DC in the Off-Season

We have crossed into unknown territory: DC in autumn.  And it’s beautiful!  Not only has the weather turned tolerable, but the crowds have pretty much disappeared from the museums and monuments.  We’ve been taking full advantage of this opportunity to explore the parts of DC we were too tired to enjoy when we first arrived.  We also welcome any distraction from our departure count down (4 days!).

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An empty National Mall!

One of our favorite new food spots, also happens to be in a Smithsonian!  My aunts had raved about the American Indian Smithsonian, so we decided to venture over for lunch one day.  It was amazing.  The outside of the museum is fantastic, the cafeteria is out of this world, and the exhibits are really well designed.  I think this museum might be one of DC’s best kept secrets.

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An iconic building

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Lunch sampler: all vegetarian!

We loved our lunch so much that we bought the cafe’s cookbook from the gift shop!  There were so many vegetarian dishes, and the ingredients were pretty basic, so we figured the recipes would travel well.  I insisted we take my sisters to eat here only a few days after our first trip, because I now think EVERYONE should eat here.  The other great thing about visiting Smithsonians for lunch: federal employees get a discount at the cafes.  Who knew?

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Art exhibit

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A statue with lots of symbolism

We’ve seen less than half of the American Indian museum during our visits, but we’re hoping to get back and finish our tour sometime soon!  We’ve also done a good portion of the National Gallery museums, and hope to get in at least one more visit before we take off.  We’re just close enough to Smithsonian row that it’s not a huge hassle to pop over to see an exhibit or two in the morning or afternoon.  Museums are really much more enjoyable in small time intervals.  You absorb so much more of what you see, and your feet don’t hurt nearly as much when you get home!

Here we are in the futuristic, underground passage between the East and West  National Galleries:

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