Today was the last day of Seminar for me. I started out this morning working the Hospitality Desk, which is a great way to meet other stitchers. Mr. M met me there and we toured the Exhibit together. He even cast a “People’s Choice” vote!
We then walked up Connecticut Avenue to the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, one of Marjorie Merriweather Post’s homes. She purchased this home in 1955 and spent two years renovating it into a 36-room Georgian mansion to house her collection of French and Russia porcelain, furniture, and art. When she died, she left the estate to the Smithsonian Institute but the expense of operating and maintaining the property was too much for the Smithsonian so it was returned to the family. A private foundation now runs the estate.
We were just in time for one of the docent-led tours (you can also tour on your own with a mobile app tour or just walk through with a comprehensive guide book). Our tour took about an hour and was very informative. The French and Russian porcelain collections were spectacular. I don’t know how we never visited this site in the past.
One room that was particularly impressive was the dining room. The table was set for 12 people but can be extended to seat 30 people! Wouldn’t this be a great room for our SOTM sessions!
Our docent told us that all of the guides keep complaining about the tablecloth as it hides the magnificent table. There is a leaf on display at the end of the room and I have to agree with the docents.
That is just one leaf! The table was originally located in another one of her homes, which was considerably larger than Hillwood. Consequently, the table has never been fully extended in its current location as the room is too small.
That other house was her Florida home – Mar-A-Lago – and it has 58 bedrooms and 33 bathrooms! We learned on our tour that Marjorie Post wanted to leave Mar-A-Lago to the federal government to be used as a Winter White House but the gesture was refused due to the expense. I’ll let that irony sink in …
Tonight was my last Seminar function – I attended Expo! which is a huge shopping event at which designers and chapters sell project charts, canvases, magnets, totes, and many other goodies that we all crave. I did purchase a few items, including the name-tag kit for the 2019 Seminar in Houston, a souvenir magnet, and some snap trays. I don’t do well in crowds and my tolerance is limited at these events (I told Mr. M that there is nothing I need that desperately to have to body-check another stitcher). I tried to patronize chapters who were there to raise funds and I think I succeeded in purchasing something from all the chapters who were there.
Tomorrow we are heading back to NJ. I truly enjoyed my time at Seminar and hope to be able to attend next year. I’m already trying to figure out class schedules!