Monday, September 20, 2010

Ode to Oranges

Ok, so I guess this isn't an actual "ode", since it's not a poem, but lately I have been really wanting my favorite fruit in the world, so I thought I would write about it. This is not just any average orange, at least not here in the United States. The orange I am talking about is called the "Tarocco" orange, and is found primarily in Italy. When my husband and I were in Rome about two years ago, I tasted the most delicious, juicy, sweet oranges I have ever tasted, and I am usually not a big fan of oranges!
My first taste of this wonderful fruit was the in the juice they served us on the plane from Paris to Rome on Alitalia Airlines. It was early in the morning, and the flight attendants came by with the beverage cart and asked us something in a different language. French? Italian? Or maybe just heavily accented English? I was too groggy to figure it out. I just said "juice?" and was served some kind of red liquid and a mysterious pastry-looking thing. The pastry was positively yummy. Then I took a sip of the red juice, and was introduced to my new favorite juice ever. I wish I could remember the name of it. It may or may not be this:

Sadly, this juice is not available in the U.S. They also served the juice in our hotel at breakfast. I was a regular juice-aholic! Oh, how I miss that juice! We then were able to find the actual fruit at a little fruit stand not far from the Colosseum in Rome. So yummy! Later I found out that Tarocco oranges are the most popular "table fruit" in Italy, and I can definitely see why. My question is, why, oh why can't I find these oranges where I live??? I love them so much, that I may have to go back to Italy just for their oranges...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mount Vernon

George and Martha Washington are two of my most favorite people in history. My family and I had the pleasure of visiting their home this Labor Day Weekend. Mount Vernon has been restored to look like it did the year George Washington died, 1799. It is SO beautiful! My favorite part of the house is the veranda with the columns and the sweeping view of the Potomac River. The rest of the house is absolutely gorgeous, too, and the grounds are amazing. We weren't able to see the flower garden (the "Upper Garden") because it was under reconstruction, but we did see the "Lower" vegetable and fruit garden. What a design! The whole place was so impressive! It was a self-sufficient farm, almost a little town in itself. We also took the little river cruise on the Potomac, and toured the Grist Mill and Distillery. And the Education Center and Museum were so interesting! George and Martha Washington were truly admirable people.

One of my favorite quotes is from Martha Washington: "I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition."

Beautiful veranda.

View from veranda.

Grist Mill.