A couple of weeks ago, when we were staying in Norfolk, we did a day trip to Washington DC or just ‘DC’ (the capital of the US).
In 2012, Amtrak started a daily round-trip service from Norfolk, Virginia to Washington. It takes about 4 hours and 45 mins to get there and the trip cost us $39 per person each way. I’ve heard they sometimes have sale fairs for $20 each way, which would be super cool (keep an eye on the Amtrak website for sale fares).
Anyway, we got up at 5am, caught the train and got to DC at around 11am. Turns out we were going during the National Cherry Blossom Festival…
Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates spring in Washington, DC, the gift of the cherry blossom trees, and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The Festival produces and coordinates daily events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. Events are primarily free and open to the public (the National Cherry Blossom Festival, for more click here).
It was an absolutely beautiful time of year to visit (albeit very busy with tourists). There were all sorts of festival-type things happening and the cherry blossoms were everywhere.
We walked around all day from 11am until 7pm (when we had to get the train back to Norfolk). We saw The White House, the Capitol Building and Lincoln Memorial. We also went to one of the Smithsonian institutions. Did you know that the Smithsonian is not actually ONE MUSEUM, but a group of 19 MUSEUMS, 9 research centers and a National Zoological Park?! That’s 19 museums! I had no idea and realised (quite belatedly) that there was NO WAY I was going to see all of the museums in one day. I mean, CRAP, LOOK AT THEM ALL! And these are only the ones in DC!
- African American History and Culture Museum
- African Art Museum
- Air and Space Museum
- Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center
- American Art Museum
- American History Museum
- American Indian Museum
- Anacostia Community Museum
- Arts and Industries Building
- Freer Gallery of Art
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
- National Zoo
- Natural History Museum
- Portrait Gallery
- Postal Museum
- Renwick Gallery
- Sackler Gallery
- Smithsonian Institution Building, The Castle
We did manage to get in a good look at the American History Museum, which has an exhibition called The First Ladies. It represented the role of various First Ladies over history and showed how this changed depending on the status of women in society. I thought it was cool, because it showed how First Ladies were able to actually affect their presidenty husbands and (more importantly) policy and society. Plus, it has dresses on display and I love dresses. It’s got more than 24 gowns on display, including ones worn by Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, and Jacqueline Kennedy.