We started with a tour of the Capitol Building. I had reserved tickets ahead of time, so we didn’t have to wait in line quite as long. It’s not a very long tour (it was more comprehensive prior to 9/11) but it’s still great to see the interior of this impressive building. It’s a building that lives up to the hype.
Library of Congress
In my opinion, the LOC is the most overlooked building in DC — it’s gorgeous. I always make sure it’s on the list of Things To See whenever I have people in town.
|Main reading room|
The Botanical Garden is my favorite of the Smithsonian museums. It’s little and full of lovely plants. The orchid room is the highlight.
American Indian Museum
This museum has a cool building and a good cafeteria, but the collection itself is pretty ho-hum. We went for the food.
National Gallery – East Building
The East Building of the National Gallery has all of the modern art. Some pieces are funky and hard to interpret. Other pieces are really cool and fun.
Our first visit to the National Gallery on Saturday was far too short to see everything, so we went back for a more fulsome visit. Saw pretty much everything — after seeing the Prado this summer in Spain, it was nice to see that the National Gallery’s collection held up pretty well.
|Taking a break in the atrium|
The Hirschorn normally has all of my favorite Rodin statues. Unfortunately, they were redoing the floor that normally displays those statues, so we couldn’t see any of them. As a consolation prize, however, we got to see an installation by a prominent Chinese artist — it was a series of animal heads from the Chinese zodiac encircling the central fountain.
Air and Space Museum
After all the art of the National Gallery, we ran across the Mall to the Air and Space Museum. We glanced at the planes and spacecraft that were visible from the main corridors, but we were less interested in doing a full visit of this museum. Instead, we got a snack from the McDonalds that occupies one end of the building — it wasn’t delicious, but it prevented death by starvation!
|Lunar landing module|
Arlington National Cemetery
The Arlington National Cemetery closes two hours later than the Smithsonian museums, so we were able to get in a full day at the museums and still have time to visit the cemetery. It’s an impressive place, much larger than you might expect. We were too late to get into the Custis-Lee plantation house, but we did manage to see the changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The precision of that ceremony was astonishing — the timing of the three soldiers’ movements was flawless.
Heather has been working on being braver with the types of food she eats ever since, well, ever since she was born. Apparently Jordan convinced her to try Thai food recently, so I decided to continue in that vein by taking her to my favorite Thai restaurant in the DC area. It was delicious (as always), and I think Heather liked it.