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"Vacation"

Monday, April 2, 2012

John and I have been in colonial Williamsburg this past week on "vacation." Which is to say we've been working our posteriors off giving my parents' whole house a not-too-extreme make over. Painting, trim work, de-cluttering, new window treatments and art and fixtures - we're giving it the works.

It's been great fun, though, since my folks tend to give us carte blanche when it comes to their decor, so I've been gleefully filling the thrift-store pile with every doily, stuffy old tapestry pillow, dark burgundy drapery, and extraneous knick-knack I can find. My dad collects antique clocks, so those are the focal point of most of the downstairs - I can't wait to show you guys. Everything's a bit brighter and cozier. Oh, and we also managed to brow-beat them into buying some new furniture, since most of the stuff they have is nearly as old as I am - but not in a good way. More in a bad, saggy-green-leather-couch-from-the-80s kind of way.

So all that to say: sorry if posting has slowed somewhat this week. I promise I'm not neglecting you without cause, and I'll try to make up for it with a few "after" photos when we're done in a few more days. Deal?

And speaking of photos, yesterday we all took the afternoon off to walk around the historic district here and play with our cameras. Four adults, four cameras, and two tripods. We were a sight. But we had a blast, and since all the flowers are in bloom here, they nearly had to drag me away from the beds of tulips and poppies - SO PRETTY.

Don't believe me? Check this out:


Have I ever mentioned that poppies are my favorite flowers? I've loved 'em since I was a teen - any color, any variation. Of course, poppies can't grow in Florida, so the first time I ever saw a real one was on my honeymoon in DC. John and I stumbled across a giant bed FULL of bright red poppies somewhere downtown, and I walked up to it in a daze, gingerly touched the petals of one giant bloom, and then there MAY have been some laugh-crying, but if so you're not allowed to judge because you weren't there and those poppies were freaking beautiful.

And I'm sorry to keep going on and on about this, but you guys, LOOK WHAT MY NEW CAMERA CAN DO:

WHEEEEE!!!


A few more shots from yesterday:


The guy on the left even posed for me. Very polite, those Brits.


At one point I spotted two little girls dressed in colonial costumes picking flowers in a field, and I nearly passed out from the cuteness. Fortunately I managed to stay conscious long enough to take these pics, though:


Seriously, is this not the cutest thing?! Parents, promise me now you'll dress all your children in bonnets and take their pictures in a flower field. Yes, even the boys. PROMISE ME.


Hey, how did another poppy picture get in here?

:D

And finally, a few shots of Mr. Bee in a pretty Wisteria hedge:

I took the contrast down in this one because I like the almost watercolor-y look. What do you think? Good? Bad? Too busy?


Thanks for bearing with me through my "vacation" photos, guys! I'll have more project-based pics soon - and, fingers crossed, also a fun geeky Easter craft sometime...er... before Easter. :)

Posted by Jen at 1:06 PM Labels:

47 comments:

  1. Do you know of any good bed and breakfasts out there? I'm looking for one somewhere on the east coast to host my wedding, and it's hard to do research without being in the area >.>

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  2. This is a bit random, but since you love poppies... I just bought a silk poppy hair clip from this seller on Etsy and it's so gorgeous! Thought you might like one yourself - she even has an orange one :)
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/44681797/yellow-icelandic-poppy-hair-flower-you

    Gorgeous pictures! Those kids are so cute they made my ovaries scream.

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  3. Wow!!! You can see the tiny pollen specks! I'd love to be able to do that with my camera. I'm so jealous.

    Can't wait to see how the decorating goes. Enjoy!

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  4. Wow, brilliant pictures. :D I like the watercolor-ish look. Colonial Williamsburg is /brilliant/; I live relatively close to it so I've been there often.

    (Oh, and I used to be one of the little kids in bonnets...)

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  5. Oooh, pretty flowers! Spring is JUST starting to consider coming to Calgary, so it's nice to see some colour. :)

    I love de-cluttering my Mom's closet when I go visit her. Maybe I'll start on her house next time! She'll love that...mwhahahaha!

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  6. Your purple poppies are actually Anemones or Windflowers and some of them will grow in Florida.

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  7. Poppies are one of my favourite flowers so you can post as many pictures of them as you want.

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  8. Personally tulips are my favorite flower, and those ones are beautiful.

    I think the first bee picture might be just a touch too busy, but the second one is perfect. (but that's just my own particular taste)

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  9. I love your new camera too - you always share the best photos!

    Can't wait to see your parents' house makeover pics! I surprised my parents a few years back with a home makeover while they were on vacation (they gave me the key and I just couldn't help myself) because my dad would have stopped me if he saw the "in process" stage. It was great fun and they loved it.

