Yesterday morning Paul left for three days of fun at Echo Hill camp on the eastern shore, part of his school's outdoor education program. An hour or two later I headed downtown for some fun of my own. First, lunch with a old friend from my Library of Congress days. While there I ran into Ben as he was heading out to lunch with some work friends. I love running into Ben at the Library! We used to do it all the time when we both worked there and we'd always smile from ear to ear whenever it happened.
After lunch I walked across Capitol Hill on my way down the mall to the National Gallery of Art. It was a gorgeous day, cold, but clear and beautiful. The blue sky against the white Capitol was particularly arresting.
The vibrant gold of this small tree on the Capitol grounds was quite a surprise.
As I came around to the West front I could see that the construction on the stands for the inauguration had already begun.
After I left the art gallery I walked further down the mall to the National Museum of American History to get another look at Julia Child's kitchen which is on display there. When I came out it was almost 5:00 and it was getting quite dark. I always like to see the monuments at night.
After a quick visit to Macy's to shop for a coat (no luck) I met Ben for dinner at The Old Ebbitt Grill. That was really fun; the food is good and the scene is lively.
Since we weren't quite ready to end our evening out I suggested that we get a drink at the rooftop bar at the Hotel Washington. I'd always heard that it had one of the great views of Washington. When we got there I was surprised by the hip vibe it had going on.
The view was as advertised, and our table -- really, little low seats, almost like sitting on the floor -- overlooked the White House. I waved good night to Sasha and Malia, who I knew would be getting ready for bed, and then Ben and I set off for our commute home.