Thursday, December 17, 2009

O' Christmas tree

I haven't spent a ton of time soaking up the holiday season here in D.C.  It's really pretty remarkable how quickly time starts moving once December hits.  You blink your eyes, and woosh!, the middle of December is here in no time and you start to wonder where the heck all of your weekends went.  Although that's not an entirely bad thing when one of your weekends went to New York.  But it is a little sad when you had plans to meet up with photography buddies (or at least potential photography buddies - haven't actually managed to make it to any events yet!) and Mother Nature foils your plans to capture the holiday wreaths laid out at Arlington National Cemetery.  And your plans to figure out awesome camera things and meet fellow photography nuts.  Next time!

However, Dana and I did resolve that we would at least make our way to the National Christmas Tree in front of the White House, so last Thursday we cut out of work at a decent hour and proceeded to freeze our booties off in search of holiday joy.  There's one giant tree that's rather impressively lit, and it's surrounded by smaller trees, one for every state.  School kiddos or community groups from each state provide the ornaments for the trees, which is very sweet and all...but it's not like each state is really all that distinctive in its ornamentation.  Set high standards, kiddos, and blow us away!  All I really remember are sparkly horses for Nevada.  This may have had something to do with the inability of my frozen fingers to snap any photos of note.

It really is a pretty nice display, though - a little shout-out to every state, the National Menorah standing by, a chorus of little munchkins belting out carols, Santa's workshop, a nativity scene, and one of the most welcome pit!!  Trust me, when your fingers and toes feel like they're about to fall off due to the ill effects of the biting wind and bitter cold (ok, so it wasn't THAT cold, but we were pretty frozen), a fire pit is pretty much all you could ever wish for.

After shivering our way through the Ellipse, we headed over to the Willard Hotel, site of many a Washington social scene over the years and always fabulously decked out at the holidays.  We encountered some cheery carolers in the lobby, wondered why the Department of Homeland Security could afford to have a bang-up holiday party at not just any hotel but the Willard, for crying out loud, and enjoyed the general cheery and sparkly nature of the regal old place. 

Yet somehow I still appear to be freezing...

If you want to flip through all the pictures, here's a link to the Picasa album.

After all of the holiday explorations in the chilly night air, there's nothing like a hearty Italian dinner at Potenza to warm you up.  Truly not a bad way to spend a Thursday night during the holiday season here in our nation's capital.

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