As my time in DC is running down, I've spent the past two days walking and taking pictures during my free time. Yesterday I was too antsy to sit in the computer lab and read the remaining Self-Instructional Guides. Instead I hopped on to the shuttle to Main State on C street and walked over to the Renwick Gallery. I loved the mauve-pink walls, drapes and set up of the rooms as much as the artwork. The piece of art that drew me the most was a textile called The Silk Rain Forest. It reminded me of the glass fence that I saw at Heard Museum in Phoenix.
From there I walked back to Lafayette Park and tried to get a photo of the north lawn of the White House. I didn't notice that I had one of the settings off because the pictures came out too light. But I did get a few of a different Statue.
I wanted to see the FDR Memorial, so I walked down 17th St. I passed by the Daughter's of the American Revolution Museum. The museum itself was closed, but the outside of the building was mine to photograph. The light played off the leaves in such a way that I couldn't move on for quite a while. After about 30 shots, I told myself to keep going.
I hadn't been down to the Tidal Basin and it is so lovely. There are benches set up a along the ridge and I took advantage of a few. I passed by the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial that will be opened on August 28th. By the time I got to the FDR Memorial, my feet were getting tired and feeling the lack of support in my sandals. Unlike some of the other memorials, this one take the viewer on a journey. There are many statues, quotations, wading pools and waterfalls that all add to the experience. The sound of the water enhances adds another sense into play.
I had in my mind that I wanted to see the Marines at the Iwo Jima Memorial at 7:00. There isn't a convenient metro right by the Tidal Basin, so I ended up walking over the Arlington Bridge, around the perimeter of Arlington Cemetery to the Marine Corps War Memorial. I got there about 6:30 and gratefully plopped down on the grass. After five minutes my calves felt on fire. I looked at my legs and the parts that touched the grass were hot, red and inflamed. Instantaneous rash. I tried sitting crossed legged, but that didn't help, the burning crept to the sides. I didn't know what to do. I was so tired, hot and in pain that I couldn't just get up and start walking. Plus, I hadn't come all that way to leave before the performance.
The atmosphere at the Memorial was very sweet and family friendly. Many marines were mingling with the crowd. There were several cub scout troops and the marines were talking with them about their uniforms and such. Regular people thanked them for their service. It was a nice gathering. The performing band was great. The music, formations, energy -- it was all good. I stayed through the section of Appalachian Spring and then left.
My rash was mostly gone by this morning. I got up at 5:20 and hurried through the morning routine so that I could get back to DC and take pictures at the Lincoln Memorial around sunrise. I was able to catch the light just right. The steps seem to be a favorite early morning exercise prop. Instead of running stadium stairs, DC people run memorial stairs. As I took my time walking up the steps, I could hear the rapid pit-pat of pit-pat of ten other people passing me by.
I also went by the Vietnam Women's Memorial. A man was there taking pictures. I sat on a bench and ate a granola bar while he worked. He seemed to not be capturing what he wanted because he kept going around and around and around. I'm not sure what angle or expression he hoped to catch, because he didn't linger on one spot. As I sat there, three fearless squirrels chased each other all around my bench. One paused long enough for me to get it on film. When the man left, I tried to employ some of the techniques that I learned over the weekend. I think I had some success.
On my way up to the shuttle to head to FSI, I passed by the Institute of Peace. I just love that building. It is a relatively new building and it speaks to me. The one odd thing about the DC skyline is the uniformity of height. There is a building restriction on the height of buildings. It takes a while to realize why the skyline is different, but I think that is the reason.
I know that it seems like my days are full of non-FSI time, but it is easier to write about what I am doing outside of training than inside the classroom. We are studying American Citizen Services. The material is challenging in a different way. Hearing about morgue visits and the ways used to identify a body would have been easier before lunch rather than after, but what are you going to do? That isn't how the schedule worked out today.
This evening I got out of my usual space. Kathy from MHC picked me up and drove me down to Old Town Alexandria and we had a great dinner and conversation. I think it has been 24 years since we last saw each other. It was so much fun to catch up. We ate Thai and then had ice cream on the way back to the hotel.
When I called Mom's, they were eating dinner made from our garden veggies -- zucchini on toast with cucumber and tomato salad. Next week I'll be picking cukes! This week's episode of So You Think You Can Dance has been fantastic. The dancing is incredible. I've had a hard time concentrating on what I'm writing. Hope I've been somewhat coherent.