I have been expounding to Tom my theory that this was a hotel designed by men for men. To wit:
- the decor is entirely in taupe and brown -- not a splash of color anywhere;
- everything is rectangular and angular -- no curves;
- mirrors everywhere (only men are conceited enough to want to watch themselves take a dump)
- coffee table book devoted to duck decoys
- proliferation of Sharpie art
- and yes, shampoo that smells like motor oil.
I have not been to Washington, D.C. since the early 90s, when I was sent here for some kind of document review back in my lawyer days. It's really fun to see the city through fresh eyes, and through the eyes of my kids.
Day 1 (which was only a half-day after driving and checking in and having lunch) was a trip to one end of the Mall to enjoy the sunshine and see some of the monuments:
The above two shots are the relatively new (2004?) World War II monument. We were a little skeptical of it until we got to it and walked around. By the time we'd read the very moving quotations from that time, seen the battlefield names carved into stone, and looked at the friezes showing the struggles faced by ordinary Americans,
we decided we quite liked it. That is Rosie the Riveter above; yes, I did earnestly search the friezes to see if there were any women knitting socks or helmet liners, but alas, this did not seem to be included anywhere. (I mean, really, is the Charleston more culturally significant to the war effort than knitting? I think not.)
I found the Vietnam War Memorial especially moving. It's interesting to think about how controversial the memorial was considered initially, and how integral a part of the Mall it feels now. Seeing each name etched in the dark wall is incredibly solemn, and seeing other people around you experience it, like the man taking a rubbing here
made me nearly blubber out loud.
Our second day began at the Air & Space Museum
but it was very, very crowded and probably a little too old for the twins. They were more excited about the McDonald's in the museum (sigh):
We then walked the Mall some more, heading toward the Capitol:
and made an unexpected detour into the Botanical Garden that was off to the side near the Capitol. Miss Thang enjoyed posing (here, she is vogueing in the cactus room):
More swimming and a delicious dinner of Thai food helped us recharge.
Today was our last day. We headed over to the Smithsonian again, to the American History Museum. The twins lasted for a while, long enough to see some of the cultural treasures, like the adorable dollhouse:
Kermit the Frog:
and the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, and the Seinfeld puffy shirt, and of course the Steven Colbert portrait:
We circled back to see the White House
(although, sadly, there was no Obama sighting), and then, after our drive home, we were reunited with The Bun:
All in all, a memorable and enjoyable trip, although we are all glad to be home.