I’ve spent the weekend in DC with M. It’s hot. Not just hot, but HOT. I swear I’m melting. We took the metro down to the Mall this weekend and wandered around the Mall, monuments and museums.
I have to say, the Mall is a mess. A mess! You’d think it would be lush green grass manicured within an inch of its life, but no. It is a hot mess. Full of weeds, a jumble of different grasses, pits, gouges, puddles and badly in need of grooming. It was sad. This is our National Mall! It looks okay from a distance, but up close it’s a national embarrassment. Sheesh. Obama needs to put in a call to the folks at Disney. They know how to keep a lawn!
Look at this. A disgrace!
DC does have a great metro though. Check out this cool shot:
M and I went to the Castle of the Smithsonian and right in the center, they have the “pile of loot” (that’s totally what they label it BTW) from the NATM2 movie. It made me laugh.
The Museum of Natural History was wonderful! There was so much to see! Dinosaurs and elephants and whales (oh my!). They also had a butterfly house that I desperately wanted to go into. M was not keen on it because it was a whopping $6 per person to get in. When you consider the museum itself is free, that’s not too bad. I wish a few other museums (I’m looking at you, Chicago) were as reasonable. I batted my eyes, and said pretty please and he caved and shelled out the money. We stood at the entry, M looking bored and annoyed and me having visions of twirling in a fancy dress, singing a song and having butterflies land on my finger and make a crown on my head. Don’t ask me where the dress was supposed to come from or mind the fact that I can’t sing. In my head it was fantastic! I was like one of the Disney princesses that animals are naturally attracted to and want to do stuff for (you know, like cleaning and sewing and whatnot). They can only let a few people in at a time, so we waited and I fantasized. THEN! The frosted doors to the entry chamber opened and beyond, I could see through the clear glass doors flowers and butterflies everywhere! It was magnificent! Gorgeous! The lady gave a quick run down of does and don’ts (Do take photos and let the butterflies land on you. Don’t step on them or try to pick them up).I was ready to twirl and break out into song when the clear doors opened and whoosh….it was HOT! OMG, like knock the breath out of you hot. My visions of twirling and singing and butterfly crowns crumpled to the floor like a butterfly with a broken wing. WHAT WAS GOING ON? WHY was is so freaking hot? I could not breathe. I stayed as long as I could, and even had a few butterflies land on me (squeeeeee!), but after about 10 minutes of mind numbing heat and humidity, I was done. Done. I told M I couldn’t take the heat any more and was ready to go and he told me he wanted to stay and take take photos and would meet me outside in the museum! Can you believe it? Irony. He did take some lovely photos though.
After we had our fill of natural history, we decided to go take a peek at American history and walked over the the American History Museum. It has recently reopened after “extensive” renovations and honestly, we found it sorely disappointing! M and I had both been there in the past (at different times) and remembered a very different set up. The exhibits were hard to get to and half the stuff we saw in the past wasn’t on display. Where was Fonzie’s jacket? I couldn’t even get a photo of Indiana Jones’ real jacket for Indy. Boo! We did find the ruby slippers and Archie Bunker’s chair, but we wanted to see more! The First Lady’s exhibit (which I saw in the past and is FABULOUS) was impossible to get into unless you wanted to wait in line for an hour. In the past, you could just walk through and wander around (like a museum should be), but now they herd you through the exhibits like cattle. You can’t even stop to look at things because you have to keep the line moving? WHAT UP? I’m an American! That is MY museum! I should get to wander around all I want and look at my leisure. Seeing the recently restored Star Spangled Banner was kind of nice, but again, they herded us along so we couldn’t really appreciate the beauty of the flag that inspired our national anthem. Boo, American History Museum, I say. Boo!
After that, we walked about a billion miles (okay, not really, but it was really hot so it felt like a billion) to the Washington, Lincoln and war memorials. If you’ve recently seen the new Night at the Museum movie, you’ll note that it looks like they walked straight from the castle to the Lincoln memorial. Well, let me tell you, they did NOT. They’d have to be running full tilt for a good 20 minutes to make it there as quickly as they did. LIARS!
We also stopped by the WWII Memorial, which is beautiful! It was the 65th anniversary of D-Day and there were so many vets there. These are obviously not young men, but they traveled from all over the country to be at the memorial to mark the day that they changed the world and lost so many of their friends. They were all wearing bright yellow t-shirts that said they were vets, so they were easy to spot. M and I shook as many hands as we could and thanked them for their sacrifices. It was very moving.
We walked over to the White House, but Obama was not there. How rude. Honestly, if someone were to show up at my house just to see me and I wasn’t home, I’d be mortified. He should have invited us to dinner, but no, he was in France. I’m going to have to send him a strongly worded message. :)
This is the Boy Scout memorial. We want to know why there is a naked man at the the memorial. I’m sure there’s some classical, philosophical reason, but it looks….well odd.
After that, we were exhausted and made our way back to the Metro and to the hotel. The next day we went to Arlington, which was overwhelming. The sheer number of graves is breathtaking. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers and changing of the guard is something everyone should see. There were so many people there, but you could have heard a pin drop.
Now that I’ve told you about my trip, I’m going to hop up on my soap box. Did you know that there is not a WWI memorial in DC? There is a small, very sad, very neglected memorial to the soldiers from DC who fought in WWI, but not a national monument. I have to say, I’m outraged. Outraged. WWI was the first real war of the modern area and changed our world forever. 6 of every 10 soldiers in WWI were drafted. These were men who fought weapons they couldn’t even have conceived of at the time. They fought for honor and glory and died on the battlefields of Europe. These were young, idealistic men who fought for patriotism and honor, and we have not, in the nearly 100 years since, seen fit to properly memorialize them. We need a national monument. I’m going to start a campaign about this. I’ll post more on that at another time. Until then, I’m off to Orlando and all the fun I can stand with a set of mouse ears. I’ll see you all later.