Checking out DC activities

Trip Start Oct 01, 2008
Trip End Oct 31, 2008

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Friday night we went to a free jazz harmonica concert at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. It was wonderful!
Later on we walked way down to the end of the mall to meet up with a ranger to take a walking tour focusing on the "Home Front" during WWII. We couldn't find the ranger in the near pitch dark and joined the many tourists walking in the WWII Memorial. We viewed the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument lit up at night and walked home. We stopped at Gifford's for ice cream, convincing ourselves we'd already walked off the calories.
There is so much to do in this end to available museums, lectures, plays, and concerts. There are tons of places to walk and scores of restaurants. We are having trouble choosing what to do when!
Saturday morning we attended a very interesting Smithsonian lecture on the development of US power, from "Colony to Superpower" by three history professors. We sat next to a young man in the foreign service; he is home between an assignment in Iraq and a posting to Pakistan. When we asked him about his posting he said: "I could have asked for somewhere like Vienna, but Pakistan is where diplomacy is actually happening." We wished him luck. Imagine our surprise to find our next door neighbor from Westford sitting a row behind us; Barbara has retired from Raytheon, gone to law school and is moving to DC permanently. When we left the building we were deciding on a lunch spot when who should walk by but our niece! She and her colleagues had just finished the Aids Walk. She needed to go home but she called our nephew and he came and joined us and Barbara for lunch. We had arranged to meet friends from Westford for dinner and the theatre and we attended "Romeo and Juliet" at the new Harman Shakespeare Theatre. This production had all the womens' roles played by men; the Nurse and the other "women" were great, but someone needs to talk to Juliet about her 5 o'clock shadow.
Sunday morning The Girl slept late and then joined The Boy at the Sculpture Garden to read the Sunday Washington Post.

The Boy went home for a nap but the Girl then went to the Sackler Gallery and saw three exhibits: opalescent pastels of the Maine seacoast with time of day and weather effects by Tryon; lovely ocean black and white gelatin print photographs by Sugimoto; and three very large pieces, including two portraits, by Y. Z. Kami. The Sackler is near this beautiful garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.

Sunday night we met our niece and nephew for dinner in Cleveland Park. He is doing well as a law clerk for an apellate judge and she is superbusy at her job. She has just returned from a trip overseas to spend time with their group there that supplies HIV/AIDS medications and supplies.
Monday we walked over to the Newseum. It is a museum dedicated to the history and interpretation of journalism. Four hours there barely scratched the surface and we plan to go back again. Among the many fascinating exhibits is a video on media bias.
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