Monday, November 4, 2013

A short 'girls' vacation to D.C.

My friend Linda and I had been talking for the past year or so about going up to Washington D.C. for a tourist-y visit.  Since this is where George is from, I've been going up there for years but haven't done anything as a tourist in ages.  Linda lived there for a number of years when she was in college but hadn't been back in years.  Duane visited with a friend last May and had a great time seeing some of the changes and new exhibits.

Linda had never been to Arlington Cemetery and I hadn't visited since the late '70's so we decided to go there on our first afternoon.  The eternal flame at JFK's gravesite was undergoing maintenance but you could still see the headstones of JFK, Jacqueline, and their two infant children.  We also saw RFK's and Ted Kennedy's graves just down the slight hill from JFK's grave.  Of course, we headed to the Tomb of the Unknown for the changing of the guard.  A solemn and beautiful ceremony that is not to be missed.  This would have all been more enjoyable had we not begun walking out of the wrong door of the welcome center.  So, let's just say we took the scenic route in a LONG trip to the two most popular areas of the cemetery.  To say it was painful would be an understatement.  Yes, there is a bus that will take you around but we didn't need that.  After all, we knew where we were going.  NOT.  Our feet and legs were not speaking to us by the time we left.

We hit the Smithsonian's Museum of American History the next day.  Lots of changes from what I remember plus it's currently undergoing renovation in many areas.  I've found that to be basically the status quo for much of D.C.  After the American History museum we walked the mall to the fairly new Museum of the American Indian.  This was interesting to see.  We also visited their gift shop, which was one of the nicest ones I've been to.

We hit the Eastern Market on Sunday morning.  Our favorite vendor, Paul 'BoxBoy' Bierman, was there and we had a nice chat with him.   Paul makes the most amazing decoupage items.  You can find out more about him by visiting his website, BoxBoy Demented Decoupage.  Linda and I both did a little Christmas shopping at the market.  After a nice lunch we headed to spend a little time with my sister Heidi and her family in Fairfax.  I got to see two of my favorite people in the world, my nieces Bailey (6) and Taylor (4).  Heidi and her husband Charlie treated us to a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant followed up by dessert at the Baskin-Robbins next door.  Bailey and Taylor liked that part the best.  Then Charlie drove us back to our hotel in Georgetown.  Heidi said that if we had been staying one more night, she would have taken us with her to a black-tie event for work where the actor Rob Lowe was the guest of honor.  Darn.  We just missed a chance to see/meet a member of the Brat Pack.  Oh well.

Since we stayed near Georgetown we had a chance to visit some of the shops there and to eat some great food at the many restaurants nearby.  I particularly enjoyed visting the Christ Child Opportunity consignment shop.  My late mother-in-law sold and bought items from that shop so it holds a special meaning for me.  Linda also really liked the shop.

We packed a lot of walking into 4 days so we were both exhausted by day four and ready to go home and relax.  I picked up a little stomach bug of some sort by the last day but, luckily, it didn't affect me during the flight home.   We've both recovered now and realize that we'll need to 'pace' ourselves next time since, ahem, neither of us is as young as we used to be.

Here are some pics we took at the Smithsonian, etc.  I really do love my 'second home' -- the D.C. area.

Linda with Jackie Kennedy's dress.

Me with Michelle Obama's gown.

Dorothy's 'ruby slippers.'

Linda with Archie Bunker's chair.
Comparing profiles.

A vintage microphone.  Should I switch?

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