Last post before we hit the road!

One of the most historic buildings in Old town Alexandria is the United Church of Christ which was built in 1765. It is where George Washington worshipped.  Here is what it looks like from the outside as well as inside.

Surrounding the Church are an array of original gravestones. This one I am looking at dates back to 1792 and it was the wife of a minister of the Church at the time. 

And this photo is especially for Paul Whiteman! As we walked out from the Church this beautiful Harley Davison was sitting by the entrance and it seemed such a interesting contrast so Leisa took a shot.

Following our historic tour we went back to the apartment where Leisa was meeting Arayah to give her a reading session. Arayah is an adorable 9-year-old who Leisa mentors as part of a city mentoring program. She reads with her every Friday using LRH study tech. She reads very well  now.  This week it was my turn while Leisa did art work.  Leisa had a new book for Arayah that was really neat as it showed children from around the world. And of course one of the children featured was a 9-year-old girl from New Zealand … as you can see below. 


My next posts will be sent once we are on the road for Michigan! Nice chatting to you. Love Melva xxx


Fashion Show for the Fuller Figure!

So here is something different!  It certainly was a new experience for me.  This last week has been Fashion Week throughout DC and Alexandria.  An event was held at the BeautyFull Boutique in Alexandria to celebrate Fashion Week for the Fuller Figured ladies.  Leisa was invited to the fashion show and so off we went! It was a lot of fun and here are some of the big, bold and beautiful models… not to mention the ladies in the audience.


You have  admire these models don’t you?  Love Melva



Exploring Shops of Old Town Alexandria.

I should explain that Old Town shop buildings date back to the early 1800’s and in the pouring rain and a thunderstorm lack of shop veranda’s certainly didn’t help! Despite the obstacles, Leisa and I had lots of fun! 

Unlike NZ, many of the shops are open late every night.  In Old Town they are all unique and have their own specialty.  A great example is “Arts Afire Glass Gallery” selling everything one could imagine ( or not imagine) that is made of glass. From very large floor standing pots, vases and glasses, ornaments to the most fine and delicate jewelry.

Then there was “Imagine Artwear” with mostly hand made fabrics used to make arty but very wearable day and evening wear along with some really fun jewelry and accesories.  There were a couple of things there that I will be back for a second look at for sure.

The “Olio” fresh olive oil and aged balsamic vinigar tasting shop had to be my favourite though.  Endless varietis of each were set out on tables in sort of mini- vats with a tap and little cups along with cubes of bread in silver covered bowls. There must have been a couple of dozen of each all different flavours and combinations….can you imagine things like choclate or coffee balsamic and blood orange olive oil!   They were all yummy! The shop has just opened and we made friends with the owner Peggy, who you can see below.

 By now we were ready for a coffee so back out into the night to “Mishas”.  Not only do they serve great coffee but at one end of the cafe they grind bulk beans into dozens of speciality coffee blends.  You can only imagine the aroma which is out of this world!

 Our next aventure was to attend a very interesting fashion event and I have some great photos to share with you.  But that is for my next installment! Love Melva.

Day in Washington DC

I love the architecture in DC. Mostly brick but each quite individual and set in lovely tree lined streets.

It sure can rain in DC and we were very grateful for loan of a very large umberella, otherwise we would have got drowned….as it was we gave up trying to avoid gushing drains and just waded on through!

 The tour of L. Ron Hubbard House was definitely a highlight. You can see me standing in the entrance. Inside I could just imagine sitting in on one of Ron’s lectures.  The mural opposite Rons desk is quite inspirational and  the host and caretaker of the LRH House, Nate, even gave me a peak into a couple of the desk drawers.


Couldn’t face the return treck in the still pouring rain so Leisa hailed a cab to the  DC Church, a lovely Ideal Org which is situated right in the heart of the city in a beautiful historic building. See the entrance below.  Leisa gave me a tour, we had expresso coffee in the canteen, and then it was back to the Metro and home.

OK, so that’s update number two. Thanks for your great feedback to my first post and I am glad you appreciate my efforts.  Leisa commented today that right now it is  taking me about three times as long to write my posts  than to have the actual experience so it can only get better!!!!!  I’m slowly getting the hang of it …..

Love and wish you were here having fun with me, Melva xxx

Arriving in the USA!

The flight from Auckland to LA went very smoothly. There was even a entire Marine Corps regiment on board so I had plenty of help getting my bags up and down! 

I was met at the airport by Diane McDonald and thoroughly enjoyed sipping coffee in her beautiful courtyard, followed by lunch at an Italian restaurant. 

I caught up with my sister Eunice at the Manor Hotel (where we stayed the night) and we had a lovely time together. 

Then it was onto Washington DC where my daughter Leisa and hubbie Bruce were there to meet me at 5 am  — too early even for the cafes!

Himemoa was sitting on my bed waiting for me when I arrived at Leisa and Bruce’s home. . .

Next Leisa and Bruce showed me a little of Old Town Alexandria, where they live.  We had a coffee at Madeline’s Cafe and headed to the local Farmer’s Market which happens to be the oldest such market in the USA. This is where George Washington himself went shopping for his fresh weekly produce!

Within two hours of arriving, I had met my first local Kiwi — a former All-Black no less, who played in two World Cups!  Didn’t catch his name, but thought someone might recognise him. 

Dinner at a genuine French restaurant in the heart of Old Town was a great way to start my USA holiday.  Below is the entrance to LaFayette and you can see the meals that Leisa and I had. Here’s my Wild Trout main course and Leisa’s Sassy Salmon were absolutely delicious.  Bruce had Filet Mignon.

We have since had an adventure into Washington DC via the metro (which I would have hated to try and negotiate on my own) and toured the new Founding Church of Scientology DC and original L. Ron Hubbard House.  More news and photos to come. . . love to you all, Melva