle.
Clara thought these were snakes.
Sherry and I both actually really liked the “ice blocks.” Maybe it was because so much of the exhibit was twisty and curved that the hard edges of these glass chunks stood out to us.
This was Clara’s favorite, surprisingly. She kept begging to go to “the purple room” where this piece – Neon Tumbleweed, I believe – was housed.
And this was Sherry’s favorite. They’re Chihuly’s glass “reeds” atop fallen wood. It, like the rest of the exhibit, was much cooler in person than I was able to capture on camera. The lighting design throughout the exhibit also blew my mind.
If you’re in Richmond and have time this week to go, we highly recommend it. If you’ve got other Chihuly work around you, then I guess you’ve saved yourself a trip to Virginia.
I leave you with this: we saw this big glass boat. It looks incredible.
Macklemore reference anyone?