Friday, April 14, 2006

Washington DC

Photograph: The tidal basin and the Washington Monument, Waschington DC, USA.Photograph: Cherry tree in blossom at Arlington National Cemetary, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

We were in Washington DC at the height of the the cherry blossom bloom this past week. While the fragrant blossoms were spectacular, so were the number of people that squeezed into the walkway surrounding the tidal basin. This is peak season in the capital district; the roads were grid locked most of the weekend and the monuments were overwhelmed by school groups swarming from endless lines of tour busses. We found the best time to visit the monuments was very, very early in the morning.

This was our first visit to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. It's a meandering collection of granite and water features with some of Roosevelt's most memorable statements engraved into the stone. We were both surprised at what a moving experience this turned out to be for us. Among the many school children and tourists, there were a few other couples who obviously found the monument equally moving. FDR was a great leader who knew well the cost of war and was horrified by the prospect, but was nevertheless burdened with the task at hand. At once we recognized that greatness is possible, yet how rare it is in our current leaders and lawmakers.

DC may have just eclipsed Sante Fe as our premier food destination. We had three outstanding meals: CityZen (Chef Eric Ziebold of the French Laundry), Cafe Atlantico (The tasting bar is clearly the way to go here), and Zaytinya (great food, although sometimes the service suffered a bit). All set new standards for creative preparation and presentation of the very best ingredients prepared perfectly.