Monday, May 17, 2010

Capital Trip

smithsonian castle We continued our weekend celebration with a trip to Washington, DC  and a visit to the Smithsonian, which of course is an understatement, because you can NEVER visit  the world's largest museum complex and research organization -- 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo. But the best thing is NO entry fees at most museums aside from  special exhibits capital (3) and IMAX theatres and the zoo. So you see lots of interesting stuff FREE. Thanks to the US government. But, ready to have ALL bags checked by armed guards at the entrance of each museum.
The best way to get into DC is to ride the Metro  – no driving, no traffic, no  parking hassles (or cost), and there’s a Smithsonian stop. metro train (1) The ride offers lots of people watching, so you also have entertainment!
metro train We couldn’t see everything in any museum we visited, but highlights included Kermit the frog (of course), kermit-the-frog the Hope Diamond, (crowds were larger than the gem), and Julia Child’s JChild kitchen (1)kitchen (moved from her home and recreated with her pots and pans).
Ever wonder where a pot goes in your own kitchen? That’s something Julia never fussed over because the pegboard in her kitchen was marked with the outline of each pot or accessory. (Thanks to her husband, Paul Child).
Unusual art in the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery of Art – a giant typewriter eraser (Claes Oldenburg) that made us wonder HOW big the paper was, red horse  (Alexander Calder selected the name so maybe he saw a horse), welded metal sculpture (David Smith) called this one Cubi XXVI so wonder what happened to the others?), a chair transformation (Lucas Samaras) and a 3-D house (Roy Lichtenstein). You have to experience this house sculpture by walking around it sculture garden (1)- the side of the house projects toward you while appearing to recede into space.

 sculture garden (3)
sculture garden (7) sculture garden (8)
sculture garden (4) Views from the tower of the Old Post Office Pavilion  were spectacular – from 12 floors up in the tower and from the elevator.
tower views (4)
old PO bldg (1)

old PO bldg (4)So did we spend a fortune on all this fun? absolutely NOT. This day trip the best bargain of the weekend, aside from the IKEA experience. Total cost was under $5 each for the round trip fare. That left Grenville enough $ to take me out to dinner (only not in DC).

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