Day 4 - Washington DC
|Tuesday, April 3, 2018: With our DC schedule a little rearranged, we got to sleep in a bit and didn't head to the Metro station until 10 AM.
|These two excellent license plates in the hotel parking lot cried out to be photographed, which led us to discover that the camera's memory card was still in our hotel room. Glad we caught that in time! Yes, we can always take photos on our phones (and many of these photos are from our phones), but at this stage, our camera's zoom function and single-hand ease of use is still reason enough to use it.
|There's the New Carrollton parking garage that our van got to enjoy for three days.
|Here's the view of the Metro station from the top of the New Carrollton parking garage. When you arrive this late on a weekday, the only free parking spots are on the top level.
|On the train, we studied the Big Bus map to plan our day.
|Organizers were still setting up for the Rally to End Racism, scheduled for the next day.
|We boarded the Big Bus Yellow Loop ...
|... and were the only ones on the top deck, so of course we grabbed the front seats. Score!
|We headed north, past the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and New York Avenue. That's the Treasury Building on the left, and the White House is completely hidden behind it.
|Ooooh, look at all those tempting food trucks lined up on 17th St NW along Farragut Square.
|This was the Historic Neighborhoods loop and we were now entering the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
|The center lanes of Connecticut Avenue go under Dupont Circle.
|We spotted a car with diplomatic plates, which have a code to them: DPR = D (Diplomat) PR (Argentina)
If the first letter is D, it is the diplomat's car. If it is S, it is Embassy Staff.
|We enjoyed at least five minutes stuck behind this illegally parked delivery van for Stumptown Coffee Roasters while the driver was across the street at PNC Bank. Yay.
|This imposing glass structure on the hill is The Hepburn (luxury apartments).
|Here we are in the
Adams Morgan neighborhood.
|And here is more of it. This is at Columbia Rd and 18th Street.
|Here's the Duke Ellington Memorial Bridge on Calvert Street, looking toward the Connecticut Street Bridge
|Here's the Woodley Park Neighborhood, which isn't far from ...
|... the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, also known as the National Zoo.
|As we dropped off and picked up passengers, we got a peek at the gazelle exhibit inside the zoo.
|Here's another diplomat car. The DBW means that this belongs to a World Bank diplomat.
|There's an Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken food truck. We wanted to visit the actual store at some point, but it never worked out.
|Here's Georgetown. Debbie had been here several times before in a decade known as the 80s, but her memory was pretty foggy. There was a mall, some red Nine West shoes, dinner with a Dutchman, and dinner with some other colleagues, but the locations, names, faces, and details are lost to time. However, this street looked familiar.
|Here are some of the charming townhomes of Georgetown. Imagine having to fight for parking every time you came home. Have we mentioned how much we love our garage and driveway? We do. We really do.
|Here's the C&O Canal in Georgetown. It probably has an interesting history. You should probably look it up.
|Here's a glimpse of Georgetown Waterfront Park on Water St NW, near Wisconsin Ave NW.
|Here's one building in the massive Watergate complex. This is Watergate West, which contains apartments.
|Here are the Watergate Hotel (right) and Watergate East (left).
|Finally, we headed down 23rd St NW toward the Lincoln Memorial, ...
|... and got off the bus near the same place we had stopped the night before on our night tour. Tom had to deal with some work issues, so we moved slowly for a while.
|We got a better shot of the Three Servicemen memorial this time.
|The base of this flag pole has emblems of all five armed services of the United States.
|This kiosk sold pins and patches that are vaguely military.
|We used the restrooms on the ground floor of the Lincoln Memorial and took another look at the exhibits there, including this gigantic penny.
|This time, we ventured over to the right side of the reflecting pool ...
|... to the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Nineteen stainless steel statues represent 14 soldiers from the Army, 3 Marines, 1 Navy and 1 Air Force member.
|The statues are lifesize and haunting.
|The edge of the monument lists the 22 countries that contributed troops to the United Nations effort in the Korean War.
|At this point, there was a power outage at Tom's company and he was working with his coworkers to restore the final two servers to full service.
|This reflecting pool is part of the memorial.
|"Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country the never knew and a people they never met.
