Saturday, November 01, 2008

My Mini Work Vacation

Last Tuesday I go into work where upon I am called into my manager's office who starts by asking me how flexible I am to travel. I am very flexible and thus I how I ended up on airplane less than 24 hours later headed to MD, to Rockville/Gaithersburg to be exact. I had know idea where Rockville was in MD but I knew landing in Baltimore International Airport put me smack dab in the Washington DC area for Halloween and until after the election!

Did you know you can trick or treat at the embassy's? And you do not have to be a child! People of all ages get dressed up and trick or treat at all the embassy's in DC.

I am learning what I was sent down hear to learn and I spent all day in our Capitol City and boy am I tired! I took the metro to the Mall and then proceeded to walk the entire day. They day was perfect and the weather beautiful! But I was very disappointed to learn the Museum Of American History is closed for restoration and not due to reopen until Nov.21! UGH! The one Smithsonian Museum I still have not seen. I instead headed on over to the Museum of Natural History and stumbled upon the HOPE diamond! WOWZA! Let alone an entire room full of some of the worlds most amazing Gems! And I got to play in a live butterfly exhibit.
If you are a Bella and you know what this means if you are one, then you will love the next picture. A Tiara from France worn by one of the Emporess' of France. Diamonds from the day of Napoleon were cut differently than they are today. Today diamonds are cut to get the most brilliance out of them as they can but back in the day they were cut very little so they were larger stones but not as sparkly.
And this is a not so great picture of the worlds most famous and some say cursed diamond ever, The HOPE diamond! Some 42 plus carats of it and this is after it was cut down twice over its history from its original size of over 100 carats. Even though it is half of its original size it has only increased in value over the years.
I wondered over to a modern Museum and then walked on to the back of the Capital only to discovery the steps were closed in preparations for the 2009 inauguration ceremonies. Boohoo.
Below is a ghostly pic of me in front of a very cool piece of modern work of art. Sorry I don't remember the name of the artist but I loved this piece. It is in a gallery near the air and space museum. When you stand in front of it you can see through it clearly as well as see your relection in it. I took one pic accidentlaly with a flash and no reflection just the glass, but when I turned off the flash this is what I got.
Notice the sign in the pic below.
Oh well it was still pretty and I am glad I walked over, I then walked all the way down the mall back to the Holocaust Museum. What does one say about this place. I wanted to cry all the way through but I didn't. It is so well done and so tasteful. They even have walls up around some of the more gruesome films they show so the kids can't see. It is very hands on, appeals to all the senses and probably the most powerful Museum I have ever been to in my life. It is a beautiful place that touches the soul. The last film shown is one where they speak to the survivors. This is wear i broke down and cried. These men and woman telling their stories of what they went through and sometimes they break down and cry so how can one watching this movie not do the same. The strangest part is when they break down the most, at least for the part of the movie I saw, is when they talk about the day they were liberated, when the American Soldiers came to their rescue. We see a man and a woman talking about the day she was liberated by the American soldier, he was the soldier and they tell their story. He talks about when he first meets her and she says she is a Jew and in tears he replies back so am I and he nearly cries telling this part of the story in the movie, but the part that makes everyone gasp and cry is when he and she states how the other remained in each others lives over the years, they got married.
The last place in the Museum is peaceful, reflective and a wonderful way to end you journey through his powerful place. You leave this place knowing you will NEVER FORGET what happened.

By this time I had spent all day on my feet and it was getting late and I still had a 45 minute ride on the metro to get back to the rental car. Luckily I listened to everyone around me and pretty much this was the same time everyone else was going home and everyone was headed back to the metro center just like me so I acted like I knew where I was going and I found my way back to to my hotel just fine.
Now I have a dilemma on my hands. Do I go back to the Mall and see more of DC that I have not seen yet, you know like the White House! or do I go to the flea market in Chantilly with some other bloggers and Bellas? Oh what is a tired girl to do? If I do not go to DC tomorrow this will be two trips to DC 20 years apart where I never make it to the White House and how many people come to DC and not visit the White House even if it is just from the outside. I heard these days you have to get on a list to get tickets for the White House tour 6 months in advance.