21 December 2005

brief trip

We've been trying to get together with a friend of mine from high school for a few months, now that he and his family have moved to the DC area. We were able to pop down there (a 2-hour and 40 minute drive, if traffic is cooperative) for a quick overnight visit.

It was great to see an old friend again and visit some places of interest in DC.

On Tuesday afternoon we toured the National Cathedral, a beautiful Gothic structure, with a 500 foot long nave and 300 foot central tower.

While I've been there on several occasions, Laurel had never been there and we arrived in time to catch the end of a choir concert.

We also enjoyed watching the Altar Guild greening the church with various lush arrangments of berries and branches, and exchanging the Advent blue for the white and gold of Christmas. Claire, in particular, enjoyed the children's chapel and a display of creche sets from around the world.

Today we visited two parts of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of Natural History, with its dinosaurs, taxidermic specimens, and hands-on exhibits, and the National Air and Space Museum, with its space capsules, lunar modules, and airplanes.

While the grown-ups didn't get much chance to linger over any exhibits, Claire had a great time, very excited about the animals and aircraft.

After a stroll on the Mall and some picture-taking (particularly of the architecturally striking National Museum of the American Indian), we took a meandering car ride, giving the little one a chance to nap.

We drove around the Capitol, saw the Folger Shakespeare Library and nearby Supreme Court, then headed up towards Catholic Univeristy with the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and back to our host's apartment in Falls Church, via the Adams-Morgan neighborhood and Dupont Circle.

I'll post some pictures in this entry later on. Sorry to all you DC-dwellers who might have enjoyed a visit. Maybe next time.