Thursday, October 25, 2012
Touring Washington, D.C.
I went on an overnighter to Washington, D.C., last week to take part in the White House kitchen garden tour. I took the direct flight from Des Moines to D.C., which left at 6 a.m. I arrived in D.C. before 10 a.m., which gave me plenty of time to check out a few museums.
I wasn't allowed to take photos at a lot of places, but I did visit the National Archives to see the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. I especially enjoyed the temporary exhibit on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's Cuban Missile Crisis showdown. The exhibit included his hand-written notes and recordings from the events.
My next stop was the Newseum, a museum celebrating the history of the U.S. press. I loved this place! I learned so much about milestones in American history, as told through the news. The top floor featured an archive of newspapers dating back to the 1600s! I also spent a full hour just watching old TV clips of important news moments, including the Challenger disaster, Hurricane Katrina, D-Day, and on and on. I could have spent another afternoon there and not seen everything. It was amazing.
And the Newseum had a balcony for taking photos of the D.C. skyline.
Rain clouds were moving in, and the museums closed at 5 p.m., so I walked around the National Mall and took in the sights. My feet were too sore to walk all the way to the Lincoln Memorial, but I did stop in the Smithsonian sculpture garden and got a closer look at the Washington monument.
The next day, after the White House garden tour, I walked more than 2 miles just so I could eat lunch at the Smithsonian American Indian Museum. I heard great things about the cafeteria there, and it did not disappoint. I ordered the orange-glazed salmon, the wild rice salad with dried cranberries (amazing!) and roasted parsnips. It was a welcome change from the diet of fast-food I'd been eating while on the road.
Have you ever visited Washington, D.C.? What's your favorite D.C. spot to visit? If I had a little more time, I would have liked to tour the International Spy Museum and the National Holocaust Museum.