04-25 British Maj. General Edward Braddock

Wednesday we packed up our necessary stuff and headed to Macomb Illinois. The road takes in some interstate as well as sections of the National Road – Highway 40. Thus we have both a four-lane expressway experience and two land winding road through the countryside. It was getting along lunchtime and we pulled into a lovely spot – Braddock Inn and Restaurant.

The Braddock Grave is part of the Fort Necessity National Battlefield.

We had a delightful lunch and headed back on the road. However, immediately next to the place was the General Braddock Grave – part of the Fort Necessity National Battlefield. Well, since we have been talking about Braddock along the way, we pulled in and walked around.

 

On June 25, 1755, the largest army assembled in North America up to that time passed through the area that is now the Braddock Grave site. British Maj. General Edward Braddock led the first 1,400 soldiers of his 2,400-man army. Braddock followed the trail originally blazed by George Washington in April 1754. The trail at that point was nothing more than a marked path through the woods.

A section of the ‘road’ as it passed through the forest of trees.
Not much of a sign, but enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to move the all the British Troops and supplies, the trail was widened to about 12 feet and cleared of all trees and materials. Braddock’s goal of expelling the French from Fort Duquesne (present day Pittsburgh) was thwarted when his advance troops collided with a force of French and Indians.

Although the initial exchange of musketry favored the British, felling the French commander and causing some Canadian militia to flee, the remaining Indian/French force reacted quickly, running down the flanks of the column and putting it under a murderous crossfire. Braddock’s troops reacted poorly and became disordered. The British attempted retreat, but ran into the rest of the British soldiers left behind from earlier. Braddock, rallying his men time after time, fell at last, mortally wounded by a shot through the chest.

Braddock was borne off the field by George Washington and Col. Nicholas Meriwether and died on 13 July from wounds suffered in the battle. Before he died Braddock left Washington his ceremonial sash that he wore with his battle uniform and muttered some of his last words, which were ‘Who would have thought?’ Reportedly, Washington never went anywhere without this sash for the rest of his life, be it as the commander of the Continental Army or with his presidential duties. It is still on display today at Washington’s home on the Potomac River, Mount Vernon.

On July 14, what remained of that once proud British army hobbled past present day site of Braddock’s grave retreating from their disastrous defeat at the Battle of the Monogahela. The retreating troops camped near hear and Braddock died that night. He was buried under the road, in an unmarked grave, to keep it from being disturbed by Indians. In 1804, workmen repair this section of the Braddock Road discovered what is believed to be Braddock’s original gravesite.   His remains were then reinterred on the hill and a granite monument was added in 1913 to mark the grave.

Braddock’s Grave and Monument.
Here we are in front of the grave marker.
The Plaque on Braddock’s grave

Few remnants of the Braddock Road remain but it was originally the first ‘highway’ to the west. This route eventually became Maryland route 49 and Virginia route 620. Now it follows along Highway 40 in many sections.

The Roadside marker another indication of the history at the site.

 

 

 

 

04-12 Cherry Blossom Time

Nothing signifies the arrival of spring in the District of Columbia quite like the blooming of the cherry blossom trees. Having returned to Virginia on Wednesday, we took the Metro orange line into the District to the Smithsonian Station.

Waiting for the Metro Orange Line at Dunn Loring-Merrifeld station.

From there it was short walk to the Tidal Basin and the Cherry Tree Festival complete with blooms and petal showers! This is the final weekend, but visiting during the week it was un-crowded and in FULL BLOOM!

This was the first shot of the Blossoms as we walked to the Tidal Basin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first cherry trees were a gift from the Mayor Yuko Ozaki of Tokyo City to the city of Washington, DC. The Mayor donated the first trees to enhance the growing friendship between the US and Japan. Of the original trees only a few remain but a lot more that have been added over time around the Basin providing LOTS of color and blossoms.

Here we are again!
Blossoms in different colors – lovely pink ones this time.
Janeen enjoying the blossoms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occasionally there were showers of blossoms as the breeze picked up and moved the petals around.

The Jefferson Memorial

 

 

 

 

 

We stopped for a beverage and heres the map!
There was also entertainment around the food areas.

While the overall target date for the Cherry Blossom Festival is set each year, when they actually bloom is anyone’s guess. We were incredibly lucky to return to Virginia and have the opportunity to see these flowers in full bloom – rain is expected on Monday and I expect that will wash away any that remain.

Aren’t they beautiful?
We could not have planned for a more lovely day – high in the mid 70’s!
The Washington Memorial from across the Basin.

We walked completely around the Tidal Basin, passed the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial before returning to the Metro for our train home. All in all we completed a 4-mile walk!

04-06 Providence Restaurant

Ok, it’s been a while but we finally got to a really good restaurant here in Los Angeles.

Providence – as seen from the street.

Providence has been a local hot spot since it opened some 10 years ago and the number one restaurant in town for a number of years (slipped to #2 just this year). We had made a reservation for Friday, the only day of the week they have a lunch serving, to continue the celebration of Jessie’s birthday. Arriving at our appointed time (noon) we entered a dimly lit, with no real windows seating area and a color scheme that can best described as stormy, we took our seats and looked around (non of our party had been here previously). Adorning the walls and ceilings were fish nets (made from paper I think) hanging from the ceiling with barnacles going up the walls and soft glass panels on either side giving the lighting scheme and settled in.

We of course started of with a glass of wine – there is an extensive wine list, many different things available by the glass, and reviewed the dining options. There was various individual items we could have had but well felt the seasonal tasting menu (four course) would meet our needs nicely.

This was the first amuse bouche and was raw baby vegetables in a bed of ice. Everything was edible and it had an Unimayo dipping sauce on the side.
This was the second amuse bouche with a crab tart
Foie Gras – this was my first course. Lovely warm and delicious
Yellowtail (raw) with snap peas. This was Janeen’s first course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the corkage fee was high (50 bucks!) we choose to open the bottle of 2006 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir Louise I had brought for our enjoyment.

Bottle Model, Janeen, with a lovely 2006 Louise from Domaine Drouhin Oregon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Cod with a lovely sauce was the next course as we moved along.
Salmon – lovely sauce and vegies on the side
Liberty Farms Duck (from Sonoma) with a duck sausage to boot.
The first dessert, S’Mores, cocoa Nib with Ice Cream
Final dessert – each morsel was wonderfully rich and tasty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The entire experience was wonderful from first to last. This is really a high-end seafood restaurant and they certainly lived up to this reputation.  After a very pleasurable 3 hours (about the right time for a really good meal) we left and headed home.