Today was an ART Day…Day 4 of The BEST Vacation EVER….

Ohmigoodness…there aren’t enough superlatives in the world. One of the places that I have wanted to visit for as long as I can remember is the Smithsonian Castle on the Mall. The Smithsonian was the bequest of James Smithson, and an interesting factoid is that it almost WASN’T accepted by Congress…because Smithson was British. Honestly. Fortunately, common sense won the day and “In 1836, Richard Rush was enlisted to pursue the United States government’s claim for the Smithson bequest in the British Court of Chancery. Rush’s previous experience in the Court of St. James while serving as minister to Great Britain proved invaluable: he was able to advance the court’s consideration of the case ahead of some eight hundred other petitioners, resolving the case in a mere two years.” (display card in the Smithsonian Castle – Richard Rush’s Porcelain Collection) Thank you, Richard Rush…

The Castle houses representative samples from the 19 museums and galleries that bear the Smithsonian name. I would have to say that, aside from the lovely architecture, the coolest thing I saw at the Castle was….drumroll please….

GORDIE HOWE’S SKATES !!!

Total hockey geekette moment there, eh? Yep. It was amazing. Because today was My Day (as well as Monday and tomorrow!), I chose what I wanted to do…so of course I started at the Castle. Drove from the hotel to the New Carrollton Metro Station and purchased a pass. Rode the Orange line into DC, exited at the Smithsonian Station and BOOM! There it was…the Castle. I think I may have shed a few tears.
Walked through the Castle, enjoyed myself thoroughly…despite the soul-annihilating man I met at the security desk…I said to him, “You must love coming to work here, it’s so beautiful!”…to which he replied…”Not really.” Oh. My. God. In. Heaven. WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE??? This place is gorgeous – outside AND in…check it out:
Ceiling detail in one of the galleries…

Even the WINDOWS are stunning…

James Smithson’s Crypt…well, I guess if YOU left your entire estate to the United States, YOU could be buried wherever the hell you want to be buried!

Ceiling detail, main hall – also where the Castle Gift Shop and the Cafeteria are located
Oh well. Poor man, I thought, as I exited into the brilliant sunshine and 61°F….
…and with that, I will leave you. It is after midnight and I have another FULL day of art tomorrow…

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