The Luck of the Irish

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
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Trip End May 05, 2011


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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Sunday, March 13, 2011

Aside from some late night arrivals my night was undisturbed. I finished off dinner leftovers and met with two German fellows from Weimar - conversing with them only resolves my desire to visit. So we traded contact before they left.
My day began a little later than expected as daylight savings came into effect on the East Coast without my warning.  Had my roommate not informed me I would have certainly gone the day without knowing and missed my departure.  As it was, the only adjustment I made was to cut my trip to the International Spy Museum short. And this turned out to be no great discomfort.
The Spy Museum is one of the few attractions in DC with an admission fee and disappointingly, one of the poorest maintained. Photography was not allowed so please bear my descriptions.  The experience started well with a premise of role-play as we descended the elevator.  We were told to remember our assigned "covers". So it was a great disappointment when the amount of this experience was two interactive monitors throughout the museum for which there was no reward.  The anticipation also dissipated quickly.  While the first two rooms were filled with brilliantly ridiculous disguised objects (umbrella gun! shoe phone! zippo recorder!) the rest was unimaginatively repetitive. The recurring pattern of gathering information, being found and getting caught became no more intruiging than a history novel. Certainly, a large amount of information was presented through multitudes of palques but the experience was a droll one. I could not imagine a child having the patience or vocabulary to understand or appreciate it at all.
Dejected, I set off to see the front of the White House (having only mistakenly seen the back).  Washington smiled upon me. Not only was the Sun in her full display of warmth, the St Patrick's day parade had begun (again unbeknownst to me).  So I took time to appreciate this spectacle of green and gay and wondered what on earth Japanese racing bikes and modified cars have anything to do with Saint Patrick or the plight of the Irish.  Nonetheless, quite the party. Oh and the White House front was more impressive than the back and with its high fences and overwhelming security, certainly more fitting of the power of the President.
I finished my sights of Washington with a tour of the remaining Art Gallery.  The West Building is more classically designed than the East, but no less Grand or impressive. The generous marble and trickling water of interior garden halls are a work of art themselves.  Its sheer size was also daunting, with over 70 gallery rooms housing classics from the ages from Raphael to Picasso.  It even has the only Leonardo outside of Europe.  The two collections of highlight were Chester Dale's impressive collection of the modern masters of impressionism and modernism and the extensive Rodin sculpture collection.
So concludes the first chapter of this epic adventure.  I write this en-route to Philadelphia, at least I hope so as we have made no progress for the last hour.  Hopefully some sleep is on the cards for tonight.   
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