Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Hirshhorn Museum

Our next destination was the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. For those of you who don't know, I love Modern Art. Not all of it but a lot of it.
This was a really cool sculpture just outside the doors.

Me and mom in the courtyard of the museum.

Now don't think I am a bad photographer and that I didn't focus this picture. I think this it why I liked this picture so much the fuzziness and vagueness of it all made it absolutely gorgeous.

The Poodle picture

Mom in front of the Large Man made out of little small pictures

Cool sculptures in the garden

Me in front a very geometric sculpture

Mom in front of her favorite sculpture in the garden, we called them the nuts we thought that what they looked like

The Sackler Gallery

The Sackler Gallery was next in line. It also specializes in Asian art and I was in love again. We saw beautiful jade carved dressing hooks like these.
They also have more modern Asian art. This bowl was amazing in it's glazing and size.

These 2 piece are a type of Korean Celadon pottery from the 12th century. I read a great book called "The Last Shard" that went into the story of the type of pottery and glazing technique. You can see it well but if you look closely at this first vase you will see how it is carved underneath the glaze, the flowers and leaves.

More jade carved comb and dressing hooks


From the Freer Gallery we moved on to the Smithsonian Castle. We ate lunch here and then were moving on to the next Gallery when we walked into a Garden that had very unusual plants from different areas in the world.
This is mom in front of the castle.

This is the front of the castle.

Beautiful orange and pink double hibiscus

This was the most usual tree that my mom and I had seen. It had these cool trumpets hanging down from the branches it was way cool! Too bad it's from South America definitely will not grow in our area.

The cool trumpet blossoms.

Cool plant, Lobster Claw plant from Madagascar.
I learned a lot about why it's Smithsonian everything. So this English dude gave about 500,000 dollars back in 1886ish??? which is about 12-15 million today to the city to further science and education. He planed the castle (where he is buried) and laid out plans for what he wanted to do.
For those who have never been there all Smithsonian museum's are free!


So I totally did it again. This year is all about facing my fears and over coming them. Yesterday I had to have an MRI which usually involves a bunch of Valium to calm me down before they shove me into a tiny tiny tube that is loud and thumps. I was determined to get through it with out any Valium, so I call my sister-in-law Evets who is an MRI tech and she got me worked in. She talked me through the whole exam and I totally did it with out the Valium! It was scary and by the end I was shaking, but I rock! One more fear down, hundreds and hundreds to go!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Freer Gallery, is a gallery that specializes in Oriental Art. Of the 36,000 pieces only about 5% was on display to see. I thought this would have been one of my favorite art galleries that we saw, but after a really long winded tour guide, and only seeing 3 pieces of art we decided he was not the right person for us. It is amazing that he was so knowledgeable, but do I really need to spend 25+mins looking at 1 Japanese screens? Then he had to go on and on about the Buddha and how he became enlightened which if I was in a Buddhist history class I am sure would have been fascinating, but we were looking at some old stone carvings for Afghanistan which were so Way Cool!.

This is a guard statue that would have stood at the gates of a Buddhist Temple to keep out the bad spirits out. It was beautifully carved wood that was about 1200 yrs old, amazing that it still exists.

This was the beautiful illustrations that went with poetry. They were fascinating and really cool.

This was a awesome lacquar screen with inlaid mother of peal fans it was breath taking.

This was the weirdest thing we saw at the Freer Gallery. It is called the Peacock room. A friend of Freer asked him to do some updated decorating of his dinning room, and this is what happened, I would have loved to hear the other side of that conversation! The whole room was green and blue and look at the ceiling and this intricate design of that! WOW

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The National Holocaust Museum

The building of the Holocaust Museum
Mom and me in front of the museum
This was a very moving/depressing/informative journey. The museum does not allow photography so we don't have any pictures of the inside but it was beautiful. There were several exhibits going on at the time we came. The main exhibit that we visited gave a lot of information, and I learned a lot. For instance, the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto buried milk cans full of information, pictures and personal accounts of what was going on, and what was happening to them. They had one of the original milk cans and several of the pieces of information that were in it. They also had a rail car which was used to transport Jew to concentration camps. One of the most touching displays for me was one of the breeze ways from building to building that was engraved with the names of Cities that no longer exists or that were wiped out do to the fact that they were Jewish cities and ALL of their citizens were killed.

To all of you that have not been to the museum, when you enter the exhibit they give you a passport that has information about real people and their account of that time. It ultimately tells you what happened to you and where you were etc... The woman that I chose lived, she was a child in Romania (who was allied with Germany), so even though she was Jewish and lived in a ghetto, she made it. Mom's women was not so lucky, she perished in Auschwitz (sorry I know that is not spelled right) concentration camp while waiting for a Visa to the USA.

This was worth the visit, I am glad that we went, it is important that we never forget what happened. When we forget the past, we are destine to repeat it.

The National Archives

Me and mom in front of the National Archives. The building was huge and beautiful!
There were saying on the corners of all the entrances, the saying were very profound and great saying for everyone.

The Magna Carta is a really old document that was the charter for freedom way when the Pilgrims first came and settled the area. It was when the stamp tax was placed on the people of Massachusetts that they did not consider it valid and ultimately was the start of the American Revolution.

This is the document with the original seal still in place at the bottom.

One of two beautiful murals on the walls around the documents of freedom.

The box that holds the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.
Mom and me in front of the display.

Friday, September 18, 2009


OK, so we booked a night tour of DC for tonight and I am stuck at the hotel waiting for email conformation and E-tickets that I have to print before we can leave and go into the city, I am so annoyed that it is not done. I could SCREAM!!!!! OK, frustration is getting the better of me, I will update tomorrow.
Mom and me in front of the National Zoo.

The Zoo map. The zoo is free, which is really cool for us!

There was bamboo everywhere, all different kinds, it was neat!

The Giant Panda Bears, the whole reason I wanted to go to the zoo.

The zoo has 3 Panda's, a Mom and Dad and a Baby boy which is 4 years old now. This is the dad, who just lounged around eating his bamboo.
Mom and I and the Panda in the middle.

Arlington National Cemetery

The sign at the entrance to the cemetery.

It was sobering to see all of the headstones of those who had lost their lives in defense of our country. We went through a section in the cemetery from the Civil War where 70% of the headstones read "unknown soldier". The guide told us that unless you carried a Bible with your name in it, or unless one of your buddies could identify you, you were an "unknown soldier" The army did not start using Dog tags until 1911.

This sign was around the major sites, it was quiet and peaceful just about every where.

I first noticed that the flag was flying at half mast, which indicates that there is a funeral going on at that moment. We saw 2 different funeral processions going on when we were there.

We went to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, when we walked up they were doing a wreath ceremony, the older gentlemen are WWII vets who were laying a wreath at the WWII tomb of the unknown. They played Taps and it was very beautiful. We then were able to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was quite the ceremony, it was very precise and very powerful. Everything was done with precision.

This is the Robert E Lee house which is under renovation. It overlooks the cemetery and is really cool. I never realized that this was the house of the Robert E Lee confederate general for the south.

Mom in front of the Robert E Lee home.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Today was a run around again day

Me with a sculpture outside the Hirshorn Museum.
Mom in front of the Smithsonian Castle.

The Freer Gallery and an ancient warrior made to protect the gates at a Buddhist temple.

Mom and me in front of the Holocaust Museum. This was depressing and interesting at the same time.
More to come, I am just really tired and don't feel like I can give anything justice tonight.
Probably no blogging until Saturday morning. tomorrow night mom and I are going on a night tour of DC and will not get back to the hotel until probably after 11pm so sorry. Miss you all and love you all!