We got in around mid-day and Rosco seemed happy to see Tracy. I wasn't too jealous... We enjoyed Jess and Steven's awesome back yard and amazing cooking, then proceeded to spend most of the evening catching up and sharing some beers. Some friends of theirs (Chris and Beth) arrived later in the evening and we drank some Manhattans and talked about a wide variety of things then made plans for the morrow.
The morning began with bagels, thin sliced salmon, onions, and cream cheese (delicious!), all washed down with coffee. We grabbed their three bikes and grabbed a fourth from the Capital Bikeshare! This is a great idea for a city! Then rode to a large, local market and tested food samples from all the fruit stalls and ended the experience with a stop at a Mediterranean food truck. Next we set off for the capital building and took our pictures just as the rain started. All four of us were good and soaked by the time we made it to the Hirshhorn Museum. I had seen pictures of the Needle Tower and did not want to miss the opportunity to check it out. With the upcoming adventure, we are trying to save our cash so I was trying to decide if I wanted to go in or voice the dissent and move on. We went in and next thing I knew we were walking among the works. Jess advised most of the museums in DC are free. I figured it would be closer to the idea of a donation or something, but absolutely free was unexpected. Like a child with a new gift I wandered around enjoying the photography exhibits and after a time when we all needed coffee, but it wasn't hard to leave without regrets. Funny how removing money from an equation can change things. After caffeinating ourselves we headed to the National Gallery of Art and saw the largest mobile ever created by Alexander Calder. We spied some good Alberto Giacometti, Dali, Picasso, and many others too. We grabbed the bikes and headed back to rest up before going to a DC United soccer match! They smashed the competition and we destroyed some hotdogs! Good times!
On our last day, we had lunch gathered from the market: pate, olives, two kinds of cheeses, tomatoes, white peaches, two kinds of bread, and some meats. We ate down near the waterfront and went to the U.S. National Arboretum afterward. The bonsai exhibit was fascinating and I learned that if you prune back the roots then the leaves take on the small size that I think of when I think of bonsai. I always thought they had to be specific tree breeds or something akin to that. We walked through the garden and felt like we were transported to another place far from any city. Then we were worn out from the weekend and escaped into a flick on the TV.
We said our goodbyes the next day and Jess and Steven headed off to work. Our next stop was to Baltimore for a free hotel room (Thank you again Jenn!) and some exploring. We did some shopping and enjoyed an ice-cream by the water front. It was a day of relaxation and sea food - great clams! A perfect end to our US traveling. Now back to Louisville and focusing in on our Botswana planning and international travel.