Palmer and I have been talking for months (or years?) about making an excursion to D.C. together. We live in the Maryland suburbs and have countless friends and family who commute downtown day after day — including both of our mothers. I interned for a D.C. paper two summers ago and got used to hopping on the commuter bus, riding the hour or so into town and scurrying down the hot sidewalks in my heels, feeling independent and strong and a part of something. I was twenty — scared, more than a little naive — but I still had an overwhelming sense that something big was happening in the city. I know that working anywhere day in and day out will strip it of its magic, but as I’m still just a frequent visitor, Washington has plenty of magic.
We woke up early to get ready and grab the Metro by 10 a.m. Most of the sites we wanted to hit were open around 11 a.m., so we figured an hour was plenty of time to get downtown and head to the National Museum of the American Indian — our first destination (after we grabbed breakfast at Bob Evan’s). I got my hot chocolate, of course, and pumped my blood full of a little caffeine to get moving!
We got off the Metro and landed smack in the middle of the Navy Memorial downtown — a spot Palmer has always wanted to check out. I passed it many mornings on the bus myself but never got close enough to snap any photos. My favorites:
Fall in the city is pretty gorgeous.
From the Navy Memorial we walked down to the National Mall and past the National Gallery of Art, one of my favorite D.C. spots. We decided to visit the National Museum of the American Indian and have lunch at the gallery, so we jetted over there. I have to admit it looked a lot closer than it actually was, but I made it! We saw an altar dedicated to Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) and spoke to a really nice docent about the cultural traditions of honoring our ancestors. I think we could all use a little more honoring in our lives!
My favorite “find” of the day was a fountain just to the right of the National Gallery of Art, a secluded spot just off the sidewalk with gorgeous water, falling leaves, empty benches and plenty of sunshine. It was such an unexpected, idyllic spot, we found it hard to get up and go inside to see any paintings!
The gallery was awesome, of course. Just looking at it is pretty nice, too:
And I saw my favorite painting again! Mary Cassatt’s “Little Girl In A Blue Armchair”:
We found another “hidden” garden, too, although we definitely had to share this one with many other people!
And what trip to the city is complete without some good, expensive downtown food? In this case we found an awesome gelato stand at the gallery — complete with pumpkin gelato! Yes, I was all about that! Palmer chose cinnamon, also quite delicious. And mixed together? I can’t talk about it!
I spent some more time goofing around as we walked over to the Hirshhorn, taking in some modern art. That’s more Palmer’s bag than mine and I was pretty exhausted by that point in the afternoon . . . so I hung around snapping some more photos.
Some more of my favorites from the day . . .