Sunday, July 10, 2011

New England Trek, Part I: Washington, D.C.

June 20-22


*Getting to see my friend, Katie.
*Touring the Capitol building- seriously, I love that building- SO beautiful! I got so many pictures of it from almost every angle, I couldn't seem to stop. (I tried to share the ones I thought were the best...)

(Exterior and The Rotunda)

(Left: The monorail we took from the Senate building to the Capitol;
Right: A beautiful mosaic on the Senate side of the Capitol)
*While touring the Capitol under the knowledgeable guidance of my friend, we got to see several senators in passing, including Senator Hatch from Utah!

*Getting to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution- very humbling to be in the presence of those inspired documents, especially knowing that our Founding Fathers at one point were also in the same room as the documents.

*Washington Monument- I especially enjoyed getting to know our First President better- and am even more impressed with the kind of man he was.

(View of the White House from the Washington Monument)

*Museum of Natural History- The live butterfly exhibit was cool! The Hope Diamond- rather disappointing.

*Museum of American History- Not only was it neat to see the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner," I also loved getting to see one of the original Kermit puppets, The Ruby Slippers, gorgeously decorated Stradivarius instruments, a baseball signed by Lou Gehrig, and, oh yeah, some amazing dresses of the First Ladies.

*The National Gallery- I wish I'd had so much more time to spend here; there simply wasn't enough time to see all that I wanted to see. Here were some of my favorites:

(A mostly 2-dimensional house sculpture that looks completely 3-D from almost any angle;
Roy Lichtenstein)

(The only Da Vinci in the Western Hemisphere- Ginevra de' Benci)

(The Blank Signature, by one of my favorite surrealists, Rene Magritte)

(The Sacrament of the Last Supper, by Salvador Dali- this was a delightfully unexpected discovery that I found as I turned a corner to get a drink of water at a water fountain.)

*Getting to watch The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on the big screen was also a fantastic part of this leg of the journey, since I was on my mission when it originally came out...

So, despite not having enough time to extensively see all I had wanted see, (and despite horrendous traffic!), I had an absolutely fantastic time in D.C.!

(The Castle, the main administrative building for the Smithsonian Institution)

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