10 September 2008

A Glimpse of Washington

Okay... time to finally get something written about my trip.
It was nice to have some adult time with my parents, and wonderful to be able to see some parts of our nation's capital.
Those of you that know me well, know that I could not go there without a trip to the National Arboretum. I must admit I was a bit disappointed at first glance - it was off the beaten path and very different than the botanical gardens we are spoiled with here. That said, once I started poking around, I saw some amazing sights. I think I was most impressed with the Bonsai Gallery. It was awesome!

This incredible white pine has been in training since.... 1625!!!!!!!!!!
How they know that, I have no idea.

I thought this was so striking.

This arboretum was set up more for driving than walking. You would see one part of the gardens, the you could get in your car and drive to the next "exhibit", but since we took the subway and bus to get there, I walked.
These columns are from the Capitol building and were on the wing where Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. They were removed when the Capitol Building was expanded in 1958 and then placed on site in the arboretum in 1990. They are a work of art in themselves.

The Asian gardens were another highlight. Lots of Japanese maples and boxwoods.

My parents are avid pedometer wearers and reported that we walked a total of 17 miles that day.

My stepdad headed to the Spy Museum one afternoon, and I was having a hard time swallowing the $18 admission fee, so decided to go check out the (free admission) National Portrait Gallery. The Presidential collection was amazing and I learned a lot reading the descriptions beside them. The Abraham Lincoln life masks were cool. They had one made before the Civil War and one made during... the differences really showed how the war really took its toll on his features.

I headed down the stairs and rounded a corner to find this portrait...

I had seen it in magazines before, but much more impressive in person - very beautiful.

Unfortunately, two of my days were spent in bed with food poisoning, but I must admit it was nice to be sick - and off duty at the same time. Moms don't have the luxury of being just sick in bed. Sick at home means being sick and still "working". It was a luxury to just be sick and sleep.

When I felt better, we took a trolley around town to see some sights. It was well worth the fee for that. The drivers were very knowledgeable and you could cover a lot of territory in one day.
We took the trolley to visit my Mom's high school - National Cathedral...
I think the first time I have visited there and it was actually finished. Seems like growing up, when we would visit, they were always adding on to it.

It is a beautiful building. Sounds like things were pretty strict while my Mom was going to school here.

I did learn what gargoyles are for on buildings...
They are there as water spouts - to protect the buildings. Originally, the water was meant to bounce off them and this would help keep the water away from the building walls. Eventually they added spouts to their mouths. Cool!

This was the dorm my Mom lived in...
They only have day students now a days.

I will add more of the trip as soon as I can. Stay tuned :)

1 comment:

Niki said...

Wow, that would be totally cool to see the buildings.. I like old buildings. That is why I had so much fun in England looking at the old stuff!!!

Glad you had fun