Fall in love with Washington, D.C. all over again!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mount Vernon Mansion Gets Rusticated

What finish did George Washington use to treat the outside of his house? Is it made of wood or stone? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Classic Hollywood Reviews: Bringing Up Baby

Bringing up Baby is another of our favorite classic movies. In my mind it is about the perfect blend of slap stick romantic comedy.

Cary Grant is brilliant as Dr. David Huxley, a scientist who is waiting for the final bone to complete his dinosaur skeleton. He's also getting married in a day to someone who doesn't want love to interfere with his important work. But first he has to go try to get a large gift from a generous benefactor.

In steps Katherine Hepburn as Susan Vance, a ditzy socialite, who appears to have nothing going on other than the ability to mess up David's life. But she's set her cap for him and is determined to do all she can to make him hers.

Add in Baby, a leopard that's been sent to her, and the chaos explodes across the screen. As with most of my favorite classic movies, there is a very strong supporting cast that add to the characters played by the stars. Bringing Up Baby is a gem from 1938 and if you like music from that time period, you'll love Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn singing "I can't give you anything but love, baby" ad naseum to the leopard. This film is on the National Film Registry, but didn't win any big awards the year it came out.

However, this film is perfect for a night you want to laugh and enjoy a good romance.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Classic Hollywood Reviews: Mrs. Miniver

Mrs. Miniver was one of the first dramas to focus on the horrors of World War Two that was sweeping across Europe. It is set in England, and Greer Garson plays Mrs. Miniver, a woman who is trying to survive and keep her family together during the bombings.

The film highlights the efforts of a middle-class English family to survive the bombings and early days of the war. A German soldier stops by their house, then her husband takes off to help evacuate the British troops from Dunkirk -- a pivotal part of salvaging the British army.

This film won six Oscars including Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Picture. It has also landed on the National Film Registry.

Now people will tell you this film is full of propaganda -- but what movie coming out of Hollywood during the war didn't have an element or two of propaganda? If you want to get a sliver of what the early days of the war were like, then this is a good one to try. It is a drama...there are few laughs...but it is still a film well worth viewing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mount Vernon News: Ann Pamela Cunningham fulfills her mission of preserving Historic Mount Vernon.

Ann Pamela Cunningham: Historic Preservation Pioneer:

The founder of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association fulfilled her mission of preserving Historic Mount Vernon.  By Jessie Biele

This is the first part in a three-part series about the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association in honor of Women's History Month. Check back next Friday to learn how one headstrong woman protected Mount Vernon during the Civil War in part two of this series.
Long before the crusade for women’s rights, the women who established the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association were leaders in their own right. Founder Ann Pamela Cunningham was a Southern belle who made it her life’s goal to restore and preserve the home of our country’s founding father.  Read the story here. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Classic Hollywood Reviews: Holiday Inn

Thanks so much for leaving some of your favorite movies here and on Facebook last week. You've given me quite an assortment to track down.

So today I want to share one of my all time favorites with you: Holiday Inn. Don't let the title scare you off. This is not a Christmas movie though they do sing White Christmas in it. And let's face it, who can sing that song like Bing Crosby? In fact, the movie won its only Oscar for best song in White Christmas. Hum with me...I'm dreaming of a White Christmas. Just like the ones I used to know...

Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire are the male leads in Irving Berlin's classic. They take turns crooning out hit after hit: songs like Easter Parade, You're Easy to Dance With (yes, Fred Astaire croons and dances in that one), Be Careful It's My Heart and many more. you can find the full list here.

There's a classic love triangle between Jim (played by Bing), Linda Mason, and Ted (Fred). Some of the lengths that Jim goes to keep them apart are comical, especially in one of the dance scenes. Imagine mixing a very stiff 18th Century French dance with jazz. :-) And Jim gives up his dream so that Linda can have hers, but the way he does it is a wee bit heavy-handed. For the rest, well, you'll have to watch this movie yourself. It can be viewed at anytime of the year.

And don't forget to appreciate Fred Astaire's brilliant firecracker dance. I LOVE IT!!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Allergies and Cherry Blossom Festivals a Combination for Misery?

This year Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the centennial of Japan’s presentation of the cherry trees to the United States in 1912. The festival is reported to include the blooming of 3,700 cherry trees, including 100 of Yoshino from Japan. This year’s festival has also been reported to fall at the peak pollen surge for Washington, DC, two weeks before the average bloom.

So what’s a cherry blossom lover and allergy sufferer to do? Well, you can stay at home and take a look at these Cherry Blossoms Photos! Or you can learn from other bloggers who’ve braved the cherry blossom allergy season and figure out how to tame your allergies so you can enjoy the festival.

Sorry, I’m Allergic…

Spring Allergies - These Cherry Blossoms Are Killing Me


Spring Allergies Are Back: Five Natural Ways to Put Them in Check

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bringing Kids to the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C.?

Planning on attending the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. with kids in tow? Check out these helpful articles to help you plan your trip so everyone enjoys the festival!

Cherry Blossom Festival: Parents weigh the joy vs. the hassle

The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival begins March 20, and with it comes the annual question for parents in the region: Do we deal with the hassle? Read the rest of the article.