Days One and Two: Washington, DC

I left LA on a non-stop flight to Dulles in Washington, DC. The cherry blossoms are a signature item every spring, and they were in full bloom. Beautiful. I decided that I would spend some time in the city and visit the Smithsonian and other attractions. Happily I was able to find accommodations at a fairly nice hostel-like hotel in the northeast part of the city near the Capital. A few nice cafes and a Metro station are within a block of the hotel.

Several tourist sites: the Air and Space Museum, Natural History Museum, American History, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the American Art Museum, occupied my time. I discovered it required more than a few days to see and absorb them all. I loved the Hirshhorn with its great collection of famous and contemporary art, paintings, and sculpture. My appreciation of fine art was the result of my Art History minor in college. This is the first time that I could devote my time exclusively to savoring fine art since college.

cherry-blossom

The following information is from one of the available brochures describing this great American institution: “The Smithsonian Institution, the world-renowned museum and research complex consists of 15 separate museums and the National Zoo in Washington, DC. From the origins of man at the Natural History Museum to the future of space travel at the Air and Space Museum, the museums of the Smithsonian cover an array of fascinating areas of study.

The Smithsonian Institution is sometimes referred to as America’s treasure chest because of the diverse artifacts it houses. Whether you’re interested in American history or Asian art, giant pandas or stamp collecting, there’s a Smithsonian museum for you. By attendance, the most popular Smithsonian museums are the Air and Space Museum, Natural History Museum, American History Museum and the National Zoo. First-time visitors tend to seek these out, but we recommend reading a bit about each museum and visiting those which interest you. With 15, it’s virtually impossible see them all in one visit, but planning to see three or four during a weeklong vacation would be a realistic goal.”

I took advantage of the proximity of the Zoo to see the Pandas and enjoy a meal at Lillies Bistro on Connecticut Ave. I enjoyed the cheese crepes and a French Chablis wine, with a fresh garden salad. The meals was very satisfying. Afterwords I treated myself to a cab ride back to the hotel.

After two days among the different venues, I took advantage of the Metro and went to Georgetown on the second night. In spite of two days walking the museums, I strolled M Street and enjoyed a wine tasting dinner at the Enoteca Wine Bar. I chose the Lettuce Wedge Salad with a Gorgonzola dressing, crusty Italian bread with Extra Virgin Olive oil, and a couple of glasses of Barbaresco wine. The penne pasta prepared with Italian sausage in a creamy tomato sauce hit my taste buds perfectly. A sampling of taleggio cheese and a dark chocolate truffle completed the meal. The Italian selections started my thirst to learn more about Italian foods and wines.

That would have been a great date if I had a female companion. I doubt that will happen in the near future, if ever. My past wasn’t the best with relationships. I’d resisted commitment, never eager to make my feelings known. Friends were few, although I had many acquaintances. Although I treated strangers and comrades with respect, often my friendliness had a reserved quality. I shunned real closeness, even my friend, Charles; I kept at arm’s length. Was I ever to have a long-term relationship, accepting another as a part of my being? Could I change my ways?

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