I ended my blog yesterday with the Grandfather Rocks at the Museum of Native Americans......but it was still in the morning. Thinking that it is taking me two days to write about one - makes me smile. Writing or blogging isn't as easy as it seems...or maybe it is anyway - my morning and day continue.....
I have always loved visiting foreign capitals - often because the museums or archives are free. Yes - we will pay to visit - I don't mind those either but I had forgotten how amazing it is to visit Washington DC and the National Treasures ...and they are FREE !!!!!
After the Museum of Native Americans I made a quick stop at the National Botanic Gardens.
When I entered I was blasted by the colors of the season. On both sides of the aisle (how often can you say this....) they were splendid.
The displays captured the season of harvest as well as the enduring presence of the diversity of nature in its finest splendors. There are a number of different environments that the gardens display from the Tropics to the Deserts. Wonderful.
The light coming in the glass made so many plants glow.....I will only include a couple of pics here ....but it was peaceful, beautiful, warm and inviting.
I didn't go through the outside Gardens...I wanted to see more and to be honest the Botanic Gardens in Denver are absolutely magnificent in all seasons - especially winter. So I stayed for a bit then headed across the Mall by the Capital.
As I mentioned before and am saying it again ..... at the Smithsonian....the Museum of Native Americans....the Botanic Gardens the National Galleries.....going to the National Archives where the original Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bills of Rights are on display.....the Memorials are all FREE !!!!! It was a fabulous day to tour - in October - but I get ahead of myself and I am hungry.....
My sister had told me that there is an underground walkway between the East and West Galleries that houses a cafeteria and great shops with items from the galleries. She also said the walkway is kind of like the one between concourses in O'Hara...for those who have been there.......she was wrong....it was more like Star Wars !!!!!
It was really fun. I ate at the cafeteria and had some of the best homemade chicken noodle soup - ever. It wasn't crowded and my view was of the outside fountain - a cascading wall of water. Absolutely lovely. Afterwards on to the West Gallery.
There was an exhibition of Dutch Paintings of the Wind and Seas. I love how the masters were able to capture the light and the action of nature as man bobbed like a cork on what were then considered state of the art - magnificent ships. In addition to the paintings there were a few ship models that are now 100's of years old:
You can spend hours and hours here......but I will leave with a couple of shots from the American Gallery which you might recognize......and a room of Masters.....
But let's not forget the French Impressionists or DaVinci..........the gallery has a wide variety of world class art.......and it is FREE !!!!! Amazing.....
If you want to walk through art history with an extended with a variety of styles from all places around the world the National Galleries - East and West are for you.
From there - I walked to the National Archives where the founding documents of our country are located.
Normally I would show pictures.....but no photography is allowed and it is understandable. The documents are fading. Although kept under the best preservations possible today....they are fading. But what isn't fading - very simply is what each stood and stand for.
The Declaration of Independence: we will no longer be governed from Britain - we have the right of self determination....
The Constitution: the purpose, structure (three independent branches) and process for amending and ratifying the responsibilities of government for the future needs of the country.....
The Bill of Rights......the rights individuals - NOT GOVERNMENT - have! The four pillars of which are: Freedom of Religion - Freedom of Speech - Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of the Press.......along with other rights that will not be infringed.
The men and women behind these documents, the risks they took to secure them and the foresight to realized that they didn't have all the answers and that things would change so that we as a country could adapt and create a better country for the future........wow .....again I am always in awe of the history of places I have visited around the world but this "American - Experiment" that we living in today is something to be proud of and to behold. Reminders of what has come before and what we must preserve going forward......
BUT..... I wasn't done for the day.......I decided to take the Metro and visit Union Station before heading home.
Every time I visit Union Station I think of the activity this place housed during WWII. The comings and goings of the trains before air travel was vastly commercial......I love the Grand Hall - it is splendid. The wings of the station are now shops....a mall as such. This includes both the lower and the upper floors. But the Grand Hall is still the Grand Hall......I love it.
I caught the Red Line from the station back to my starting point. It was an easy trip and a delightful day.....one I will always remember....as long as I can remember.
If you get to DC.......I hope you have a wonderful time. You can't see it all - you just can't. I hope you have a chance to go and visit the Memorials I never talked about on my one day on the Mall. Keep in mind most of the Museums are open from 10:00 to 5:00 or 5:30. Check on line if there are ones you want to visit that need a time stamp because of the crowds. Enjoy and remember - this is our Mall - our Country.........."We the People" ...... !!!!
Travel Safe - Travel Well
BK Travel Tips
To enjoy travel and see the world and often yourself as if for the first time and with with the eyes of a young child.