Saturday, December 31, 2016

Preserving the Spirit of Christmas on December 31

 In a quest to preserve the spirit of Christmases past number 1 son and I laced up our walking shoes, got ourselves a smartrip card and headed into Washington DC to see the sights of Christmas - something we have not done in several years.
 We took the metro and got off at Union Station. The tree gifted to the people of Washington to symbolize the friendship between Norway and the USA is always a grand sight against the wonderful backdrop of Union Station.
 From Union Station we strolled briskly down Delaware Avenue to the North facade of the US Capitol.
 On the western side of the Capitol building they have been hard at work for several weeks now preparing for the upcoming Presidential Inauguration.
 Next stop was the Botanic Gardens where we had hoped to see the model train exhibit but the line of people waiting to get in (estimate was a one hour wait) was offputting so we headed into the main front spaces of the Conservatory where the display, Seasons Greenings, is a delightful mix of models of many of Washington's most iconic buildings created using plant materials by Applied Imagination from Kentucky. The choice of the theme was in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
 Okay, who knows what this tree is? It is real - and amazing. It is a Theobroma Cacao plant aka the chocolate tree.
 Walking out of the Conservatory we decided to ditch the plan to metro down to the Ellipse and to instead walk  down the National Mall.
 Alongside the National Gallery of Art I was intrigued by a structure which I first thought was an outdoor sculpture. But once I spotted a large logo for AT&T I realized it was more preparations for the upcoming inauguration.
 Arriving at the intersection of 14th and Constitution you cannot miss the very newest of the Smithsonian Museums, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. It is a very intriguing sight from the outside as it appears as a see-through facade. Opening in late September this year it is still very difficult to get tickets to see inside because of the popularity of the Museum so we contented ourselves with the outdoor view before heading off to our final destination, the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in front of the White House.
 Washington DC is always refreshing, rebuilding, renovating and more so trying to get the best views (and photographs) is often challenging. When we first got a glimpse of the tree it was behind a large fenced off area and looked a little insignificant. But by the time we skirted around the fence and got closer the lights had been turned on. Like the museum we had just walked past, this tree also has a see-through facade - in this instance a tight weave of the electrical cords holding the vast number of blue and white lights.
 True to tradition, the Volunteers of the National Christmas Tree Railroad, have again delighted us all with many trains chugging to and fro around the tree.
 By now we were getting weary so we headed up 17th Street seeking the Farragut West metro station. Along the way we passed by the PNC Place building with it's very simple symbol of the season. Finding the entrance to the station took some sleuthing (we are not frequent metro riders) but we made it and settled our tired bodies into the seat for the ride home.
Our closeout view for the outing was this portion of the display at Reston Station, outside the terminus on the silver line.

Lastly I do apologise if you have visited here on the past few even dates looking for my posts. We made a short notice overnight trip on Monday and came home on Tuesday to be welcomed by water dripping from the ceiling (fortunately it started after we arrived home). But it seems the balance of the week has been taken up with moving things out of the way and waiting on various tradesmen to attend to the situation. There are two more themed posts still to come in this series intended to Preserve the Spirit of Christmas so keep checking back to see what else I have in store.

Happy New Year to all - may it be a happy, healthy, safe and more uplifting one than 2016 has been.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you were able to get out for the walking tour of DC after the week of Ceiling Restoration! Beautiful photos of sights we certainly don't have around here!


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