Adventure in Two Parts – Part II

Sunday, we were a bit more local, in DC. After a very relaxing morning spent at home, we grabbed lunch at Tom Yum District then headed into DC.

Our first stop was the National Gallery of Art. We go there a few times a year, but given Lizzie’s brief attention span, don’t stay more than an hour. This time, we stayed for two, separating to see our favorite exhibits.

I took the awesome walkway/exhibit over to the East Building.

It’s under renovations, so only the sculptures are on exhibit. I hadn’t been over there in years, so it was neat to see.

After a bit, I headed back over to the West Building. I visited my favorite painting first, Two Women in a Window. (Of course, I didn’t take a photo of it, though you can see one here.)

I also admired some of the other works in the building.

After a quick drink at a bar nearby, we headed over to the Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum.

There was a really cool window at the top of one stairway.

Then it was time for dinner at Izakaya Daikaya (the upstairs part). Great Japanese-inspired small plates – favorites of the night were adobo poutine and miso-scented rice ball with pork.

It was great to really take advantage of an afternoon and evening to ourselves in DC, though I did keep wishing Lizzie was with us to enjoy parts of it, too.

A (Blurry) Photographic Tour of DC

When my parents come to visit us for a weekend, we always struggle with finding something to do. I know, we live 15 minutes from DC – where millions of tourists come and spend a week – and we have issues staying busy. See, that’s the thing, my parents come a few weekends every year. They’ve seen so much of it already.

One of the things we’ve always talked about doing but never did before was a hop-on/hop-off tour. I know, super corny, but it’s not away I’ve ever seen the city and, hey, I get to be lazy and ride rather than walk.

This last visit, my dad was looking at Groupon deals in the area and came across one for one of the big tour companies. Something crazy like $15 a person and, hey, it was a lovely day, why not?

The tour started in L’Enfant Plaza, which I’ll admit to never having actually seen before. We transfer lines there quite often, but never wind up outdoors. It’s rather, well, ugly. But I digress. This particular tour company takes you to 20 or so stops all around the city, all the while narrating what you’re seeing and a bit of history, as well.

I had the best plans. I had my camera, had my kit lens on it, Lizzie was being occupied by my parents…too bad I forgot my kit lens is rather slow and, you know, we were on a moving bus. I did nothing whatsoever to account for this. (Plus, as I realize now, taking a real good look at these, my lens and/or sensor is covered in dust.)

Which brings me to my photos. I present to you, without further comment, a blurry tour of Washington DC.

Cherry Blossoms

The first influx of tourists each year in the DC area is for the cherry blossoms, sometime in March or April. The first trees were given to the US as a gift by the Japanese government but many others have been placed to join them; there’s now close to 3,000 along the tidal basin.

We’ve learned to avoid the festival itself – it’s a total zoo – but always try to get by to see the blossoms on a weekday near the peak time period. This year, we made it there on a random Wednesday night, one which was a bit too cool and rather breezy but was still breathtakingly beautiful. We got off the Metro at Smithsonian and walked to the Washington Monument then along the water towards the Jefferson and Lincoln.

The trees were every so slightly past their peak, but still beautiful.

Lizzie enjoyed it, even though it was quite late by the time we finally left DC to get dinner. Then, you know, her dad kept doing this to her.

I made Matt take a selfie, he even managed not to look totally annoyed.

I’m so happy we live close enough that this sort of thing is no big deal, even on a weeknight.