Everyone (almost, I think) has a favorite holiday and probably a favorite holiday tradition. Christmas is, by far, my favorite holiday. Everything is decorated, people are happy and we think about others during this time. DC is also one of my favorite cities and I began to love the holidays in DC when I lived there. Now we’ve started making going to DC around Christmas an annual event and I think I’m convincing Bob of the joys of the city.
Like last year (and pretty much every year that I’ve gone to DC around the holiday) there were a few stops we had to make – the Botanic Gardens, The Congressional tree, the National tree and all the state trees. We also tried, and failed yet again this year, to get a White House tour, but it’s incentive to plan next year’s trip early.
The National tree was fine, but the state trees were much, much better this year. After the programmed lights last year (that all looked exactly the same) they went back to actual ornaments from each state this year. Much better. I can’t tell you what Florida’s ornaments looked like because we could not see Florida’s tree – it was outside the path to walk through. It was also very crowded; I suppose this is the price we pay for really georgous weather in December in DC.
We also decided to do a few things we had never done, or that we had not done in a very long time. The last time I toured the Capitol we walked up the front steps, went through metal detectors and wandered on our own. A few rooms were off limits, but for the most part, we went where we wanted and ran into (in my case quite literally) a senator or two. Not any more. Through the visitors center, through screening, with pre determined passes obtained from a senator, on a guided tour to just a few areas of the Capitol. It was different, but I would highly recommend it. There is some great history, wonderful trivia and just a lot to be gained from going through with someone who knows all about the building.
The last time I was in DC and viewing the monuments the King Memorial was not open. We managed to walk from the Jefferson to the King Memorial and I was very glad I did. It was beautiful, and very, very well done. It fit the space and the feel of the National Mall.
From there we decided to find something none of us have ever sought out before – the memorial to Albert Einstein. The statue has been there for decades, but it isn’t something any of us saw before. I loved it not just because it’s science in the mist of history, but because Einstein fit. He fit the idea of thinking big, but understanding that even ideals impact people. Theory is great, but what does that theory look like to the people who live every day?
Needless to say, we walked a lot, we ate a lot and we laughed a lot. The trip to DC was exactly what we needed it to be – a break from reality and getting back in touch with good friends, and ourselves.