Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wild Releases #1141 – #1144

The theme of this year's convention was "Choose Your Own Adventure," so I picked up some books from the Local Interest book buffet, grabbed my umbrella for the delightful rainy weather, jumped on the Metro, and jumped off in D.C. 

My first stop was Ford's Theatre. Ford's Theatre and I have a love-hate relationship. I have tried to go there several times on my previous trips to D.C., but it has been closed for renovations of some sort or another every time. I did manage to get inside once, but it was literally seven minutes before it closed for the day, so I still longed to take a proper tour. Once again, I was denied. This time, Ford's Theatre was closed for a performance, and when it would be open for tours again, I'd be about the 2000th person in line behind busloads of teenagers who were already queued. *sigh* Maybe next time.

Disappointed once again, I headed back to the Metro station, dropping off David Baldacci's "The Camel Club" on a window ledge outside the main door of Madame Tussaud's, which was on the way. Next on my agenda was lunch at the National Museum of the American Indian, where a plethora of BookCrossers were scheduled to meet. On my way there, I passed the Library of Congress Madison Building, where I left "Murder at the Library of Congress," by Margaret Truman, in the catalog of events box shortly before Noon. When I arrived at the museum, I was lucky to meet Ri, azuki, and Ixion outside so we found our way to the café and enjoyed a delicious meal.

After lunch, I headed to the Library of Congress Jefferson Building. I passed the U.S. Botanic Garden on my way there, and managed to leave "Forty Signs of Rain," by Kim Stanley Robinson, on one of its outside benches. I wasn't the only BookCrosser who made use of D.C.'s benches: As I made my way to the Library of Congress, I passed a number of benches that were adorned with books in Ballycumber release bags. Not to be outdone, I left Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" on a lamp post outside the Jefferson Building before heading inside. And what an inside! It is breathtaking with all its marble and mosaics and stained glass and air and light, even on a dreary rainy day. I wandered around a bit and then sat on one of the benches lining the walls just taking it all in.

My last stop of the day was the U.S. Capitol Building—a new adventure for me—which is directly across the street from the Library of Congress. There is an underground tunnel connecting the buildings so the members of Congress don't have to expose themselves to D.C.'s weather or traffic, but I decided to take the long way around. The Capitol Building tour was fascinating and so well organized and orchestrated. I wish we had been allowed to linger as long as we liked in the rotunda. There is so much to see and so much history to absorb, I could have spent hours there.

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