Yesterday I returned from Washington, DC, after spending 3 days there for what will probably be my last business trip of 2011. As I mentioned before, I’ve been to Washington many times, mostly on business. However, this was my first time visiting the Capitol during the holidays. After spending a day and a half in meetings, I determined to see something – anything – Christmasy, and not just the decorated tree in the hotel lobby.
First stop, Le Pain Quotidien, a cute little French cafe where my colleagues and I were in search of a snack and something warm to drink before we embarked on our Washington Christmas adventure….
Next, it was about a mile walk to view the National Christmas Tree, standing in front of the White House Ellipse. Although the tree and decorations were a bit underwhelming, it was quite festive to listen to Christmas Carols and watch the toy trains go round and round.
We then headed to a holiday tour of historic homes, which included Anderson House, a beautiful turn-of-the century mansion.
All four of the houses we toured were decked out in period holiday decor, live festive music, and light refreshments. Woodrow Wilson House also showcased an interactive exhibit featuring artifacts from the early 1900s, including an old radio microphone, period clothing, and a vacuum cleaner.
My personal favorite was a photo of King Edward VIII (ie. the English King who abdicated his throne to marry an American divorcee a la King’s Speech)…
As most of you know, I love all things Victorian/Olde English, yet seeing the historic homes made me even more nostalgic for an era that I will never see. It also let me experience Washington in a way I never had, which made my holidays and my business trip seem a little brighter – even without the snow.