Although our (24th!) anniversary was last month, we postponed our celebration until this past Sunday. We had planned to view a special exhibit at the Corcoran ("Turner to Cezanne"), but it closed suddenly due to ventilation issues. Waah! Len was, perhaps, not as heartbroken as I. ;-)
We had also planned a visit to the National Arboretum, so that became a bigger piece of our outing.
First we attended a demonstration of ikebana, Japanese flower arranging. Like many other types of art, it combines mechanics/crafting as much as artistic vision. Here are some samples from the follow up exhibit:This Chinese chrysanthemum stone was never technically alive, but isn't it gorgeous? It's over three feet tall! The flower pattern was formed by mineral crystals in mud that became the dark limestone.There was also a Japanese stone of denser rock with many, smaller chrysanthemums. There's always something new and amazing to discover in this world!
We browsed through the camellia show. I found that I have a strong preference for multi-ruffled, variegated pink blooms like this one:Finally we began walking around the extensive grounds. Even with parking filled up, the arboretum felt spacious and quiet.
The azaleas will be at peak bloom in a few weeks. Most of them looked like this although a few were showing off.The weather was perfect--mild and sunny--as we enjoyed the Asian gardens.Below is viburnum. Won't it be beautiful when all the blooms open? I love their simplicity of shape, texture, and color.Big bee, little bloom:Little bee, big bloom:Then it was time to relax on a shady patch of lawn. Some dozing, some reading, crossword puzzling, and some visitors? These guys must have been falling from a tree. I saw one, but Len found two then three then many on his shirt and finally NECK before we moved on...
We were hungry by then, anyway, so it was off to Jaleo, a fabulous tapas restaurant in DC. The weather was perfect for eating outside; we even encountered friends from the boys' school who were on their way to the theater. Six small plates and two desserts later, we were on our way to Grammy and Grandpop's house to pick up the little girls. What a grand day!
The plants were lovely and dinner was delicious, but the company was best of all. Thanks, honey (for Sunday and the past 24 years).