Monday, June 8, 2015

A Trip to Washington DC

 
At the end of May we took a long-weekend trip to Washington DC.  Somewhere I've always been intrigued by from the movies and TV.  It's about 2 1/2 hours drive from home, so not too far at all for a weekend visit.  Driving on the 6 lane motorways on the outskirts of the city, and then in the one-way streets in the centre to get to our hotel was "interesting" (especially when the SatNav had a small meltdown) but we got there in one piece with only one slight detour.


Having dumped our bags and acquired a map, we had a quick lunch at the hotel restaurant before heading out into the sunshine.


We hit the obligatory sights first - from the White House (for me, a little underwhelming) and then over to the Washington Monument and then down to the Reflecting Pool.  Even in that short time, we walked several miles, and were happy to return to the hotel for a brief rest before dinner.  Hubby had booked a wonderful 10 course taster meal at Rogue24, and we had a ring-side seat next to the kitchen area.  Beautiful food, and we splashed out on the drinks taster menu to go with it...  Good job it wasn't far from the hotel!

 
The next day, we took a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour around the city, enjoying the top deck views and commentary in the (rather hot) sunshine. 

 
During the tour, we passed the gathering area for Rolling Thunder - where hundreds (if not thousands) of motorbikes were starting to gather for the Rolling Thunder Run on the Sunday.  Quite a sight to see, including this biker with his helmeted handbag (should that be panier?) dog! 

 

After enough sunshine, we jumped off the bus at the Lincoln Memorial to stretch our legs and to see the famous Lincoln monument.  By this time, things were really starting to get busy for the holiday weekend, and there were people everywhere, so we slowly headed home by foot.

 

 
On the Sunday, as the weather was forecast to be even hotter, we decided to take in some of the museums. There are lots of Smithsonian museums, and all are free entry, which is amazing, although unsurprisingly there were long queues for the most popular ones.  We picked out 3 that we were interested in, and headed off into the heat...

We started at the Air and Space Museum, seeing exhibits from the Wilbur Brothers' early flights, to Amelia Earheart's exploits (I hadn't realised she'd gone MIA), to fighter planes in the world wars and then on to space travel.


Next was the National Museum of the American Indian, which included indigenous groups from throughout the western hemisphere, with exhibits on their history and lifestyles.  There were also exhibits of their artwork - of particular interest to me were all the beautifully beaded items - so detailed and precisely geometric.


Then finally, we took a trip to the  Natural History Museum, which by this stage was crowded with people.  However, we'd seen a sign for a Live Butterfly exhibition, which we thought might be fun.  We entered a small butterfly pavilion where lots of different butterflies flew around our heads (and feet - you had to watch where you trod!) - beautiful colours, some almost looked like they'd been painted - you can't help but smile at butterflies!

 
Then, as we dipped in and out of the museums, we happened to catch some of the Rolling Thunder Run - an impressive site, and a constant roar of motorbikes for a few hours!
 
video
 
A fab weekend in Washington, with beautiful weather.  With hindsight, booking for a holiday weekend perhaps wasn't the best idea given the crowds, but I'm sure we'll be back with so many more sights to see. 

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