I mulled for days over what I wanted to do. I've visited DC numerous times and Doug and I spent the first year of marriage there so I've done the highlights.
But certainly, one forgets, things change and new sites are created. And things have really changed since 9/11. In my life I've never been scanned and searched as much as was in those few days.
First Off: The Library of Congress - This was really the worst, security wise (they are more thorough than an airport, scanning and searching both coming and going, and the guards were rude, too).
This has been a fixture of the capital for many over a century, but in recent years it has been marketed for public tours. And it was a feast for the eyes to say the least.
The attention to detail and stunning artwork, sculpture and design were simply amazing.
(And for the sake of "the boys," I took a picture of the Gutenberg Bible.)
About this time my blood sugar crashed and I was far from the place I had planned for lunch so Trip Advisor led me to the Supreme Court café just next door.
The food was good (and cheap compared to other places I ate); the building was quite beautiful.
There are two magnificent staircases that spiral upwards without any extra support; each marble step is anchored into the wall and rests on the one below it. I knew Stephen would appreciate this.
It reminded me of the Circumlocution Office in Dickens' Little Dorrit.
I found myself taking photos of the ordinary made beautiful: the elegantly written bronze plate over the door of the elevator; the intricately carved handles of the lavatory; the stunning fire hose box.
(I returned and read this post that speaks of the utilitarian movement of modern society - oh, if only we could get back to the days of beauty in the ordinary).
In addition to the amazing architecture and design, what was truly remarkable about both of these buildings is that they were finished On Time and Under Budget. When did that last happen?
The Capitol is just across the street, and as it was a gorgeous fall afternoon, I meandered.
I spent the rest of the afternoon in the National Gallery, breathing in a different kind of beauty and enjoying the quiet calm.