Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial has lots of lighting at night. Nate and Teresa are here to visit, so we stopped by after watching Jersey Boys (a Broadway show that's in DC for a few months).

Clara Barton House

Last Saturday, we toured the Clara Barton house. The founder of the American Red Cross had a warehouse/office/home built just outside of DC. It was an interesting guided tour through the large building that has been restored to the time period that she made it her home.

The Red Cross stained glass windows at the top of the building could be seen from a long ways away to direct visitors.

The front hallway was lined with supply cabinets that were ready for any natural disaster or emergency.

Clara Barton was very frugal and used some creative building materials (like lining walls and ceilings with fabric instead of plaster). However, the woodwork railings were very beautiful.

The view from the outside as you walk up to the building. The basement was only used for storage.

The office was restored and over 3000 original items remain in the house from Clara Barton's time period. The rest of the items were antiques that were similar to items found in photographs.

A guest bedroom that would have been used by volunteers and Red Cross workers.

The front parlor for receiving visitors. The piano was an unusual square shape.

The front of the building. The instructions for the tour were to wait on the porch. We did, and a few other people showed up and then exactly at the scheduled time the park ranger opened the door and invited us in out of the cold weather.

The dining room just off the offices.

Clara Barton's desk.

Clara Barton's bedroom. The crazy quilt was impressive.

It was a very informative tour about the life of a famous American. We were glad to go on it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2009 National Book Festival

On Saturday, September 26th, we joined what seemed like the rest of the DC metro area on the National Mall for the Library of Congress National Book Festival. We stopped by Borders to pick up a Mercy Watson book for Kate Dicamillo's book signing line and a Steven Kellogg book for his line. We got there right as Kate's time started and Ryan promptly got in that line. It wrapped around four times. I headed off to find the Border's book selling tent to see if there was Pinkerton book. There were so many people in the tent, that a volunteer was guarding the entrance to prevent people to get in. I saw that Steven Kellogg had started signing early and got in his line. Three people from the front, they pulled him for another event. So, I went and got at the beginning of the line for his regular time. Meanwhile, Kate's line had grown to six wraps and her time was up. They decided to extend for another hour. I got Steven to sign my book and headed off to find Ryan. After an hour and 45 minutes of standing in line, they pulled Kate away and said no more. Oh well, at least we got one signed!

In the picture above, you can see part of the crowd. In 2008, they had an estimaed 120,000. I don't think the crowds had diminished this year, and it felt like some of the lines had started the previous year.

We did learn about a new children's serial story being written by all the children's authors who were present this year. You can follow the story here: It's called the Exquisite Corpse.

Then we headed into the Smithsonian castle for a look at the pile of treasure from the Night at the Museum movie.

Was fun to pick out what everything was. We spotted a Lite Brite, Fonzie's jacket, Ruby slippers, original Nintendo and a whole lot of coins.

After that we walked over to the National Theatre to get our tickets to Jersey Boys and save the ridiculous ticketmaster fees! We're all set for when Nate and Teresa come to visit.