On Thursday morning, I slept later than I wanted to and so we didn't leave for Washington D.C. until nearly noon. Turns out that hubby didn't realize that ALL THE MUSEUMS ARE OPEN on Thanksgiving, so he intentionally let me sleep. I shouldn't complain, because hey, sleep is good. But the I-95 corridor during Thanksgiving afternoon is far more crowded that it is at mid-morning, and so we had a longer ride. In the rain. Blech.
Turns out that hubby left the directions to the hotel at home. After tooling around the general vicinity for a while, we pulled curbside and phoned information. We drove one and one-half blocks to the hotel (*sheepish grins all round, please*), and checked into our lovely Sofitel digs, where they'd upgraded us to a deluxe room for no real reason.
The room was lovely, if on the small side. The bathroom was lovelier, and not all that small as bathrooms go, especially if you live in a house like mine where the bathrooms are all postage-stamp sized. It had a telephone type spray hose in the bathtub, which I didn't use because I don't typically take baths. Still, it was tempting, if only so I could use the telephone sprayer thingy, with which I would have undoubtedly managed to shoot water into my ear while pretending to talk on it, so it's just as well that I left it alone.
Dinner at Café 15 was fantabulous. Prix fixe dinner, complete with an "amuse bouche", choice of soup or salad (I chose the salad, which was large enough for two people, but it included goat cheese and dried cranberries, and really, those are two of my favorite salad items, so the chestnut soup just didn't call to me as loudly). Then choice of entrée (we both opted for the filet of beef -- yummy -- with parsnips and fingerling potatoes and whatnot). Then a pumpkin crème brulée. And then, a little plate of announced sweets. Plus I had yummy, yummy wine with my meal. Mmmmm. (Even though now that I've typed it, the salad and pumpkin crème brulée don't seem "cutting edge" to me, thanks to the most recent Top Chef episode. But I digress.)
The next day? The National Geographic Museum, where we saw the World's Best Wildlife Photographers 2006 exhibit. Then we stopped for a brief and uninteresting lunch at Au Bon Pain on the way to Ford's Theatre, where we bought (restricted view) tickets to A Christmas Carol for that night. For $16 bucks each. Talk about a bargain, and the seats we got were minimally obstructed. And A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite plays ever. YAY! Then we toured the inside of the theatre, which includes the preserved (although really, it's reconstructed) box where Lincoln was shot. There's a cool museum in the basement full of artifacts and information. And a gift shop, where I saw Patricia Polacco's book "Pink and Say" shelved in the African American book section (and not with the children's stuff). Weird.
Then hubby and I went to the National Gallery of Art and saw art. Much of which we did not care for, thank you very much. Hubby insists that he could paint really large monochrome canvasses just as well as Mark Rothko. On the one hand, I'm skeptical. On the other hand -- well, really, how hard can it be to draw a large orange rectangle on a maroon canvas? (I chose that as an example because they were my college school colors. And yes, the alma mater included the phrase "loyal to her by night and by noon, we'll raise the orange and maroon.")
Then a cab to the hotel, and a brief rest (during which I read some of Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City and hubby
On Saturday, I dragged hubby to the National Museum of Women in the Arts to see their exhibit on The Book As Art. Hubby thought it'd be books with nice pictures, and was sorry to be wrong. I thought it'd be artistic representations of books, and I was right (although pretty pictures might've been nicer). My favorite piece there was entitled "Dinner with Mr. Dewey" by M.L. Van Nice, which featured books as the food on a table.
Then, the ZOO! Where we walked uphill for hours! But we saw tiger cubs at play (and yes, they DO pounce for no obvious reason. The significance of that comment will be appreciated by only a few of my blog readers, but hey, it was worth mentioning.) And we saw the baby panda again. And many other animals, including an orang utan that was passing literally above our heads on this cool tower they built for that purpose. And we were both shat upon by birds, and later, so was our car. So we bought lottery tickets on our way home.