Adventuring into 2013

by Cindy on January 8, 2013

– Origami tops sent by one of my Uncles in Japan –



Well here we are, a full week into the new year!   With all that transpired in a week, I can hardly believe we were just ringing in the new year one week ago!  It flew by with a nice visit with my brother and his family.  I can’t say that I’m feeling many after-holiday blues because there is just so much going on to look forward to!

For those of you in the blogging community, some fun stuff has already begun.   Have you heard about Sally Russick’s new project, Focusing on Life – 52 Photos?  The idea is to capture a moment in life through a single picture.   As an exercise in looking at your life, Sally will send out a photo prompt each week.  Many people have already joined in – who can resist the excuse to whip out the camera? – you can join in too at any time.

The photo prompt for the first week was Self Portrait.  Normally one might tend to over-think this one or feel self-conscious about what picture to take of themselves.  I was lucky because I just happened to take a picture using my cell phone over the weekend. I saw a beautiful silk gown and planned to take a quick picture….when I noticed the full-length mirror, I took an unintentional self portrait.  Here I am doing something I love – combing through an antique show with one of my sons.  More pictures from the show to come in a future post.

If you want to express yourself through jewelry, Tracy Statler over at MakeBracelets! has issued a new challenge to kick off the year.  For the Inspire Change:  Wellness Words Jewelry Challenge, you chose a word that represents a positive change that you would like to make this year.  Incorporate the word into a piece of jewelry, and a blog hop will follow in February.   Sounds like fun!  I have chosen a word and will share that it most likely in my next blog post.

As for me, you may know that along with making jewelry, I love to share my other favorite interests – traveling, baking, and antiquing. 🙂 I’d like to start off the new year with a photo essay…..we took a little trip down south to Richmond, our state’s capitol.   My husband’s company party was held at the end of the holidays and we enjoyed the chance to dress up….and get a babysitter which is more rare than you’d ever guess.

We enjoyed our stay (the whole family in tow!) at the grand Jefferson Hotel, which was a destination in itself.  Built in 1895, the hotel is listed on the American Register of historic places.  I enjoyed learning about the hotel through the years in the little museum housed at the bottom of the Grand Staircase.  Legend has it that the staircase is the one featured in Gone with the Wind.  I remember back in graduate school, I came with a friend just to see this famous stair case.

Later, before we set out to visit the landmark Hollywood Cemetery and the Richmond Science Museum, we drove through Carytown and stopped at what looked like a nice, local bakery.  Their made-from-scratch cookies were scrumptious.

I attended graduate school in Richmond in the early 90s (VCU School of Social Work) and I sure didn’t look at the city from the eyes of a tourist.  I visited many communities then, like Oregon Hill (which was our destination on this trip) but didn’t dig too deep into the history.  After picking up a things-to-do type of magazine at the hotel, I read that a common place for locals to take visitors was Hollywood Cemetery citing its beautiful architecture.  I saw signs for Hollywood Cemetery time and again en route to the place of my first-year internship, the William Byrd Community House, but never visited.    We drove by the community house for old time’s sake, and many memories came back – those of my mentor (Lisa Wever) and of the sweet “seniors” that were part of the community outreach program.  Hard to believe I was in my early 20s, the last time I came down those steps.   Hard to believe I never visited the cemetery, a major Richmond landmark.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about taking pictures in cemeteries.  On one hand, I want to be respectful, first and foremost.  On the other hand, I want to share the  beauty  of this place with many who may never have the chance to see it.  Hollywood Cemetery is an enormous, “garden-style” cemetery that was built in the mid 1800’s along the James River.   I came to learn that the name Hollywood came from the many holly trees found on the grounds.  We were fascinated to learn that two U.S. Presidents are buried here (James Monroe and John Tyler),  as well as the Confederate States President (Jefferson Davis), 25 Confederate generals, 18,000 enlisted soldiers from the Civil War, and many prominent Virginian leaders.  You can’t help but feel a real connection, and a respect for those that helped shape our country as you travel along the many winding paths.  Here are a few images from our day.

A Gothic Revival cast iron canopy surrounds President James Monroe’s tomb.

The grave of President John Tyler

Thank you for traveling with me through the first week of 2013. May there be many more adventures ahead this year!

– Cindy

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Lange Klik January 8, 2013 at 11:43 am

Looks like you all had a really great time during your Richmond trip. You looked fantastic too!

Love your cemetery photos; they show the space in a very beautiful, peaceful way. At first, it sounds odd that you can see beauty in a cemetery, but you are absolutely right! I created some wonderful photos for the Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore a few years ago. It is a very large cemetery and most of it’s beautiful sculptures and landscaping get lost in it’s massiveness (which is why they hired me).

I really enjoy looking at your photos. You have a wonderful way of capturing the beauty and uniqueness of things at an interesting angle; in a way that most people would never notice.

