Thursday, May 11, 2017

Visit to the National Mall, Washington, D.C., May 4-5, 1917

My wife and I decided to visit Washington's National Mall. Although I had heard of the Mall, I really wasn't expecting it to be so large. (Yes, I had visited Minneapolis' Mall of America in 1992—right after it opened and before we moved from Minnesota.) The National Mall is unlike anything I had experienced before. 

Barbara in the National Mall with the nation's capitol in the background, May 4, 2017.

Our first stop was the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American history, where we visited Julia Child's kitchen on the ground floor of the museum. We spent most of the day there.

At 3:00 we went to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum—probably our favorite stop at the National Mall. Here Barbara is standing in front of the Lunar Landing Module on May 4, 2017. I remember watching the actual landing on the moon in 1969 from a ramen shop in Okinawa.

After seeing a few things in the Air and Space Museum, we rode the train to Shady Grove Metro Station, then drove our car back to our son John's house in Mt. Airy, Maryland. The next day we returned to the National Mall, where we visited the Air and Space Museum until 3:00 p.m.

The highlight of our two-day visit to the National Mall was probably this model of NCC-1701. It is the original model of the Enterprise used when they filmed the original Star Trek television series. (Barbara has watched those episodes so many times that if she sees 15 seconds of any of those episodes, she can identify it and tell you what the entire episode was about.) The photo was taken May 5, 2017.

Another photo of Barbara, smiling, in front of the U.S.S. Enterprise

Yet another view of the U.S.S. Enterprise

From the Air and Space Museum (where we saw many more exhibits than the U.S.S. Enterprise), we went to the National Gallery of Art. Among the paintings we saw were some by Johannes Vermeer, one of Barbara's favorite artists.

Barbara with Vermeer's "The Girl with the Red Hat" at the National Gallery of Art, National Mall, Washington, D.C., May 5, 1917

Barbara was definitely in her element today. Here she is with Vermeer's "Girl with a Flute" at the National Gallery of Art.

The National Gallery of Art closed at 5:00 p.m., so we had dinner at L'Enfant Plaza near the mall, then returned to Mt. Airy.

On Monday, May 8, 1917 we returned to Washington. Our day began much like it had been on the 4th and 5th: We drove from Mt. Airy to Shady Grove Metro Station, then rode the train to Washington's Farragut North Station. Then we boarded a DC Circulator bus for the Washington Waterfront, where we took a 45-minute down the Potomac River aboard the Nightingale. It was cold and windy, and very few customers were on board. ... But it was enlightening.

Looking back toward the pier from the Nightingale as we began our Potomac River cruise.

Remember the Watergate scandal that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation as President of the United States on August 9, 1974? These are a view of the six buildings of the Watergate complex as viewed from the Potomac River. It's where it all began. Photo taken May 8, 2017.

Washington Monument as seen from the Potomac River, May 8, 2017

The domed Jefferson Memorial as seen from the Potomac, May 8, 2017

Lincoln Memorial Building as seen from the Potomac River, May 8, 2017

After the Potomac cruise, we boarded the DC Circulator and continued our explorations.

Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D.C., May 8, 2017

Inside the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., May 8, 2017

A reading room in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., May 8, 2017

A final view of the U.S. Capitol before heading back to Mt. Airy, Maryland.

We flew back home on May 9.