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  10. I am so jealous...I went to college in Williamsburg, in that fine institution at one end of DoG Street. Please, please, please, go to the Cheese Shop, eat lunch, (I loved the turkey/country ham combo with extra house), and send me all the happy food vibes!

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  11. Thank you for reminding me that I seriously need to plant more poppies! Beautiful pics!

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  12. I so hate to burst your bubble, those aren't poppies, they're anemones. They do look a lot a like & are really pretty though. I feel like the botanical version of The Grammar Police now :(, but at least you know now for shopping purposes. :)

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  13. I think taking the contrast down on the one wisteria photo is a bit too much. It is a bit busy...maybe crop and resize it so it only includes the bee? The second photo is MUCH more interesting!

    FYI, boys used to wear bonnets too.

    And the next time you pass anyone dressed up as the redcoats while in Williamsburg, run away screaming "The British are coming! The British are coming!" See if you can get a reaction.

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  14. I'm so jealous of your photos! They always look so beautiful and I'm lucky if mine aren't blurry or make my subjects look like minions from hell.

    So, you know, if you wanted to do a "how to" on basic photo-taking for the technologically useless who use glorified point-and-shoot digital cameras, I can think of a reader who'd be really, really grateful.

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  15. I am a huge fan oh Dahlias, but they don't grow where I live, so when I saw them in huge bunches at Pike's Place market in Seattle I nearly went crazy taking pictures of them. Don't feel guilty for posting vacation pics instead of your tutorials etc. The fun of Epbot is that it is all you, anything you want and I've never been disappointed by any post, only when there aren't new ones. I love this blog.

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  16. I'm pretty sure the flower you are calling a poppy is in fact a ranunculus. Most we see them in the semi-double and double forms. Your pretty blue one is a single - the original form.

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  17. Jen, so much about this post made me like you even more.

    Did you know the state flower of California is a poppy? A vibrant ORANGE poppy--plug "California Poppy" into google images to see. They are growing wild all around the area where I live. (On Monterey Bay, where you and Jon are welcome to visit anytime.: )

    And my mom makes old-fashioned dresses for my girls all the time, because she is an excellent seamstress and I love old-timey clothes (hmmmm, now that I think about it, that is likely the root of my enjoyment of Steampunk!), and there have been plenty of times that we have been romping out in nature after church and strangers stop and take pics of my girls. Warms a mother's heart. : )

    Oh, and my girls have been known to sing the melody of the Little House on the Prairie theme while romping through the prairie grass. . . you'd have to be a grinch not to smile!

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  18. Lovely pics.
    Spring and autumn are two reasons i hated living in Florida; it is just so much prettier where there are real seasons.

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  19. I love the bee picture with lower contrast, it's my favorite besides the close-up on a poppy. And I won't dress my hopeful future sons up in bonnets but they will be in period clothes along their hopeful future sisters.

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  20. I lived in Williamsburg for 5 years and I can honestly say, it's the most beautiful city we've ever lived in. My kids attended Matthew Whaley back then...I always thought it was so cool that they got to attend one of the oldest schools in America. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

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  21. I love Colonial Williamsburg in the spring! I went to William and Mary and always enjoyed taking strolls through the gardens in CW this time of year. Don't forget to stop by the Cheese Shop for some bread ends and house dressing!

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  22. Colonial Williamsburg is so pretty! I want to go back soon, but it is hard to get there when the family lives all over the place and demands that we visit them instead. We actually got in trouble for taking our child to Disneyland (course when Nana lives near Disney World you can kinda see why she's miffed!)
    Love the poppies, my credit card has poppies on it...swoon! i get tons of complements on it, but most folks think they're tulips. :p

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  23. I live just down the road from Williamsburg. We were just in Colonial Williamsburg the other weekend walking through the gardens. It made me very jealous especially their herb and flower gardens. :)

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  24. I am contacting you in regards to referring to Ms. Bee as Mr. Bee in your blog. This is an official cease and disist order! Mr. Bee never collects pollen, and his only job is to make more bees with Mrs. Bee, the Queen. All the b-eautiful bees you see flying around collecting pollen are actually Ms., or Miss Bee. And in an effort for gender awareness Ms. Bee has contacted me to represent her efforts in making more humans cognizant of this fact. Thank you for your time and attention in this matter. Be well.

    Sincerely,

    B. Entomologist

    http://www.n8ture.com/inhabitants.html

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  25. Question about Colonial Williamsburg! I understand that it is a restored Historic District with Reenactors but do people.. actually .. live.. in the Historical District? If so, do they have to keep up the reenactment 24/7? What about children, such as those little girls.. are they raised in the culture of the 1770s..?

