Welcome back for part two of our Saturday adventures.
After leaving the rugby match Jerry and I walked down to the Tidal Basin. This is only one of many places around DC that you will find cherry trees, but it is probably the best know and most popular area. The picture here is of the Jefferson Memorial which is at one end of the basin. It to is a popular tourist stop. This picture was actually taken further on in our walk around the basin but I wanted to show it to you here as a picture representative of the beauty of the area.
There were many of these paddle boats out on the water and they added to the picturesque scenery.
There was a concert going on at the foot of the monument. It looked as if in might have been a high school band. We did stop and listen to them for a moment. They were pretty good. Then we climbed the steps and went in to visit Tom.
He's quite an imposing gentleman standing watch. I always find it humbling to read his words that are etched into stone at various points around the interior of the memorial. They are words that make one stop and think for a moment about where we began as a country and where we are now.
In case anyone is wondering, even though the cherry blossoms are plentiful and very pretty, Jerry reported that they do not have any scent. This is probably a good thing. It could have been vary noisy and maybe even a tad dangerous if all those thousands of people had a massive allergy attack and all sneezed at once!
We continued our walk around the Tidal Basin. Just after leaving the area of the Memorial we came upon a Bride and Groom having their wedding pictures taken in a very small park area and in front of the hanging cherry blossoms. It was a very setting for wedding pictures.
Our next stop was at the FDR Memorial. This was the first time either of us had been at this memorial. It is quite impressive. Unlike many of the memorials in DC this one has absolutely no steps and is totally handicap accessible. (On thing DC is known for is its steps! Be prepared to climb if you visit here!) Once again there were many inspiring quotations carved into the stone. There also are beautiful cascading waterfalls and a number of brass statues. Several are of FDR including one of him in his wheelchair, one of Eleanor his wife, then several which show images of people during the depression years. I've been wanting to visit here and was glad we were able to finally do so.
Our next stop was by the Washington Monument. Here we were able to watch, for only a moment as we were running out of time the multitude of kites that individuals and families were flying at the annual Smithsonian Kite Festival. Boy kites have sure changed since I was a kid. I don't think I saw a single kite that looked like the type I ever flew. There were dragon kites, butterfly kites, bee kites, fish kites, stealth bomber shaped kites and I even saw a kite that looked like a bi-plane. There were also all sizes of kites from very small hand made paper kites to one that looked the size of a small airplane. Everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time and the weather was perfect. Just the right amount of wind. Unfortunately I did notice a few kite eating trees!
We had one more stop we wanted to make before we headed to dinner. This was the National Gallery of Art. The East Building had an exhibit on the Photographs and Paintings of the Forest of Fontainebleau in France . We stayed there till the Gallery closed at 5pm and then headed to our dinner location.
Dinner was at Marrakesh, a Moroccan restaurant in DC. It was a wonderful end to a fantastic day. The food was great, but the restaurant itself was a treat. I wasn't sure where Jerry was leading my to as we headed down New York Avenue. I could see nothing that looked at all like one of Washington's top restaurants. We went up to some fairly nondescript but large double doors and he knocked on one of them and this little door in the middle of one of the bigger ones opened and they invited us in. (It reminded me of the types of doors you might have seen in movies placed during the prohibition era with a speak easy as one of the locations.) Now we were in a nondescript room that had a coat room off of it. We told them we had a reservation and our name and then...........they parted a curtain for us to enter the restaurant. I was as if we had just stepped into Morocco. It was beautiful and lavish. We sat on low couches and had a very small low table. There is no choice of menu items. It is a 7 course meal and as I said the food was beyond good. You do eat with your fingers though! Also at 7:30 we ere all entertained by a very talented belly dancer. We were seated pretty much right in front of the portable stage they set up. I think this was probably because when making the reservation they asked if we were celebrating something and Jerry told them it was my birthday. I also received a special drink (no idea what it was, but it was good) a piece of baklava with a sparkler stuck in it, and a birthday certificate which is in Arabic so at this point I have no idea what it says but it looks impressive!
So that was our day. After dinner was over we headed back to the Metro and took a train home with many others who were returning from their days adventures as well. Fortunately, I found a seat as about 20 minutes into the trip home I fell asleep.
There was one depressing thing about the day. This is for my SCS FLYBaby Buddies.....after walking all over downtown DC all day long (we did take a two bus trips to navigate the full length of the mall each direction) my pedometer showed I still had only walked 9876 steps!!!!!! No wonder in a normal day I have a hard time getting over 5000! How on earth unless you use a tread mill and walk for hours do you reach 10000 steps. I really would need the 48 hour day I have been yearning for!