Sunday, January 30, 2011

Capital, Not My Capitol

We had a great trip to Washington DC. The open proportions of the city with the long National Mall and the wide views are so appealing. The buildings are new-classical or reproductions and so they have a satisfying balance that the originals couldn't have planned. Like Disneyland for geeks.
These buildings are struggling with access versus security. I was fascinated by the police and secret service, but didn't want to appear to be so. When I was in the Canadian Reserve Forces in the "80's, we learned a little. This was the big boy dream, to make a difference in National Security.

I love the sculptures and bronzes. I especially love lions. I am a Leo and have always been drawn to lions outside the Public Library in Vancouver, and then Trafalgar Square and George Square in Glasgow. I have made my children climb on them for photos.

This was the trip I decided to try the long arm self portrait (to various results).

So exciting to meet the other Angie. Purling Oaks has a lovely blog and lives in a dairy area, so I thought I might meet her some day. I didn't think it would be at a charming deli in DC. I probably gushed too much, but I do. There is such a thoughtful and deep personality behind the photos in her knitting blog. Plus she has a top job in the capitol. Cool. I can make cookies.
I couldn't get into the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress when I walked to it on Tuesday. They were catching the hawk that had found itself trapped in the some of the reading room. D was sweet enough to add it to our Thursday tour and I was thrilled to see the exhibit of Thomas Jefferson's library. I really am a library geek. This reading room reminded me of the one in the British Museum.

There was snow on the ground, so there were no tours and we had the place almost to ourselves. Just the way we like it.

The Capitol building is directly in front of the Library. We couldn't believe all the miles of walkways that had been shoveled of the 5 or so inches of snow.
This is my view of the Grant Memorial.

We walked the length of the National Mall, past the Washington monument and the WW II Memorial, along the length of the Reflecting Pool and to the other end. There weren't many people at the Vietnam War Memorial. It is a stunning piece of reflecting stone. We don't know anyone personally who died in the war, but if we asked a few friends, we could easily find someone who did.

The refelcting pool is closed for refurbishment. This is inspiring, protecting the legacy for the future.
The Lincoln Memorial was a highlight. We really wanted to see its massiveness in person. After watching Ken Burns Civil War series, and the new exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, we had a better grasp of the history of the man. Truly remarkable.

We were lucky to be able to climb the stairs in the snow. Joggers and tourists were out in force, but no school groups. Is it going to snow again? Are we going to make it back to the other side of the Potomac? Wednesday night was a bit touch and go with the Metro stopped at times. We were lucky to have our shuttle drop us at a restaurant on the way back to the Hyatt. Then we got lost trying to walk the three blocks home in white out conditions and the warren of roads that is Crystal City Virginia. Again, the shuttle saved us as we flagged it down on its rounds.

D and I were having too much fun taking shots of ourselves in front of the White House. With our luck we would be considered security risks. But we laughed a lot. See the woven scarf that Angie made me? It is perfect. Ooo. Hope I don't have the chance to buy a loom at a discount because it is really tempting.
After dinner, we walked down the pedestrian mall that used to be Pennsylvanian Ave and took more pictures.
There was knitting: socks on the plane, another sleeve of Cassidy, and a good chunk of the back.
Next post I will show pictures of my trip to Alexandria and the haul from Fiber Space.

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