90ish days of summer
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Yesterday, Jeff and I headed out from his house around 2:30 or 3 p.m. to explore the D.C. area. For the first time since my weeklong stay in New York City in 2001, I took the train into town. (No, the St. Louis METRO between the airport and Washington University in St. Louis does not count — sorry!)
When we emerged from the Smithsonian station, the first thing we noticed was how shabby the National Mall looks. I hadn’t been there in seven or eight years, but I certainly didn’t remember the sand/gravel walkways extending as far into the grassy areas as they do now. And where there is grass, it is long and unkempt. Just a tad shabby.
We toured the museum for a while. Besides the renovations and a relatively small photo gallery devoted to Pres. Obama’s inauguration/etc., there didn’t seem to be much new since I’d been to the museum in 2002. So we left and started to head toward the National Gallery of Art‘s Sculpture Garden, but we were sidetracked into the National Museum of Natural History and never made it to the sculpture garden after all.
I’d only been to one of museum’s first-floor wings — the one with the dinosaur skeletons, of course — but we definitely explored more. I was impressed by how much there is within the building, which is beautiful in and of itself.
I wanted to end the day at a monument or memorial, so when we departed that museum, we headed south. It was only natural to pause by the Washington Monument first.
We began to go to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial…
The fish market is, surprisingly, only three or four blocks from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Basin.
Jeff and I picked up some (cooked) shrimp and raw oysters, which we took back to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to eat. But since food and drink are not allowed at the memorial, we first looked around and took photos at the memorial before eating.
After Jeff taught me how to eat a raw oyster (something I’d never thought I’d ever do!), we hurried back to the metro station. It was dark and getting pretty chilly, and our legs hurt. I’m guessing that, with the museums included, we walked 8-10 miles yesterday.
As @robweir pointed out, there are a lot of free things to do in the D.C. area. Everything we did yesterday — except for our ice cream sandwiches, the metro fare and the seafood — was 100 percent free. Which I like. And which I’m sure my wallet appreciates.
As always, you can view far more D.C. photos HERE.