Day 14 – Washington D.C. Chinatown

When we got up this morning we didn’t have a plan about where to go. Diane said I was to have made a decision about that last night, and I kinda did, but didn’t tell her. I thought it would be interesting to visit Chinatown. I didn’t have a reason why other than it was on the green METRO line meaning we could get there without changing trains. That was apparently a good enough reason, so off we went to the Anacostia Station.

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The train was pretty much empty on the trip, and not many got on at other stations so it was a pretty uneventful trip to the Gallery Place station. The exits  for this stop are under a gallery (oddly) of many, many, stores, shops, bowling alley, bars, and a HUGE Regal Theater that has 14 screens. It’s actually right next to the Verizon Center which is home to the NBA Washington Wizards. I’m sure that’s true, but if any of you know differently, please chime in. I’ll do my best to pay attention. It’s also in Chinatown.

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The first order of the day, after leaving the METRO stop, was to find a bathroom. So, we went into a handy door that appeared to lead into the Gallery’s innards where we were sure we’d find a bathroom. We went up and down escalators (more up than down) until we finally encountered an access point into the Regal Cinema.

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We knew they had restrooms because all theaters have restrooms but, as luck would have it, only customers could use them. So, we bought tickets so Diane could use the bathroom. The tickets we bought were for “Storks” so we thought we may as well stick around and watch it. It as 11:41 am when we got to the ticket taker and she said we had plenty of time because there were 20 minutes of previews before the movie started. It was all good.

We sat in the theater, all by ourselves, and could hear the previews, but there was no picture. So, I went back to the ticket taker and reported this incident. Finally, someone got it going just in time for the movie to start. We really enjoyed the movie and highly recommend it. We used the restrooms both before and after the movie. Then we walked outside and Diane once again asked me what we were going to do.

I struggled for an answer, but didn’t have one, even though I had a map in my hands with all kinds of places we could visit. Finally, we decided to visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery which is directly across 7th Street NW from the Verizon Center. Really handy. While crossing 7th Street I noticed some food trucks parked on the museum side of the street and thought it was a really feeble attempt to match the parking lot full of similar trucks you can find all over Portland.

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I had to go back and take a picture of the last one in line because it was a new one for me …

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Doughnuts and fried chicken. Who knew?

The museum was filled with incredible paintings some of which are incredibly old. Most of the first ones we viewed were formal portraits of famous folks from history. The only one that really got our attention was this one because of frame …

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It’s actually General Ulysses S. Grant. You know, the guy that’s buried in Grant’s tomb?

After walking around for a couple of hours we started getting a little light-headed and, as luck would have it, we stumbled across a snack shop on the inner patio of the museum. Diane just wanted fizzy water and I chose an orange Fanta soda. Total cost was $7.22, the most expensive drinks we’ve had since the last Blazer game we attended. Apparently, if you’re a ‘member’, things are considerably cheaper. Had we only know. Probably doesn’t cost much more than a few thousand bucks to be a member. I’m guess because I didn’t ask.

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I loved my soda and nursed it slowly while sitting in this very quiet area. An interesting feature in there are three horizontal water falls. Sounds dumb, I know, but that’s what they are. They are actually three areas of the floor that are slightly depressed, slightly more on one side than the other. Water is forced up on the high side and it flows slowly across the stones to the low side. Very unique. I wanted to run through them, but Diane felt that would be a bad idea. So, I didn’t. In the photo the water is flowing from left to right.

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Then I took a photo of Diane, like I always do when I have a chance, and liked it so much I’m going to share it with you.

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In addition to some terrific art, the building itself is actually one itself. It’s 3 stories tall and each floor is different. I only took a photo of the Great Hall which is pretty magnificent.

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There there was this view from one of the windows that I couldn’t resist. Have I ever mentioned how happy I no longer have to get film developed?

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We were in the museum for 3-4 hours and by the time we decided to call it a day we were pretty hungry. Both of us decided that Mexican food would be really good which was handy because Rosa Mexicano was just across the street from the museum, and the METRO stop we needed for our return trip was just across the street from Rosa’s. How convenient.

We entered the restaurant between the lunch and dinner rush hours so the place was essentially ours for a little while. It’s a beautiful establishment and it smelled really good inside. Both of us chose to have guacamole made at the table and that was a treat. Except for the cilantro. I don’t care for cilantro. But that was OK because everything was delicious anyway. And, it looked really good …

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I had my standard beef enchiladas and Diane had her standard cheese enchiladas. The rice and beans were served in bowls so we could take what we wanted. Clever. We each had three enchiladas. I ate all of mine and Diane left only about one bite. She did good.

By the time we were finished eating the place had started to fill up which pointed out a glaring error with our timing … people were getting off work meaning that we were going to be riding back on the subway during rush hour. And that’s exactly what we did. Making it more difficult, the METRO masterminds, I learned, send 6-car trains during rush hour but use 8-car trains on weekends. Makes perfect sense, don’t you think? Well, here we are making lots of new friends on our ride home …

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We stood the entire trip. It wasn’t bad because there really wasn’t much of a chance we could have fallen down. Everyone on the train was very friendly. I don’t think it was out of necessity. I think that’s just the way they are all the time. Really nice folks.

Finally we got to the car and I was, once again, very relieved to discover that it had been towed. It was still right where we parked it.

I’ve been wanting to report what I discovered across the bottom of Washington DC license places but keep forgetting. Until now. On the way home, at a stop light, I took this photo  …

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Don’t you love it? I mentioned it at Arlington yesterday to one of the tour folks and was told that’s their motto. Since it’s on their license plates, I suspect that true.

On a side note, with Hurricane Matthew heading for the East Coast, we’re having second thoughts about our trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. Tomorrow we’ll call the resort and see what they have to say. Diane’s checking the weather frequently and her last report was that by Wednesday, the day we’re supposed to be there, it probably won’t be a hurricane. Just a ton of water falling out of the sky. We’ll see how that goes.

Many of you know that our friend Jewel is dog, cat and house sitting for us during this trip. Last week she performed an old person’s trick by falling down and breaking her right arm. In her defense, she tripped over the goofy little fence I helped her install around some new plantings by the front porch. I’ve tripped on that thing, too. Today she had her splint removed and had it replace with a pretty pink cast.

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As you can see by her comment, she’s doing much better now. We’re thankful for that. Thanks for hanging in there, Jewel. During her trial with a splint, and pain, Jennifer pitched in to help. Daniel also added his expertise to give Ziva a bath after she decided to, again, adorn herself with eu du deer poop. Regarding that, I have mixed emotions because she’s either rolling in it, or eating it. I don’t like either of those choices, but think I like her eating it best. That way there’s really nothing to clean up. Yea!

Gotta quit now because Dancing With The Stars is on now. It’s Cirque du Soleil night.

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