The White House, More Museums and a Gallery!

Started our day with the first stop the home of the President; the White House ! There were lots of tourists vying for a prime spot for a photo opportunity. We would have loved to visit the White House but the process to visit as a non-USA citizen is more complicated than buying a ticket. According to the website, citizens of a foreign country need to contact their respective embassies in Washington D.C. to organise it that way. So we took a look around the outside of The White House. We did not see Mr President, only lots of security personnel who work for him!

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The White House

There is a really pretty park opposite the White House with some statues in memory of past country men.

After stopping by the White House, we tried to catch the metro to Smithsonian (to the National Mall) but lines were not working due to track works. We ended up walking which was nice. We even walked past and popped into the White House Visitor Centre.

When we reached the National Mall we made our way to the Museum of Natural History. As it’s name suggests there was lots of exhibits to do with pre-historic animals and the like. There was also a butterfly pavilion and an insect section.

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Museum of Natural History

It houses the largest mounted specimen of the world’s largest living land animal!

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Elephant – largest mounted specimen

We got to see and touch a real human skull which was quite creepy and learned how to recognise a meteorite. There were lots of interactive displays in different sections and a very educational place. A good place to visit if you have children.

The gems section was very interesting and definitely my favourite! Check out the Hope Diamond in the picture on the right below. It is huge!

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Dinosaur display

After visiting the Museum of Natural History, we sat in the National Mall park bench to people watch and took a photo of Smithsonian Castle.

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Smithsonian Castle

We walked to lunch at Grand Trunk. This place is a cross between American and Indian food. We had their Grand Trunk Naan Burger and the Chicken Naan Roll. We also ordered a side of garlic fries. So delicious! Our meal came with three sauces, one a balsamic vinegar/sweet sauce, the other, a green spicy sauce and the third a cooling yoghurt sauce. The décor in the place is very over the top with very high backed chairs, downstairs has lit up floors and the staircase is made of transparent material. That’s only the start!

After a delicious lunch, we walked to the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. Two museums in one building. The map is uniquely colour coded with cool coloured map sections for the National Portrait Gallery and warm coloured map sections for American Art Museum.

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National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum

Photos of some of the highlights for me:

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This is a shrine this guy built in his garage with recycled cardboard in preparation for God’s second coming
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Cryptic message using number plates – See if you can decipher the message!
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Greek Slave by Hiram Powers – marble carving ‘…stripped by her captors and not naked by choice, Powers gave the public permission to view the statue without fear of embarrassment’
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A very life like painting of Eunice Kennedy Shriver by David Lenz – I was convinced this was a photo until I read the description!
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These halls used to have women in their beautiful gowns attending balls here!

Oh and of course another highlight was the portraits of the American Presidents. Some of them were so life like!

We left just after 6pm and it was raining!

After doing a load of laundry at the hotel, we had dinner at Circa Foggy Bottom. Circa is a bistro style place with a nice patio area. We sat in the patio area for dinner as it was a warm balmy night. I had the seared scallops. The scallops were cooked well but the risotto was too hard, sauce was good though. J had the Turkey burger which was quite average, pattie itself was good but the rocket just did not go neither was there much sauce to speak of. Also ordered the chicken wings. These came with a blue cheese dipping sauce and were really good! I had a vodka mojito which was tasty. This place is definitely more bar than it is restaurant.

Another great day in the capital of the USA!

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