Sunday, February 22, 2009

Washington National Cathedral

Joe and I visited the Washington National Cathedral today, the second largest cathedral in North America. An incredible undertaking, it took 83 years to finish and it is a magnificent Episcopal cathedral welcoming people of all faiths and none. Built and maintained entirely from private funds this is a church for national purposes and a voice for generous-spirited Christianity and interfaith dialogue to promote respect and understanding.

Washington National Cathedral.

Looking down the nave toward the high altar. The women in purple are the docents, there are 1000 volunteers helping to run things.

My favorite stained glass window has a piece of moon rock, brought back from Apollo 11, embedded in the window.

At the crossing, where the two transepts meet, the piers soar nearly one hundred feet to the vaulting.

Looking west from the mid-nave crossing is the West Rose window.

The high altar with one hundred and ten figures of men and women.

There are no traditional church pews, only individual chairs, throughout the cathedral.

 Real flames at this cathedral. Many churches have changed over to electric 'candles' for prayer offerings.

Written by Abraham Lincoln at his farewell address in Springfield, Illinois, February 11, 1861.

On the 7th floor.

Lower level, the Crypt.

Bethlehem Chapel.

Getting ready to sing.

A tender moment...

A visiting choir from North Carolina, lovely to hear them sing during their rehearsal.

At the high altar.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great Falls, Alexandria and Hains Point.

Our first weekend here felt like late spring, so we headed for some lovely trails next to the Potomac river on the border of Virginia and Maryland.  Great Falls Park is off of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in a well preserved 800-acre National Park.

Great Falls just above Mather Gorge.

Ian recording birds he's just seen.

The Potomac flood levels are recorded here, but you need to add another 100 feet for it to get to the top of the banks!

Joe enjoying the outdoors.

Pampered Shih Tsu. They are special dogs :-)

Alexandria Old Town, lots of shops and brick sidewalks.

One of our favorite places to eat in any town.

Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia.

Waterfront in Alexandria, Ian looking for more gulls and other shore birds. 

A Dad doing the best he can, but she's going to wail anyway.

I never saw one of these in New England.

East Potomac Park, Hains Point is a peninsula about a mile from our apartment in a tidal basin of the Potomac.  I've taken Ian there a lot for birding, it's a fine park with lovely views.

View from Hains Point, Washington D.C.

Fort McNair seen from Hains Point.

Sun going down on a fun family day spent outside, what a treat!