This week my office is in the midst of PC transitions and upgrades, total chaos. Yesterday afternoon the IT tech booted me out of my chair and sent me off with an optimistic “it’ll take an hour. tops. really.” So, 3pm and time for a walk. But where could I go for a late afternoon hour downtown without the temptation to spend $$$?
Hmm… how about the Smithsonian? Why not? Museums are great for killing time. They’re not just for tourists!
I ambled the five blocks over to the Natural History Museum. It was relatively free of crowds, beyond the isolated packs of roving teens. Plugged into my iPod to avoid the sounds of their screeching, I meandered through the gems and minerals display on the second floor. I was fascinated by this display as a kid, especially the crazy minerals hall. There’s also the obligatory ogling of weighty tiaras and sparkling necklaces once worn by queens and maharanis. And of course waiting your turn to eye the Hope Diamond, somehow not as impressive as when I was a little girl and still believed the diamond propaganda. Then it was off to the bare bones rooms to detox from sparkle overload, looking at bizarre alien-like skeletons such as the manta ray.
It’s a well-known Washingtonian fact that the best presents can be found in the Smithsonian gift shops. Natural History has one of the most eclectic selections, from Eco-spheres to mother-of-pearl handbags. I picked up a b’day present for a friend and made mental notes for that certain upcoming holiday. Great stuff for hard-to-please people…
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs