Sunday at the museums

img_4407 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.

img_43941We 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:

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Fall in the city is pretty gorgeous.

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D.C. dallying at the Newseum

In the thick of the heat and humidity associated with a summer in Washington, yesterday dawned bright and hazy — but we were undeterred by the overall mugginess. My mom had scheduled a photo safari to venture around the city taking pictures with a new camera, so my dad, sister and I traveled over to the Newseum while she was in “class.”

Armed with our trudgy GPS and my dad’s vast knowledge of all roadways in the Metropolitan area, I drove us into D.C. and managed to secure a parking spot remarkably close to the Capitol — and the National Museum of the American Indian — my mom’s destination. I was fairly impressed that I got us downtown myself — even if Dad and Gisella the GPS directing me where to go.

hazy Capitol

hazy Capitol

I interned in the city two years ago at a daily newspaper and absolutely loved getting up early, meeting a friend at the Starbucks below our building for coffee and hot tea before sinking into my desk chair on the fourth floor, flipping on the ol’ Mac and getting to work on the day’s newsmakers. Even at 20 and with limited experience working for a paper (or working at all), I took a lot of pride in what I was doing — and learned something new constantly.

The city afforded me all of that — a broader view of the world, a sense of importance as I managed to constantly bang out stories on deadline, a new understanding of what my mom, a federal worker for the past 28 years, experienced every day.

But for all the time I spent in D.C. that summer from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, I never once hopped into my own Corolla to speed down the Beltway and cruise into town myself. The commuter bus that carries us all in from the suburbs did all the dirty work for me. I just napped and listened to my iPod or teared up while reading chick lit books — most notably Sight Hound.

So driving us into town and over to the Newseum was a pretty big deal for me. And the museum is awesome. I think I was there a few years ago when it was still out in Virginia, but the D.C. location is pretty amazing. Particular points of interest, for me, included the special display area on newspapers in the digital era and the high terrace overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue. While we were wandering about, me snapping photos like crazy, we happened to run into none other than George Stephanopoulos at the Newseum filming his Sunday morning program “This Week.” He gave us all a hearty hello and shook Kate’s hand before hopping over to the terrace to film an outside shot for a show segment, the Capitol in the background. Pretty awesome!

Mr. George Stephanopoulos

Another terrace view

I can’t wait to download all my photos from the weekend, but now I’m back at the ol’ desk gathering information for ongoing projects that have nothing to do with daily newsmakers or political advisors and everything to do with canned copy and necessary proofreading. But I can dream…

And here are a few more photos from my Sunday in D.C.:

Kate walking up to the National Museum of the American Indian

Kate walking up to the National Museum of the American Indian

Pieces of the Berlin Wall at the Newseum

Pieces of the Berlin Wall at the Newseum

On the terrace overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue

On the terrace overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue