Turns out it's a GOOD thing I DO like it, because it was about the ONLY place we could get for ANY length of time during this MEA (Minnesota Education Association) weekend! Traveling on MEA weekend is kind of like trying to type without fingers...PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE! We looked at flights to Paris, Amsterdam, London, New York, Savannah, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Austin, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Kentucky, but couldn't get standby on ANY of them!
It's also a GOOD thing that this was our 6th or 7th time there. We knew WHERE to go, WHAT to see, and HOW to get there. If it had been our first time there, I would have TOTALLY freaked out trying to see everything, and, since we got there at 11:00 a.m., and had to fly back out at 7:50 p.m., that would have been COMPLETELY overwhelming (as it was, Duane's pedometer said we walked 13,000 steps with what we DID do...!).
We started out at the White House Visitor's Center. We've never actually TOURED the White House, because we get there too "spur of the moment" to get tickets, but the visitor's center had some cool displays of stuff FROM the White House, and a video that went "behind the scenes", so we checked that out instead. Very interesting (and informative!).
We DID actually walk BY the White House!!!!
After the visitor's center, we headed to Ben's Chili Bowl, an AWESOME diner that's been around since the 50's. I had TWO chili dogs, and potato salad. They also have SWEET TEA, which, if you know me at all, is one of my FAVORITE beverages on earth (even more so than wine!), but which I never make on my own, because it just doesn't taste right...
After lunch, we headed to Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens. It was founded by American collector and heiress to the Post cereal empire Marjorie Merriweather Post. You can find out about the BEAUTIFUL mansion and gardens by visiting the official site at http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org/.
We toured the gardens (Japanese, French, Lunar, and Cutting), the greenhouses full of orchids, then went through the mansion, which featured French and Russian Imperial art, as well as items from Marjorie Merriweather Post's life...very ornate...very beautiful!
We just had time to catch the Metro back to the mall, and run around (literally!) the Lincoln Memorial before dashing back to the Metro to go to the airport.
It was a brief trip, but it was REALLY, REALLY, REALLY great to be in the nation's capital again! Here's hoping YOU were able to enjoy a brief "getaway" from your life recently too!!!