Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

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Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Kinak » Thu May 08, 2014 5:10 pm

So, I'm going to be in Washington, DC next week with my spouse. If anyone's in the area and wants to grab lunch, let me know!

Otherwise, any things I absolutely shouldn't miss? Barring even-more-exciting suggestions, it sounds like we'll be Smithsonianing (I'm pretty sure that's a verb) for the week.

Cheers!
Kinak

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Jessica » Fri May 09, 2014 4:46 am

Hi, Kinak.

I'm about an hour from DC depending on the traffic. One thing I would suggest if you have the time, the transportation and you like animals is the Baltimore Aquarium. Baltimore is just a jump from DC and the Aquarium is really super awesome. I would live there if I could. But the Smithsonian should keep you busy and it is a beautiful area and really fun. If you head toward Gettysburg I'll take all of you out to lunch. I hope you have a great vacation.

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Ryme » Fri May 09, 2014 6:00 am

A surprise find for me was some of the best gelato I've ever had in the downstairs of the national art gallery/building (forget the proper title). Art was cool, too.

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Harry Dresden » Fri May 09, 2014 6:16 am

Definitely stop by Poe's grave if you run up to Baltimore. I got lucky when I went - it was late evening, there was a wedding in the church, and they had the doors open to the graveyard that's actually under the church. It's amazing how elaborate some of those mostly buried crypts are.

Mount Vernon was kind of a fun trip last time I was in the area, but it's a long drive out there and back so you have to plan pretty much a full day for it.

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Kinak » Fri May 09, 2014 12:18 pm

Jessica wrote:I'm about an hour from DC depending on the traffic. One thing I would suggest if you have the time, the transportation and you like animals is the Baltimore Aquarium. Baltimore is just a jump from DC and the Aquarium is really super awesome. I would live there if I could. But the Smithsonian should keep you busy and it is a beautiful area and really fun. If you head toward Gettysburg I'll take all of you out to lunch. I hope you have a great vacation.
Awesome. I know we're staying not-quite-in-DC but I'm not sure if it's on the Baltimore side of things or not.

Ryme wrote:A surprise find for me was some of the best gelato I've ever had in the downstairs of the national art gallery/building (forget the proper title). Art was cool, too.
Freer Gallery? There are a bunch, but that's the one we're planning on hitting up.

Harry Dresden wrote:Definitely stop by Poe's grave if you run up to Baltimore. I got lucky when I went - it was late evening, there was a wedding in the church, and they had the doors open to the graveyard that's actually under the church. It's amazing how elaborate some of those mostly buried crypts are.
Huh, I hadn't realized it was buried. Good to know.

In a slightly related note, in High School, we had a teacher that wanted students to volunteer stories for the Short Story unit in our English class. I volunteered Dagon and The Hound from Lovecraft. My friend Dan volunteered The Oblong Box and A Descent Into The Maelstrom from Poe.

Nobody else volunteered anything, so we ended up reading a lot about corpses and the inevitable descent into madness. Good times.

Harry Dresden wrote:Mount Vernon was kind of a fun trip last time I was in the area, but it's a long drive out there and back so you have to plan pretty much a full day for it.
We were thinking about it so we can move around outside some, but we're not actually sure if any of it involves moving around outside. Any memories either way?

Cheers!
Kinak

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Harry Dresden » Fri May 09, 2014 1:11 pm

The house tour at Mount Vernon takes about half an hour, but you'll invariably have to wait an hour or two before your group goes in so you can wander around the grounds. They have a tomb (I don't think he's actually buried there), a few shops (of course), and a restaurant. The gardens are actually quite nice, and well worth a stroll.

As to Poe's tomb, it's outside the church where anyone can get to it. The ones under the church are non-famous nobodies who just happen to have cool tombs, if you like that sort of thing. :)

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Cristiona » Fri May 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Vernon was pretty cool as I remember it.

For Smithsonian, depending on how into museums you are, you could easily kill most of a day in each Smithsonian part. Air and Space is particularly nifty and the museum of American History has Old Glory. Also, if you like, the Archives makes for a reasonable quick stop.

And, personally, I've always liked the Jefferson Memorial. It's a little out of the way, and less popular than Lincoln, but I always liked it.

On a more somber side, the Korea War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial are both... potent. I can't comment on the WWII one because I haven't been to DC since it was made.
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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Kinak » Sat May 10, 2014 5:50 am

Harry Dresden wrote:The house tour at Mount Vernon takes about half an hour, but you'll invariably have to wait an hour or two before your group goes in so you can wander around the grounds. They have a tomb (I don't think he's actually buried there), a few shops (of course), and a restaurant. The gardens are actually quite nice, and well worth a stroll.
Excellent.

Harry Dresden wrote:As to Poe's tomb, it's outside the church where anyone can get to it. The ones under the church are non-famous nobodies who just happen to have cool tombs, if you like that sort of thing. :)
Ah, okay, that makes sense. And I do like cool tombs. Still a little bummed we didn't manage to hit the catacombs in Rome... but public transit is hard when you're working in pantomime.

Cristiona wrote:For Smithsonian, depending on how into museums you are, you could easily kill most of a day in each Smithsonian part. Air and Space is particularly nifty and the museum of American History has Old Glory. Also, if you like, the Archives makes for a reasonable quick stop.
Yeah, Natural History is definitely getting at least a day. Air and Space almost has to get a day. We're probably hitting up the one west of the city too.

