Jones Point Park
“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”
There is just something about a perfect Sunday evening - the weather was beautiful, the light was golden, the grass was green, and the outdoors just beckoned to us. Naturally, we answered the call and decided to have a little family outing. We had barely crossed over from the parking lot into Jones Point Park in Alexandria before we decided that it was one of our favorite places, and we would return again soon. It had a bit of everything for everyone to enjoy, in addition to this awesome lighthouse. Besides the fact that Jones Point Park is situated right alongside the Potomac and some stunning views, there is also some historical significance to this place.
The first thing you notice about the lighthouse is that it really is a light on top of a house. Not the typical lighthouses you expect to see these days. The thing of import is that in front of the lighthouse lies the south cornerstone of the original survey of Washington, DC, and marks the founding of the nation's capitol city. Not bad for a relatively hidden gem only known the the locals of Alexandria (mostly)! This park is unique in that the Woodrow Wilson bridge runs between its two playgrounds and the Mount Vernon trail runs right under it. The bridge provides some much-needed shade on a sunny day and also a safe place for kids who are learning to ride a bike or rollerblade. The park is dog-friendly and even has a drinking fountain for our furry friends.
We arrived at the park, armed with a blanket, some goodies to munch on, a camera and a desire to just relax. We accomplished just that (interrupted, of course by Gracie's wanderings to say hello to strangers, who quickly became friends, and their doggies. It was an idyllic evening, just soaking up the evening sun during the golden hour just before it starts to set. I look over at these two, who just so happen to adore each other and the outdoors, and my heart is full. God sure blesses us - surrounded by His incredible creations in nature, and by those whom you love. What more can one ask for?
Well, in Gracie's case, I think she would ask for a little doggie. Every time she sees one, she throws her hands up in the air, tries to click her fingers to call out to them and ends up saying, "mmm...mmm", and then yells at one of us to take her to the dog. In the process, we end up meeting some very nice people (John and Becca and their cute dog, Tilly), who encourage Gracie's obsession and allow her to follow them around for a while.
It seems like only yesterday I was carrying this bundle in her Baby Bjorn carrier, holding her close to me as she snuggled up and took a nap, content and comforted. Now, she is a toddler - independent, determined, stubborn, decisive, fun-loving, social, beautiful, full of mischief, actual toddler. How did this happen?
Here is cute little Tilly, waiting patiently for the frisbee to come flying her way. She was sweet and gentle with Gracie and Gracie loved every minute of it.
In an attempt to be in the picture, I had to remind myself to ask Aaron to take a picture of Gracie and me. I am often the one behind the camera, capturing memories to be relived later, and tend to forget to be in the picture. My sweet mother requested some pics of her baby (me), so I resolved to take a few of myself for posterity sake :) (Gracie is chewing on a tortilla chip and was about to stuff both her hands in her mouth. I had to act fast and get one photo before that moment passed.)
Aaron and I are explorers at heart. We have learned over the years that exploring new places and seeing new things brings joy to our hearts. I am happy to announce that our little offspring carries that same gene within her. Her little energetic trotting through the park, and her determination to explore on her own is definitely a Taylor trait. She stopped to examine the rocks, the leaves, and any insects she could find along the way. Periodically, she would stop and twirl her hands around in the air as she turned herself around. She would then clap her hands joyously and carry on walking/running. Looking at the world through her eyes is a wonderful experience. Isn't life grand?
Like I always say, if you are ever in the area, you must check out this place. Serene, beautiful, fun, and has some amazing riverfront views! This is the National Harbor as seen from the front steps of the lighthouse. Pack a picnic, sit on the steps, and just watch the sunset. I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world.