We were up at 6 and in the rental van by 7:15, to the Metro, into DC and on the grassy Mall early and headed to see the "Smithsonian Institute Castle", which serves as the administration building for the Smithsonian. We walked through and saw the gardens and then headed on...to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The lobby was very impressive with this giant stuffed elephant!
My sister wanted to show me the gems and I was excited to see the Hope Diamond! Pardon the awful photos, this is with my iPhone as my camera would not be in my hands until we got back to the hotel that evening. But I guess it's very hard to get a good photo of this.
This was a huge crystal!
Here are a few meteorites, quite large and impressive. I actually have a little one that I got off eBay... :-)
A couple impressive crystals!
This tells you what I got to see.
This topaz was as big as your head!
Pearls.. I would like that big one. :-)
Looking down over one of the exhibit rooms.
I loved all the Egyptian treasures.
Here is a big one!
Looking down over the lobby from the 2nd floor.
We had lunch along with hundreds of schoolchildren in the museum lunchroom. Macaroni and cheese is the gourmet treat here and is pretty good!
Then we headed off to the highlight of my whole trip.. a visit to the inside of the White House, set up by my sister Denise and BIL Steve! We went through a thorough security check, and got to walk into this wonderful building, one I've seen over the years on television and in movies, the home of our Presidents over the years. I was just thrilled!
The fun story of our tour is.... when we first entered the house on the main floor there were several rooms for us to look into. I walked ahead to ask the Secret Service guard if there was an elevator to take Dayle and I up to the 2nd floor as Dayle's leg and knee did not do well with stairs - while I was talking to him I saw his face light up and he craned his neck around me and said.. "There he is!"... I whirled around, thinking that President Obama had walked by... I didn't see anything... Dayle walked towards me and said.. "Did you see him!!!".. and I go NO!!! And he goes.. Bo, the First Dog, just walked by us!! 4 of us saw him and 2 of us missed him. WAHH!!
The other fun story is that a nice SS guy led us behind the security screens, into the kitchen area, we got to see the White House kitchen, all stainless steel and glass windows, got to see this old butler's pantry and all their food cans and stuff.. to the elevator that brings all the food up to the State dinners in the dining room.. I loved that!
This is the famous vegetable garden that Michelle Obama had put in!!
This is the door that we came out of after the tour of the White House.The portico further back.
Our next stop was the Daughters of the American Revolution building not far from the White House. I've been here for the big Continental Congress twice before, and am "part owner" of it being a member of DAR. I wanted to show our sister, sister-in-law and my husband and 2 BIL this building that is so a part of my sister Roberta and me.
This is the library in our DAR building which holds tons of books on genealogy. See the skylights? They are all being restored and repaired right now.Isn't it beautiful?
This is one of the beautiful rooms in the building.
I was the editor for a cookbook for a DAR listserv group and we raised over $2,000, not even meaning to make money, we just wanted to cover the printing and shipping charges. So, over the years we donated $500 to each President General, 4 in total. This was the donation for the current PG. I found all 4 displays on the walls and photographed all our plaques, but will show only this one. It's a real honor to have my name permanently posted in 4 places in this fabulous building!!
Here is the whole display.
Here is a link to see more about the DAR building -- HERE.
Well.. that was an epic post, sorry it was so long. I am heading off to an art review for the Vista House in a bit, than on to a graduation picnic in a park for my nephew who just earned his masters degree! My oh my.. I need some rest! :-) ((hugs)), Teresa :-)