Sunday, August 3, 2014

Last Days in DC and a Few More Museums

Friday was another day spent in our beautiful Capital. After our usual bus/metro trip, we walked over to the National Mall where the Smithsonian Institution Building or the Castle as it is called is located. It is the Information Center for the area. As you can see from the pictures below, you can see why it is called the Castle. It is surrounded by lovely gardens and sculptures.

Below you can see a skylight from the part of the building that's roof is covered with a garden.

The National Museum of African Art is right next to the Castle and we explored it.

The Museum began as a private educational institution in 1964 to promote cross cultural understanding of African art and social studies. It later became of the 19 Smithsonian Museums in DC, which are all free to the public.

The Museum has the largest contemporary collection of African Art in the Nation.It includes over 9,000 objects from almost every African country, both current and ancient.

We went across the Mall to the Museum of Natural History. Thus was the most crowded Museum we have been to. The reason is that this is probably the most family friendly and there were lots of children here with their parents.In fact it is the most visited Natural History museum in the world and the most visited of any type museum in the US. The Museum's collection totals 126 Million specimens of plants, animals, rocks, minerals and fossils. It includes a lot of information on evolution and even climate change.

"Lucy" is one of the most complete skeletons found to date from the early hominids that flourished between 4 and 2 million years ago. The skeleton consists of bones from a single individual, presumably female, who stood well under 4 feet tall.
Discovered by scientists in 1974, the 3.18-million-year-old Lucy was named after the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," which the researchers listened to as they celebrated their remarkable find.

It was then time for a late lunch and we decided to go over to the Source, the Wolfgang Puck restaurant by the Newseum that was closed the other day. Well, it was three for three as we had another great meal this week in DC. Most of the people there seem to be business people. AS you walk around this tourist area with people in shorts and other casual weather, you are reminded this is also a working city as people in their business attire walk around the city as well.
The food was wonderful. It has a definite Asian flare. We shared a calamari dish with red thai curry vinaigrette that was one of my favorite calamari dishes I have had so far. I then had the duck curry with a coconut reduction with kefir lime and roasted peanuts. Joe had a crispy  soft shell crab banh mi with pork terrine pickles and herbs. Sound like Top Chef fare?  We even had a desert, a Tahitian sour cream cheesecake with mango and a pine nut crust. Oh my, along with a few glasses of wine we had a relaxing and enjoyable lunch. Their menu is quite extensive and includes a dim sum tasting. This would be a favorite of mine if we lived in this area.
We did our metro/bus journey back to Cherry Hill Resort in College Park, Maryland and got our usual happy greeting from our little pup.
Saturday we didn't do much except a little shipping. The day we left we had  rain. I don't mention the rain we have gotten on this trip that much. We do seem to average a day or two a week it seems. That's why you see so much green in the east. Lots of large grass areas with no sprinklers ever. They don't need it even in the hot summer. Well we say good bye to DC and start our way south with a first stop in Virginia.

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