8 October 2017 Newseum, US Botanic Garden, National Gallery of Art

Our Austin, TX, son, Stephen, came for a long weekend (bike helmet in tow) and every moment was jam-packed being on the move. The Newseum had a special "free" day so we took advantage of that. When there are limitless Smithsonian museums available at no cost so we're not too inclined to pay for one of the few who charge admission.

Views from Newseum's top deck

Lincoln Memorial
Notice the bike lanes right down the center of Pennsylvania Avenue

Our Capitol

No one asked the name of our hair stylist

These guys are hard at work. Wonder if they ever look down?

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center 

                                     Washington Monument

Refueling at Old Penn Quarter before forging ahead in our explorations

                  Aren't these orchids in the Botanic Garden magnificent!

6 October 2017 Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center is a magnificent living memorial to President Kennedy and honors him with endless exhibitions of the performing arts. 

We've been fortunate to have attended 3 performances during our visit here, the most recent, a celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, with a NSO tribute. 

To enhance that, we visited an exhibition with displays of more than 150 personal artifacts, including personal items, photographs, scores, correspondence, furniture, and films. Among the items is his first piano, the desk on which he composed West Side Story,handwritten score sheets for songs from WWS; his Harvard diploma, and so many more interesting artifacts.

There are interactive displays with listening bars for private enjoyment of some of his most noted works. There’s a booth that allowed me to sing the lead in WWS w/o assaulting anyone’s auditory senses.

Extraordinary views from Kennedy Center's roof top

Potomac River

     One of our favorites was a video of Bernstein standin…

5 October 2017 Old Town Alexandria, VA

McHenry Seaport Center                                 Old Town's Waterfront
     Just south of Washington, D.C., the Torpedo Factory Art Center overlooks the Potomac River in Old Town Alexandria, VA., and is the main ingredient for a beautiful bike ride on the Mount Vernon Trail.

      Yes, the Torpedo Factory Art Center was once an actual torpedo factory! The U.S. Naval Torpedo Station opened in 1919 and operated for five years before becoming munitions storage. With the onset of WWII, it produced Mark III and Mark IV torpedoes. By war's end, it converted to government storage until the City of Alexandria bought it in 1969.

     In 1974, a group of visionary artists renovated the neglected factory into usable studio spaces.  It is one of the country's earliest examples of reuse of industrial space and has become a stimulus for the revitalization of the Potomac riverfront and the historic preservation of Old Town Alexandria. This Art Center continues to be a prototype for oth…

28 September 2017 The Watergate Break-in Docent-led Walking Tour

Just a bit of trivia to begin the day--did you know that the Smithsonian consists of 19 museums, 9 research centers, 4 cultural centers and the National Zoo? Wish I could say I've checked them all off my list but alas...!

     The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal that occurred in the 1970s as a result of the June 17, 1972, break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement. 
     When the conspiracy was discovered and investigated by Congress, the Nixon administration's resistance to its probes led to a constitutional crisis. The term Watergate has come to encompass an array of clandestine and illegal activities undertaken by members of the Nixon administration. Those activities included such "dirty tricks" as bugging the offices of political opponents and people of whom Nixon or his officials were suspicious. N…

September 27, 2017 There's SO much more to see

A D.C. paragon is the Old Ebbitt Grill. It has been on our to-do list every time we’ve been here and we finally made it. This is an iconic dining establishment and historic landmark since 1856. Its Victorian interior represents Washington saloons at the turn of the century. The antique clock over the revolving door at the entrance is an heirloom and the marble staircase with an iron-spindled rail was salvaged from the old National Metropolitan Bank next door.

     The Main Bar is constructed of magnificent mahogany. There are 3 carved glass panels depicting the Treasury, Capitol, and White House that separate the Main Bar from the main dining room. Old Ebbitt's is located 2 blocks from the White House and has been a gathering place for presidents and generals, lobbyists and theatergoers for over 161 years. 
     Around the corner from the Main Bar is the famous Oyster Bar, featuring paintings by marine artist, Peter Egeli and Chesapeake Bay watercolorist, J. Robert Burnell.