Day 4: October 6, 2014
A Little Bit of Mall

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Lincoln's Waffle Shop caught my eye yesterday and, being almost directly across the street from Ford's Theater, was a natural choice for breakfast when I returned to the theater. Inside, tables and counters are arranged for maximum occupancy and, although very busy, it was a half-notch below packed. Quick friendly service and decent food at decent priced. Given the chance, Mr. Lincoln probably would have eaten here.

Visiting Ford's Theater is free but a ticket is required for timed entry. The "tour" starts in the basement. museum. I was here yesterday but it was easy to find things I'd missed. There's the knife with which Booth stabbed Major Rathbone in his struggle to escape and Doctor Mudd's medical kit. The quilt was made as a fundraiser for the 1864 Sanitation Fair and contains the signatures of prominent individuals. Lincoln is in the center with Grant and Sherman immediately above. In the theater itself, I made a visit to the balcony before taking a seat near the front for the ranger presentation. The excellent presentation provided a picture of the assassination along with the events that preceded and followed. One thing I learned is that, with the exception of the exterior brick walls, the theater is a reproduction of what was here a century and a half ago.

Entry to the house where Lincoln died comes with the ticket. I roamed the streets while most of the long line worked its way through the door then joined a short line to see something I had not seen yesterday. Much like the theater, the exterior walls are original but the furnishings are not. The house also contains its own museum. Almost anything can become a memento and it should be no surprise that things like the soldering irons used to seal Lincoln's coffin were saved and marked. The museum connects to the four story Center for Education and Leadership with displays on Lincoln's legacy and more. Descent fro the top floor is on a spiral stairway wrapped around a 34 foot tower of books.

From the theater, I walked south to visit a couple of sites for the first time. Until a former coworker remarked on how much he enjoyed the National Portrait Gallery I had never thought of visiting there and may not have even known it existed. I assumed that photography was not allowed in the gallery and I did none although I've since learned that it isn't entirely prohibited. The middle picture is of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard associated with the Gallery's Courtyard Café. I thought it just about the most serene spot I've seen in the city. The third picture is of the National Archives where the photography policy is very clear: Not no way! Not no how!

I doubt I'm the only one who feels the need to snap pictures of the capitol and Washington Monument when walking across the mall at any spot even remotely near midpoint. I think I might even be a little suspicious of anyone who didn't.

Another thing on my "first time" list was the remote portion of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport. Recalling that there was a free shuttle from the museum on the mall, that's where I headed. My memory was correct but very out of date. The friendly attendant explained that now that a Metro connection was available, that was the way to get there. She also did some quick math and estimated that I might be able to get there about fifteen minutes before closing. Tomorrow would definitely be the better choice.

I checked to make sure the 1903 Wright Flyer was still there and being taken care of and I looked over a Lunar Lander that I may or may not have seen before. Then, after snapping a shot of the Spirit of St. Louis, I headed back to the hotel.

Once I was "home", I didn't feel like going very far for dinner so decided this was the time to try out this restaurant associated with the hotel. Ollie's Trolley is a place known for its decor and its 'burgers, fries, and shakes and I agree with all of that.

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