Natalie and Steve were kind enough to host us, and during the day Natalie and the newest member of their family, baby Maggie, played tour guide to us as we explored the many sites within walking distance of their row house. Our first morning was spent gazing at the White House from afar (you can't get too close to it). It seemed so much smaller in person, especially compared to the other, larger buildings surrounding it. It was kind of humbling to realize that the President of the U.S.A lived in such a "modest" place (again, in comparison to the surrounding government buildings). Unfortunately, we didn't realize that in order to tour the White House, you need to petition your Congressman several months in advance for admittance. Which makes me wonder how Nightcrawler from X-Men ever managed to make it through security being 1) a foreigner and 2) a bright blue tele-porting mutant. Oh, well. Next time.
|Isn't this more impressive than the White House?|
|Korean War Memorial|
|Vietnam War Memorial|
After this, Natalie and Maggie left us for a much-needed nap, and Andrew and I continued on foot to the Capitol, but never quite made it as we were sidetracked by the warmth of the nearby Botanical Gardens. After sheltering among the orchids, we then met up with fellow Mali RPCV Emily for a quick drink before returning to Natalie and Steve's for the night.
|Museum of the American Indian|
Our second full day there started with a visit to the Museum of the American Indian, one of the newer Smithsonians, but one of the best designed museums I've ever seen. It was very manageable for a morning visit, and there were lots of great dioramas about both the past and present tribes of Native Americans. And the best part was their basement cafe, which offered all sorts of "authentic" American Indian dishes like duck and buffalo burger, fry bread, and wild rice pilaf. It was very good food for museum fare.
|Cherry Blossom Parade|
|Us and GW|
|GW & MW Grave|