Monday, August 29, 2016

Visiting D.C. like a Tourist!

Mama put her foot in this! Double the eggs
and potatoes as the last one. Check it out!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TghgVNOG5gs
Hello Luvs,

Hope your weekend went well. Heat was the main theme for the weekend...regretfully! Still, we decided to take advantage of our last weekend at our Airbnb. It is in such a wonderful location with a few cities in close proximity (within 90 minutes). We wanted to make sure that Washington D.C. was an excursion we took before heading to North Carolina to finalize everything. Such an exciting time in our lives, and we are taking in everything that we can just in case we decide not to come back next year.

Arrival in D.C.
Even shadows cannot dim his
impact! The Frederick Douglass!!!

So, I mentioned heat...! My oh my was it hot yesterday. Even with my parasol, fan, and a cool drink I was melting like sap on the side of a tree. Sloooowwlly moving toward the ground...! We braved it because we parked a bit away from the monument, garden, and museum we wanted to go visit. If you happen to be staying at a place around 15 minutes or so from the National Mall I suggest renting bicycle(s)...great way to take in the city without the hassle of finding parking. Making our way in a circular path and searching out shade along the way helped a bit. You could tell by the look on the faces of passersby that they were uncomfortable too. Many had nothing shading them, wore jackets, and scarves around around their necks. On top of that....RUNNERS were all around us. I am sure they know their own bodies...but it had to be some kind of 21st century torture.
This is when my fan came
in handy!
Melting here people!

We have visited Washington D.C. on one other occasion, so the kids knew kind of what they wanted to do. Since I am working it into their homeschooling writing and composition schedule this week it was important that they visited something they are excited about. There are limitless options because most offer free admittance. Because of this we ended up doing more of a tourist thing. Our first visit was the White House. The access on our previous visit was quite different. You could go up to the black rod iron fence and turn around to take a picture. This time we found shorter black barriers which did not allow you to get within about 10 feet. There were at least 20 security people on bikes, foot, and/or in cars. I have a feeling that it had a lot to do with the people who were able to scale the fence with one actually making it into the building. As it turns out....President Obama has received more death threats than any other President. Why do I think this is happening? Some of it has to do with the political climate and the fact that suicide bombers now encompass women and children. The rest is in my opinion simply because of his racial make up.
Reprieve from the heat!
Just before I came across
an amazing plant-
outside the Smithsonion
Welcome Center.

When discussing the changes (that we saw around all the government building we came across) that were made it gave a deep sense of uneasiness. The set ups looked frightfully similar to something resembling a fascist state or the after effect of an attempted overthrow of the government. I recalled a conversation that I had with someone several years ago. We were discussing the fact that suspected terrorists were being found and captured and the fact that (at the time) it was predominately, it not all, men. During this discussion the other person said that women should and/or would not part of any investigations. He thought no, and I thought yes. Arguing that when we do not have our eyes completely open is when they will use the least suspected. In fact that has been the case recently with a child bomber taking lives. Please DO NOT get me wrong. I am not someone who thinks that all Muslims are terrorists and that what they wear should put them in the perview of authorities. 
Gorgeous chenille plant...!
The original Smithsonian Museum
completed in 1855. Stunning!!!!

For so long skin color has been a deciding factor in hate and suspension. The last thing I would do is pass those same prejudiced values onto another segment of  OUR society. However, that does not stop the people who say that anyone whose view does not align with theirs are infidels and worthy of death, and that they would be awarded in the afterlife. Does that sound familiar? Maybe not the same language is used nowadays (instead heathens, predators, hooligans, or any other name in which they chose to label young black men) is different than when the base/foundation for United States was being formed. Native Americans (Indigenous People) and slaves brought over from Africa against their will were labeled and seen as such (and many more despicable names)....now it has been shifted to be aimed toward the people who are NOT part of the fringe element that would do us harm.

Admiration of shadows...do YOU
see the face? If not, then what?

What do you think? I would love it if you commented and shared not only with me, but with anyone who would like to be part of the discussion.
This is the artist whose work was
completed by hand...

I digressed....I went deep there for a moment. I just wanted to show how visiting somewhere can spark a discussion. Maybe a way to lead us to a place of communication and openness instead to pretending that nothing is wrong. Just because someone you know was not killed does not mean that it is in anyway unimportant, no longer worthy of immediate and thoughtful discussion, or inclusion versus exclusion of people who are judged without knowing their true heart.
The time it must have taken
Linn Meyers...whew!

