Sunday, December 11, 2011

Celebrate the Season.

You know you're in for a treat when the email exchange goes something like this:

Christina: "I have a Groupon for Hillwood Estate.  There's some Russian Winter Festival.  Want to go?"
Megan: "Sure, what is it?"
Christina: "There's a mansion and some gardens and coffee, and a snow princess?  I'm not really sure, but I heard it was good, so I got the Groupon"
Megan: "Okay, sweet."

(That's a summary, but you get the gist.)

A phone call to ensure we could use the Groupon for this special festival included the phrase "avoid the lines."  We weren't really sure what the festival was about, or how big it was, or why the lines would be so long for an event we'd never heard of, but we pulled up next to the Netherlands Embassy and were directed to the parking area for Hillwood Estate.  The place looked somewhat crowded, but we avoided any lines and received our visitor tags.  They read, "Fabulous."

For all our questioning, the event was a winner.  We toured the Merriweather Post mansion, in all it's 1920s glory.  We ooed and awwed over the fashions, we saw a room of Russian icons, we admired the wedding feast setup.

(Hillwood Christmas Tree.)

(Just one of the many fabulous details.)

Because the festival was in full effect, some special activities were set up around the grounds.  Our favorite was the hat making.  (Ignore the fact that the hat making was aimed at small children and my small child was out and about with Matt.)  We dug into the craft supplies and made our own blinged-out kokoshniks.

(Hat-making supplies.)

(The finished product, Christina at the gardens.)

After recharging with a cranberry apple crisp (amazing!) we were off to explore the gardens and bridal fashions of the 1920s.  My camera battery ran out during the hat-making adventure, so forgive the iphone photos throughout this post.  Before heading home, we listened to a Russian folk group and participated in a traditional circle dance.

Not a sponsored post.  Just a recap of a fun day.

And if you want to make your own kokoshnik, give us a call.  We're pretty good.

(The tree.)

(Folk music!  Sorry about the poor photo quality, I took this on my phone.)

(Just a little banquet setup.)

(Card table.)

(More fun mansion details.)

(We tried the camera high, low, whatever.  Self-portraits were MUCH easier before we both got DSLRs.  Finally, I just held the camera up to my face.)
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