Note: Somehow I never posted this blog post, so I am posting it now incomplete – and might even revisit and finish it. . . But for now, I needed to get it out of Draft mode. 🙂
I had a wonderful Spring Break in Washington DC, and got to do some neat stuff across the city. Instead of boring you all with a daily post, (and probably because I’m being sort of lazy) I decided to just do one post for the whole week, so it will be a little long, but here goes:
I had been to DC previously mostly for work stuff, so I had seen a lot of the monuments on tours and in passing, but I had never done any of the Smithsonians, which for a self confessed geek like me, was a bit of a shame, and I sought to rectify that this trip.
My flight left very early Saturday morning, and I am quite thankful that my friend Jill was willing to get up that early to take me to the airport. My flight left on time, and I actually arrived in DC early, which was fabulous. I was staying with friends Dawn and Darrin, who had to leave town due to a family emergency, so I got to hang out with Sprocket, their funny dog, for the first couple of days that I was in town.
Once I got settled into the flat, I decided to go grab some lunch, then just stroll through DC. I had hear that DC is the place to try Ethiopian food, so I thought why not. I looked up places on yelp and found a place called Ethiopic and ventured there for dinner/lunch. If you have never had Ethiopian food before, dining is an experience in itself. In traditional Ethiopian restaurants there is no cutlery, and you use the bread which is very similar to a nan-type flatbread to essentially scoop the food with your hand. The food was very good – with interesting spices. I must say I enjoyed the whole experience, and the honey wine was spectacular.
After I left the Ethiopian restaurant, I decided to head towards the national mall to see if the Cherry Blossoms were still pretty – (they had peaked a few weeks before I arrived), and check out the Cherry Blossom Festival around the title basin. Little did I know that was also going to stumble upon the Kite Festival around the Washington Monument, which was a really cool sight, and definitely some spectacular people watching!
It was obviously incredibly crowded all over the mall so after a few minutes of hanging out watching the fun that was the kite festival, I continued down towards the Tidal Basin and I was not disappointed by the beautiful blooms that I was able to see.
After strolling and admiring the cherry blossoms, I found my way to the Festival stage, and got to see this great show:
At this point I wandered further, and came across a lovely and unexpected surprise, the Floral Library at the National Mall – just stunning!
At this point, I was honestly a bit over the crowds, so headed back to the apartment to just chill.
Sunday I started by attending worship at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, which is a very cool church located in the heart of DC, and a church with a fantastic history. I encourage to read more about not only their history, but their role in seeking justice in DC.
The service was lovely, and I arrived early enough to hear the organist and choir warming up, which I enjoyed.
The pictures below are from my tour of the church after the service (you can read about the connections to Lincoln on their website, but it was fascinating, and I enjoyed the time they took to do that – I even got to sit in “Lincoln’s Pew”)
After my tour of the church, I wandered across the street to a great German Cafe – The Mozart Cafe – which was a tiny little place tucked behind a German grocery store – (I resisted the urge to stock up on German Mustard walking through – I figured the potential for it to bust in my luggage wasn’t worth the risk, since I was headed to SD before I made it home). The food, mustard (and beverages) at Cafe Mozart were spot on, and I almost felt like I was back in Germany!
After I left the German Cafe, I decided to just wander through DC and enjoy the afternoon, with no real agenda or purpose. Walking around the waterfront neighborhood that evening, I did get spectacular views of the evening sunset (and no, that is not a UFO, just the lobby of the theater).
Monday was a busy day, and started early, with a tour of the capital I had booked through my Congressman’s office. Regina gave us a great tour, and even with all the scaffolding, it was a cool experience.
Once I left the capital I decided to head back to the National Mall, with the goal of knocking out some Smithsonian Museums, but on the way took a slight detour (really just walked in) the National Botanical Gardens.
After the Botanic Gardens I went to the Native American History Museum -great exhibits, which really were very well done.
I honestly didn’t take a lot of pictures, which will be a theme through much of my museum journeys. Just trust me – take the chance to go and experience the Smithsonians. They are free, and are true national treasures.