Adventures in National Harbor and Washington, D.C.

Last week, I had the the pleasure of attending WordCamp US, in National Harbor, Maryland.

Photo of Gaylord National Convention Center sign with red flowers in front.

WordCamp US was held at the Gaylord National Convention Center.

This was an enormous venue, and I found myself disoriented quite a few times. However, there was plenty of space and lots of offerings like coffee shops and cocktail bars.

Since I’ll be writing up my experience at WordCamp for work, I won’t be repeating that here.

Around National Harbor

I didn’t spend much too much time exploring National Harbor, mostly walking to and from the convention center to my hotel, which was at the other end of the harbor. I did enjoy my meals at Rosa Mexicano, Bombay Street Food, and some passed appetizers at Succotash.

The WordCamp Social (aka After Party) was at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. It was pretty cool to have the whole place to ourselves!

Photo of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History featuring a globe.

On my last day, I had several hours of free time before my flight home, so I used this time to a take a walking tour around Washington, D.C.

I started my adventure at the Art Museum of the Americas.

I sat and stared at the red painting on the right for quite some time. It was captivating.

My next stop was a tour around the National Mall and some of the monuments.

I decided to head towards the National Gallery of Art, stopping at interesting places on the way.

The next stop was the National Museum of Asian Art, which I really enjoyed.

These are all from an exhibit on Ay-o’s art, called “happy rainbow hell”.

These are part of the Buddhism Meditation Room.

I got a little lost in the National Museum of Asian Art. I ended up on a subfloor that didn’t have any exhibits, and seems to exist to connect various museums. It seems I could have popped over to the National Museum of African Art if I had turned the other way.

Photo of the Smithsonian Castle

Alas, I came out near the Smithsonian Castle, which is temporarily closed.

From here, I made my way to the International Spy Museum.

Photo of the exterior of the International Spy Museum.

This was the only place that wasn’t free. And unfortunately, I didn’t have time to really experience the whole thing, as I only had a hour before I needed to get on my way to the hotel and then to the airport.

This place has a high production value, and reminds me of a well done escape room or even a theme park ride. There’s even an optional a spy mission that you can do as you progress through the museum. It’s worth the price if you’re interested in spy stuff and you have at least 2 hours.

In the end, I ran out of time before making it to the National Gallery of Art. I guess this means I’ll have to go back?

All in all, I had a lovely time in National Harbor and Washington, D.C.

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