A Capital Visit

Talia and Betty standing with a large, colorful bird in between them.
Early Birds

This past weekend, I went to visit my daughter, Talia, who lives in Washington D.C. We had planned this weekend to be together, to make some memories and to have some fun. So, I kissed my handsome husband goodbye and off I went on Southwest Airlines.

I arrived later in the afternoon on a Friday, and I ubered to Talia’s home. There, we ate dinner and relaxed while we made plans for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday morning, we were early birds. After breakfast, we headed out on our feet. Talia’s neighborhood, like much of D.C., is very walkable.

Our first stop was the local library. Talia had requested a book, and we stopped in to pick it up. I am always happy to visit a library.

DC Northeast Library building.
The words on the building say
“Free Public Library.”
Do we really need it to say “Free?”

After the library, we continued on our walk. And wouldn’t you know it, us early birds came upon “Triangle Park” which is a little pocket park where the trees are chock full of bird houses.

Talia and Betty standing by a tree with a birdhouse.
Birdhouse which looks like a castle.

Apparently, Triangle Park Bird Houses is on Instagram. Talia knew that because there was a sign with a little camera on it. But of course, I had to take my own photos, including one of a camper bird house. Or is it a bird house camper? Either way, you knew that one was going in the blog!

Camper birdhouse.
If I was a bird,
this is where I would live.
Talia eating her crepe
at Eastern Market

Before long, we were at our planned destination, Eastern Market, which is open all week long. However, on weekends it expands to outside vendors. The market had just about anything one would want to find at a market – produce, pictures and paintings as well as clothing, curios, and crepes. We indulged in a couple crepes for our lunch and didn’t regret it for an instant. Or even a gram. Ha Ha. Oh, these jokes are so bad!

The market was really busy with lots of vendors and customers. Talia said she had never seen so many vendors there. It could be because we were blessed with a beautiful, sunny day with the peak of the Fall leaves as our backdrop. After walking through most of the outside area of the market, we ubered to our next destination on our day’s agenda, the National Arboretum.

Sign with says, "U.S. National Arboretum."

The National Arboretum is one of our nation’s beautiful treasures. It is 451 acres and has 9.5 miles of winding roads. While we spent most of the afternoon there, we only saw a small portion of all that it has to offer.

Not only was the Arboretum showcasing amazing Fall colors, there was also a festival going on in the Youth Garden. Since we are young at heart and like to be silly, we thought we were more than qualified to attend the event.

In the Youth Garden, we saw stevia and sugar cane – not in a store package, but actually growing in the dirt.

Sugar Cane

We saw butterfiles and honey beehive boxes, and we made buttons from nature.

Monarch Butterfly
Talia sitting on the ground with the honey beehvies boxes in the background.
Talia’s Button

Talia had some kind of “Tarot Reading” with cards about plants – which, of course, was just a fun way to learn and talk about plants. We drank some tea and cider, and we ate some popcorn and candy corn.

Talia and Allie
Obtaining Wisdom from Nature

We sat on a sawed-off tree trunk and counted 100 tree rings. Same age as Grandma Ginny, Talia commented.

Betty and Talia sitting on a large sawed-off tree trunk.

After our fun in the Youth Garden, we meandered across the way, through the meadow, which led us to the “Capitol Columns.” These, we had seen earlier in the day, but from afar.

Columns from Afar

Back when we had arrived at the arboretum, we headed to the Youth Garden. On our way, we walked past a large capital on a base. Here we could see up close, the size, the weight and the ornate and intricate detail of the capital. Each of the columns, that we had seen in a grouping in the distance, was topped with a capital just like the one we were viewing up close.

Capital Up Close

But now, after visiting the Youth Garden and walking through the meadow, we found ourselves among the columns that we had had previously viewed from a distance. These columns had an imposing presence, not only because of their size and stately impression, but also because of their significance in our country’s history.

View of the 22 Capital Columns from a corner in the back.

These “Capitol Columns” were originally part of the United States Capitol building and stood at the backdrop for many of our presidential inaugurations, from Andrew Jackson (1829) to Dwight Eisenhower (1957). These columns stood behind Abraham Lincoln as he was sworn in and became the 16th President of the United States.

Picture of Lincoln's Inauguration from the Smithsonian Institute.
Informational Display
at The National Arboretum

In 1958, the 24 columns were dismantled, making way for a new addition on the east side of the Capitol building. Eventually, 22 of these historic columns were restored and relocated to a site in the National Arboretum where the installation was completed. The site for the restored columns was dedicated in 1990.

Columns with Reflecting Pool

To be surrounded by the beauty of the National Arboretum and to stand among the columns with their stately presence and historical significance is an inspiring experience.

Many times through the years, these columns have ushered in a country’s ambition to reach for better. I pray that tradition for our country endures. I can reach for better, too. We all can.

View looking up at one Column.
Talia thinking Lofty Thoughts

However, any lofty ambitions would have to wait. We had walked over 13,000 steps, and we were tired. So, after viewing the 22 columns, we headed back to Talia’s apartment. Back home, we ate dinner and relaxed. Tomorrow, we had another full day planned, again with an activity related to Abraham Lincoln.

But… it might not be what you think. Any guesses?

Betty and Talia with Capital behind them.


  1. I’ve never had to pay for a library card before moving to Idaho. Here, city taxes pay for the libraries so if your address is outside city limits library cards are not free! We pay $120 a year for a library card. 😳
    Have a great mother-daughter vacation weekend! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great time in DC with your daughter. And, wow what an incredible discovery! Those capital columns are amazing. I love discovering historical artifacts like that. Thanks for sharing and thanks for your great photos!

    I have a guess where you might have gone the second day but I will wait to see if I am correct.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fun day and so many interesting things to see and discover! I love the story about the Capitol columns – I’ve never heard that before, but I’m glad they were preserved and repurposed!

    Liked by 1 person

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