Day at the museums pt. I

I still could not feel my legs and I am now down with a sickness because I spent my weekend exploring museums and walking a million miles to get from one historical attraction to another. But you know what, although exhausting, the experience was fulfilling and worth all the pain.

Saturday morning after Skyping with my to-be bride cousin and her family (sad that I won't be able to make it back to the Philippines for her beautiful wedding), the relatives drove me to Washington, D.C. I was set to stay there for the whole two days with Ate Haydee, my good friend from church who graduated from Ateneo two years ago and is now taking up a MS-PhD in Chemistry degree in Georgetown University with full scholarship. (Wow!)

After dropping off my things at her place, we headed straight to The Capitol. As expected the security was so strict, I had to give up my perfume bottle since it was not allowed inside the building. And unfortunately enough, there wasn't much to see, especially for someone who is not into politics. The only consolation was going through the tunnel that connected to the gorgeous(!) Library of Congress. We entered the hall and were in awe as we gazed up the ceiling and reveled at the intricate architecture before us. Photography was not allowed at the exhibits and that was quite a shame. Everything was just so wonderful, I would have wanted to share pictures of the original copies of the Books That Shaped America and paradise in the form of the reading room.

We took a quick break from the sightseeing, looked for the nearest food truck, grabbed some hotdogs for lunch, sat down on a bench in the park, and spent the time catching up, talking about the two years we have lost touch. She also gave me useful tips should I push through with my graduate school applications. We then made our way to the Smithsonian museums, and I was so excited, guilty of secretly wishing all the statues would come to life ala Night at the Museum: Battle of Smithsonian. Starting with the National Air and Space Museum, I looked everywhere for Amelia Earhart only to find her jacket and goggles. Sigh.

After a while my feet wanted to give up and so we decided to slow our pace down a bit. To avoid the huge crowds, going to the National Gallery of Art was a good idea as tours probably focused on all the other museums but that. True enough, we did not have to worry about getting lost in the sea of people as the exhibits there were more quiet and less filled than the others. In spite of that, it still offered a lot of interesting finds. We were amazed by the paintings and sculptures of artists upcoming and famous alike. Imagine being in the midst and seeing the real works of Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh!

When we were able to recharge ourselves, we walked to the next museum: Natural History. As this was one of the most sought-after museums, lo and behold, we were greeted with tour buses that carried hundreds of people who, just like us, were excited to see all the animals, gems, bones, and other amusing stuff in the huge building. There was a momentary rainshower a few minutes after we got out and right in the middle of our snack time so we ran to the nearest shade, which was, luckily, of all places, the Smithsonian Castle.

Soon after we finished our nachos with chili and cheese, the rain stopped and we walked all the way to the Washington Monument. The sun became angrier by the minute and it got really hot that I had to take my cardigan off and we hid under a huge tree. Later that night we had dinner at Outback in Virginia (just near the border) with my mom's good friend from high school, Tita El-El, and her very welcoming family. With great food, a good laugh, and hope for more meaningful adventures, my first "independent" day out came to a close.

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