There are a couple of truths about being a tourist in Washington, D.C. One is that no matter how much time you allot, it will never be sufficient to see everything you want to see. (Particularly, when you get a late start.) The other is that you never, under any circumstances, drive there. There is a perfectly good, clean, efficient, Metro that is a stress-free way to get around without causing blood pressure or road-rage issues. Fortunately for me, it only took one horrible experience in my twenties to drill that lesson permanently into my psyche. The train from Greenbelt is a peaceful ride into the city and the best way we know to get around.

This weekend happened to also be the Cherry Blossom Festival. On our walk to the National Gallery, we got distracted by beautiful gardens full of blooming Yoshino and Weeping cherries and Saucer Magnolias, putting us a little further behind schedule, but worth the detour. By the time we met our friends at the National Gallery who were also running late, and got through the mandatory bag check, we had exactly twenty minutes before our lunch reservation at The Old Ebbit Grill. I can’t tell you that I learned anything, but the National Gallery is at top of the re-visit list, and I know now that it will require at least a day, not just a couple of hours. At least I can do a little virtual touring through their website.

Then it was time for lunch which was quite a walk, but worth it for the friendly service and good food. Thank goodness for the reservation. The waiting list was over an hour long.

Limited again to half an hour of touring, we opted for the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. I’d classify it as a favorite, but they all are, so I don’t have the ability to rank them. Happily, the exhibits are all open again so we were also treated to the ever-interesting Entymology exhibit of ants and spiders.

As usual, we had to force ourselves to leave without seeing everything we wanted to. There is never enough time. Never.

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