Saturday, October 3, 2009

Our Distracting Visit to DC

Hubby and I took Thursday off from work so we could drop Shannon off at Dulles Airport. She had to be at the airport at 7:30 AM, which meant we had a whole day to kill. We could either go home and be sad all day or find some interesting distraction. Opting for the latter, we headed into Washington, DC.

After taking about 3 pictures, I realized my camera battery was almost dead. Not only did I not have a back-up, the car-charger was at home in my camera bag.

It was still pretty early at that point. Way too early for retail stores to be open. So we went ahead and walked around the Tidal Basin for a close-up look at the Jefferson Memorial, which is yet another national icon I'd never actually seen despite living like 45 minutes away.

After poking around there for a bit, we headed to Alexandria in hopes of finding a cheap battery charger. (I mentioned the trip to Alexandria on my blog yesterday.)

We saw this cool little ranger vehicle on our way back to the car. I guess if you have to be a Park Ranger in DC, the least you could expect, or hope for, is a cool little vehicle to drive.

After returning from Virginia, we visited the World War II Memorial, which Hubby hadn't seen yet. I saw it on my last trip to DC.

This wall of stars, which is part of the WWII Memorial, is known as The Freedom Wall. It's comprised of 4,048 gold stars. Each gold star represents one hundred American service personnel who died in the war (or remain missing). The 405,399 American dead and missing from the Second World War are second only to the loss of more than 620,000 Americans during our Civil War.

From there, we headed toward the Capitol and Library of Congress, which were planned stops. We figured we'd just stop and see things as we walked, should the urge strike us.

There was lots of activity on and around the National Mall. Preparations were under way for the Solar Decathlon. It was sort of annoying, really, having all those moving trucks and construction equipment and people around. But we made the best of it.

We would have gone to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which is really a very moving (as in emotional) tribute to the people who fought there. But we'd already had enough emotion for the day, thank you very much. Same goes for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, which I really want to see someday.

We saw some cool buildings along the way...

This a the Smithsonian Castle Building. I have to remember to go back there and visit the gardens. We were going to, but were starving and decided to look for a meal instead.

Right beside the castle was the Arts and Industries Building, which is closed for renovation.

I can't imagine what sort of stuff one would see inside such a building, but the outside of the building is very cool.

I consulted the Smithsonian brochure I'd picked up inside the Castle to determine where we should eat. Hubby and I both wanted to see the National Museum of the America Indian. Hubby joked that maybe they had a restaurant serving Indian tacos on fry bread. As luck would have it, they actually did.

Unfortunately, while the taste was okay, the fry bread was rubbery and the meal was way overpriced. But then, we were in DC in a museum, a double whammy as far as inflated costs goes.

The museum was nice--the building is amazing--but it was a bit more historical/educational than we'd anticipated. Not to mention depressing. Knowing what the white man did to the Indians depresses me, especially since Hubby and I have seen, many times, how poorly the Indians in this country live.

I did enjoy quite a bit of the art, though. Like the painting above and these masks...

Hubby just doesn't understand art, I guess.

Though I think he was just trying to make me laugh. He did.

After that, it was off to the Capitol and Library of Congress.

I just love the Great Hall at the Library of Congress, as evidenced by all of the pics below.

The next image is from the main reading hall. Something I need to go back and check out further.

The level of detail in all of the paintings, mosaics and ornamental marble inside is amazing. The detail on the outside of the building is also quite impressive.

I'll leave you with this last shot of the Capitol. Hubby is the one who first noticed the sun streaming through the clouds.

I hope you enjoyed our visit.

1 comment:

  1. I did! But the pic of Dad not "getting" the art, made me kind of laugh/cry. If I can just get my camera problem figured out, my posts will have pictures, too. Hopefully sooner rather than later!


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