In regard to where we fluttered! First up was the Lincoln Memorial. We found so many people had clustered together in the monuments shadow to obtain a reprieve from the heat. The visitors were diverse and ranged in age. It was nice to see. While going around the city we also observed many tours in progress. This is the difference when coming on a weekday (versus weekend) that is not a holiday. The amount of people can be overwhelming. This was especially true even with most being indoors in air conditioning.
Da plane.....

Next we went to a small garden. I snapped a picture of the chenille plant. The color was amazing! Especially when you include the sky behind. The architecture to and from was breathtaking. I even snapped a shot of the original Smithsonian Museum of the National Mall. Being able to step inside from time to time helped us recharge and not stick to the ground.
Installation the entrance of the
Air & Space Museum

Of course the Air & Space Museum made the list. Baby Boy's eyes lit up! He was unsure where to start this time. As I wrote earlier, we have been there before, but sometimes with age, the curiosity is reignited. We touched a peace of rock from the moon, learned more about Elizabeth 'Bessie' Coleman, along with the Tuskegee Airmen. This section (he liked the most) was the exhibit section with Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh in addition to those I just listed. I got a kick out of seeing the fashion of Miss Coleman, Charles' wife Anne, and the designs done by Earhart.
Closer view...

The Hubster wanted to run by the Hirshhorn Museum. The exhibit (Robert Erwin) that is due to come down this week did not really speak to us. The pretenious nature of the people looking at the pieces kind of threw us off. Especially the discussion of his pin holes in his large square piece. It might speak to others, but it was lost on our family. There was another artist whose pieces were made up of lines painted straight onto the wall that happened to strike me. There is a picture of her work within the blog, Baby Boy admired the shadows created by wall and light placement.
From light there's shadow...

Last but not least, we visited Chinatown. The Chinatown in D.C. is on the small scale and can be passed by in a wink. However, it is where I bought my light blue parasol (which unfortunately is no longer :-(...), and this time I picked up a larger fan (both pictured below).
One of the buildings
I thought has architecture
that stands out.
                                                        The only disappointment was our food stop. Since I rarely cook red meat at home we decided on burgers. The visit was to Shake Shack. It was pretty busy, but they have two lines along with a sign which directed you to hop in the shorter line. After speaking with the cashier regarding Baby Boy's burger and what to place on it....it still was wrong. Because it was so busy I did not check it (will NOT do that again) before heading out of town. The employees were friendly but it did take quite a while to receive our food. At fast food places the system should allow for a wait time of between 5-10 minutes (versus the 20 we waited) Our burgers were kids sized. The fries and Baby Girl's chocolate shake were delish. Not sure if with everything it was worth almost the almost $54.00 we paid for a family of four. Unless I receive a coupon or giftcard I don't think that we will be going back. Remember, my goal is to find places that are budget friendly. This was not. If you have visited and have around the same sized family how would I rate the price? Below are my thoughts.
Here is the head on view
of one of the lights...
Amazing...right!?!

Scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the tops!)

Convenience- 2 (being in the city parking was extremely difficult so the Hubster dropped us off...)

Menu options- 3.5 (they were out of some things and when ordering it was super comlicated..esp. if you wanted something left off and it still was not correct)

Cleanliness- 4 (not bad considering how busy they were)

Cost- 3 (we feel that what you got is overpriced for what it is)

The one thing that kept our attention during the wait time was a tree across the street. There were birds landing in it at around 100 at a time. The fact that at least seven groups flew in it made me continually gasp because of the coolness of seeing them all. A few people looked out the window to see what the fuss was all about, but no one else seemed as thrilled as we were.
Pieces I picked up in
Chinatown.

Before blog completion a pool
visit was on the agenda.

Got home around 10 p.m. after stopping at Wegman's in Germantown. That review will happen another tim, along with just how our beer and wine purchases were....SO COMPLICATED! Enjoy the pictures throughout the blog!

Again, thanks for reading! To make sure you never miss a blog remember to subscribe and follow me on twitter, instagram, periscope, and friend me on facebook.  Just click the matching button to the right!

Til next time,

Kat

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