Some of the best things are still free…

 

One hears many cautions about accepting “free” things…Be that advice or merchandise.  One place where such caution is unnecessary is Washington DC, the capitol of the “free”. 

During a long day there on January 5th, I nearly wore the soles off of my shoes taking advantage of as much “free-dom” as I could pack into one day: 

 

a guided tour of the US Capitol (with a movie) and the new $650 Million Capitol Visitor’s Center,

 

a unexpected glimpse of President-Elect Barack Obama arriving at the Capitol,

 

a visit to the wonderful “Pompeii and the Roman Villa” exhibit at the I.M. Pei-designed National Gallery of Art,

 

a visit to the National Archives to see the “Magna Carta” on loan from Great Britain, the “Declaration of Independence”, the “United States Constitution” and the “Bill of Rights”,

 

an afternoon wandering the cavernous Natural History Museum, which is featuring a great new exhibit about the Oceans and their dazzling array of sea life, along with the Museum’s amazing permanent exhibits, like the National Jewels (including the Hope Diamond), the Dinosaur Room (like being in “Jurassic Park” or “Night in the Museum”), the giant stuffed elephant and whale, amazing ancient American artifacts, and on and on and on,

 

a leisurely stroll down the Mall for some great late afternoon photo angles of the Capitol, the Smithsonian and the Washington Monument,

 

an early evening shopping and dining at majestic Union Station, one of the world’s great public indoor spaces;

ALL of that… absolutely 100% FREE !!!

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