There was some dignitary coming out in a limo. I didn't recognize the flag on the front, but there were lots of police and snipers surrounding the car. Just like in the movies! :-) We worked our way through the roadblocks to the Library of Congress.
It had really beautiful frescos and sayings of famous people painted on the ceilings and walls.
We continued on to the Botanical Gardens which was spectacular.
Chris took a lot of pictures of the different ferns and flowers.
Then we walked across to the reflecting lake where there was a mama duck and her adorable little ducklings!
We continued on down to the Washington Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial, stopping by the memorials for the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
It was getting time for dinner by then so we walked over to Foggy Bottoms and had dinner at the Froggy Bottoms Pub which had decent food for really great prices. We were delighted to discover a Trader Joe's nearby so we stopped for some groceries and took the metro back to the hotel.
Friday, May 14th
Chris wanted to stay at the hotel, so I went solo today. I walked over to the National Geographic Museum where they had an exhibit about helping the 90% of the population who are in developing countries and need clean water, shelter and food. It was really interesting and made me want to get involved with stuff like that. I walked along Massachusetts where some of the embassies are and then went to Trader Joes to get some lunch. I ate it on a bench at a nearby park. After a few minutes I heard a lot of chirping noises and when I looked up I saw a birds nest and an adult bird coming to feed the babies. After lunch I walked over to the zoo to look at the Panda bears, but I was disappointed when they weren't in a spot where I could see them. There were zebras and a few other animals, but part of the zoo was closed off for construction, plus it closed early, so I watched an elephant eat some hay and bamboo for a few minutes and then left. I took the metro over to the white house and got a couple of pictures and then met up with Chris. He'd found a juice bar so we went and relaxed there for a few minutes and got refreshed with some yummy juice. We wanted to go to the apple store, but when we got to the address, it was closed down. So we walked over to a hotel that was having live jazz and had tea. Right after we arrived it started dumping rain, so we stayed for a couple hours until it let up and then went across the street to an all you can eat seafood restaurant.
Saturday, May 15th
Market Day! Washington DC has one of the best Farmer's Markets we've ever been to. There were lots of stalls of food, clothes, jewelry etc. We bought a bunch of strawberries and peaches and ate them for lunch. Then we went over to the American Indian and the Space Smithsonians. They had waaaay too much information to take in, so after a little while we gave up and went back to the Froggy Bottoms Pub for dinner and retreated to the hotel room.
Sunday, May 16th
Our last day in DC and we didn't have a whole lot of time because we were meeting a friend of Chris's Dad at 2pm, so we just went to the Spy Museum. It was really interesting and we wish we'd had more time there. It was funny because about 10 minutes after we got there, the fire alarm went off and we weren't sure if it was for real or just part of the whole act because we'd just been given our new spy names and histories to memorize for our spy experience. It did turn out to be real, however, so we had to go outside until the firemen could check everything out and make sure it was safe for us to go back inside. We met up with Johnny Lopez (a childhood friend of Chris' father) and his wife Sue at the train station and enjoyed talking with them until it was time to catch the train to Chicago. We were happy to see that it was a double decker again and we settled in for the evening.