Presidents Day Weekend, My Neighbor’s Porch, a Native American and our flag.

Six weeks and halfway through my deep dive into visiting Washington D.C’s cultural, historical, and artistic treasures, the stars and stripes are still flying, the cherry blossom florets about to burst and I am still standing.


While our capital is known for its magnificent monuments, excellently curated museums and the occasional political scandal, one of the town’s hottest ticket is the International Spy Museum. Before you jest, just know my Code Name is Earthquake. I am somewhat successful with codebreaking but possess limited surveillance skills. The museum’s popularity after recently moving into its $162 million new digs with its 1,000 artifacts enhanced with the razzle dazzle of videos and interpretive copy, skyrocketed.

Aston Martin Vanquish “Die Another Day” film, 2002 and the Mercury Cougar XR7 (Red) “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service film, 1969

Then along comes the martini, shaken-not-stirred guy. Bond. James Bond. The first day I was in DC, I grabbed a Metro and found my wandering way to the National Mall. Although I’d never heard of the Spy Museum, the hubbub, crowd and classic cars caught my eye. The museum was pulling together an exhibition of iconic vehicles used on-screen by 007, his many allies and adversaries. Bond In Motion is a celebration of six decades of 17 iconic 007 vehicles, props, scale models and clips from the films alongside motorcycles, submarines, and more from the Q Branch garage. It opened last week and will run through April 2025.

AMC Hornet “Die Another Day” 1974

I went to opening day. Full disclosure, I’ve never seen a Bond movie. However the exhibit is stunning, the museum spectacular and, unable to see it all, worth a return visit next week when my code name will still be Earthquake.

This was my primary destination for the past six weeks when I would take the Metro from Bethesda to D.C.


On Valentines Day I walked around the White House .
I thought this exhibit looked interesting and opened the door before realizing I was in the Canadian Embassy. The exhibit was interesting. So was the tour! And our neighbors to the north were most gracious.
My Valentine’s Day lunch. Established in 1856, Old Ebbitt Grill is Washington’s oldest saloon  and just steps from The White House. The fish is branzino.

In addition to the Smithsonian Institution with 17 of its museums located in D.C., more than 200 museums, historic homes, small art museums and headquarters of patriotic organizations are contained throughout the DC area.

One photo. Two Marys. The outdoor sculpture terrace of the I.M.Pei-designed East Building of the National Gallery of Art.
From 1909-1910 Theodore Roosevelt and a group of Smithsonian naturalists collected 12,151 natural history specimens including this lion. This lion went on display in April, 1913. Natural History Museum.
These Owl Butterflies love their fermented fruit. Butterfly Pavilion, Natural History Museum

Although it will be impossible to see it all, I rely on the many available policemen and Metro officers for help and advice. Witness the Circulator, a bus with a route on the National Mall going to 14 museums and 13 monuments over and over again. Early into my visit I asked a bus driver for directions. Having no riders, he offered to take me which he did but not before giving me a full on tour with his spiel to include the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and nine other monuments..

Oprah National Portrait Gallery
Civil Rights Icon and U.S. Congressman John Lewis RIP
President Obama
The National Portrait Gallery hosted a family celebration on February 10th for the Lunar New Year. It was wild in a kids-having-fun-sort of way.


My French Fridays friend, Betsy Pollack-Benjamin and I visited Monocacy National Battlefield with its exceptional Civil War Museum. The crucial Battle of Monocracy delayed Confederate forces sent to capture the Nation’s Capital and ultimately forced them to withdraw to Virginia.

I spent a long weekend in Durham with my granddaughter, Emma, who is a grad student in Duke’s School of Medicine. To get there I took my first Amtrak trip from D.C.’s Union Station and thought it was fine.

Durham’s Saturday Farmer’s Market
The Sarah P. Duke Duke University.

Of the 10 things AI suggests I do while visiting a grandchild in graduate school, we did eight. 1)Explore the campus; 2)Sample local cuisine; 3)Stroll through the city; 4)Visit nearby attractions; 5)Share stories/ memories; 6)Help with errands (Hello, Hokas!); 7)Take photos; 8)Enjoy quality time/catching up.

We didn’t 1) Attend a research presentation; 2)Attend a graduation-related event.

At Emma’s book store I picked up The Women by Kristin Hannah to read while traveling back to D.C. I’ve only read guide books this winter. It is beautifully written, more historical reality than fiction. I also lived but lost during the Vietnam era. Thanks to Kristin Hannah for highlighting those brave nurses who saved lives to bring more of our guys home.