Love the origami tops that your uncle sent you. Those are really fun!

Great self portrait too! I am so glad that you are also participating in Sally’s challenge-it is going to be a lot of fun!

Patti Vanderbloemen January 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Honestly, I could write a comment and every single picture that you post! 🙂 Your self portrait is so totally awesome! Cannot believe that was not planned!

In all seriousness – you need to think about publishing a book – a photo journal of “what to do, what to see” because you make me want to go visit every single place in your images!!! You also reinforce the fact that Virginia – my own State – has so much to offer and I need to get off my sedentary tush and go see it!

Frankly – my favorite picture today is of your son with the cookies! After all, I am reading this at noon and I am now officially ready for lunch!

Great post, as always! Thank you so much for sharing!

Alice January 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I love your self-portrait–doing something you love.

Your photos of your trip to Richmond are beautiful. I’ll have to add this to my list of places to visit. As a family, we love to visit cemeteries. We visited one on our summer trip to Chicago but it was raining and about to close, so we didn’t get good photos, but it is rumored Al Capone is burried there.

I’ll be checking on Tracy’s challenge but I don’t want to overextend myself just one week into the new year. It sounds wonderfull though…..

Monique U. January 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Wonderful photo stories as always, Cindy! I am so touched by your gentle and respectful series at the cemetery. It brought to mind a beautiful PBS program I watched last year… it may have been in the “American Experience” series. It chronicled the efforts after the Civil War of women’s associations who championed the recovery and respectful burial of the many war dead on BOTH sides of the conflict. I don’t remember specific cemeteries, but the overall mood was of peace and healing, as these caring individuals performed their tasks in lieu of absent grieving families.

Sally Russick January 8, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Your self portrait is wonderful, I love how it looks like you are walking out of the mirror and when you step out of the mirror you will magically be wearing the dress! Your photos are great (as always) and really capture the beauty of Richmond, the pic of the Jefferson is marvelous, but I’m intrigued by the origami tops! Wyatt is really into tops right now, we have these wooden ones and he tries to see how many he can keep spending at once.
I understand how you feel about taking photos in a cemetery, but I find such peace in cemetery photos, there is always a softness about the angels and saints even if they are made of marble and stone.
Have a wonderful week!

LiliKrist January 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

I love the way you snap yourself into photo =)

kim January 9, 2013 at 10:05 am

Beautiful post through and through. I too want to travel along with you. Happy New Year!

Susan Kennedy January 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm

What gorgeous photos Cindy! Love your self-portrait. And looks like a wonderful little break you got there! You live in such a great part of the country, but seen through your eyes makes it even better!

Bette Brody January 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Cindy, thank you for the entrace nto 2013 through your lens and words. It was a wonderful trip!

Brandi January 10, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Gorgeous, as always, Cindy! I especially love the Jefferson Hotel, but you know I’m crazy-go-nuts for architecture. There seems to be a ton to do in Virginia – one of my best friends lives there, and will be getting married near Monticello this October, so I’m hoping to work in a couple extra days for sightseeing! Any places I should definitely keep in mind?

Christine Damm January 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Cindy, a fabulous photo essay as usual! I think the Food Network should hire you to do a series on bakeries in the DC area– you know ’em all! Are those cookies or Frisbees??? Yes, the time is speeding past and there are so many great projects out there to do.

Cindy January 11, 2013 at 2:14 am

Brandi, YOU will be capturing even more amazing pictures when you return. I remember the ones you took from your DC trip not too long ago! We’ll have to discuss the sights as it gets closer to coming to VA! 🙂

Cindy January 11, 2013 at 2:15 am

Thank you, Betty! Looking forward to seeing you again in 2013!

Cindy January 11, 2013 at 2:15 am

Thanks so much, Sue!! 🙂

Cindy January 11, 2013 at 2:16 am

Kim, you’ve sure had your share of amazing travels in 2012! Any big road trip planned for 2013?

Cindy January 11, 2013 at 2:18 am

Thank you, Christine! Wow….I would ABSOLUTELY love a Food Network special on local bakeries. I am quite particular about baked goods…and I don’t mind the “work” that would be required in finding the best local spots! 😉 Might gain a few pounds in the process though!

Kerry January 12, 2013 at 7:54 am

You always share the most beautiful photos, Cindy. Truly, any one of these could be a highlight on the postcard rack at a gift shop. I love hearing about your family adventures and the history you discovery. Thanks for taking us on the adventure too.

Cynthia@OrnamentalStyle January 12, 2013 at 11:51 am

You look so stylish on your day out antiquing! It’s truly an interesting composition. And the dress on the mannequin is amazing. Old cemeteries are fascinating and beautiful with the sense of history from those who have passed before us and the fantastic statuary. That dome looks like a kaleidoscope! I love old buildings and that hotel is amazing. And always love seeing pictures of the family.

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