I just got back from a trip to Washington DC to see a long time friend Maura.
* Meeting at the airport… it’s always good to see old friends!
* Waffles (from the super-snazzy Chef’s Choice WafflePro Express waffle maker I got Maura for Christmas)
* A fine and fun (and free) tour of historic Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria Virginia, that included seeing people in period dress, gadgetry, and English Country Dancing (which was far more fun than I had originally been led to believe by my previous examinations into the subject)
* got candy at Candy’s Candy
* Saw Jamey Turner the glass harmonica guy in front of the Torpedo Factory
* Grilled cheese at Cheesetique for dinner!
* We sadly had not left room for ice cream, but that’s ok.
Went to the Udvar-Hazy National Air and Space Center. We spent 2 hours on the most amazing tour of everything! Some highlights: The Enola Gay, Space Shuttle Enterprise, WWII Corsair & Hurricane & Spitfire, Gemini capsules, Joint Strike Fighter Vertical Takeoff engine (I have no idea how they fit that giant thing inside the plane!)
Went to the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. I needed to see the giant Calder mobile because I never really liked it. But Maura tells me that he practically invented the art mobile… well not really but it was pretty revolutionary when he did his. I like his work now :-). Upstairs in one of the towers there was this pretty awesome art exhibit by Nam June Paik, a real candle at one end of the room was in front of a camera and it’s live image was projected up on the walls. Definitely cool. On a table, an egg was being videoed. Next to the egg was a small television with the live image of the egg. And next to that there was another small television with the tube removed, replaced with an egg. Totally groovy.
Went to Mitsitam inside the Museum of the American Indian on the mall for lunch. I highly recommend it. It’s cafeteria style and you can walk up to the “Mezoamerica” area to get food from that region, “Northern Woodlands” has crab apples and potatoes, “Great Plains” has other native foods. It was a living, tastable food adventure! Check out their menu!
Went to National Air and Space Museum… saw parts of Goddard’s first rocket, saw 2 ICBMs; Russian and American; now outlawed; ending the Cold War, saw the actual Hubble backup mirror; one of the most carefully shaped objects in the world.
Went to a popup restaurant, America Eats. Actually it is more of a temporary art installation of a restaurant. With things like the world’s first gaspacho soup, Waldorf salad, and “vermiccelli prepared like pudding” which is (probably rightfully) claimed to be macaroni and cheese’s grandfather. The restaurant is a complimentary part of a Library of Congress exhibit.
Went to the National Portrait Gallery… saw a tiny photo of a young Lincoln and then another 4 years later, ouch the presidency made him old quick. Saw the Lansdowne portrait of Washington. We both wondered WTF was up with the crappy rainbow in the upper right corner: the colors are crappy and all in the wrong order and the direction of the sun is wrong. It was such an afterthought!
Saw the Calder wireframes, which were pretty awesome. Saw the originals of the paintings on the $20 and $100 bill. Heard stories about Singer (of sewing machine fame), the founder of the girl scouts (who lost her hearing due to rice in her ear on her wedding day, hurumph!), and Walt Witman, saw a young George Washington portrait. And heard the story of Sequoyah, a Cherokee who invented the Cherokee syllabary in 1819, by 1830 Cherokee literacy had gone from 0% to 90%! Talk about an idea who’s time had come!