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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Five Free things to do in Washington D.C.

With a rich history of America's past, Washington D.C. was on my boyfriend, Roody's list of places he wanted to see.  And with a few days till I return to work after the holiday break, we decided on a road trip (14 hours) from Miami to Washington D.C. with a short stop at my brother Garvin's house in Fayetteville, N.C.

We're staying at a hostel in the heart of D.C. with a private room which is totally worth it as we're in walking distance of just about everything there is to see and do in the District.  Today, we saw just about all the known sights in Washington D.C. and with an informative tour provided by our hostel this evening, we learned a lot about the nations capitol and it's history.  Here's how it went:
The truth is, everything to do in DC is free...and this is nothing short of wonderful.  After paying a pretty penny to stay in the heart of The District, we are happy about the fact.  So here's how it went:

Day 1:

National Museum of Natural History.  About 4-5 blocks south of Hi Hostel Washington D.C., We walked to the museum.  The thing about D.C. is that everything is in and around the same spot.  So, we were in walking distance of just about everything to see and do in the District.  Excited to see the dinosaur, we were headed there first till we saw that there was a butterfly conservatory.  There was a fee ($6 per adult and slightly less for seniors and children 2-12) but it was well worth it.  There was such a variety of incredibly beautiful butterflies, we could stay in there for quite awhile but dinosaur fossils awaited us and off we went.

When I learned of the Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C while living abroad, I knew it'd be a destination in the not so distant future.  I'd only seen dinosaur fossils in movies and on television. So, to be up close and personal with these long time extinct creatures, I was ecstatic.  And there they were, the tyrannosaurus rex with it's long tail which wrapped around the exhibit and the triceratops right at the front.  Now, it's not so hard to believe that real dinosaurs roamed the earth 66 million years ago.  It's all so very interesting these creatures.  Nothing short of amazing.

Equally amazing were the bone anatomy of a huge selection  of mammals, fish and birds.  The giraffe was my favorite and coming in second was a fish that looked like a swordfish but was in fact a sailfish.

I found a hanbok (Korean wedding clothes) on display and took a quick walk through the exhibit sponsored by the Korean Foundation.  Not much to see other than some earth ware and some history on Korean/American relations through the years.

There was a life-size exhibit of an elephant in a center hall.  It looked so real, I wonder if it been alive at some point and preserve for display; it was so life-like.  Such a massive creature.

The National Gallery of Art.  Not so interesting.  But I did find this photo interesting and it's history makes me now want to see the movie "Glory".  And the rotunda which was modeled after the ancient Roman Pantheon.

The Sculpture Garden outside the National Gallery of Art had many unique sculptures.  And there was one very friendly squirrel that was ready for a treat.

The National Mall (Washington Monument, The Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial) and the parks in in between.  Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president and famous for signing the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves from a life of servitude and hard labor.  George Washington was the first US president but apparently, he did not live in the White House but instead lived in Philadelphia while the White House was being built.  The Capitol Building or Capitol Hill is the home of the US Congress.

The Smithsonian Castle.  We didn't get an opportunity to explore this castle; it was too far from the direction we were headed.  It looked kind of cool and it's free.

Where we stayed:  Hi Hostel Washington D.C.  The stay included breakfast from 7-10 am.  For more info. on staying there, go here.  
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