The plan was to meet up with TB and head into DC to see some of the museums. He wanted to see the remodeled American History museum so that was on the agenda. I saw at the American Indian museum that there was a special exhibit on chocolate for that weekend, so I added that to the agenda this well. I had mentioned a noodle place in Chinatown that I liked, and TB loves Chinese food, so it was the perfect idea for either lunch or dinner.
We left Greenbelt around 10 AM and metroed down to the National Mall where we hit the Smithsonian American History Museum first. TB wanted to see the exhibit of the first ladies, so we lined up and walked through the exhibit. A bonus was that we struck up a conversation with the docent at the head of the line and she gave us and the people nearby a guided tour of the items in there. The current room where the first ladies exhibit resides is actually temporary until they finish the permanent room where they will reside.
After the first ladies, we went downstairs to first look at Julia Child's kitchen, which is always a personal favorite of mine. Next it was off to the science exhibit before then going through the exhibit on America at War. By the time we saw those exhibits, it was getting close to 1 PM and the museum was getting crowded with folks there. We wanted to see Lincoln's hat, but the line just to get in the room with the presidential items was quickly filling up and heading down the hall. We decided to head out to our next destination.
After grabbing some spring rolls from one of the food trailers, we walked over to the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian to see the chocolate exhibit I was interested in. The woman at the information desk told us that it was on the first floor, and that at 3 PM there would "Peruvian Scissor Dancers" in the center of the first floor, and to get there early for a seat, unless you wanted to watch while standing from the side or one of the upper floors. We wandered the chocolate tables and got to see and touch cocoa pods, cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, and some of the finished chocolate products.
We had some time to kill so we wandered through the exhibits upstairs and looked at the various items. Like other Smithsonian museums, one needs all day to be able to see everything. We are in agreement that we will have to come back again to try to see everything. When it got to be around 2:30 we headed back to the first floor and grabbed a few seats in the front row of chairs. Within the next 15 minutes the place filled up, including people sitting on the floor in front of us. Right at 3 PM the dancers came out. To sort of explain why they are the Peruvian "Scissor Dancers" imagine a pair of scissors with the middle bolt taken out so they don't stay together, and so you are able to let each half strike against one another to make the noise. So they're holding the scissor in one hand as they dance. It started out with them dancing together with some difficult footwork before moving on to where each one took turns doing individual dances. Each person would dance for about 30-40 seconds but the dance they would do involved acrobatic tricks. It was fun to watch; I captured most of their dances on my cell phone and I'm hoping I can put them together in a decent video to post here later.
After the dancers were done, we hopped on Metro and went over to Gallery Place/Chinatown. We wandered around the neighborhood to see what was around. Verizon Center was rather busy, and I wondered why. When we finally walked by there I figured out it was Disney On Ice was there that evening. An interesting fact, you can record Disney on Ice for your personal use, according to the signs that were on the doors. An event like Disney on Ice is the last thing I would expect to allow recording, considering you can't record or even take photographs of most concerts. Prior to walking by the Verizon Center, we walked around, saw the inside of a Catholic church, stopped by the Law Enforcement Memorial, and walked through most of the neighborhood before heading off for dinner.
Dinner was over at Chinatown Express, if you have ever been there it's known for that you can watch the chef in the window making either noodles or dumplings, depending on the time of day. We both enjoyed some dumplings along with noodles in soup with beef for dinner. It was good as usual. TB not only likes Chinese food, but he is all about hitting local restaurants, including ones that may look like a dive. It blew his mind to see how much dinner was that night, because it was less than expected. After dinner we stopped by Red Velvet Cupcakery to pick up some dessert, but they weren't going to have another batch of red velvet cupcakes for half an hour, so we said we'd come back. After going down E street a bit and walking towards Fords Theatre, we thought that paying $3.25 per cupcake was a bit much when we could just make our own.
We metroed back to Greenbelt and made a stop at the Co-op for red velvet cake mix and cream cheese frosting before heading to my place. We whipped up the cake and watched La Cage Aux Folles before falling asleep.
A day spent with someone interesting, doing fun things, and not having to spend a kings ransom to do it? Best. Day. Ever. Hope I get to do plenty more of these.