August 27, 2009

Washington, D.C.

First off, I'm sorry for the enormous delay. But here it is.

We did see the White House and the Capitol, and we tripped over to Arlington National Cemetery and saw JFK's grave. It's a sad but inspiring place; it makes you realize how much each person there has gone through to keep freedom alive.

We stopped by a handful of the Smithsonian Museums, my favorite being the Joseph Hirshhorn Museum -- at first I didn't want to go in, because I didn't know what was in it, but it turned out to be utterly fabulous. It's an absolutely splendid modern art gallery; it's so great. It's creative and unique and funky and fantastic.

The Museum of American History is pretty cool, too; they've got President Lincoln's top hat and the original flag within their walls. They also have the dresses of many First Ladies; it's a very popular exhibit.

We also visited the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History. Again, two great places to spend a hot day. The Air and Space Museum has some neat videos showing in their IMAX theater, and it's chock-full of fascinating facts about, well, air and space. There's just so much in each of these museums that it would take forever to actually spend time and grasp everything. At some point, we actually skipped about five-sixths of an exhibit and just walked through it in search of an exit.

The Museum of Natural History was the first one we visited, on the day we drove into DC from New Jersey. It has loads of frighteningly realistic models of animals, and every section of the museum has small walk-in theaters playing 10-20 minute videos to accompany the exhibit. My personal favorite section was the gems/minerals one, which is the largest collection in the U.S. (and maybe the world as well, I'm not sure). It's got every kind of gem or mineral you can imagine, from your typical gold or silver to some emperor's ring to every kind of -ite you can name.

Washington D.C. is an architectural marvel. It's not as lively as New York, definitely, but it's still a unique place with a rich political history and a tourist-friendly package.


anilee said...

Ooh...I loved Hirshhorn. I'm not a huge fan of modern art, but I visited with a group of teens (strangers, but still), and it was really fun.

The National Gallery of Art is fantastic too. :-)

And ditto on the gems/minerals collection. I love the jewelry...*wants to be royalty in her next life* ;-)

Q said...

You know the elephant in the atrium of the Natural History Museum? The guy who designed and led the building of that is my grandmother's cousin. Tee hee.

Maya Ganesan said...

Madison - I loved Hirshhorn, too. It's my absolute favorite museum in the world now and the first museum that I actually wanted to stay in for long. Unfortunately that sentiment wasn't shared by anyone else in the family. :(

Q - ahhh, that is SO cool! Fun fact of the day, hahah. :)