Saturday, April 21, 2012

Smithson Weekend, Part One

I'm taking a breather at home prior to getting ready for this evening's Gala, and figured I would post about the two events I've attended so far.
On Friday evening, I went to a reception at the National Postal Museum. For those of you who have never heard of it, it is not on the Mall with the other museums. Rather, it's next door to Union Station, in the basement of a former post office building. I've been there several times now and it's always fascinating. This time around I was able to see the exhibit "Fire and Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic." It is a wonderful exhibit about the role played by postal workers on both the Hindenburg and Titanic. There are a few artifacts, including some singed mail pieces from the Hindenburg. I also learned that out of 7 million pieces of mail carried on the Titanic, not one piece was recovered.
There was great food:
(This was one of at least six stations; all the food revolved around a Creole theme. Yummy.)

And there's just something special about wandering through a museum with a live string trio as your background music.
(Sorry for the blurry photos... my phone doesn't take the best pictures indoors)

There were some interesting outfits, but mostly it was "business casual".
This outfit was such a stunner; the workmanship on it was amazing. The picture doesn't show the gorgeous details in the fabric, nor can you see the amazing seaming on the sleeves. But I stood there for five minutes chatting with her and (with her permission) lifting up edges and corners and marveling at the construction. And her hat was amazing too.

Another blurry photo... sorry. These were my three favorite outfits from the evening. The dress on the left was much more vividly colored than this photo shows. The coral silk jacket with black edging and matching shell was just gorgeous. And the beige silk pantsuit had a lovely front detail.

The Saturday morning program took place at the National Zoo. We had breakfast (a buffet with all sorts of goodies, including fresh berries I could have eaten by the quart):

I'll say one thing for these Smithson events: they know how to put on a spread.

We then listened to National Zoo Director Dennis Kelly tell us about all the things that are going on at the zoo and its associated facility, the Conservation Center in Front Royal, VA:
Then it was off to see the animals! We started with the lions, and were lucky to see three of the lion cubs -- now "teenagers" -- playing in front of us!

The one on the right kept biting the one on the left and pulling his skin up; we were all waiting for the cub to growl or take a swipe at his brother, but for some reason he just acted like nothing was happening.
Then Daddy showed up to see what the boys were up to:

Part of what they do is "enrichment activities" -- this one involved an empty beer keg.




Of course we paid a visit to the pandas. This one (I think it's the male, but honestly, I can never tell them apart) was enjoying a treat made of fruit bits frozen into a ball.


We saw lots more animals, including the new little baby Howler Monkey, the Fishing Cat, and the elephants. But what elicited the most oohs and aahs and squeals?

A mama duck with her five little balls of duckling fluff, leading them out from a bush and across the path to a pond.

Now I've got a few hours to rest my feet and then it will be time to get ready for the gala! I'll be tweeting from the dinner (@welmoeds), and will also be posting pictures with Instagram, so follow me there as well (User name is "welmoeds"). Hopefully I'll get some good pictures tonight; I'm bringing both my phone and my camera to make sure!

1 comment:

  1. And I was stuck in a two day board meeting...not fair. First Smitson weekend I have missed since we joined

    Her husband

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