Washington DC: Capital, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Smithsonian National Gallery of Art West Museum and The Sculpture Garden

9/25/14 Thursday in Colonial Beach,VA (Harbor View Campground-TT/OW)

It was cold, dark and rainy but we were on our way by 6:38am, meeting Leila of U.S. Tours (800-863-6333) at the Walmart in Fredricksburg at 7:45am. This was a great way to see Washington DC. She drives a van, so at the most there are 14 people on the tour. Very personable, funny, flexible. Good times! Because the weather was crummy she gave those of us planning on 2 days of touring to choose the cheaper day of visiting any of the Smithsonian Museums (because we’d be inside) for today and do the 1st day tour (several outdoor sights) tomorrow. 4 of the 6 of us voted to do that. The other 2 only wanted the 1 day. Since that couple chose The Capital for this morning she offered to drop the rest of us there as well. We said yes to that. Normally you have a choice of Arlington or Capital on your first day. This way we got the Capital today and will have Arlington tomorrow. She really takes the stress out – dropping us off with instructions/tips then leaving to get our tickets (many places require timed (free) passes to enter). The Capital and Library of Congress across the street took our morning, then she picked us up and dropped the 4 of us at our Smithsonian of choice and the other couple were taken to Ford’s Theater. We didn’t see her until about 4:30pm when we called to say we were ready to leave DC. Since we 4 were the 1st to call, she picked us up first, then the other couple. We were soon on our way, taking the HOV-3 lanes for Fredricksburg. Washington DC requires a minimum of 3 people in a vehicle to be eligible for their HOV lanes (motorcycles also eligible). She shared that here they have “slugs”. These are people who stand at specific places (commuter parking in the morning, downtown corners in the evening) waiting for someone to offer to take them to/from DC. Both win-those picking up the strangers get enough bodies to use the HOV lanes and of course the others get a free ride. Traffic was thick in the morning and congested going home – we finally arrived at the Walmart at 6:38 pm (12 hours from leaving our RV), getting home before 7:30pm. Thanks heavens for our crock pot chili (plus popcorn). Early night to bed.

The Capital: Such a beautiful building, inside and out. Here is where our Senators and House of Representatives preside. You can take a tunnel from the Capital to the Library of Congress. That place was stunningly beautiful.

capital 1 capital 2 capital 3 capital 4 capital 5 capital 6 capital 7 capital 8 capital 9 capital 10 capital 11

Library of Congress below:

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library 1a library 2 library 3 library 4 library 5 library 6 library 7

Smithsonian Natural History Museum where I almost lost John to a shark!

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Smithsonian National Gallery of Art West Museum : The Andrew Wyeth and Degas/Cassatt galleries didn’t allow photography, but other galleries did…

smith art 1 smith art 2 smith art 3 smith art 4 smith art 5 smith art 6 smith art 7

We walked through an The Sculpture Garden between these Museums. Most fascinating was a colorful house that moved as you walked by. Hard to show in still photos, but most intriguing.

sculp 1 sculp 2


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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