Monday, May 29, 2017

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights

On my trip to Washington, DC last month with my mom and brother to attend my cousin's wedding, we did a little sightseeing the day before and after the wedding. There's much to see in DC, and I feel like we only scratched the surface in the little bit of time that we had, but we did hit up several of the Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall.

(I also posted about our Washington, DC lodging and dining).

Greg and I also spent a weekend in DC ten years ago, and we visited some other major landmarks then (Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Holocaust Museum), so I didn't necessarily feel the need to re-visit those sights again.

SMITHSONIAN CASTLE

On our first full day in DC, we started with the Smithsonian Castle, which has the visitor center. There's some small-ish exhibits in the visitor center, but I mostly liked the architecture of the historic building

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

There was also a kiosk where you could take a picture of yourself and make it into a photo mosaic. (It was really a ploy to collect email addresses, but that's okay, I wanted the photo mosaic!)

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

SMITHSONIAN SACKLER GALLERY OF ASIAN ART

The Sackler Gallery of Asian Art was right next to the Smithsonian Castle (the Freer Gallery, also Asian art, was closed for renovations). I figured since it's Asian, and I'm Asian, it was good for a short visit right before lunch on Friday, heh. My favorite here was the Chinamania exhibit with the display of white china. There was also an adjacent display of brown china, but the white china was more striking.

There was also a Peacock Room REMIX exhibit that was interesting, but it was very dark, so I didn't take any pictures of it. It is a take on the real Peacock Room.

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog
Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog
Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

SMITHSONIAN NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

After lunch on Friday, we took my mom back to the Airbnb since she wasn't that interested in more sightseeing. After that, my brother and I took the Metro back to the National Mall so that we could visit the Natural History Museum. The Natural History Museum was (unsurprisingly) much more crowded than the Asian art gallery. We poked around most of the exhibits, including the Hope Diamond.

This was from the Objects of Wonder exhibit:

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

While walking across the mall from the museum to the Metro station, I also took a couple of quick pictures of the US Capitol and the Washington Monument. (It was actually pretty windy and chilly that day - like, Phoenix winter chilly).

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog
Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN HISTORY MUSEUM

On Sunday before the family lunch at Queen Amannisa, we visited the American History Museum. I mostly wanted to see the Star-Spangled Banner (THE Star-Spangled Banner! But no photography allowed of the actual flag.)

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

We also saw the Numismatic Collection, an old Singer sewing machine, Dorothy's shoes, and other exhibits.

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog
Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

SMITHSONIAN POSTAL MUSEUM

Before this trip, I didn't realize there was a postal museum. But this was right up the alley of this snail mail fan. It is also right next to Union Station, so we visited this the day we flew back, since Kevin was taking a bus back to NYC out of Union Station anyway.

We poked around the exhibits. Sent some postcards (they were free and the museum has special cancellations!). Bought some grab bags of stamps from the gift shop (I thought it would be fun with Evie). And, there was also a table of stamps where they let you pick and keep some stamps! It was probably aimed at kids, but actually, I was NOT the oldest person there. There was an elderly man at the table, a rather serious hobby stamp collector, just chillin'. I asked him how to separate the newer sticker-like stamps from the paper, because the usual method of soaking in water doesn't work like with older stamps - he didn't know either, ha ha.

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

EASTERN MARKET AND FLEA MARKET

The Airbnb was only a few blocks from Eastern Market, which is open on Sundays, so we made a point of stopping by to poke around. I didn't take any pictures of that, but here is a little yin-yang I saw embedded in the sidewalk of the neighborhood:

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

SOUTHEAST NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARY

On the Saturday of my cousin's wedding, my brother and I were going to hit up the Museum of American History before the wedding (which started at 2:00). We were on our way to the Eastern Market metro station when we passed by the Southeast Neighborhood Library, where they were having a book sale.

We thought we'd stop in for a few minutes to poke around, but ended up spending most of our time at the book sale. There was a decent selection of books and they were cheap - $1 each! The sale was in the basement of the library. If we had more time and weren't carrying a bunch of books, I might have checked out the library itself - the building looked historic!

CHERRY BLOSSOMS

We didn't specifically look for cherry blossoms, and didn't attend any of the festivities either, but we did take some pictures of cherry blossoms if we happened to pass them. I'm not really sure if these are cherry blossoms, but it was nonetheless a pretty tree we passed walking in the neighborhood.

Washington, DC Weekend and Wedding - Sights | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

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