Getting to know Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery

I’ve lived here for almost 12 years and finally made it to Arlington! It was supposed to be a nice, cool 45 degrees, but instead it turned into a cloudy, windy, freezing 35 degrees!

Luckily, they have a tour bus that takes you around to the more popular monuments and grave-sites so I didn’t have to withstand the cold too much. But, because it was SO cold, I didn’t walk around and take as many photos as I would have liked, so I’ll just have to go back!

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The first stop on the tour was JFK’s grave-site and the eternal flame, which I skipped.


The next stop was the Coast Guard Memorial. Skipped, need to go back.


You could see numerous other monuments and memorials around DC from the cemetery.

The Air Force Memorial can be seen here in the background in the middle.


The Pentagon.


And the Washington Monument (it’s the barely visible tall thing in the background, to the left).


The next stop was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I DID get off at this stop. The amphitheater was undergoing some construction, so I couldn’t go in and had to just take pictures around it.

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Before it got busy, I took a quick video of Tomb Guard marching back and forth in front of the tomb.

Did I mention it was cold and windy? Even the guard needed to take a break to blow his nose!


Here comes the soldier to play Taps.


Even though it was freezing, I waited the 45 minutes to see the Changing of the Guard and a wreath ceremony

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I was supremely impressed that every single person, including the young children, respected the ceremony and remained quiet. I don’t think anyone even coughed!

The wait for the next bus was about 15 minutes, so I walked across the street to take a few pictures.

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There were a few other monuments around, but it was TOO COLD!

Spanish-American War Memorial


Canadian Cross and the USS Maine Mast Memorial (it’s in the background behind the branches).


There were a couple of other stops, but my ears and face were thawing and I didn’t hear much. Plus the bus was packed with people standing in the isle because they didn’t want to wait for the next bus, so I couldn’t see anything the tour guide was pointing out on the other side of the bus.

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I did manage to hear this is the Arlington Memorial Bridge and ends at the Lincoln Memorial.


And the gold shields on the gate represent four branches of the armed forces; Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard. The Air Force is not represented because it did not exist yet when the gates were constructed in 1932.

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I shall return on a nicer day!


A weekend full of art

On Friday, I went to the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art on the University of Richmond campus to see the Anti-Grand exhibit, a contemporary perspective on landscape. I didn’t take pictures of everything because I had done a little pre-viewing online and they had a wonderful site of all of the artists, so I just took a few shots.

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My favorite was the Grand Library installation by Guy Laramée. It was made of roughly 80 old Encyclopedia Britannica books stacked and then carved to look like canyons. It reminded me of my time in Arizona. And what an ingenious use of outdated printed material!

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On Saturday, I visited the Muscarelle Museum of Art on the campus of William & Mary in Williamsburg. They had an exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty. It included drawings and studies from da Vinci and Michelangelo. I studied art history in college and it is always thrilling to be face to face with an artists’ creation that I read about in a classroom.

Alas, photography was not allowed in this exhibit; the below are photos from the brochure.

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Finally, my own “art.” The snow, ice and freezing cold were burning off this weekend and I took a few shots of snow melting off of the roof, creating icicles on the plants in the shade. Hopefully Spring is on time this year, I’m so over Winter!

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