Around Town

A long weekend always has me dreaming of a quick trip away somewhere, but when President’s Day approached, I just felt like staying in town. It seemed like I had just gotten back from the holidays, so it was nice to settle in for a quiet weekend at home. On the agenda was sleeping in, dinner out, and visiting museums downtown! I find myself admitting I haven’t been to some pretty popular “tourist” locations more often than I should, so this weekend was the perfect opportunity to fix that situation. 🙂

It was still pretty chilly outside, so after lounging around inside all morning, Joe and I made our way down to the National Mall. We parked near the Tidal Basin and although it looked like a beautiful day, it was terribly windy!

We realized just how cold it was while we stood in line for the Holocaust Museum. Entry is free, but you go through a bit of security before you enter, hence the line. It didn’t take very long to get inside and warm up, though! I visited this museum once before, but it closed shortly after I arrived so I only explored the Permanent Exhibition then.

This time, we started with an interactive exhibition called Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story. You start by walking through what his house may have looked like and continue on to different parts of his family’s experience during this time. All the while, you are reading different journal entries about what he was thinking and feeling. I really liked this part of the museum and didn’t realize it was catered towards just children. We also walked through the tiles painted by American children in memory of the Holocaust and spent some time in the Hall of Remembrance. I was most shocked by the exhibit on what has been happening in Syria. It was really sobering to think of history repeating itself, and reading the notes left by visitors about their thoughts on what is happening.

The Holocaust Museum is very somber, and really makes you think. We chose our next location for two reasons: it was a bit more lighthearted, and it is filled with contemporary art, which also requires some deep thought. 🙂 The Hirshhorn Museum did not disappoint!

We started at the bottom, where walls, floor, and escalator were covered with open-ended questions and phrases. There was also an exhibit downstairs that included five very interesting videos about life in the 21st century. I don’t know that we watched any of these 5 films all the way through, but what we saw was memorable. 🙂

The Utopian Projects on the second floor all showed miniature versions of real life, such as a 60 foot long wooden sailboat made out of tiny wooden pieces that looked like toothpicks. I started to get a bit turned around on this floor because the museum is a circle and I didn’t realize I was back to where I had started. Ha!

Our final few stops were my favorite. They were simple but beautiful.

Ann Hamilton’s at hand exhibit was probably most crowded. Paper drifted down from the ceiling randomly expressing how manual labor is disappearing because of technology. This was a fun place to sit and people watch.

I was rewarded with a beautiful view out of the third story of the museum before we left. And then there was a beautiful sunset on the way home. Looking at these photos reminds me of how much I love where I live. 🙂

And finally, the most tourist-y photo of the day: Joe attempting to squeeze the Capitol building behind him. #epicfail

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