On the second day of Girls Weekend 2012, Mom, Mrs. Fish and I ventured out to Alexandria, VA to see the Pope-Leighey House - a Frank Lloyd Wright designed, Usonian home. I don't want to act like a Usonian expert or anything because most of my FLW knowledge stems from the fictional Howard Rourke and what the nice tour guide told us last Saturday. I will only recommend that you drive the half hour out to Virginia to see it for yourself. I will also recommend that you read The Fountainhead, but that's mostly unrelated.
I thought the house was incredible - though I'm not super down with the ug furniture, or the fact that you can never change it. But the windows, the built-in bookshelves and the screws that are all horizontal were really beautiful touches. Pope-Leighey is one of the smaller Usonian homes - built for the 'average American' with a budget that started around $5,000. This got me thinking: About ten years later (hm, give or take), Levitt homes would be sold for just under $8,000 and they would open up suburban living and make homeownership an integral part of the American Dream. Wright totally had 10 years on William Levitt and was more of a pioneer than I had previously realized. Also - none of that Levitt stuff was on the tour. I'm just that smart. You're welcome.
So now, I'd be really interested in seeing a Wright home at a grander scale - aka - who wants to drive four hours with me to see Fallingwater? Car must have radio and ac/heat, so Matt is disqualified from this adventure. I'm now accepting applications.
Below are some pictures of the exterior of Pope-Leighey. For some reason, the historic society doesn't allow pictures of the interior. Google it.
I have a tendency to say I've done things when I haven't. Not like I'm a liar, but I generally don't ask for clarification on things so I'm just like, "Yeah, I know, me too." But then I'll find out months later "Oooooh, those are Cherry Blossoms...Why didn't you tell me that?" And the Billy Goat Trail is no different. Many people in the last year have asked me if I've done the Billy Goat Trail out at Great Falls. Well, I have been to Great Falls and hiked it.Twice. So I was just all, "Yaaaa, I looooove the Billy Goat Trail." It turns out though, that until last Friday, I didn't even know what state the Billy Goat Trail was in, let alone hiked it. Who knew.
So with Le Mom and Mrs. Fish visiting last Friday, I decided they should take me on a hike since this blog hasn't seen one in a while (and that's kind of the point). I have only been to the Virginia side of Great Falls, so I thought I'd bring Mom and Dara to the Maryland side of the park, and guess what? That's where the Billy Goat Trail is. And guess what? The Billy Goat Trail is way hard. It's just rocks. With some blue paint on some rocks. Beckoning you to get closer to the edge and fall off. When we passed a sign that said "Danger: People Die Here" and had only the Falls to our right, I pulled the plug and turned us back. I wouldn't wish the Billy Goat Trail on my worst enemies. And it was certainly a little too intense for me.
Me. Le Mom. Mrs. Fish.
C&O Canal Towpath
As soon as it said "jumps across open areas" Mrs. Fish and I were like, No.
Here lies Billy.
He fell into the water trying to jump across open areas.
Then, since I'm pretty sure my luck is hereditary, our car broke down. Kind of. Pulling out of the parking spot, Claudia's finely tuned ears heard something dragging under our car. She pulled back in and slid underneath to find the air dam hanging off of the undercarriage. These are all car words I'm unfamiliar with - so apologies if I'm using them incorrectly. Claudia, being a super-badass-mom, slid under the car with some borrowed pliers (on loan from the man in the car next to us, who did NOT offer to aid three stranded ladies), ripped off the rest of the air dam and got us to the nearest Ford dealership...because Said Man told us the car would explode (or overheat, whatever) without the particular part we just ripped off. Thanks guy. Your commentary was priceless and actually, completely incorrect. Once Mom saved the day, I returned the pliers. And smiling, I told Said Man, "Thank you, sir. Be sure you check out the Billy Goat Trail."
Last weekend, I went on a 4 mile run around Glover Park and Georgetown. About a mile and a half of it was through a trail in the Glover Archbold Park. Eh...there's not much to say other than I wore the wrong running shoes. Minimalist shoes didn't really work for the unpaved, rocky trail. Trail running is actually pretty cool - the terrain is soft and as long as I looked out for tree roots and rocks, it was nice to be under the shade of the trees.
So, this blog needed a new hike - and here it is - a hike/run; 1.5 miles through the park pictured below.