A few more little pictures and words because we thought Washington was just that good. I'm a big one for galleries and museums, and can quite happily spend hours taking it all in. Washington, in that respect, was a pretty hot date. At the Smithsonian National Museum of American History I got to see Julia Child's kitchen and the very first star spangled banner - both of which were quite literally, larger than life. Jordy poured over the Thomas Edison exhibition while I established a newfound interest in the Civil War thanks to some amazing installations. I cried (quietly) over the Greensboro lunch counter where four amazing young men staged a sit-in and changed the direction of the Civil Rights movement. I couldn't take my eyes off the counter, laminated but dull with age, a quiet reflection of what had happened, as I sang along with the exhibition curator (so dapper in his 1950s suit and hat ) as he chorused 'I'm on my way, to freedom land'. I love when history becomes animated and imaginative and accessible like this.
We ended up spending another long afternoon at the Newseum (thanks Gerard). I'm so pleased we did - the idea of the who and how and why behind the news is important to me, and the way this museum has designed their exhibitions, the installations and the myriad of newspaper archives from around the world and across the years was fascinating. I got more Civil War facts and figures (devastating) and read more detail about the Civil Rights movement, from papers at the time (heartbreaking). We also saw parts of the Berlin Wall, read reports on the Stasi and took in the World Press photographs from the last few decades alongside an exhibition of the various presidential campaigns since the 1970s - completely interesting and appropriate, given that we saw it just a day before the 2012 election kicked off.
We wandered around the leafy streets of Dupont Circle, I found a sweet cafe that managed to make a proper latte and we feasted on big bowls of salad and coconut juice in the afternoon sun. People rode bikes all over town and talked about the election in the streets. It felt like good to be a part of it, at least for a few days.