There is only so much one can do, even on wheels, in a city like Washington DC. Our hotel was a delight. The concierge and doormen helped us neophytes into our days. Metro security endlessly guided us in the right direction.
Though we arrived to see museums and found ourselves swept away by wonderful people, we still saw innumerable institutions. Neo-Classical architecture by any name or era is still Neo-Classical architecture. Most of these institutions we visited were decked out in ersatz classical drama. Some of the more modern buildings were just pretentious, while the IM Pei building was shrouded in scaffholding. There was Victorianna in all its glory, as well as Romanesque scattered among the Greek and Roman. We enjoyed every bit of it.
Once we recovered from our B-757 flight in, we saw the city by tour bus, by foot, by wheel, and with friends. We traveled the mall, out to Arlington, by taxi, and deep underground by Metro.
Often I was excited. Sometimes I was wary and slowed down by the ever present security. Often put off too. The Capitol security had it all over the triple-check plus dog of the white house, and both of these put the museums to shame. 9/11 truly changed our national capitol forever.
Always we struggled to find the Metro elevators, to figure out which way we were going, and I only got to many of our destinations because of G’s doggedness. I asked why the elevators were so hard to find, and I was told that violence and muggings caused the agency to remove the signs from the Metro elevators. There was even one, unmarked, in a CVS building. Always they were a block from the main escalators.
There were monuments we could get to, and there were those that were too crowded. The serenity of the Lincoln Memorial went right over my head when I got closer, for instance.
We did get to the Changing of the Guard at the Memorial for the Unknown Soldiers of WWI, WWII, Korea, and the Vietnam wars.
Here the Supreme Court Building receiving repairs from the earthquake.
There were structures with a little more modernity. The National History Museum stretches forever with tall expanses of marble to indicate columns. The American Indian Museum, while marvelous and informative inside, resembles a many storied lump of clay outside on the mall.