But first, on Friday, we went to the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum after class! I spent A LOT of time in the Hall of the Presidents, where they had really cool, different portraits of every president, but sometimes there were two. The LBJ was memorable because it was modern and picassoish. Kind of weird. But I loved it. I have really learned to love wandering around art museums and commenting on the sculptures and art. Rachelle taught me about that. We also spent a lot of time in the modern art exhibit-- I love that stuff because it's just so different. I love it when artists take random materials like cans or TVs or men's neckties and make something cool out of them. And there was this weird alphabet thing with a keyboard that you could actually type on. We all typed our names and they were on the artwork for a second-- until they were replaced with other people's names.
After museums, we went home to nap. I don't know what my problem was, but my last couple weeks in DC I was SO tired, ALL THE TIME. But anyway, after resting up, we all went to Rosslyn for the weekly outdoor 80's movie. That week it was "Short Circuit." To sum up: dumbest movie ever. It was kind of funny sometimes, but it was so ridiculous that we couldn't really even laugh at it being dumb. You know, like some old movies are dumb but kind of charming so you like them anyway? This movie wasn't even like that. And we sat there, the whole movie, just trying to figure out what the target audience would have been. Seriously, the movie was about a robot who came to life somehow and escaped the laboratory, then tried to convince this girl that he was actually a living thing. And then, somehow, the scientist dude and the girl fall in love, and then run away with the robot to save it's "life." So it seems like it would have been a kid's movie. BUT, there were all sorts of random dirty jokes and innuendoes. Couldn't figure it out.
The next morning I got up early to go to the Eastern Market. I know, I have discussed my love for that place already. But I'll say it again. I love that place. We waited in line for a good hour, I got my delicious and delectable french toast with pecans, ate it way too fast, and then ran back to the metro to meet Aunt Judy and Uncle Kerry, who were in town for the weekend.
I met up with them fairly easily (they were driving, and the directions were a little bit of an issue...), and we went to MOUNT VERNON!!! This was a FINALLY!!! day for me. I had been waiting/talking about going to Mount Vernon ALL SUMMER. And I finally got to go. All my friends had gone the weekend that I was in Georgia. Lame, I know. At the beginning of the summer I had this grand plan about renting bikes and riding them the ten miles to Mount Vernon. There is a cool riverside bike path up there, and it would have been SO pretty! Nobody had really wanted to do that except Tyson, and then he went home early and my plans were foiled. But it's okay, because I got to do the important part, and with Judy and Kerry, which is always a pleasure.
They were matching. It was just too cute. And they were red for America because they were in D.C.! And people wonder where I get these things from! Thanks, Aunt Judy!We took the scenic route there, which means that we got kind of lost... but I enjoyed it because the drive actually WAS very beautiful and scenic. And Mount Vernon was lovely. We toured the mansion, then walked around the grounds and farm for a while. It was actually very similar to Monticello- very green, had cute little farms, a big house, and little shops for everything that someone might need (you know, like a blacksmith and a shoemaker). The cool thing that George had, though, was a big barn/silo thing for separating wheat. He designed it, and it was pretty brilliant. We also walked down to the pier- I always love looking at the Potomac River, even if the water is super dirty and disgusting. After we finished with the grounds and were very very hot and thirsty, we went to the museum, which was actually very well done. I have found that museums you pay for are significantly nicer than museums that are free. I mean, I love my museum, but seriously. Or maybe the difference is that there are quadrillions more people at Smithsonian museums than at museums you pay for, so they just look dirtier and crappier because more people are touching everything. Not to say that Smithsonian musuems are dirty and crappy, because they're not. They are very nice. But if you go to the Air and Space musuem and witness the masses, you will feel the grime and leave the place feeling greasy, sweaty, and stinky too. That place sees more traffic per year than any other musuem in the world. Why, I will never know. I think it might have something to do with all the rockets, airplanes, and space shuttles they have in there. But that's just a hunch.
I LOVED these arches. I will do something with that idea... someday.
I LOVED these arches. I will do something with that idea... someday.
The next day, Sunday, I was feeling very bummed about only have two weeks left in Washington. I kind of fell in to a grumpy state of mourning, and decided to go for a walk. Sunday walks by myself in the city are one of my favorite things. It was a beautiful but humid day, and I just walked down 23rd about a mile to the Lincoln Memorial. I walked up the steps and to the back- my favorite stop- and sat down on the edge, in between the columns, to look out at the river and Arlington. I loved being very much by myself in a very special place, with no particular plans or place to be. I sat and thought about how much I loved Washington. I looked around hungrily, trying to take everything in and remember it all. After a while, I got up and walked up Constitution to the gardens and signer's of the Declaration monument. I hadn't seen that place in the day time. Along the way, I took pictures of everything. Every scene and memory and building. I got to the desired monument and took more pictures. It was a very stoic, solemn walk/journey. It sounds so funny to write about it, but seriously, I was so sentimental, and really quite sad. Plus, I was working out lots of issues in my head, and the walk was very therapeutic. I am really going to miss walking out on the National Mall by myself. I actually think that is what I miss most about the city. The Mall and Monuments. They offer so much peace.
As I worked my way towards to Capital, just as I was about to cross the street at Constitution and 14th, guess who appeared out of nowhere? My cousin Shawn, followed by Anna, Matt, Judy and Kerry!! They just happened to be finishing their bike tour, and were crossing to go the White House! They told me to meet them at the Old Post Office Pavilion (just a couple blocks up, past my museum and right by Federal Triange). Together, we went to the Pentagon Memorial, and then I went home and went to bed.
All in all, a great weekend. I finally got to go Mount Vernon, I went to some of my favorite places- the Eastern Market and the Mall, I spent time with some of my very favorite people- relatives and Washington friends, and I got a good taste of modern art.
And, I spent a lot of time worrying about missing Washington when I hadn't even left yet. :)