Tuesday, December 19, 2023
Narnia Road Trip Day 5 began early. After loading the car and eating our Hampton Inn breakfast, we took the Metro to the Library of Congress. Gregg and I had never been there, which seems strange now since we both lived in the DC Metropolitan area for at least ten years.
Library Card Holders – for Library of Congress!
The public area opens at 10:00 and we had tickets to enter at 10. We arrived at 9:00 and, thanks to my Mardi’s tip, went to the Madison Building to apply for a library card. A half hour later (OK, so we putzed slowly and took pit stops because once done, we had to go back outside until 10:00,) Gregg and I are officially Library of Congress Reader Card carriers for the next 2 years.
Library of Congress
I had no idea that the Library of Congress was housed in several buildings. I guess it makes a lot of sense, though. The building we were to tour was across the street, the Jefferson Building. It is old and beautiful. The entrance was where the horse-drawn carriages used to drop off and pick up people. The wind whipped through that corridor so we were huddled together, trying to stay warm for 20ish minutes until the doors opened. I thought there might be a stampede but no patrons were hurt trying to get to warmth.
The inside of the building is breathtaking. Mosaics decorated the walls and ceilings. Quotes and sayings were below windows. There was a large Christmas tree with “book” ornaments from each state. And we saw the famous reading room from the viewing balcony. We could have gone into the room, but there was a very long line so we passed.
There is a Gershwin exhibit for Ira and George Gershwin. Did you know that George was also an artist? I had no idea.
Once we had exhausted all the things of interest (the children’s reading room.is closed on Tuesdays so we sadly missed that,) we returned to the hotel via Metro, got our car, and headed “to Narnia and the north!” Well, at least Pittsburgh and the north.
Next Stop: Pittsburgh
We continued listening to A Horse and His Boy. I think we are close to the end. I began crocheting a lavender cat lovie for Jaelynn.
The further north we went, the colder the temps got, and we finally saw snow on the mountains in the distance as well as along the sides of the roads. Ladybug was quite excited and pleased. Although, it wasn’t thick enough to completely cover the grass.
Doug said Markleysburg may have gotten 4″ of snow. The schools had early release on Monday and no school today. We pray it sticks around for us to see and play in tomorrow!
In Pittsburgh, we went to “The Strip District” to eat. (It’s not what it sounds like – there are many shops and restaurants there.) We went to Coop deVille, an unusual restaurant with a walk-up window to order food, a coffee shop, a bar, and lots of vintage arcade games like Tetras, Frogger, and Donkey Kong.
Now that our bellies were full, we checked into the Embassy Suites hotel. The registration desk is on the 25th (top) floor. Interesting! Our room is on the 24th floor.
We evaluated what to wear and added more layers. The we walked a few blocks to the Christmas Market. It is several dozen or more small wooden booths, reminiscent of European Christmas Markets. Each sold something such as felted items, Polish Pottery, Russian Nesting Dolls, jewlery, and food. A “stage” hosted a lady singing Christmas songs.
From there we walked a block over to the outdoor ice skating rink with a huge Christmas tree in the middle. Jaelynn has been anxious to try ice skating and she wanted someone to do it with her. Both of Gregg’s Pittsburgh nieces were unavailable. So, against our better judgment, Gregg and I were the oldest people on the rink. I went around once, then stood in one place taking pictures and watching Ladybug. She likes to roller blade and that skill translated easily to ice skating. She quickly became comfortable and enjoyed it enough, she didn’t seem to mind the cold weather.
The Christmas tree was fun to watch with it’s ever-changing light show synchronized to music. The atmosphere was festive, joyful, and a little magical as the lights reflected off of the glass buildings on all four sides of the rink.
Back at the hotel, Ladybug said this was her favorite activity from this trip.
The alarm is set for 8:00. Sleeping in! Yay! I keep falling asleep while writing this so I’ll add a few pictures and update you again tomorrow.
PS – I apologize that the “new blog post” emails are not being sent out. I have no idea what the issue is and will look into it once back i n Florida.