Facebook is a funny thing. Over two decades ago my husband sat next to a girl on a flight to Germany. A year later he sat next to her on the flight home. Those are the only times they’ve seen each other until today, but they shared a common experience as exchange students in Germany and that was enough. Sometime since, they found each other on Facebook then my hubby “met” her hubby and the two hit it off. Peas in pod kind of thing.
They live in Florida and own a micro-brewery in Cocoa Beach.
A few days ago Tracy posted a photo of her family at the National Mall. Kirk send her a FB message and all of a sudden we had dinner plans with these people who I’ve never met and he hasn’t seen in eons. And it was fabulous. Facebook videos eat time and distract from real life, but sometimes, like today, Facebook creates opportunities in real life with real people. That’s pretty amazing.
So we headed into Washington DC early to visit the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, but it was closing so we walked to the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden just across the mall to kill some time. It’s rare for me to have the luxury of “killing time” in DC. I always have some place to go, yet am continually finding places that look like good resting spots for that “if I have time to kill moment” that never comes.
Today Elise dangled her feet in the water,
Tiara rested along the bench encircling the fountain (she’s the tiny one alone in blue on the other side),
and I wandered around with my camera shooting things like people,
and duck ramps (though I didn’t see even one duck).
The National Archives was pretty today. I snapped the front side from the sculpture garden,
then we walked north to the United States Navy Memorial where this guy was playing a somber rendition of taps.
I suppose this view is always pretty, but the green of the water caught my eye today.
On our walk to the National Portrait Gallery, we saw a great mother-daughter team and some odd faux windows that I just don’t understand.
The National Portrait Gallery closes at 7 and is free, so it was the perfect place to wander until dinner time. I didn’t expect to love it. Away from the National Mall by a few blocks, it’s sort of “out of sight, out of mind,” and I forget about it in lieu of the National Gallery of Art, but today I saw a couple pieces by Lichtenstein , some phenomenal presidential portraiture, and this painting (below) by Alfred Bierstadt that caused me to sit and stare until it was time to go, literally stopping me in my tracks.
We ate at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant just across the street sitting at a long table in the back. The food was excellent (I had the cajun pasta – delish), but what was really phenomenal is that here we were, a group of 10 where only two had ever met and it was only 2 days over 20 years ago. But we talked. A lot. Even the kids. The dinner with strangers ended up being a three-hour dinner with friends who I will see again if our paths should cross – all because of a reconnecting through Facebook and a photo followed up by a “how long are you here” which led to a real life dinner with real people.
So it was a good day with art, the luxury of “killing time,” and new friends met through technology, but made over dinner and drinks.
- The Hirshorn Sculpture museum closes at 5:30 which is early than most. It’s a museum that requires some time to get through as the art is unusual and evokes conversation. It’s free and totally worth the time. Even when closed, there are some interesting sculptures in the green spaces surrounding it.
- The fountain in the center of the National Gallery of Art’s sculpture garden provides cool water on hot days. Many people sat on the edges with their feet soaking in the cool water. The nearby cafe is a great place to pick up a snack to enjoy outside.
- The National Portrait Gallery is also free and open until 7. It’s much larger than I anticipated and will require a much longer day than I had to fully explore.
- Gordon Biersch is a chain, but a good one. It’s located next to the Spy Museum and across from the National Portrait Gallery, so it’s a good stop after either experiences. The food is quality, portions ample, and prices mid-range. I’ve been there twice with kids, so it is family-friendly, but they also have a nice bar area and do brew on site, so beer connoisears will enjoy the opportnities to sample their brews. I had the cajun pasta which came packed with andouille sausage, chicken, and shrimp. The French cosmo was delicious as well.