Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday in the Nation's Capitol

Hard as it may be to imagine, real people do live in what the rest of the country refers to as Washington, D.C., and what we longtime residents more affectionately know as the District of Columbia. One benefit of living in the capitol city is our proximity to all the attractions on the National Mall. It's a great place to visit on a winter's Sunday afternoon. One of the little gems nestled among the museums is the skating rink in the Smithsonian Institution's "Sculpture Garden."

From here you get dramatic views of the capital building. Now imagine this same space on January 20, filled with a million or more people come to hear the new president's inaugural address.

We were surprised to see the famous carousel outside the Smithsonian's castle-like headquarters building open for business on such a cold winter day. No waiting in line today. We couldn't resist taking a turn.

Just across The Mall is the Natural History museum, famous for the huge, stuffed elephant in its rotunda, as well as the gem collection containing the Hope Diamond. We found a new mammal exhibit with ferocious lions attacking a wildebeast.

Daughter is always anxious to visit the Insect Zoo at the Natural History museum. And this year we found another new attraction: A butterfly exhibit swarming with real butterflies. The enclosure is the size of a small house that from the outside looks like a space capsule. It's filled with bright lights and flowers and hundreds of butterflies flying around freely. It's a toasty-warm place to linger and be amazed.


impromptublogger said...

I'm a Washingtonian too (live in the MD burbs) and me and my daughter and 2 of her friends went to the National Zoo 3 weeks ago. Freezed our butts off but man is it nice to go there when there's no tourists! There was only one place to eat open but other than that it was awesome.

I hope we get downtown sometime before the Inauguration too.

Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener said...

When I lived in the DC area, I loved to go the Botanical Gardens, the greenhouses on the Mall, next to the Capitol, in winter. You just felt transported to the islands for the cost of a metro ticket!


Ed Bruske said...

Sylvie, thanks for that reminder. The Botanical Gardens would be a great place to take daughter during the winter break.