Thanks to ams & mas, and ps for suggestions, to my intrepid & agreeable hostess jl for accompanying me everywhere. Also thanks to host gl for his sense of fun! To both of our hosts, many gratitudes for their care & hospitality, & interesting conversations.
The dogwoods & redbud were in full bloom during the trip--this has been an extraordinarily gorgeous spring so far.
We went to the National Cathedral first, on a very rainy day, negotiating the Metro train & bus. The stained-glass windows were fantastic--I could have spent a whole day wandering around looking at them. We stayed for the organist's talk & brief concert at 12:30--a rush of sound in the choir where we were sitting. J & I had interesting conversations about Judaism, seventh-day sabbath, & the belief that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene--as he wouldn't have been allowed to teach children if he had been unmarried after a certain age.
The next day we went to the National Museum of Women in the Arts. I really liked the photos of Cheryl Ito, paintings of Rosa Bonheur, Joanna Boye, Fanny Churberg, & Anna Boch. Then we walked down to the White House & I took photos of buildings, statues, churches.
On the 3rd day, we went to the U.S. Botanical Garden at the back of the Capitol--I liked the jungle part of the Conservatory best because it reminded me of Australia. Then walked around the Capitol building--beautiful but heavily guarded. One can't go into the building at all any longer except by getting a tour pass months ahead from one's congressperson; it is frightening to see men with big guns standing at the ready on the steps. Then onto the Native American Museum, which is larger than I had thought, so we just saw a portion of it before eating in the cafeteria--lots of interesting Native foods from around the country. Back to pick up Amy & on to the National Zoo, to see the pandas & the beautiful plumage in the Bird House.
4th day--walked around the National Mall, photographing the Smithsonian Castle, seeing the gems (Hope diamond; immense copper sheet from the Keeweenaw) in the Natural History Museum, walked around the Washington Monument, Lincoln & Vietnam War memorials.
5th day--took it easy, walked in a riverside park where Jack-in-the Pulpit & Indian strawberries were blooming, & saw an immense Copperhead snake sunning itself on a rock in the middle of the water. We were safely on a bridge overlooking the river, I'm glad to say.
On the way home, stopped at Magee Marsh about halfway between Sandusky & Toledo, where we saw many Great Egrets, a Black & White warbler, a Palm warbler, dozens of Martins, Tree & Barn swallows, & Killdeer.