Well what do you know – it’s 2014! The past several months have been a whirlwind of business trips and vacation in the US, seasonal changes, and holiday festivities on both sides of the Atlantic. Calls and emails with friends usually begin with… “Wait where are you now?”
The region suddenly drifted from crisp sunny autumn to chilly and damp winter. We’re greeted by thick frost and fog on the way to work each morning, and rain almost every afternoon. Our village has been transformed by a massive overhaul of the roads and the addition of new sidewalks on several streets. Without a single blog post since August, I’ve got some serious catching up to do!
Some highlights from upcoming posts:
Business conferences in Boston and Houston
Sightseeing in San Francisco and Washington, DC
American Thanksgiving and Christmas
French marchée de Noel and New Years
My second day in DC was equally action-packed. In the morning, I headed over to the National Gallery, which is comprised of two enormous buildings. The first is mostly European and American art from the 1300s to the 1800s.
There was plenty of cool Flemish portraiture:
And even this famous ballerina sculpture by Dumas:
Next I headed next door to the contemporary building, where I saw some exhibitions, including Matisse and mobiles by Alexander Calder:
Lee and I had lunch at an excellent sandwich shop, and then it was back to the city center for the Native American History Museum. The building was constructed with an adobe-inspired design, and features many exhibits designed by members of different Native American tribes describing the diverse history, culture, art, and modern culture.
In the evening, it was back to Bethesda, MD for an evening of Dickinson reminiscing and pool-noodle duels.
Thanks to jetlag, my first full day in DC I was up super early to roam the city while my friends had to work. First stop was the National Zoo! I had the chance to speed-walk through the grounds before most of the school groups showed up. The museum buildings have some great exhibits (the reptile and small mammals houses!), and I was impressed with the animal enclosures as well.
Animals spotted : zebras, gorillas, an orangutan hiding in a sheet, pandas!, komodo dragons, and gharials!
Animals missed : cool birds, lions, tigers, and cheetas
After the zoo, I cruised through the city and zipped over to Meridian Park, which features a really cool fountain.
I met up with Megan for a delicious Panera lunch (why don’t they exist in France??), and went to check out the National Botanic Garden. The entire museum is a greenhouse filled with interesting plant exhibits. They had a “rain forest” room, a hall filled entirely with desert plants, and an orchid room. A temporary exhibit featured medicinal plants from around the world, which was really interesting.