This post is mostly for me, because my blog is the closest thing I will ever get to a journal. It occurred to me the other day that I never really finished telling the Washington DC story. I found some photos that I wanted to show you. This first one was taken in a tunnel, I think it was between a couple of the buildings in the National Art Gallery. We spent about half a day there, although I could have spent longer, of course. I think we all managed to get in trouble with the guards at one time or another. Edwin, as I recall, was standing too close to a painting. I think he was maybe breathing on it.
"Sir, step away from the painting," was the stern injunction.
I, on the other hand, got chastised several times for having the audacity to actually WEAR my little purse/backpack on my back. In my defense, it was giving me a crick in my back wearing it over one shoulder. Apparently, backpacks are more dangerous when worn on one's back. Who knew? All I can say is, beware the art gallery guards, they are not nice people.
Come to think of it, I don't think Jeff and Annie got in trouble at all, disgustingly law-abiding little citizens that they are.
After that, we walked to the national mall, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and a few other attractions. I'll spare you the standard tourist photos. What I found most fascinating that afternoon was this....
We spied this group of young nuns. They were walking around the mall in small groups and then suddenly we saw that they were playing frisbee on the grass with a group of decidedly un-monkish looking young men. It was perhaps the most bizarre sight we saw on the whole trip. I wish that I had gone up to them and asked for their story, because I am still intrigued by the circumstance.
Annie and Edwin drove home that evening and left Jeff and me to our own devices. We were tired, but decided not to waste our last night so we walked down to the Capitol. The sun set while we were walking around it and I took lots of photos. I've been having fun playing around on Picasa with them.
We saw an anti-abortion vigil on the front lawn of the hill, complete with rock band. We scoped out the United States Botanic Garden and decided to squeeze in a visit the next morning. We were captivated by fireflies dancing on the lawns. As we stood on the steps of the Capitol a small herd of people, on that strange mode of transportation called the Segway, rode (drove?) up. They were on the sunset tour of DC. That's what I'm talkin' about! If we had had one more day, it would have been us the next night. It was a little spendy, but looked to be radical fun. Finally, the mosquitos proved to be more tenacious than we, so we meandered back to the hotel.
As planned, we got an early start the next morning, left our bags at the hotel and hoofed it the mile-and-a-half to the Botanic Garden. We arrived about 30 minutes before it opened so we walked around it, taking in the outside gardens.
I'm a big fan of garden art, tacky or not, and I loved these whimsical sculptures.
As we walked the perimeter of the building, we noticed an increasing law enforcement presence. Eventually, we neared the entrance again and were rudely told by a policeman to walk on the other side of the street. When Jeff asked him what was going on he was not forthcoming with an answer. We came around the side of the building to the entrance and it was guarded fiercely by policemen who told us the gardens would not be open to the public until later that morning. Some visiting dignitary was taking precedence over us, the tax-paying public.
We reluctantly rethought our schedule, walked back to the hotel, picked up our bags, and walked the now-familiar route back to the gardens. Hauling our bags around the gardens wasn't really on our list of preferred activities for the day, but it was that or nothing. By the time we returned, rather disgruntled, they were open again. Hooray!
There was much botanic-inspired art in the building, which was divided into a maze-like arrangement of indoor and outdoor gardens. Once again, too much fun with the camera.
The botanicals were spectacular, even when toting around our luggage.
Moan, grizzle, whine.
And that, my friends, is the end of our adventure. We wheeled our luggage to the bus station, perfectly on time, and caught the bus to Dulles Airport.
Until next time.
Because the majority of the Smithsonian is as yet undiscovered by me.