|The view from our hotel room|
|Rayna in our hotel room|
|We miss this DC neighborhood|
The three of us were (and still are) prolific readers. Therefore, we all spent time and money in two of our favorite DC bookstores, Kramer Books and Olsson’s Books and Records. Pat and I were sad to recently discover that Olsson’s had closed all six of its stores for good a few years later.
First, in DC, you walk and I mean walk until you drop. For Rayna and I, we started by walking to the Metro. The Metro station at Dupont Circle has a steep, very steep, escalator to the trains. I always feel as if I’m descending into Hell on that ride. We took the train to the Mall area and walked to the National Art Gallery to see the artwork and have lunch in the café. The atmosphere in the Gallery café is just splendid. We also visited the Asian Gallery of Art on the mall area and the Smithsonian where we looked at the gems collection, including the Hope Diamond. Next day, we decided to hit whatever shops looked interesting along Connecticut Avenue. Went into Kramer Books and bought some books but also just enjoyed the environment. Kramers has a small café at the back of the shop where lots of people have lunch or coffee. The bookstore itself is really unique with all the variety of books they carry. We moved on to a bead store – Beadazzled. Always beautiful stuff there and Rayna bought a ring that she is still wearing every day. We went to the small park at DuPont Circle and we were able to rest our feet. Then getting hungry we traveled back up Connecticut Avenue to a wonderful café called Tea-ism. We ordered lunch and got coffee and tea. Again, the building is an old historic structure with a dining area upstairs overlooking the streets below. It’s the atmosphere that is so amazing. Both days were wonderful for the two of us to wander around.
|Pat and Clark|
In addition, we toured The U.S. Botanical Garden and Conservatory. It is a living plant museum located on the National Mall across from the U.S. Capitol. Pat and I had not seen the Botanical Garden previously and it turned out to be a wonderful experience. They were having an orchid and quilt show at that time, which added to the pleasure.
|Minky Likes Flowers|
|Rayna and Clark|
|Pat photographing flowers|
Aside: while we were walking past the Capitol Building, a backpack was found on the steps triggering an alert and everyone was sequestered in a certain area for a while. Turned out that some school children had been touring the Capitol Building and one of them had left their backpack behind. In DC, that causes chaos. Later while we were in the Botanical Gardens, another security event was triggered and we had to shelter in place. This time we were sequestered on the patio of the Botanical Gardens. These events turned out to be minor, but sadly they did remind us of the ongoing threat concerns in government tourist areas.
We all had a great time both in the National Mall area and in the neighborhood around Dupont Circle on Connecticut Avenue. Pat and I were able to share some of our favorite restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and just the wonderful ambiance of that urban environment with Rayna.
|The capitol dome beyond the cherry blossoms|
Bill, I am sure that you have visited Washington DC. I would love it if you would share some of your experiences in DC or other locations with me.