Wednesday, May 28, 2014

On the Washington Mall which is just a big park between the Capital Buildings and the Wash. Monument. People were running around the track on the outside.

Washington is amazing, the main area around the White House and the Capital buildings is just covered in Federal buildings and museums.  Our tour bus ride was a great investment, we saw everything we wanted to and now we will have to prioritize which places we want to visit.  There are 19 Smithsonian buildings, so choosing might be quite difficult and they are all free!!   Barry wants to go to the Air and Space Museum and I am bound and determined to walk up the Washington Monument.  We have heard that you have to book a White House tour weeks in advance  but apparently tours of the Capital Buildings the Senate and the House of Representatives are quite spectacular and well worth it.  
One view of the Capital buildings.  

This is the original Smithsonian, it is called the Castle. The statues in the corners of the gardens are of extinct birds. 
Where the money is printed!! 

Some of the pictures were taken from our tour bus so the angles are not always the best.  A couple of the bus drivers were just a scream, one from Chigaco was quite funny while another had gone to the Duke Ellington School for the Arts and entertained us with songs, imitations of presidents and a truly rapid fire delivery as we drove down embassy row.  Did you know that the Canadian Embassy is the only one located on Pennsylvania Ave. due to our close and enduring friendship with the US? Apparently during the presidential inaugurations they close off the whole street between the Capital Buildings where he is sworn in and the White House and they even take the street lights out so that the parade can proceed down the middle of the street with nothing to interfere with it!! 

Here are some random buildings that I enjoyed the architecture of.

This is Union Station, where we stopped to have lunch.  It is the second biggest station in the US next to Grand Central Station in New York. Below are two shots to the ceiling of the station.  apparently there was 40 pounds of gold used in the ceiling and when Wash. had an earthquake in 2011 there was dust and particles coming off the ceiling.  Perhaps you could have made a few bucks by walking through the station every lunch hour and then shaking out your clothes when you got home.

I have always loved mystery and spy stories, so the possibilities of a tour of the J.Edgar Hoover building is something I am going to google and then we saw this building below, I don't imagine the entrance to this museum would be free
J Edgar's favourite place to have lunch. 
The Washington Catherdral.  It took over 80 years to complete and they allow preachers of many different religions to prostelize in it.  
Historic Georgetown, where the building were once taxed on their width, thus the very skinny frontages.  They have passed an ordinance which does not allow you to change the character of the buildings without applying to some board. 
The old Washington Canal whch used to run the length of the city but now only exists in Georgetown.  
Laundry must be almost done, off to see the sights up close and personal this time!