Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Washington, D.C.

Duane and I were able to make a quick trip to Washington, D.C. over the Memorial Day weekend.  It was my EIGHTH time there, and Duane's FORTY SIXTH!!!  We stayed with our friend Peggy, and had a GREAT time!

We were lucky enough to get first class seats on the way to D.C....which is ALWAYS a lovely thing!  We arrived late Saturday morning, and met Peggy at Dulles. 

We then headed to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum near the airport.  They had a TON of cool stuffed crammed into that museum...from the Concorde...to the space shuttle Discovery (which recently arrived via a piggyback ride on a jumbo jet)...to the Enola Gay (which, having spent time in Hiroshima, was very odd...and somber...and sad...and a little creepy...SUCH destruction...so many lives obliterated in a single flash of atomic hell...).

Discovery flying from Florida to Washington, D.C.

We saw early commercial airliners...   

Amelia Earhart's flight suit...

phone booths that looked like space capsules, mailboxes that looked like R2-D2...

astronaut's space suit helmets...

satellite models...

early computer systems (which took up ENTIRE ROOMS)...

and a really COOL display of space toys from the 50's and 60's).

Me with a halo of "ray guns" around my head...

After a quick browse through the gift shop (which was packed...as was everything else at the museum), we left the museum, had a LOVELY late lunch at Chick Fil A, made an AWESOME stop at a Cost Plus World Market, then headed to Peggy's to drop off our luggage and rest for awhile.

After "regrouping", our friend Alberta came over, and we headed to Ledo Pizza in Tyson's Corner...one of our FAVORITE restaurants in Virginia!!!!!

After dinner, we went a couple of doors down to our FIRST Trader Joes (such good memories!), then headed back to Peggy's to watch a couple of movies.  After that, we FINALLY went to bed...a GREAT first day in D.C.!!!!

On Sunday, we slept in, took our time getting ready, then took the metro downtown to tour the National Gallery of Art.  We went to the gallery on one of our early trips to D.C., but hadn't had a chance to get back on subsequent visits.  SOOOOOOO glad we had the chance this time.  There are some really AMAZING works of art, by some REALLY amazing artists...!

We started out in the West Building...

"Woman with A Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son" (1875), by Claude Monet

"A Girl with a Watering Can" (1876), Auguste Renoir

"Four Dancers" (1899), Edgar Degas

"The Artist's Garden at Eragny" (1898), Camille Pissarro

"Roses" (1890), Vincent Van Gogh

"The Favorite of the Emir" (1879), Jean Joseph Benjamin Constant

"The Japanese Footbridge" (1899), Claude Monet

"Rouen Cathedral, West Facade, Sunlight" (1894), Claude Monet

"Pont Neuf, Paris" (1872), August Renoir

"Boulevard des Italiens, Morning, Sunlight" (1897), Camille Pissarro

"Masked Ball at the Opera" (1893), Edouard Manet

"Study for 'Catskill Creek'" (1844/1845), Thomas Cole

"Swiss Landscape" (1830), Alexandre Calame

"Forest of Fontainebleau" (1834), Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

"St. Martin and the Beggar" (1597-1599), El Greco

There were a couple of GORGEOUS sunny atriums as we worked our way through the galleries...

After a quick trip through the gift shop, we headed to the East Building, via the underground walkway, which included ANOTHER gift shop (imagine!), a cafe, a skylight/fountain (below), and a COOL lighted "moving" walkway (also below)...

The East Building contains mostly modern art, so we didn't spend a lot of time there (SERIOUSLY...I don't "GET" modern art...)...

FORTUNTELY there was a special exhibit of "Small French Paintings", off to the side of the lobby, and we were able to take a quick look...

"Paris, rue de Havre" (1882), Jean Beraud

"Hide and Seek" (1877), James Jacques Joseph Tissot

After the East Gallery, we took the metro back to Peggy's house, finished packing, and headed back to the metro to catch our flight at Reagan National Airport.

We had to fly coach (which, being a now spoiled "standby" flyer, annoys me), and, got to circle the twin cities for an additional 45 minutes because of a thunderstorm that had settled in as we approached.  SOOOO don't enjoy turbulance!!

A LOVELY trip, and an AWESOME chance to get out of Minnesota for a few days!

Here's hoping YOU were able to enjoy a brief respite from your "normal" life recently too!!!!