The Helix is a party hotel, and is not especially quiet. We heard revelry most of the night, and woke up still tired.
The original plan was for John and I to meet up and play a disc golf course over in Arlington. The rain put a cabash on that, so plans were amended to a quick visit with our friends at their home.
From Arlington we took the metro over to the Mall. Our goal for the morning was the Museum of Natural History, and we wanted to get there before the crowds. It wasn’t too busy when we got there, so we were able to do a quick early lunch then see the dinosaurs. After awhile, the quantity of items and displays led to sensory overload. As beautiful as gems and minerals can be, it was time for another venue.
We stopped briefly at the Archives, and after waiting a bit, couldn’t tell what was happening to the tours. We gave up and headed to the new Native American Museum. The exterior is beautiful, resembling a natural rock formation or mesa, with cascading water features. The interior was less appealing. The first two floors seem to be shops, with exhibits starting on the third floor. With the exception of one temporary art exhibit, everything seemed cluttered and cacauphonous. It was hard to focus on anything.
We needed quiet, so we headed to the Arbooretum. This turned out to be our favorite stop so far. The variety of plants and flowers werer soothing rather than overwhelming. This looked like a place one could relax.
From the Arboretum, we rounded the Capitol area, headed eventually toward Union Station. We had seen the Duck Tours go by, and thought that might be an option, since I’d had so much fun on them in Philly. Unfortunately, they seemed to be very popular in DC, and we couldn’t get on a tour until late. We decided to catch the Metro back to the hotel.