Monday, May 7, 2012

Mrs. NDL Goes to Washington

What we missed on our somewhat spontaneous two-day trip to DC:

Cherry blossoms. They peaked a month before the end of the cherry blossom festival and then a big rain washed the spent blooms away. There was not so much as a petal to be found.

Malbec World Day. We stayed in Dupont Circle in the midst of embassies from around the world. Huge banners at the Argentinian embassy pointed out the festival that happened just days before our arrival.

White House Garden tours. They only happen a couple of times a year and one of those times was exactly the weekend that had just passed. The view through the fence. So close, but yet so far.

We shoulda planned ahead.

But, it is DC, and there are a few other things to see and do.

Monuments of course. Lincoln, Vietnam, WWII, are all beautiful and moving, but we could not enter the Washington Monument which is still closed due to earthquake damage.

The United States Botanic Garden:  Site of the National Garden which features many aspects of gardening from roses to regional native plants.

Inside, a lovely surprise was  Orchid Mystique: Nature’s Triumph   - "observes the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of the cherry blossom trees to Washington, D.C., by presenting our orchids in settings evocative of Japanese gardens. The tranquility of the Japanese aesthetic invites appreciation of the beauty, form and exquisite floral complexity of nature’s most diverse plant family."

The Library of Congress: If you were expecting a modern building warehousing shelves and shelves of books you would be as delighted to find that the original LOC building is a jewel of artistic architecture with a fascinating history as we were.

"The figures of little boys on the staircase are known as “putti” in Italian Renaissance art and represent the various occupations and pursuits of contemporary American life when the Jefferson Building was completed in 1897." - LOC Virtual Tour  Shown in the foreground here is the hunter, with the farmer, mechanic, and bacchanalian alongside. See the other three panels of industrious little putti herehere, and here.

The exhibit Sakura: Cherry Blossoms as Living Symbols of Friendship was nice consolation for having missed the cherry blossoms.

Other highlights included:  beautiful stumbled upon surprises like the the Butterfly Habitat Garden, the Enid A. Haupt Garden 

and raised vegetable beds - the People's Garden, on the lawn of the Department of Agriculture. 

As well as sculpture gardens outside the Hirshorn Museum,

We intentionally sought out Sonny Bono Park, just a stones throw from DuPont Circle

Sonny Bono Memorial Park  is named for Sonny Bono. The park was established in 1998 after Sonny Bono's death by Bono family friend Geary Simon, a local real estate developer. He approached the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation's Park Partners program and paid $25,000 of his own money to revitalize an unused 800-square-foot triangle of grass. His improvements included installing an underground sprinkler system, planting new Kentucky bluegrass and a Japanese maple, as well as benches and a wrought-iron fence. The park also features a vault of Sonny Bono memorabilia, such as the sheet music for "The Beat Goes On," his official Congressional cuff links, and a mug from his string of Bono's Restaurants. - Wikipedia

And are now thinking we should write Cher, or Chaz, or Mr. Geary to tell them to hire a private gardener. and trash collector. 

But as we found over and over again in DC (as in most of life's journeys), for every disappointment  there is a supremely satisfying experience to cancel it out.

The attraction that totally lived up to our expectations - Smokey Bear's Office at the USDA Forest Service complete with animatronic Smokey.

Add champagne, lovely breakfasts, and old DC atmosphere at the American Guest House; a Prez Obama Burger and fries at the Good Stuff Eatery;  the Trenette al Nero di Seppia (Ink Squid Pasta) and offerings from the Prosciutto Bar at La Tomate; great people watching; flawless travel connections; a beautiful clean (thanks kids) house on our return, and you get a very wonderful  anniversary get-away in our nation's amazing capitol.

1 comment:

Tacitus2 said...

greetings from the far frontier!