Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kacie's visit- March 17-24, 2011

We were SO happy when Kacie said she wanted to come see us during her spring break! She had been here once before, 2 years ago, also during spring break but only for a couple of days, so having a week with her was SO fun!!

We started off the week taking her to our favorite restaurant, Clyde's at Willow Creek. It really is a cool place. They have taken 4 old farmhouses and put them together to make one huge restaurant. It has SO much character & atmosphere. It was a great way to start off her visit!!

On Sat. we headed to the National Zoo. It is part of the Smithsonian group and so is FREE!!! They do alot of research here, so they don't have a large amount of animals, but what they do have are pretty amazing.

 The Orangutan's have a wire that they can swing from that goes from one building to another. They open up the doors at 11 AM every day (weather permitting) so that they can travel from the Big Ape House to the Think Tank. You don't want to be standing in the "splash zone" though!!!

 This is the best part for me at least, 2 of the lionesses (sisters I believe) have had 7 cubs between the two of them. They are SO CUTE and growing SO fast!! Don't you just want to cuddle with them?? Course not with daddy around!!!

 Some of you may know about the Pandas that China has loaned the National Zoo for 10 years. Their time here is almost up so it's wonderful to be able to see them outside when we are there. This one had just been given some pineapple for a treat right before we got there so it was munching away.
 After the zoo, we headed to the west end of the National Mall so that Kacie could see some of the monuments she didn't see her first trip here: The Lincoln Memorial,

 The Vietnam War Memorial with statues,

and The Korean War Memorial.

 By that time we were pretty hungry, so we drove into Georgetown for some pizza,
 And then to Georgetown Cupcake (home of DC Cupcakes TV show on TLC) for dessert. Only had to stand in line for an hour this time!!

Whew!! What a day!! And more to come!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

National Gallery of Art: West Building

Well, it's been awhile! Guess we better get you all caught up!!
On Feb. 19th, as is our rule when it is cold outside,  we went to a museum. Of all the major museums in D.C. we had yet to visit the National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery of Art is at the east end of the Mall by the Capitol Building and consists of 2 Buildings. The West Building which opened in 1941, and the East Building which opened in 1978. Though they are run by the federal government, they are not Smithsonian Museums, but rely exclusively on private & corporate contributions.
We only made it to the West Building this particular day. It is pretty big and it takes quite a bit of time to walk through; and we STILL didn't see everything!!

 As you walk into the Main entrance, the first thing you see is this beautiful Rotunda area with live plants & a fountain.

 Now, we are not "Art" people, but I have to say, it was pretty impressive to see all this famous work!!!! The first gallery showcased work from the 13th Century!! Amazing!! It was interesting to see how a majority of the work had religios themes; Madonna & Child, The Crucifixion, The Magi,...

We went on to see more works from Italian, Spanish, French, German, Danish & Flemish artists ranging from the 15th Century to the 19th Century! An example was this painting by DiVinci...WOW!!! 

They weren't all paintings; there was some relief work, statues, furniture...

And then more religious paintings.

This is a bronze monument acclaimed to be the greatest American sculpture of the 19th Century. It covered a whole wall! This really doesn't do it justice.  It depicts Colonel Shaw & the first African-American Infantry Unit from the North to fight for the Union during the Civil War.

There were also paintings from American artists, but definitely not as old!!

This was truly amazing... seeing an original Rembrandt painting. Now HIM we knew!!

It turned out to be a pretty interesting day! Of course we'll have to go back to see the East Building... keep checking back! It won't be long!!