December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012

O Little Old Town

One holiday event I encourage you to try at least once in your lifetime is Historical Alexandria’s annual Candlelight Tour of Old Town. Granted, this will be a lot more difficult to accomplish if you don’t live in the DC area; examine your life choices accordingly.

The tour’s 2012 iteration included four stops: Gadsby’s Tavern, Carlyle House, the Bank of Alexandria, and Lee-Fendall House. Also included this year were some chocolate-making demonstrations and tastings, though there was more demonstrating than tasting going on than I would have preferred. Bottom line: If I’m not coming out of there with a faceful of chocolate, it’s not a win.

(Microsoft doesn’t think “faceful” is a word, which goes to show how little Clippy really knows me.)

Gadsby’s Tavern, as I may have mentioned before, was a popular lodging and dining establishment in Colonial Times. I could tell you that Washington ate there, but Washington ate just about everywhere in Virginia. #humblebrag What’s more impressive is that Washington celebrated a birthnight ball there AND Jefferson had an inaugural dinner there. So there.

When I last visited, I got to see some dancin’:


Carlyle House is a hot Halloween tour spot, because Carlyle died around that time of year, so the entire house puts on mourning apparel, including a corpse (or is it?) in the master bedroom. It’s freak-ay, you guys. Whereas at Christmas, it’s much more cheerful.


The Bank of Alexandria isn’t usually open to tourists, so this was my first time inside it. Good to know that Old Town still has a few secrets. The bank’s original vault is still there, though I didn’t find any colonial money on the ground. Totally kept an eye out, though.


Pretty badass night deposits slot.

Lee-Fendall House, built by Robert E’s uncle, is always decorated in the Victorian style. The docents there would tell you this is because the house’s last major renovation took place during that era, but we all know the real reason: Victorians were the first to pimp Christmas out. Trees! Gifts! Santa! Woo!


Also, flute ensemble:


Good times, you guys. Good times.

Not to mention the fact that you can stop at Trader Joe’s afterwards and stock up on seasonal appetizers. At least, that’s what I always do.

0 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke: