The Legislative side of the trip was great and super educational, but we did have a bit of time to take in some tourist attractions as well. I'm also lumping restaurant experiences into this post. There are many several photos included throughout.
Because Jeff and I arrived in DC about 24 hours ahead of when our first meeting was, we had about one evening and one long morning to take in a few sights before meeting up with the rest of our group for business. There was one other couple out of our FUE group that also had arrived early, so we spent much of our time with them. It was great to be free to experience the city.
The first night we ate a really delicious upscale seafood restaurant called Oceanaire. Apparently it is a chain restaurant or at least has locations in several large cities in the US, but when you live where we live, even chain restaurants are exotic. Our friends are from Minnesota and had eaten at Oceanaire in the Cities and recommended we try it out. We were not disappointed. They had excellent wine, which was a must for me! The seafood dishes we tried were great. I actually liked the seafood salad we all shared even better than my main entree, even though both were really yummy. The best part of the meal, however, was the OYSTERS!!! I have found in recent years that I absolutely love oysters on the half-shell. What better place for fresh oysters than Washington D.C.? Right on the Chesapeake Bay, near the coast... fresh as can be! Too bad I forgot to take any photos at Oceanaire. The food and company was awesome!
Our hotel was located just a block off the National Mall, convenient to many museums and monuments. The next morning was when I did the Beat the Deadline 5k, which was awesome. I snapped these two photos as I walked across the mall to the start of the race, about a mile and a half away.
The next morning before our meetings we had just a little time to check out a few of the Smithsonian museums, including the Air and Space museum, and the National Gallery. I'll post a few photos from the Gallery in my third DC post on Art and Design in the city. I didn't take a ton of photos in the Air and Space museum, but I did snap one of moon-landing unit I believe from the Apollo space missions. I'm always amazed at how much these things look like they're held together by nothing more than tinfoil, cardboard and tape. I've seen parade floats that look more impressive! All the same, these are feats of engineering I couldn't even begin to conjure up on my own.
|Inside the Air and Space Museum.|
|Jeff and Bryan tasting some high-class whiskey at Founding Farmers.|
Was it worth it? ;)
|Outside Farmers, Fishers, and Bakers.|
|Patio seating and Entrance to Farmers, Fishers, Bakers.|
|Apparently it's hip and trendy to display your canned goods with back-lighting on a shelf in plain view.|
Guess I'll have to dig mine out of the back of the cupboard!
|Pretty fancy van, right?!|
(Sorry, Bryan, for the bad photo!)
|Gothic Revival by the glow of sunset!|
|Who doesn't love flying buttresses?!|
|Washington Monument with the Capitol Dome behind it.|
|Approaching the Lincoln Memorial.|
|Memorial of Thomas Jefferson, or as I like to call him, TJ.|
|Iwo Jima Marine WWII Monument|
The next day after our meetings for the day got out a little early, some of us trekked back out to Arlington to visit Arlington National Cemetary. We didn't have much time to look around- by the time we got there, they were only open for another hour- and we wanted to be sure to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown. It was really cool to watch the changing of the guard ceremony. I was very impressed by the precision of their movements and the obvious reverence with which they treated their job.
|Fresh flowers against a grave at Arlington National Cemetery.|
|Very impressive to watch these guards.|
|These three walked down toward the tomb together.|
|Another man placed the wreath.|
|Then there was a salute, and another guard played the military funeral song.|
|Mid slurp! YUM!|
|The lobster tasted very fresh and delicious!|
In addition to visiting with those three gentlemen, we also had the great pleasure of meeting up with a few old friends. One is a longtime friend of Jeff's, named Mark, who is on staff for Senator Walsh...
|Me and Jeff with Mark Hybner.|
The other people we bumped into happened to be Jeff's family who just so happened to be in Washington D.C. on vacation! So cool to bump into them unexpectedly. They definitely did a double take when they saw us! Not sure if it was out of surprise or because they didn't recognize us all dressed up... maybe both?!
|Me and Jeff with Jan and Gary Holmes! What a crazy coincidence.|
To conclude, I'll leave you with a few example photos of the city embracing people from all over the country. The Newseum (a museum I highly recommend, even though it's not free to attend/not in the Smithsonian complex) posts the front page of a newspaper from every state in the Union, every day. Had to get my picture with that. And later, I got to put a pin in a Montana map on the location of our farm when we were in the office of a certain Senator. Even though it seems like wherever you go in this world, you bump into someone from Montana, or someone who has Montana connections, there were no other pins from 20 miles north of Inverness, MT on the map. Glad we can represent rural Montana, and glad for the city of D.C. being so welcoming and fun!
|Next to the posting of the Great Falls Tribune, outside the Newseum.|
|Placing a pin in the map for our farm! Can you find it?|