Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend in DC, 2009 edition

Took me long enough! We've been back from DC for a week now, but with the start of fall TV and various other things going on, I haven't had much time to blog. I still wanted to do a quick recap of the trip, because it was so much fun and we got some nice pictures!

Rich, Shaun and I got in on Friday night, had pizza and played games with John and Sarah. The three of us travelers got to stay in Sarah's apartment for the weekend - it was the first time we'd seen her place, and the first time we were able to enjoy her amazing view!

The Washington Monument is on the left; the Capitol on the right.

It's hard to see other landmarks in the picture, but there were plenty. And we apparently didn't zoom out enough, but the Pentagon is just to the left of the frame. It was pretty cool to be able to wake up and look out over our nation's capital.

On Saturday morning, we got up and hit the Library of Congress. As you can see, the inside is gorgeous, and there are a lot of cool artifacts and documents, including a large book collection that used to be Thomas Jefferson's.

After that we walked across the street to the Capitol building and explored the new visitor center for awhile. As you can see it was a gorgeous late summer day - about 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

From there we walked to the Good Stuff Eatery for lunch. I've never watched much of Top Chef, but I'd heard that Good Stuff was owned by Chef Spike from season 4. Anyway, it was pretty tasty - burgers were good, fries were great - but the chocolate shake was my favorite...yum. I'd definitely recommend it for a quick meal in the city.

We then changed pace and headed out toward Dulles Airport in Virginia to visit the Udvar-Hazy Center, the annex to the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum (we'd visited the main museum downtown last year). Shaun was like a kid in a candy store being around all the planes! Just a couple of highlights...

This is the restored Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb.

Space Shuttle Enterprise, used by NASA for test flights

We also went up in the tower that provides a view of the Dulles runways and the surrounding area, as well as a small air traffic control exhibit.

The group then made our way back to Sarah's apartment to watch the Notre Dame-Michigan State game. (Much like last night's win over Purdue, the game was way too close for comfort...but at least it turned out better than the Michigan game.)

We had another low-key night, then got up on Sunday and went to the FDR Memorial. It's a little bit out of the way and I'd never known where it was, but I'm really glad we visited. Some of the quotes on the walls are especially poignant considering the state of our economy today.

We walked back to the car while taking in some more lovely views of nearby monuments. Sarah suggested we come back sometime when the cherry trees are in bloom...I wouldn't complain!

Apparently we didn't take pictures at the Natural History Museum or American History Museum, our last stops before heading out of town. We barely scratched the surface at the American History Museum, however - we'll definitely have to go back. One of the coolest things there is the actual flag that inspired our national anthem.

Each time we go to Washington, I discover more things I want to do and I just want to keep coming back. It's quickly become one of my favorite cities - and it doesn't hurt that some of our favorite friends live there!

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