Something about DC that's not political!
Watch me piss off all the Parisians that don't read this blog.
Graham and I have both spent a lot of time in DC, have friends that live there, etc. But we haven't been "on vacation" in DC since either of us were little kids. Graham's professional training in the city was an opportunity to stay in downtown and treat the time like a vacation (well, except for the time that he was working). I decided that since I live in España now and am technically a tourist whenever I go elsewhere, there was no shame
in my game in visiting some of my favorite monuments and museums (and some new additions) and taking pics with the big camera the whole time. Just what I would normally do in Europe, but here in the good ol' US of A.
My first stop was the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden. The garden was looking extra lovely in early fall. It also made me realize that I hadn't seen a real fall, with changing leaves and sunny but brisk days in 2 years. I'm definitely a summer girl, but autumn does have its charms.
Then on to an old favorite (art history nerd alert!) the National Gallery of Art. The West Building contains classical art and the museum itself is gorgeous. I don't normally take pictures of art, but couldn't resist capturing some of the rooms.
I also popped over to the East Building (modern art).
Then I hit the National Museum of the American Indian, which is one of the newest of the Smithsonian museums, and one that I hadn't been to before.
Some of the exhibits still have some kinks to work out, but I think the most impressive were the collections of handcrafted artifacts.
In the evenings, when Graham had finished his training, we walked around the city as the sun set.
Not the greatest quality photographs, but you can see Marine 1 (the president's helicopter) as it is approaching to land at the White House.
We visited the World War II Memorial for the first time. We both had grandfathers who served in WWII.
Each star represents 100 Americans who died in the war. There are 4,048 stars.
"Here we mark the price of freedom."
This is where I make a big bold statement. I should probably go ahead and apologize to any francophiles right now - Je suis désolé/lo siento/I'm sorry. But...DC reminds me of Paris, more than any other city I've visited. Don't throw your wheel of brie at me just yet! Both cities are beautiful, sophisticated, cosmopolitan, have an international flair, are filled with impressive monuments, stunning architecture, world-class museums. The similarities go even further - the layout of the streets, the unique neighborhoods, efficient subway systems, excellent restaurants (seriously, DC's food scene is...well, it's actually a scene now). Both cities are clean (anyone who complains about dog caca on the streets in Paris has clearly never been to southern Spain or most other European cities). And, let's give credit where credit is due - DC was designed by a Frenchman. Merci/Gracias/Thank you, L'Enfant.
Paris and DC - I love them both (check out our trip to Paris here). I think Graham does, too.
Here's an actual conversation we had while walking around DC:
M: I love DC, I think it's in my top favorite cities. Paris and DC. And Amsterdam is up there too, but you haven't been. What are your favorites?
G: They are both great cities.
M: I could live in either one and be totally happy.
Graham: Definitely. Maybe we'll get the chance...