my mom was finally able to make it out to dc for a visit. finally! she stayed with me most of the days, and we had such a nice time visiting local sites, going out to eat, and staying up late talking and talking.
one of the first places we visited was the folger shakespeare library, which is just two blocks away from my house. believe it or not, i'd never been there before even though i pass it all the time. if anything, taking my mom around made me realize that there are still some things i want to experience here.
i think out of all the places we went, the folger was one of the most pleasant surprise. the great hall is tiny, tiny, but beautifully covered in deeply stained oak paneling. the current exhibit is called 'the curatorial eye' and contains various pieces from the library's vault. my absolute favorite case contained books that were printed on and bound and covered with recycled materials.
one of the techniques people employed to reuse paper people was to literally scratch ink off the pages. below, you can see another technique whereby they glued together pages from older manuscripts to build up a cover. the archivists didn't even know the manuscripts were there until they started restoring the books. isn't that amazing? paper was so expensive and they had such a desire to print that they came up with numerous ways to reuse materials.
this was a display of that included some beautifully decorated papers.
i forgot to mention that we also got to look at an authentic first folio, and we were able to 'flip' through it on a digital display. no pictures allowed. sorry!
i made sure we went dowtown one day so that i could show my mom the office and parade her around to meet all of my coworkers. before that we met my friend and coworker LP at the famous old ebbitt for lunch. we didn't see any movers and shakers inside the restaraunt, but LP did notice the dc chief of police standing outside.
after a long visit at the office, and a longer stop by macy's so that we could by that woman some decent walking shoes, we walked over to gifford's for some ice cream. again, this was another first for me, and it was another good surprise.
mom is holding my cone of swiss chocolate (good gracious! the hands down winner) and her cup of chocolate chocolate chip (mama!) is on the table. the table, coincidentally, happened to be in one of my favorite color combination (remember my bathroom?).
at long last i was able to take my mother on sister lantos's capitol tour. it was amazing. i had gone once before with her on a sunday afternoon, so the capitol was fairly empty. this time, however, it was swarming with tours, staffers, and even a few congresswomen who recognized sister lantos.
my mom had so much fun listening to sister lantos describe the history of the building and the people who have served and worked there over the years.
i am still surprised by some of the elaborate design in various places throughout the capitol. in all, the whole building was beautiful and very moving.
now on to stunning and gorgeous.
there are three buildings that make up the library of congress, and i've been to every single one but the jefferson building, which is the main event. looky here, looky here...
stunned? in awe?
i fell in love with the color scheme -- soft yellows, goldish oranges, pale and vibrant greens, and touches of that beautiful tuscan red.
here is a peak into the reading room. i don't know if i would get a thing done if i was studying in there. i'd be too busy gawking at all the marble, gilding, and dark woodwork.
the library has one of only three remaining perfect vellum copies of the original Gutenburg Bible on display. after taking a few non-flash pictures, i was trying to get a nice macro shot of the text when i was yanked away from the display by my purse strap. i turned around to see my mom vigorously jabbing at a 'do not take pictures of the Gutenburg Bible' sign. oi.
i truly hate it when people take pictures of things that they aren't supposed to, so i felt pretty bad about that. i can plead honest ignorance, however, since some museums do allow you to take photos of rare and old artwork.
as penance for my sins i dragged the sign in front of the case and planted it in plain sight for any other trigger happy tourists. sorry loc!
i knew i had to take my mom to good stuff to try their delicious burgers, fries, vidalia onion petals, and shakes. she loved it! she had the prez obama and i had spike's 5 napkin. i made her try ever one of the flavored mayonaisses, and she agreed with me that the old bay combination could easily be struck off the menu. the rest -- mango, chipotle, rooster sauce -- are really good though.
afterward, we both had toasted marshmallow shakes. that evening they were less toasted-marshmallowy and more creamy-vanilla-like, but still oh so good.
i know that was a lot and there isn't any clear sense of chronology, but bare with me. part 2 is up next.