Time with Friends
Washington Travel Blog› entry 15 of 27 › view all entries
April 24th, 2010 – by: diisha392
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).
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.
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.
We then turned our attention to lunch. With Beth being a vegan, we were a little limited in our options.
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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