Today I met up with Danyel at the National Mall. It was a GORGEOUS day. Nary a cloud in sight and actually a little cool. We have plans to go to Hawaii in about a year and look fabulous, so it will do us some good to do some walking.
Turns out it only takes me 45 mins to get to the Smithsonian stop from my house on a Sunday. It took a considerable while longer for Danyel to get there from Shady Grove, so I started walking. I walked toward the Capitol and through the Hirshorn Sculpture Garden. As I got near the Capitol I heard a fife and drum corps. There was some sort of presentation on the Bill of Rights. I kept walking. I passed three games of adult kickball. Why is it when you precede a word with "adult" it makes it sound dirty? Don't worry, in this case, everyone was appropriately dressed in their team t-shirts. By the time I started walking back toward the Washington Monument Danyel arrived. Hooray! she took the Metro all by herself for the first time and didn't get lost or die!
We continued on toward the Washington Monument and walked by a Jazz Festival. We climbed up the stairs into the Lincoln Memorial, sat on the ledge beside the stairs and remembered the last time we visited these monuments. It's been a long while for both of us.
Then we went on to visit the Korean Veterans War Memorial, which IMHO, is kinda spooky. The statues of the soldiers are life sized so you feel as though you are walking with them. And there is a wall made of the same black shiny stone used at the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial but instead of names etched into the surface, there are faces. When it rains, etchings disappear, and reappear when it dries. I can just imagine that being a little spooky. We also visited the Wall and paid respects to a friend of Danyel's dad. As we walked along the wall, even though there were plenty of people around, it was almost eerily quiet. The reverence of the place is not just palpable, but I don't know...thick. We also visited the memorial to the women of the Vietnam war that is near the Wall. The number of people there was, of course, less than at the Wall, but when we arrived I noticed we were joining other young women. It was just a coincidence, but I found it particularly moving.
After all the walking it was time for dinner. We ended up going to Les Halles, which I think is becoming my favorite place to go when I visit the Mall. Since the weather was so nice we ate outside. Well, at least until dessert because the sun was fading and we were getting cold. I had a mouthwatering medium rare hanger steak with shallot sauce and french fries. Danyel had the French dip and fries. She was taken aback when she was given a choice on how she wanted her steak done. Usually don't get that choice when it's a roast beef, but in this case it was steak. The food was goood. I was verrrry happy. Only to get even happier when I decided to have my very first chocolate souffle and a lil' glass of dessert port wine. The combo was so good and I had that great moment of enlightenment when food and wine pairs well together and you're like, "ohh, I get it!" Danyel had her very first creme brulee and enjoyed that very much, as well. A perfect ending to a perfect day...even if the meal negates the Calories I was trying to burn off in the first place!