    I'd love to visit but that's one place we've never gotten to. Dad was more of a Civil War guy and I've since seen every major battlefield of that war.

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  26. I love the photos! Such gorgeous colors.

    As for the poppy pictures, can you say "new iPhone background image"? They're perfect!

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  27. Why don't poppies grow in Florida?

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  28. Did you grow up near historic Williamsburg? I'm totally jealous. Love the pics with the new camera,especially the fuzzy bee and purple poppy. I can almost smell the pollen in that picture it's so clear.
    Can't wait to see the new digs for your folks. It'll be brilliant, for sure.

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  29. I get to read you on Cake Wrecks every day, I consider Epbot a special treat, so it's more than okay if you need to days off. It just makes the next post that much more awesome. (:

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  30. (please delete if this is a duplicate comment; Blogger may or may not have eaten the first one)

    I second the recommendation for the Cheese Shop, but also you totally need to hit the Blue Talon for their chocolate mousse. OMG SO GOOD.

    Whee! I'm just over in Richmond, so I will pretend you came to VA to stalk me. :D

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  31. Jen, I am so jealous of your new camera it's not even funny. You take beautiful shots!

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  32. How come poppies don't grow in Florida? I know the California variety can do quite well here in Arizona, at least during late winter and spring. I tried to grow some in our front yard but I think I put too much soil on top, they never sprouted, boo!

    Lovely pictures though, and those girls are just too adorable. I love to hear of the fun things you guys do with/for your parents. It's sweet :)

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  33. To answer Ashleas' question, employees of CW do live in the historic district -- renting houses from CW. Not all of them are costumed interpreters, and those that are, are not required to be always "on."

    But many costumed employees work more than one job at CW (it's definitely a job you do for love, not money!) and are often coming and going from the houses in costume, which does give it a nice "real town" feeling.

    And there are official junior interpreters, but also many employee kids will dress up from time to time for photo shoots, educational videos, and such.


    It's a really fun place to live, if you are willing to give up central air, backyard bbq grills, and quite a bit of privacy.
    (I love the spring flowers here too, but my favorites are the tulips, hyacinths, and dogwood -- it looks like lace, deep under the dark bare branches in the woods -- so pretty.)
    Come visit!

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  34. I know you've told us all once what type of camera your new one is but I can't find that post....and I am having major camera envy! What are the specs? Must put it on my wish list :)

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  35. Hi Jen!

    Those pictures are so beautiful! I would kill for the purple poppy pictures and the bee in wisteria pictures to hang in my office! You should try selling a few of your photographs.

    JL

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  36. Beautiful pictures! I am jealous of your camera and abilities.

    Please continue (at your own pace, of course!).

    Thank you for all you do!

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  37. If you have a moment to take off from the redecorating, I found this site and knew I had to share: http://www.tonecartoons.co.uk/blog/

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  38. One more person to say, those aren't poppies. They are anemones. They are lovely and one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, so I would think they would do well in Florida.

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  39. Love your photos! Also, the redcoat on the right (white horse) caught my eye--I was in colonial Williamsburg with my family last March, and he and his [different] partner talked and joked with us!

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  40. I miss Billsburg so much, especially at this time of year! I live in AZ now, and our three days of spring are already over. SIGHHHH...

    When I was a college student at Bill and Mary's place, tourists would see us studying in the Palace gardens or on the Green, and ask if we were "real students" or just acting!

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  41. I never really noticed poppies growing up in Virginia... but now that I live in California I love them. The purple ones you shot are lovely!

    Enjoyed your pics of Wmsbg... I can smell the boxwood from here!

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  42. You NEED to watch this video!!!!! I also hope it hasn't been sent to you fifty million times already.

    Disneyland Paris

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  43. Canon 7D, with a 28-135 lens... had to go find it for myself, as I'm suffering a potentially terminal case of zoom envy :::wanders off to price this critter, while devising justification arguments for hubby:::

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  44. Your pictures are beautiful, Jen. please post more. And you can call them whatever name you want...this is from someone who called carnations, roses for half her life!! lol.

    And to B. Etomologist..interesting link..tks.

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  45. OMG - best pictures EVER. I have serious camera envy. The bee is un-fricken-believable! If I tried to take the picture it would end up some black blob on fuzzy petals. Just had to say how much I loved them.

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  46. I'm seconding (fourthing? fifthing?) the anemones not poppies comment. You definitely can call them whatever you want though; I worked in a garden centre for years and anything I couldn't remember the name of I called Bob. We had a lot of plants called Bob :)
    I can't wait to see the pictures of your revamp of your parent's house. You do such beautiful work.

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  47. Thanks Jen. I had never heard of this place. Now I sure want to visit too. The pics are beautiful! Thanks for making my day prettier.

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