Sunday, October 11, 2009

Live from Reston, VA

This finds us enjoying fall in Northern Virginia. We arrived Friday in time to set up and head out to dinner with Nancy's cousin, Russell and his wife, Anne, in nearby historic Leesburg. Saturday took us to TOWN, DC that is, and the Newseum. This is a fascinating 6 story museum about the "news"and the role of all media, print, radio, TV, the internet, in American life and it's relevance with our maintaining our status as a functioning and vibrant democracy. The historical side was very interesting and also helped give perspective to today's polarity and extremes in viewpoints and level of discourse. We could have stayed longer but they kicked us out at 5pm. But there was still enough time to take in the Solar Decathlon a few blocks away on the Mall in front of the old Smithsonian. This has become an annual competition for home design, energy efficiency and renewable energy and low carbon footprint construction. ( We were able to see and photograph all 20 of the participating univerisities entries and come away in awe of the design, thinking and potential that many of these "homes" represented, and the enthusiasm of the students who were representing their schools and the future. Universities included major US landgrant institutions like Penn State and Cornell, as well as entries from Puerto Rico, Germany and Spain.

And on Sunday, Ms. Nancy needed a rest and day off. Tom, on the other hand, went on for a wonderful afternoon visit with an old Georgetown friend and his wife. We all enjoyed ourselves tasting some of Loudon County Virginia's wines at Sunset Hills Winery in the Waterford wine district. It seems that the area has grown from 5 small wineries to over 25 in just a couple of decades. The area is promoting itself as DC Wine Country and from the experience with just this one winery, the future looks very positive for the industry here. It also appears to be a good way to slow the breakup of the traditional farming lands and lifestyle which subdivisions and developments are doing here, over 45 miles west of Washingon.

Tomorrow we begin the travels south in earnest...We're due in Miami by Friday, 16 October. Time to get serious about driving and it looks like it will be pretty much interstates since we've dawdled too long in the north and must now make up the time. Happy trails and will write along as we can...
ps...I'll try to post some photos when I get setup and an image resizer for Windows VISTA on my new laptop. It's a pain shifting files and programs over from my trusted XP but technology marches on at twice the capacity for 1/2 the price. Problem is to upload regular 2mb pictures via satellite internet at dialup speeds takes forever unless they are resized. Downloads aren't too bad @ 350-700kbps with this technology...and it's portable and solar operated.

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