Time with Friends

Washington Travel Blog

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Having met and bonded the fall of our freshman year of college, Kate and I make it a point to hang out whenever we are in the same area, usually when I'm visiting my parents since she lives within an hour of my hometown.  Occasionally though she heads out towards DC and this April she came down to see a concert with her sister as a birthday gift.  I was definitely excited about the chance to catch up in my part of the world.
We set plans Saturday morning to meet at the Newseum in the early afternoon.  However, first I had a little detour for myself.
Hopping off the Metro at the Smithsonian exit, I scurried across the street and into a small rounded building.  At ground level it is nothing but descend to the lower level and you are at the thoroughfare of two museums and the heart of the Ripley Center (International Gallery).
  While the Smithsonian is known more as a museum that displays works already created, it is also responsible for the on-going development of artwork.  This entry space displayed several pieces done as part of the annual commission from the Art Collectors Program.
In the main gallery I immersed myself in discovering a part of the world that has been and still is a thoroughfare of cultures: The Isthmus of Panama.  From native cultures first meeting Europeans to Panamanians forging a modern identity, the populations on this narrow land have experienced many challenges and changes.  The walls of the gallery described this journey with bilingual placards (English on one side, Spanish on the other).  I really enjoyed being able to read in Spanish but flip over to the English side if I ran into a difficult phrasing.
  Pictures, video footage, and a few glass cabinets with artifacts added to the story.  I love learning especially in my interest areas, and this exhibit hit two: Spanish (obviously) and history.
At the end of the hall I smiled at a mural covering the entire wall.  The design detailed  Egyptian sphinxes, Grecian statues, Roman arches, an archictectural history through the years, culminating with the Arts and Industries building, the home of the first national museum in the Smithsonian complex.
Done with my touring of the International Center, I walked over to the Newseum to meet up with Kate and her sister Beth.  They had visited most of what they wanted to see when I joined them.  We watched the 4-D theater experience (complete with tilting seats!) and visited the Berlin Wall exhibit.
Kate and the Wall
  It still amazes me to think of how Germany was divided for so long and by such extreme measures in some areas.  We also walked through the G-Men exhibit which I had missed when I came to the Newseum in January.  This look at the interaction between the FBI and the media was definitely interesting although a few cases caught my emotions.  The bombing in Oklahoma City was the first major disaster that I remember.  The sniper attacks in the DC Metro area happened while I was in college; one of my roommates was from the area.  After I moved to Maryland, I lived a mile down the road from where a boy was shot outside his school.
We then turned our attention to lunch.  With Beth being a vegan, we were a little limited in our options.
  Using an app on her phone, Beth determined that an Au Bon Pain up the street was our best choice.  I was very tempted by the sweet breads and pastries but went with a sandwich since Beth had another idea for dessert.
We also headed to the Botanical Gardens.  I've been here several times but always enjoy the beautiful flowers.  The orchids were in full bloom.  We took our time walking through the different rooms.  For the first time, I headed out into the Children's Garden.  We also climbed up to the catwalk that overlooked the large Jungle greenhouse.
Another subway trip and we arrived at Sticky Fingers, a vegan bakery.  Beth happily purchased imitation chicken nuggets and a cupcake; Kate and I also got cupcakes after debating through the options which included a few adult choices.  Beth raves about the cupcakes; while my peanut butter/chocolate choice was good, I'm not sure it was as fantastic as Beth promised.  However, the company was really the point of my visit and we enjoyed chatting over the dessert.
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Kate and the Wall
Kate and the Wall
exiting through part of the Sackler
exiting through part of the Sackler
the Newseum
the Newseum
tapestry with all the state flowers
tapestry with all the state flowers
bear topiary
bear topiary
out in the Childrens Garden
out in the Children's Garden
looking down from the catwalk
looking down from the catwalk
Washington Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Options for Vegans
Sticky Fingers Bakery boasts the double accolades Best Vegan Restaurant and Best Vegan Dessert. Now I'm not a vegan (not even a vegetarian), so I can… read entire review
Washington
photo by: b93sp