Yesterday’s story about Old Glory and the significance of my DC visit got me to thinking about the time we spent at the Capitol Building.
We strolled by on our first morning in town to enjoy the early morning quiet before heading to Mount Vernon. A couple of tourists were there taking selfies. We stood and admired ducks splashing in the reflecting pool and the way the light and clouds changed before our eyes.
We later got a closer look.
I really liked this view.
Did you catch the story about the Summerhouse? It’s a picturesque grotto on the Capitol grounds and something you don’t want to miss if you visit. Click here to read all about it.
We encountered this young lady at National Harbor and had to pause a moment to witness the sheer joy that emanated from her and her entire party.
She was celebrating her Quinceañera. This is a religious and social event that celebrates the passage from girlhood to womanhood when she turns fifteen. You’ll find these celebrations in Mexico, Latin America and Latino communities in the US.
It begins with a Mass and is followed by a reception with food, music and dancing. She’s accompanied by a court and the event is filled with touching traditions and symbolism.
It’s lovely and we were delighted to witness this young lady and her damas or maids of honor as they posed for photos and captured the smiles and attention of passersby.
This isn’t something you see in southern Ohio so this was one of many cultural treats that we experienced in our nation’s Capitol. This is why we travel- to experience things different than what we know, to expand our horizons and to witness the joys of things we don’t have at home.
I’m afraid of heights. No. Scratch that. I’m terrified of heights. I’m good in planes but anything attached to the ground is a bad idea. Tall buildings, step ladders, Ferris wheels and anything more than about two feet tall is a bad idea. Just to be clear, it’s ALL a bad idea.
I do occasionally force myself to face this fear. I make myself climb lighthouses when I travel and there’s a particularly terrifying staircase where I sometimes hike. It feels good to face a fear occasionally and this one is both terrifying and inconvenient.
As we were headed toward Mount Vernon, Nichola gestured toward a Ferris wheel in the distance and said that she really wanted to ride it someday. She has a bucket list of Ferris wheels. She sounded kind of wistful and, in a fit of temporary insanity. I suggested that there’s no time like the present.
So we toured Mount Vernon, hiked and ended our day at National Harbor where we had dinner, shopped a bookstore (you know I would find a bookstore) and wandered around.
The Capitol Wheel at National Harbor is 180 feet tall with 42 climate controlled gondolas. It soars over the Potomac River and has breathtaking views.
Well, breathtaking views if you can get past the terror. Hahahaha… ahem.
My friend loved it and I was thrilled for her to check this off her list. I was fine as long as we were moving but really despised sitting still. It’s great learning new things about yourself. I had no idea that the movement would be acceptable as opposed to the stillness.
I was thrilled when it ended but also glad I went. My only other Ferris wheel experience was at Niagara Falls – equally terrifying but also a spectacular view.
Anyway, if this is your thing, because you enjoy it or because you’re trying to overcome a fear, it’s just $15 for a ride with a fabulous view. Get info here. There’s a ton to do in this area including shopping, food and some cool public art to see. There’s a Gaylord Hotel and the place has the buzz and excitement of the circus coming to town. It’s perfect for people watching too!
This painting caught my eye as Nichola and I were on the hunt for the Da Vinci painting at the National Gallery of Art. After paying my respects to Da Vinci’s Florentine girl, I did some backtracking to get a closer look.
It’s called The Adoration of the Magi and it dates to the fifteenth century. It’s credited to Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi but it’s believed other artists contributed over a lengthy period of time. In other words, this isn’t the work of a single master and it wasn’t painted quickly.
I marvel at the way art historians can study a style or a brush stroke and identify the artist. What a skill. All I know is that the colors are magnificent and that the details draw my eye. It’s pretty. It’s also round which is quite unusual. It’s called a tondo, by the way. That’s the technical name for a circular painting.
It shows the three magi or the three kings presenting gifts to the infant Jesus who is held by his mother Mary while Joseph stands close. This painting is all about movement and joy. Celebration and vibrancy.