I met my sister Marjorie from Atlanta in Washington, D.C. for a few days. This was my first visit and her 4th to the Nation’s Capitol. It was non-stop walking the entire trip. The city, 100 square miles, on the banks of the Potomac, was the vision of George Washington and is the world’s first planned capitol. The Mall, an expanse of green at the heart of D.C., stretches from the Capitol to the Washington Monument and is home to some of America’s finest museums. Everything is BIG! Huge, mesmerizing, overwhelming. Over the course of two days we went to the Library of Congress which houses 3 buildings of books, recordings, maps and manuscripts. It’s Great Hall displays Jefferson’s book collection and an actual Gutenberg Bible; the National Archives where the original Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution of the United States are displayed; The National Gallery of Art and Modern Sculpture Garden, which when it opened in 1941 was the largest marble building in the world, and, for me, was a highlight as Degas, Monet, Renoir, and Jackson Pollock were gathered under one roof and The U.S. Botanical Gardens a veritable Eden of 65,000 plants including a Garden Primeval with plants that have survived more than 150 million years to Jungle and Desert settings. One day was devoted to a boat expedition down the Potomac to George Washington’s estate Mt. Vernon, at one time over 8,000 acres. He was a true visionary and astute businessman. Here he and Martha received and entertained hundreds of guests a year. George was considered one of the finest horsemen of his era. That evening we took a nighttime tour of the memorials: Lincoln’s, Viet Nam, National WW 2, Korean War, Washington Monument and Tidal Basin, Jefferson, Martin Luther King and the White House. The most profound, for me, was standing at the feet of Lincoln reading the Gettysburg Address engraved onto the wall. Most moving was typing in my grandfather’s name at the WW 2 memorial and having it pop up Alfred W. Smith, Full Colonel. We never made a museum... darn; I’ll have to go back!
Of course, whenever I travel, food is of major interest and I was not disappointed in the least. But I’m glad to be home because Sharon and crew have outdone themselves with the Chalkboard Features starting tonight and include an all-time favorite Shepherd’s Pie; Grilled Swordfish presented with Tomato Risotto and Walnut Crusted Arctic Char accompanied with Roasted Acorn Squash and Swiss Chard tossed in a Warm Bacon Vinaigrette. YUM!
Happy Sweetest Day! And, thanks for three great years in our “new” digs as we celebrate our third anniversary!
As Always We Wish You a Million Dollar Day and,
Look Forward to Seeing You At the Bistro!