1950 - Korea - 1953"
|The mural wall contains etchings of 2400 photographs from the National Archives that when viewed from a distance give the appearance of the mountain ranges of Korea. It's a beautiful monument.
|By now, it was 1:30 and we were hungry. Fortunately burgers were being served nearby.
|We ate in silence while Tom continued to work.
|Fortunately, there was a view of the Lincoln Memorial and lots of little friends to keep Debbie occupied.
|Here's a common grackle, waiting for French fries to be discarded.
|This appears to be a European starling.
|These two were on patrol during our entire lunch.
|We boarded the Red Loop this time.
|We passed the Arlington Memorial Bridge again.
|We tried once more for a decent shot of Albert Einstein in front of National Academy of Sciences. Getting closer!
|We were sitting in the far back of the bus this time, so we finally got a shot of this hat stuck in the branches of a tree. There's a reason that passengers are constantly being warned about low-hanging branches and this is it.
|We finally got a good shot of the Second Infantry Division Memorial.
|Here's the South Lawn of the White House again. The Easter Egg Roll was over, but the fences were still up.
|It started to sprinkle so we got out our umbrella for a few minutes.
|The lines outside the National Museum of American History were really long. Audrey and Dean had told us that the shorter lines were on the other side of the building, but we had forgotten which side they meant, so we didn't even try to visit the National Museum of Natural History with our free time.
|Instead, we walked through this little nature walk next to the Natural History museum to the Mall.
|We were here to try to recreate two photos taken of Debbie the first times she was here - first in January 1985, ...
|... then again in much warmer weather three months later.
|It was cold again this visit, and we weren't able to line up very well with either photo, but you get the idea. The trees in front of the National Gallery of Art had grown up and were blocking it, and an event tent was also in the way, but the lamp was still there.
|We were very close to the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden so we wandered in. This piece is Cubi XXVI, 1965, by David Smith.
|This striking shiny metal tree is Graft, 2008 - 2009, by Roxy Paine.
|House I, 1996, by Roy Lichtenstein.
|Cheval Rouge (Red Horse), 1974, by Alexander Calder.
|Spider, 1996, by Louise Bourgeois.
|Typewriter Eraser, Scale X, 1998, by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.
|Next, we walked north and passed the National Archives Building. This plaque reads:
In September 1941. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called his friend, Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter, to the White House and asked the Justice to rember the wish he expressed:
"If any memorial is erected to me, I know exactly what I should like it to be. I should like it to consist of a block about the size of this (putting his hand on his desk) and placed in the center of that green plot in front of the Archives building. I don't care what it is made of, whether limestone or granite or whatnot, but I want it plain without any ornamentation, with the simple carving, 'In memory of _______'".
|(continued...) A small group of living associates of the President on April 12, 1965, the twentieth anniversary of his death, fulfilled his wish by providing and dedicating this modest monument.
1882 - 1945
|We arrived at the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum around 3:30 and were surprised that it wasn't mobbed with people like the museums on the Mall were.
|This fantastic portrait is
The Four Justices by Nelson Shanks, 2012.
Clockwise from bottom right: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O'Connor, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.
|We found the Hall of America's Presidents on the second floor but decided to come back to it later.
|Like many people, we went to the third floor because we wanted to see the Michelle Obama portrait. These fans got photos taken with the sign pointing the way.
|Here it is: Michelle Obama, by Amy Sherald, 2018.
|Michelle's portrait is in the same gallery as LL Cool J (Kehinde Wiley, 2005) ...
|... and Toni Morrison (Robert McCurdy, 2006). From the sign: "Robert McCurdy begins his painted portraits with one photograph selected from hundreds made during a meeting with his subject, asking that person to assume no expression and to make no gestures. He seeks an image that has no implied past or future but exists in the eternal present. McCurdy's goal is to provide a neutral environment in order to maximize the highly personal nature of the encouter between subject and viewer."
Bill and Melinda Gates, by Jon R. Friedman, 2010.
|The Recital (Portrait of Denyce Graves), by Nelson Shanks, 2000.
|We wandered through some of the art galleries as well.
|From the sign: "This Art-o-Mat was created from a vending machine that has been re-purposed to sell original art. More than 400 artists currently participate in the Art-o-Mat project.
Most of this revenue from this machine supports the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the artists who create the objects.
Visit www.artomat.org to find out more."
|"Instructions: Make a selection, insert $5 (accepts $5 and $1 bills), wait for the click and pull the knob." Sadly, we didn't have enough small bills to make a purchase.
|Part of the building is the National Portrait Gallery and the other part is the Smithsonian American Art Museum, so sometimes we were looking at portraits and sometimes we were looking at other stuff, ...
Katharine Hepburn's Best Actress Academy Awards for Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981).
