Tag Archives: Washington D.C.

Another day in Washington, D.C.

I took a small detour in my weekly posts about my trip to Spain in March to attend my nephew’s wedding in the D.C. area.  So this week I’d like to share a bit about another day I got to spend in our nation’s capital.  This was the day after the wedding and the day before my daughter and I went home.  Similar to my last trip to D.C. last fall, this one was another short visit.  This trip was with my sister, her son (the one that didn’t get married) and my daughter.  We parked at the Vienna metro station about 9:45 a.m. and took the train into D.C.  We had reservations for a tour of the capitol building at 1:50 and planned to visit both the Botanic Garden and the Library of Congress and also get lunch prior to our tour of the capitol.  We did manage to squeeze it all in but I wish there would have been time to see more of those gardens.  But, I’m so happy I got to go there.  It was one of the highlights of the day for me!  Following are photos from our short visit.  I hope you enjoy them!

First we visited the Botanic Garden since we didn’t get to D.C. in time to take the 10:30 tour of the Library of Congress.  And we only had about 30 minutes but I did get a few nice photos of lovely flowers:

We had to hustle to make it to the 11:30 tour of the Library of Congress but we made it and just barely! We stuck with the tour for about 30 minutes then checked out the exhibit of Thomas Jefferson’s library.  I had never been to the Library of Congress before and my goodness, what a lovely place!  Our guide told us it was built to impress and it is definitely “over the top” with many sayings and printer’s marks all over the walls.  It’s definitely worth a look and very impressive!

Afterwards we took the tunnel to the capitol building where we had lunch in the “restaurant”.  It’s actually a cafeteria with many different types of food to choose from.  I got a salad from the salad bar, Miss M had a veggie wrap, nephew got sushi and sister got a turkey burger.  We all thought the food was very good so while it’s a cafeteria, I highly recommend it for lunch if you’re visiting the capitol building.

When we checked in for our 1:50 tour of the capitol we were given the option to join the 1:30 tour since it hadn’t left yet.  We had a very amusing guide which made the hour (or so) tour very fun.  I learned so many things from him but the tale he told at the end of our tour was one thing that stood out.  It’s a question that comes up often at my house:  is the tomato a fruit or vegetable?  Hubby has always said that it’s a fruit because it has seeds.  Did you know that there was a decision by the Supreme Court that the tomato shall be classified as a vegetable?  Yes indeed.  I thought our guide was kidding but I googled it and found Nix vs. Hedden from 1893!  So those of you that say it’s a fruit?  You’re breaking the law!  Too, too funny.

Well, I forgot a few photos for the last gallery and there seems to be a glitch with photo galleries whereas I cannot edit any gallery in this post.  So, rather than start over I’m creating another, small gallery for the photos I forgot to include.  These are statues of Norman Borlaug whose name caught my eye as there is a Borlaug Hall on the St. Paul campus of the U of MN where I work.  Sure enough, it’s the same person.  The other statue is the only one not specific to a state and it’s of Rosa Parks.  What a nice tribute to her role in the Civil Rights movement.

A few last photos of the capitol and Library of Congress from the outside:



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My few hours in Washington D.C.

If you knew you would only have a few hours in our nation’s capital, how would you spend them?  I knew immediately what I wanted to do when I had that opportunity recently.  I lived in the D.C. area in the late 80s and I visited Washington D.C. several times during those years. The National Gallery of Art left such an impression on me that I knew I wanted to come back while I was in northern Virginia.  I was taking care of my elderly mother while my sister and her husband took a well deserved vacation. They are Mom’s usual care givers. My mother goes to an adult day care center during the day so I thought it would be best to keep her routine and that gave me the chance to have some fun while I was there. And it was a great day!  Even if it was just a few hours.

I had plans to meet Cathy of nomad, interrupted at the museum between 10:00 and 10:30. We met in the blogosphere and she had said to let her know if I was ever in town.  Traffic was awful that morning which caused me to be further delayed. I decided to park at the new Reston metro station because it was close to the day care center, about 10-15 minutes away.  The parking level I entered was full so I headed down to the next level and found many open spots but they all had this reserved sign above them: Reserved from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. By this time it was 9:57 so I parked and waited and called my friend to let her know I wasn’t even on the train yet :( It was another 5 minutes to get to the train and about 8 more minutes before the train left.  I did finally arrive in D.C.!!!  I called Cathy when I entered the museum and she showed up minutes later.  Finally we meet!

