Tour: Bluejacket Brewery

What to do on a cold, wet Saturday morning? Grab a beer, of course! Recently a brewery opened up in our neighborhood and I couldn’t have more good things to say about it. Good beer, good people, and awesome atmosphere.

On Saturdays they have started giving brewery tours, and we had gotten lucky to have a tour given by the head brewmaster for the company – which gave us insight into how they set up the operation and what their plans are for the future.

Here are the highlights: It was built into an old Navy building that was used for ship and munitions manufacturing – all of the windows are new but the structure itself is all original. The brewery operations are on three different levels, and the brewery has about 20 different beers in development at a time, in addition to casks aging in various specially built rooms.







Oh and at the end you get a free tasting (which is more like half a pint) of whichever brew catches your eye! If you’re ever in our ‘hood let me know, we would love to grab a beer at Bluejacket with you!

Google Glass + Art @ National Portrait Gallery

When I see the opportunity to try out new technology, it’s not a hard sell to get me in line.  This weekend only at the National Portrait Gallery is a special piece that is pretty neat on it’s own, but you can put on Google Glasses for an interactive experience with the art.

Here is a little more on the art (excerpted from the National Portrait Gallery site):

Portrait of America, from David Datuna’s “Viewpoint of Billions” series, is a 12-foot multimedia American flag covered in hundreds of eyeglass lenses. Try on Google Glass and explore historical and contemporary figures from American culture embedded in the artwork. Videos and interactive experiences are activated by different images in the piece and by your voice!

After an hour and a half waiting in line, we geared-up and took advantage of our 3 minute viewing time.  When you put on the GG and look through the lenses on the art piece you can see little pictures and news clippings from various famous Americans (I saw JFK, Lady Gaga, George Washington…) with your own eye, and those photos trigger little videos to play through the GG (like a JFK campaign video, and a Lady Gaga performance clip).

Below are a few photos from the experience, unfortunately the last day it is in DC is today – but there are hopes (according to their PR rep I tried to BFF) to take the “show on the road” to other cities.



20140217-104039.jpg20140217-104002.jpg My only real gripe with the event is that 3 minutes was not nearly enough time to spend with the piece. It took about a minute to figure out the Google Glasses (probably more for those a little less tech-savvy). By the time I got into the groove with navigating the piece I was being shuffled out.

Read more about the piece and artist (and experience the art from those viewing it) by visiting the artist’s site 

The Building Museum Gift Shop

There’s something about a good gift shop that excites me more than any other type of shopping (and I like most shopping). DC certainly has a lot of them, and to be honest some are just better than the rest. I would actually give a Gold Medal to the Building Museum for their gift shop.

The Building Museum is on my “Off the Beaten Path” tour I give to visitors. It’s a is a museum of “architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning” and is honestly quite interesting (even for us non-engineers). The setup of the museum is perfect for stopping in to beat the heat (or the cold) – it’s wide open inside with separate rooms for each of their exhibits, so you can just pop into a couple, without needing to spend the entire afternoon in one spot.

I might go into it in a later post, but some of the highlights of the museum include a 3D model of the Washington, DC area – both pre and post swamp removal (long story) – and past exhibits using Legos, or about the design of parking garages.

Yes, this is one of those museums you might lose Kyle in. 20140215-144744.jpg




Speaking of Kyle, this particular visit to the Building Museum was only to pick up a couple gifts for him in the museum shop. Being a non-Smithsonian, I guess that the museum has the liberty to stock whatever they want and they stock some VERY good things for the engineer, green building enthusiast, travel lover, map lover, or architect in your life, from child to adult.  Since my husband falls into at least a few of those categories, it’s easy to get him a gift.







I mean, who doesn’t need some DC-map earrings and some ceramic Legos for their home?

Now hopefully someone comes to visit us soon so  I can have an excuse to actually visit more than the gift shop!