I just recently got back from a quick weekend trip to Washington D.C. to see the boyfriend. He’s been working up there since August, and since he’s been back to visit me so many times, I’ve been determined to see him up there, if only for another chance to visit D.C. again. (Just kidding, babe.) I haven’t been to the city since I was in high school, and before that, since I was 11.
Each time has been so different, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been better able to appreciate just how much information is available in the Smithsonian’s, and how important it is to stand in awe at and understand all the history our country’s capital has to offer.
I also have really just missed the boyfriend. (Long distance relationships are hard. Really really hard. But so worth it when you find the right person to stick it out with you.)
We spent the first day wandering around IKEA because it rained all day, and holy cow! I didn’t know I needed that place in my life. I contained my usual impulse shopping to a minimum and managed to only walk out with 4 cereal bowls and 2 dish towels.
Next, we sipped on some coffee at the boyfriend’s local coffee haunt, Vigilante Coffee. We also walked into a local printmaking shop where I was able to purchase a beautiful piece of art to add to my ever-growing collection. Because the rain never relented, we enjoyed the rest of the evening watching movies and consuming copious amounts of popcorn.
We spent all day Sunday in downtown D.C. walking around. After stopping for our first cup of coffee of the day, we walked to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where we were greeted by Alexander Calder’s mobiles suspended beneath an enormous glass ceiling.
Some of my favorite pieces I saw were the Georgia O’Keefe paintings on the first floor, Louise Bourgeois’ Germinal sculpture, Klimt’s Baby (Cradle), and Leon Berkowitz’s Coronation. There was also a Frédéric Bazille exhibit on the bottom floor that took my breath away. I wasn’t allowed to take a picture of one of my favorites (Young Woman with Lowered Eyes) in that collection, so here’s the link.
Our next stop of the day was the National Museum of the American Indian. I wish we had been able to spend more time in this one because it had a very thoughtfully designed exhibit that attempted to touch on all the regions in which Native Americans live. (An an Anthropology major, I found this fascinating.) Each of these exhibits expressed the same truth: the survival of culture depends on the passsage of traditions from one generation to the next.
Native spiritual values live in stories. Passed verbally from generation to generation, the stories preserve Native culture, languages, and ways of explaining the universe.
-Emil Her Many Horses
There was also an exhibit on British imperialism in the Americas during the time of colonization. It juxtaposed the Native American viewpoint with the British viewpoint in a way that made for one powerful presentation.
After a lunch break at Union Station, and a long walk through the Botanical Gardens, we decided to head back into Maryland. However, the metro turned out to be a fiasco that evening (I’ll save that story for another time), so we wound up eating dinner at this neat place called Busboys and Poets that serves organic food in recipes from all over the world. There was also a book store right in the restaurant that offers a really interesting collection of books to encourage political and social conversations. I, of course, couldn’t leave without buying something.
Being away on vacation seems to wear me out more than just a regular week at home. I’m not sure why that is. But I’m so glad I got to spend this weekend with my favorite person, so I won’t complain.