I remember that this gallery had a nice French impressionism collection and I wanted to be sure to see at least these paintings.  It’s also fun to go to a museum with others because you get their perspective and learn new things. Cathy picked up a brochure of some special items in the museum, and one was near the 7th Street entrance where I came in,  Degas’s Little Dancer sculpture.  I love Degas so this was a treat I wasn’t expecting. Bonus!  There were two that looked nearly identical in stance, one was made of plaster, the other of bronze. Click on an image to see a larger view.

Other fabulous works of art that we saw:

I loved all the Monet that I saw but these were my particular favorites. Notice the artist at work making a copy of one of them.

I loved the placement of this Whistler painting:

Other beautiful paintings in the French Impressionism section:

Other scenes from the museum:

The last two paintings are ones we stumbled upon as we were leaving to go find lunch.  They are by Goya, one of my favorite Spanish artists.

We had a fabulous lunch at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana just a couple of blocks from the museum.  Check out my post at the link about that experience!  After lunch it was about time for me to head back to take care of Mom.  It was a fun way to spend a few hours in D.C. and it was great to meet another blogger and world traveler there. Wonderful art, food and company.  You really can’t go wrong with that combination. I highly recommend this museum for art lovers. There is something for everyone here.


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Miss M goes to Washington

Prompted by Cathy at nomad, interrupted and her fabulous post about our nation’s capitol (do check it out, she takes awesome photos!) I decided to put this post together of my daughter’s first visit to Washington D.C.  I see now that I don’t have that many photos but the day was still very fun and a bit unusual due to the rain.  When you plan something you can’t let the weather stop you right?  Follow along as I show you our rainy day in Washington will you?

We took the metro to the mall and got off near the Smithsonian Institution.  Here’s my sister, myself and our kids who look very tiny in this photo.

we4WA_monumentI can’t remember in what order we saw the handful monuments that we visited that day but we walked all the way to the Lincoln Memorial and back to the same metro station.  We were all exhausted and wet by the time we got back to my sister’s house.

En route we saw the Lincoln Memorial:


We checked out the WWII memorial.  When I lived in northern Virginia I visited the capital many times.  But this was new since the last time I was there.  My father was a WWII veteran so we really wanted to see this memorial in honor of him.  Interesting aside is that he landed on the beach at Normandy and obviously survived that.  But right before the Battle of the Bulge he had to have an emergency appendectomy.  I might not have been here had he gone on to that battle!  The next several photos are from this memorial.

WWII memorialDad was in the army(8th Infantry of the 4th Division, Company M(Cloverleaf)) so I snapped this:

army,WWII memorialEach state in the memorial has a pillar so I made Miss M stand in front of the state she was born in:

MN pillar

Truman wordsAs you can see it was a rather moist day.  But I do enjoy this photo of the Washington monument in the mist taken from the Lincoln Memorial:

WA monumentLincoln(and the two cousins), one of our nation’s best presidents in my opinion:

LincolnAnd this photo really tells the tale don’t you think?  There were ponchos for sale at the kiosks along the mall and we all geared up for our rainy day.  Here’s the group having lunch with ponchos on:

wet lunchOn our way back to the metro station we walked through the Korean War Memorial.  I guess I only took one photo? It’s a very moving memorial and hubby took some awesome photos of it one trip a while ago.  But I think that was before the digital camera revolution so I’m not able to share them here.  Wish I could, he did a great job documenting it!  So, this one will have to suffice:

Korean war memorialHave you ever been to Washington D.C.? What was your favorite thing to do or see there?  I rather enjoyed visiting the National Gallery of Art on occasion when I lived in the area.  I also enjoyed the tour of the White House.  And my mother and I once visited the Holocaust museum, a very harrowing tour that was.  There are so many museums that I think one could spend an entire week there and still not see everything.


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