Thursday, January 10, 2013

Washington, DC.

Time for a DC trip re-cap.  I'm going to do it mostly in pictures, even though one of my favourite pictures** is corrupted and won't import from my camera to my computer.

It's pretty exciting when you get to DC and see your first view of the Capitol.  We took many pictures of it.

I'm definitely a big Smithsonian fan.  Confession: before the trip I thought that the Smithsonian was one museum, not a group of them.  We managed to do five of them in detail.  First on the docket was the Air and Space Museum which was good.  Here's the original Wright Brothers' plane.  Cool, huh?

Next was the Museum of Natural History, which is my favourite kind of museum.  Here's a picture of me all excited to enter the Hall of Mammals.  This picture is for AlieMalie, who knows how excited I get about a good mammal exhibition.

However, I think my favourite part of this museum was the gemstone room aka the Hall of Shiny Things.  Here's the Hope Diamond! 

After closing down the museums, we decided to take a sunset walk to the Lincoln Memorial, passing by the Washington Monument, who I nicknamed Ol' Evil Eyes.  Seriously, those red lights are creepy, don't you think?

My DC guidebook said to be sure to see the Lincoln Memorial both during the daylight and at night.  It was right.

Ol' Evil Eyes looks far less creepy from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Love the reflecting pool.

Here's Abe.  Hey - congrats to him on all of those Oscar noms today!

Our hotel was really close to the White House, so we got a great look at it at night.

Normally, you'd also have a great view of the White House from our hotel's street.  However, it was currently blocked with the Inauguration stage as you can see from this picture.  That's okay though; all you had to do was walk around the stage to see the house.  It was pretty neat seeing them set up for the Inaguration.

 There were spectator benches going up all over the streets.

Day 2 included more museums.  I said "Let's not do the Museum of American History.  Sounds dull."  My friend Heather said "I read they have Kermit the Frog there."  My reply: "We are going there NOW."  And I found my Kermie!

Ironically, the museum that I wanted to skip turned out to be my favourite.   I especially loved the First Ladies' inauguration gowns on display.  Here's Michelle Obama's.

We then took a stroll through the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery.  Here's my favourite sculpture.

After that it was off to the MASSIVE National Gallery.  It's huge, and will take it out of you.  I loved this shot that I took of a portrait of Napoleon from across the hall.  I got this postcard for my dad, since he's the biggest Napoleon fan ever.

 We took a day off of museums on our third day.  We went to the Eastern Market for amazing blueberry pancakes.  Yum!

We also went to a crazy used bookstore called Capitol Hill books. Every available surface in the place was filled with books, and the owner had snarky hand-written signs everywhere.  It was hilarious.  It made me think of bookstore shopping with Jabba in Victoria.  She's gotta find this store if she is ever in DC!

Then we walked to the National Library of Congress which is a gorgeous building.  The reading room is incredible, but they don't allow you to take pictures of it.  Here's some of the inside architecture.

We took the subway to Georgetown, which is an awesome, but pricey, shopping district.  I actually didn't find much to buy which was OK since I'd been spending most of my money on amazing food and wine during the trip.  Experiences, not possessions, right?

For our last meal in DC we returned to the Capitol Hill neighbourhood and went to a wine bar where we polished off a bottle of wine from Sonoma (shout out to my 2008 San Fran trip!), a yummy cheese plate, steaks the size of our faces, and I had a glass of dessert wine that changed my life.  We decided to walk home along the National mall at night to our hotel (at least 2 miles) which I'm proud to say that I managed to do in heels.  Awesome work Christielli.

It was worth it, because we got to see the Capitol at night in the reflecting pool.

After surviving the walk, we had a couple of glasses of champagne in our hotel lobby and got ready for our last day in DC.  We had a 7 pm flight leaving on Sunday.

We decided to head to Lincoln Memorial for a daytime view.  Here's me with Ol' Evil Eyes, looking less evil during the day.

We had all of these plans to go Arlington Cemetery, and see the Jefferson Monument to satisfy my love of old obscure Simpsons references but everything seemed to far away and we were tired from holidaying hard.  Instead, we headed to National Portrait Gallery which was highly enjoyable.  I especially liked all of the presidential portraits.  Here's JFK.

 After that, we had one last meal, and then it was off to the airport and back to Toronto and real life started back the next day. 

I had a great trip though.  I really like DC.  I'd never really thought of going there, but it turned out to be the perfect mini-getaway.  And as you can see from the pics, we had excellent weather! Sunshine everyday, and warm enough for me to wear my fall coat. 

** My favourite picture was taken on the last day of our trip, while we were on the steps of the Lincoln memorial.  We saw three helicopters fly to the White House, one which would have Obama returning from his Hawaiian vacation.  I got a picture of them in the blue sky, but it's not working.  Oh well, if that's the worst thing that happens to me on vacation, I'm a pretty lucky girl.


jason said...

like your photos a lot, it's been awhile since i've been to dc. there really are some cool places to check out. glad you had fun, and happy almost friday!

Claire said...

I love DC, and these pics are awesome. I'm so glad you had a good trip - and beautiful weather, by the looks of it!

Siobhan said...

It looks like you had an amazing time - you know how to holiday!