We're probably going to do the Native American one too. We really enjoyed a bunch of Aboriginal stuff when we were in Australia, so we feel sort of dumb not hitting it up here at home too.

Cristiona wrote:And, personally, I've always liked the Jefferson Memorial. It's a little out of the way, and less popular than Lincoln, but I always liked it.
And Jefferson was a badass, so that's a point in favor :)

Cristiona wrote:On a more somber side, the Korea War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial are both... potent. I can't comment on the WWII one because I haven't been to DC since it was made.
Foooo... yeah. I'm not sure we're going to be up for anything too somber.

But Lyz is trying to learn about her dad's time in the military (he flew in the Air Force around the Korean War), so she might be unexpectedly interested.

Cheers!
Kinak

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Harry Dresden » Sat May 10, 2014 8:45 am

Cristiona wrote:On a more somber side, the Korea War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial are both... potent. I can't comment on the WWII one because I haven't been to DC since it was made.


Korean memorial has always been practically empty the times I visited, while the Vietnam memorial is packed with people. It's just a wall of names, but I guess that means something if you had a family member in the war.

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Cristiona » Sat May 10, 2014 8:11 pm

Harry Dresden wrote:Korean memorial has always been practically empty the times I visited

The forgotten war indeed.

It's just a wall of names, but I guess that means something if you had a family member in the war.

Well... there's a lot of symbolism in the wall, with how it's designed and all. From a distance it looks like a scar in the earth. And while it's "just names", in many ways, that's really powerful. Seeing all those names. So many names.
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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Kinak » Sun May 11, 2014 5:35 am

Cristiona wrote:
Harry Dresden wrote:Korean memorial has always been practically empty the times I visited, while the Vietnam memorial is packed with people. It's just a wall of names, but I guess that means something if you had a family member in the war.

Well... there's a lot of symbolism in the wall, with how it's designed and all. From a distance it looks like a scar in the earth. And while it's "just names", in many ways, that's really powerful. Seeing all those names. So many names.
I think a lot of the power of memorials like that is that they help us visualize large numbers. A lot of the Holocaust memorials are like that too. Thousands of deaths, even millions of deaths, expressed as a number won't impact people that hard. But seeing a million names or objects... then realizing each represents a life... avoids the number itself, which seems to aid in understanding.

-Kinak

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Harry Dresden » Sun May 11, 2014 2:20 pm

Cristiona wrote:
Harry Dresden wrote:It's just a wall of names, but I guess that means something if you had a family member in the war.

Well... there's a lot of symbolism in the wall, with how it's designed and all. From a distance it looks like a scar in the earth. And while it's "just names", in many ways, that's really powerful. Seeing all those names. So many names.


I don't mean to denigrate the soldiers who gave their lives in that war. I've just studied so much history (yes, I'm a nerd) and so many wars where there was greater loss of life for even less reason. Which reminds me, the WWII memorial is very awesome. Definitely don't miss that; it's kind of the start of the "Wars and Lincoln memorial loop".

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Kinak » Wed May 14, 2014 6:21 am

We have reached our destination! Woo! Now for all the museums and some monuments. Okay, first bacon, then museums and monuments :)

Cheers!
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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Isladar » Wed May 14, 2014 2:21 pm

I know I'm late to the discussion, but I also live about an hour from DC (on the Northern Virginia side).

I'm a big fan of the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery.

If you're out that way, Eastern Market is pretty neat. There's a big flea market near there every Sunday that can be fun to walk around.

Jefferson is, hands down, my favorite monument. It's offset from the others, but on a pleasant day it is a lovely walk. It's reasonably close to the FDR memorial, too.

Kinak wrote:We're probably going to do the Native American one too.

The food there is among the tastiest for the museums on the Mall. Ryme isn't joking about how good the food is at the National Gallery, either. It can be a challenge to find the latter, though: you have to go downstairs through the tunnel that connects the Real art and the Modern art museums. Worth it for the deserts, though.

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Kinak » Thu May 15, 2014 7:58 am

Isladar wrote:I know I'm late to the discussion, but I also live about an hour from DC (on the Northern Virginia side).
Yeah, we're down on the Maryland side, but if you want to head up, we'd be happy to meet up for delicious food or delicious, delicious caffeine.

Isladar wrote:The food there is among the tastiest for the museums on the Mall. Ryme isn't joking about how good the food is at the National Gallery, either. It can be a challenge to find the latter, though: you have to go downstairs through the tunnel that connects the Real art and the Modern art museums. Worth it for the deserts, though.
We went to the Native American museum yesterday and, no kidding, had the best burger I've ever eaten. I like bison burgers, but duck/bison is out of this world.

Cheers!
Kinak

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Ryme » Thu May 15, 2014 7:16 pm

Kinak wrote:I like bison burgers, but duck/bison is out of this world.


I have a new sidekick skill idea: Summon DuckBison! Quack-Mmnnn for justice!

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Re: Things to in DC when you're dea... errr, Visiting

Postby Kinak » Sat May 17, 2014 6:24 am

Ryme wrote:
Kinak wrote:I like bison burgers, but duck/bison is out of this world.


I have a new sidekick skill idea: Summon DuckBison! Quack-Mmnnn for justice!
Delicious, delicious justice.

Cheers!
Kinak


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