Friday, May 10, 2013

A Few Days In The District!

 Thursday Morning - May 2, 2013

Yes, it was very early a week ago when I drove northeast out of Knoxville heading for Alexandria, Virgina.  Summer Trip 2013 was here and the morning began with this incredible sunrise.  Only problem was that I was enjoying the sunrise alone as Bill would not be joining me until the next day.   But it's a pretty well known fact around here that I love road trips, so was looking forward to the drive anyway.  My goal was to make it to Alexandria before 3:00 p.m. and hopefully avoid rush hour traffic on the dreaded I-495 Beltway (or Outer Loop) in Washington.  All worked out perfectly and early evening found me all checked in here.........................

..................the Residence Inn by Marriott Old Town South at Carlyle for the next six days.  Using a combination of low weekend rates and accumulated points, I got a really sweet deal at a place I've stayed previously in an area I've come to know well.  Third level from top, first two windows were our home and we enjoyed some comfortable days in an almost empty hotel where it seemed all they wanted to do was take care of us!!  

Having a few hours on my own before Bill arrived, I began researching something interesting for us to do on Saturday and immediately hit the jackpot.   We would have three full days together. I knew I wanted to make a return visit to the National Holocaust Museum plus I'd read about something called The Newseum, a fairly new attraction dedicated to journalism and the news media.  A quick glance at a magazine I picked up at the desk while checking in led me to the Cultural Tourism Passport DC festival which was being celebrated during the month of May.   The Around The World Embassy Tour was happening on Saturday and sounded like fun.  

At approximately 4 p.m., on Saturday, I was able to confirm that it was most definitely FUN, but we were EXHAUSTED.   We were standing in line at the Austrailian Embassy at 10 and we did not stop until 4.  Even then, we were only able to visit nine of the 40 Embassies that were open for tours.  Each Embassy was different in their approach, but all had at least one thing in common - they were serving food representing their country.  Most were giving away a trinket of some sort artfully hidden among pretty slick information promoting toursim in their country.  

An entire day (this coming Saturday) is dedicated to the Western European Embassies, so none of them were open for tours.   But that was o.k. with us as we would have chosen more unique (or maybe I should say unfamiliar) countries to visit anyway.  We carefully selected those we wanted to go to trying to choose a cross representation of the world.  We enjoyed Australia, Peru, Trinidad/Tobago, Chile, Botswana, Nicaragua, Mozambique, Kazakhstan.  In addition to the wonderful aspect of learning more about these countries, most of the Embassies are located along what is known as Embassy Row in old Washington DC homes with simply stunning architecture.  The kind you walk by and dream of being able to see inside.  Well, we got to see inside a bunch of them and they are beautiful!

I have so many pictures I don't know where to start, but enjoy a few of our favorites.

 Australia (we think he had on something, but not 100% sure)


 Trinidad - Tobago

 A native resident of Trinidad - Tobago (the animal, not the human!)


(We actually HEARD people say they would "avoid" this Embassy because it was where the Boston bombers were from - now isn't that just SAD?  We couldn't get there fast enough!  Beautiful, beautiful people and oh, so kind and generous!)

This was a day we stumbled upon simply by opening up a magazine and boy was it ever a success.

Next Up:  Holocaust Museum and The Newseum



  1. I love DC. I've often told my husband I could spend a month living there. We have been to Newseum. Last trip to DC it was the only thing open during a blizzard! We could have spent hours and hours there but they had no food service (thanks to same blizzard) and the boys and I reached our hungry threshold so then had the fun of trekking through snow trying to find an open restaurant:)

  2. Beautiful pictures and loved the embassies tour!! That is ridiculous about Kazakhstan...people can truly be hateful and ignorant sometimes (yep, the whole country is obviously hateful toward America because a few of the young ones bombed the marathon...yep. :rolleyes: )

    Looking forward to the next post. I haven't been to either of those museums!

  3. What a neat thing to get to do! Your vacations are a lot more exciting than ours LOL.

  4. The Newseum is on my to-be-toured list, too!

    It's a pity about the resentment/fear of the Kazakhstan embassy! An even greater pity that some folks are probably avoiding the Czech Embassy for the same reason. :)

  5. How cool is that to be able to visit all those different embassys? Enjoyed your photos. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.

  6. Hi Sharon, I enjoy following you all on your summer vacation. Sounds like you are making the best of the time you have. We went to DC one year during the Cherry Blossom blooming period. SO gorgeous. Vist the National Cathedral if you have time.

    We just got home from a week at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. Had a fabulous time....

    Happy Mother's Day.

  7. I love that you were able to visit all those countries in such a short period of time! :-) I remember learning, when I was a kid, that being inside an embassy is actually considered like being IN that country.