You can see that the base pedestal was raised in 1945.
|Dwight D. Eisenhower, by Thomas Edgar Stephens, 1947.
|Douglas MacArthur, by Howard Chandler Christy, 1952.
|For SAAM, Jenny Holzer, 2007.
|Monekana, by Deborah Butterfield, 2001.
|We loved this neon/TV exhibit, made up of neon lights and many small TVs broadcasting scenes specific to each state.
|It's called Electronic Superhighway: Contental US, Alaska, Hawaii, by Nam June Paik, 1995.
|Granite Weaving, by Jesus Moroles, 1988.
|Sculpture Group Symbolizing World's Communication in the Atomic Age, by Harry Bertoia, 1959.
|Sky Cathedral, by Louise Nevelson, 1982.
|The Chasm of the Colorado, by Thomas Moran, 1873-1874. Having just been to the Grand Canyon and Moran Point the previous November, we were happy to see Thomas Moran's work here. We saw this very painting again five years later after it had been reframed and moved to the Department of the Interior Museum.
|We made our way back to the America's Presidents exhibit, starting toward the back of the gallery. We stood in line for our chance to photograph President Obama's portrait.
|Barack Obama, by Kehinde Wiley, 2018. The greens are even more vivid in person.
|William J. Clinton, by Chuck Close, 2006. This one was pretty cool to see up close.
|Jimmy Carter, by Robert Templeton, 1980.
|Lyndon Baines Johnson, by Peter Hurd, 1967. The detail of the capitol in the background was nice on this one.
|John F. Kennedy, by Elaine de Kooning, 1963. This was the first non-typical presidential portrait.
|Franklin D. Roosevelt, by Douglas Chandor, 1945.
Study of President Roosevelt for a group portrait of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, at Yalta but it was never realized because Stalin refused to sit for the portrait.
|Abraham Lincoln, by George Peter Alexander Healy, 1887.
|George Washington, by Gilbert Stuart, 1796.
Martha Washington, by Gilbert Stuart, 1796.
From the sign: "Although Gilbert Stuart made many copies of the president's portrait over the years, this is thought to be his only painting of Martha Washington. Commissioned at the same time as the "Athenaeum" portrait of George Washington, Stuart's portrait of the first lady has a similar history; the artist never finished it, and he kept it until his death."
|A General View of the Falls of Niagara, by Alvan Fisher, 1820. We would be at this very place five days later.
|Study for the Apotheosis of Washington in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol Building, by Constantino Brumidi, ca. 1859 - 1862.
|Cotopaxi, by Frederic Edwin Church, 1855. We would be visiting Frederic Church's home, Olana, in the Hudson River Valley four days later.
|Aurora Borealis, by Frederic Edwin Church, 1865. This one is especially beautiful and was featured in the film shown at Olana during our visit.
|Clearing Storm at Gibraltar, by Samuel Colman, 1860.
|Preamble, by Mike Wilkins, 1987. The license plates read (roughly): "We the People..."
|The center of the building houses a covered courtyard, which was just perfect to resting our weary legs for a bit.
|Here's Modern Head, by Roy Liechtenstein, 1990. Shortly before 5 PM, we were on our way to ...
|... the Grand Hyatt Washington to hang out with friends who were attending the 4D Summit, a conference for software developers who work with the 4th Dimension language.
|Debbie used to attend each year, but after retiring the previous summer, other Orchard people were here in her place. We had planned our road trip to coincide with the Summit so we could see longtime friends.
|Here are Tom, Tom D., Lahav, ...
|... Chuck, and Bob.
|We found a spot in the lobby and were soon joined by more friends. Here are Wayne, Tom D., ...
|... and Christian.
|Brian showed up, then Philippe, Spencer, Ryan, Lahav, Patrick, ...
|... Chip, some people we didn't know, ...
|... Drew, and Jesse.
|We even got to talk with Thomas M. for a few minutes, which is like meeting royalty in the 4D world.
|Bob joined us and showed off his famous raised eyebrow look from years past.
|Some folks were off to the OEM dinner, some went other places, and around 7:30, our group headed across the street to ...
|... Capitol City Brewing Company.
|Tom got a group photo, ...
|... then our server offered to do the same.
|World-renowned 4D Summit tweeter Wayne then tweeted the photo, which was probably the highlight of our entire vacation.
|Earlier in the evening, Debbie had asked Philippe what beer he liked. He responded in his most charming French accent, "I am from Bordeaux."
|So he ordered a bottle of Malbec to share with us.
|Cheers to Philippe!
|Tom D. and Debbie have been good friends for 18 years. Can you tell?
|Wayne keeps track of all of the wines and beers he has tried.
|We've seen his reviews online so it was fun to see it happen in person. Wayne's bottle got shared as well.
|Here's Tom D., ladies and gentlemen.
|As we were wrapping up, Robert, Balinder, Lahav, and Kirk stopped by to say hello. We also ran into the non-OEM dinner Orchard guys on our way back to the hotel.
|We said our goodbyes and hopped on the Metro back out to New Carrollton where our trusty van was waiting to take us to Bowie. It would have been nice to stay downtown, but we really enjoyed paying only a quarter of the price for a hotel where we were.
|Poor Tom still had to work on fixing those servers once we got back to the hotel. Good thing he brought his work laptop with him!
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy