|The Gutenberg Bible in the Library of Congress|
Our last two days were as busy as the first part of the week.
Here's what we did on Thursday and Friday:
We started our day at the Capitol Building. After having to throw away most of our lunch, we got through security and downstairs to get tour tickets. They have timed tour tickets for each day that you can get once you're there. As we got to the tour start area, I kind of scoped it out and picked a line with a tour guide that looked friendly. Best pick ever. He was from Scotland and had the best accent. His tour was really good, funny and informative, but honestly, he could have been reading the phone book and would have been great.
|The rotunda is under construction but still open at this point.|
|Andrew; He looks angry but was just telling his story intensely. :)|
The architecture is fabulous in there.
|Our name is in the mosaic ceiling.|
And we got to see Thomas Jefferson's library.
Supreme Court was next. There's a short film about the court that's worth watching. We didn't spend a whole lot of time here.
We were able to get the metro from that side of the city and head to the National Gallery of Art.
|An installation made of paper in the gift shop|
We left and headed to the Air and Space Museum.
Museum of American History. We walked over and then stood in line forever to get in. They had bag checks and metal detectors, but were taking forever to get people through. It was not well done at all.
We did one exhibit (war in history)...
|George Washington's uniform|
So what happened was, I had originally planned this day's activities to be on Wednesday but switched it to Thursday because of the weather forecast. The museum was open late on Wednesday, not on Thursday.
If security had been less ridiculous, we could have had a little more time; if I had remembered the hours, we could have had more time. To make it worse, the staff was really rude to all the visitors as they were closing down. Seriously, so rude. I was really disappointed.
We had planned to eat dinner at their cafe since it was recommended online, but went to plan B because they closed 2 hours earlier than we expected. We ended up eating at the Silver Diner in Falls Church (super yummy!)
Notes and Tips for the Capitol Building area:
*You cannot take food or drink into the Capitol Building. Seriously, nothing. They'll make you throw it out. So if you pack your lunch, go later in the day. Or, you can get through security in the Library of Congress building and then take the underground walking tunnel into the Capitol. They didn't do a bag search coming in from that direction. (You can also put food in your pockets if you're desperate. Unless you set off the metal detector you can get a granola bar in. Just sayin'. :) )
*Wear good shoes.
*Get in Andrew's tour at the Capitol building. :D
* Do NOT try to squeeze in 3 Smithsonian museums into one afternoon.
* Eat at the Silver Diner; do not eat at Pete's Diner. :)
My original Thursday itinerary was:
U.S. Capitol and Visitor Center
Library of Congress
Lunch and the Taft, Grant, and Garfield Memorials
National Gallery of Art
National Air and Space Museum
Dinner and American History Museum
On Friday, we:
did not have to get up super early to catch the hotel shuttle to the closest metro stop! We got up, packed up, checked out, and headed to George Washington's home, Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon was the other attraction included in our tour bus package deal.
It's really beautiful there. I felt badly that the country pressured George into a second presidential term when he really just wanted to retire.
We did the house tour. They had park rangers stationed in each room. They'd talk and give info on that area of the house and then send you on to the next area. It was a fast tour because it was such a crowded day.
|View of the Potomac from the back lawn|
We saw all that we could and then headed out, stopping at Georgetown Cupcakes in Bethesda on our way home.
Notes and Tips for the Mount Vernon:
*Lunch at the food court was very expensive. Pack if you can.
*Wear good shoes. The property is quite large and has rough terrain.
*Do sit and talk with Lady Washington if you can.
And that's it! It was a crazy busy week with a lot crammed in! We have money left on our metro cards so we're planning to go back for a few day trips to catch what we missed this time around.