Memorials (& Museums) in DC

Trip Start Dec 26, 2011
Trip End Dec 29, 2011

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The wind as we walked around the back of the Lincoln Memorial was atrocious.  The funeral procession looped back around over the bridge as we walked, a huge mass of motorcycles before the cars.

I was anxious to see the Lincoln Memorial because I share a birthday with the President, but tempers were short, stomachs were empty, and hundreds of tourists were around.  The view from the "I Have A Dream" step was not as nice as the last time we visited, because the reflecting pool has been ripped up (we saw on the first day that they were working on the Mall).  I can't say I mind - my clearest memory of walking along the reflecting pool is over-enthusiastic squirrels with no concept of personal space.

The Korean War memorial was next, then across to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which apparently has been the subject of some controversy although I rather liked it.  There is a nice view across to the Jefferson Memorial from there, and the Washington Memorial is off to the side.  It was 1:30 and we were truly hungry and tired by then, so we walked all the way down the rest of the Mall, passing the World War II Memorial (sans fountains) and the Washington Memorial (we swore we could see some of the cracks from the earthquake that make it currently closed), and sighting the White House down the hill, fronted by a giant Menorah and Christmas Tree.

We knew a museum would have a cafeteria, so we went in the first one we found, the Smithsonian Museum of American History (which Mom wanted to see anyway) and ate in the window seats of the extremely overpriced Consitution Cafe.  A lot of the wings were closed, but we admired the many strange artifacts displayed in the museum's lobby, plus Julia Child's Kitchen, an extremely detailed and amazing doll house, Dorothy's Ruby Slippers, and original Muppet puppets.  The line to see the Star-Spangled Banner (yes, the one that inspired the poem/song) and the dresses of the First Ladies were too long to be worth it, so we made a quick stop at the Museum of Natural History.  This was mainly for the Hope Diamond, currently in a special diamond encasing made by a famous jeweler; we decided to forego the other gems due to the sheer mass of people (the place was absolutely packed!).  We of course saw Henry, the famous elephant, and even saw a mini-Easter Island statue, this one about ten feet tall and "acquired", aka stolen, when it was found lying on its side there.

On the way back to the hotel (we were all exhausted by this time, although only early afternoon), we passed the Sculpture Garden that I remember from my first time in DC, and the National Archives, which boasted a humongous line that wrapped around the corner.  Nearing our hotel, we saw Capitol Building brilliantly lit in the afternoon sun.  Dad and I stopped by the adorable and well-stocked Wild Boar Cafe and got four Chai teas for all of us.

Now, Mom is struggling with the useless clicker of the hotel TV, which only seems to want to let us buy movies.

Later, after dinner: No one wanted to walk anymore, so we opted for the hotel restaurant at 7.  It's called Article One, and that text is printed on back of the menu.  It's right in the lobby and separated by decorative screens only.  The food was delicious and the decor "comfortable", as Mom put it.  I got butternut squash and goat cheese ravioli, with figs, cilantro, pine nuts, and a cream sauce.  Delicious!  Sam got a yummy swordfish, Mom an interesting crab pasta, and Dad chicken with delicious mushrooms.  We saw the Kim Jong Il funeral shown on TV.  The one strange part of the night was when the hostess, who was very nice, basically interviewed us after our meal, asking each what we had and what we thought, then told us to stay for as long as we'd like.

Now watching Drive with the family (which cost us a ridiculous $17) .  Good night!
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