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Day 42, Saturday, July 28, 2012: 
Today was another perfect day. I woke up and went to the Kreeger Museum, one of D.C.’s hidden treasures. It was once a home owned by the Kreegers, who designed it with the specific purpose that it would one day be open to the public to display their extensive art collection. It was amazing. They were friends with Vincent van Gogh and his wife! There were many paintings by him throughout the house, and in the study were an original copy of his memoirs and a letter from van Gogh to Mr. Kreeger thanking him for his hospitality. Also among the museums treasures was a room of Monet and Renoir, paintings by Sisley, Picasso, Rodin, Chagall, Mondraain, Degas, van Gogh, Pissarro, Cezanne, Bonnard, Still, Joan Miro, Kandinsky, and an extensive sculpture garden. The home is in the middle of a street between breath-taking mansions–and the trip to get there is beyond worth it.

After my visit there, I went to President Woodrow Wilson’s house in D.C.. Like the Kreeger Museum, it is one of D.C.’s hidden treasures. The house is very beautiful and filled with so much history from one of our great presidents and the man who first had the idea for the League of Nations which later led to the founding of the UN.

After visiting his home, I walked to the Philip’s Collection. It was such an amazing art museum. They have modern art as well as classics by Degas, Pissaro, Monet and Renoir. I loved seeing the amazing paneling and grand fireplace in the home also–they had a room that was moved from Europe, and it was stunning. The ceiling was elaborate with bright colors and the paneling was out of amazing, beautiful wood.

Next, I walked across the street to the Anderson House. I almost died with joy when I walked into this AMAZING house. The couple that built it, like the Kreeger’s built it to entertain and to showcase the grand things they owned. The ballroom–I don’t even have words for how breathtaking it is. It is beautiful. They have stunning chandeliers,
then there is a side room with a grand stair-case. At the landing, there is a massive painting of the coronation of a Spanish queen. It is amazing. The house has a French and English parlor–both just absolutely stunning. There is a room that is filled with church pews (used for meetings) that was taken from an old church in Europe and installed in the home. They had a coat of arms designed for their family, which is displayed throughout the house. The grand hallway and dining room upstairs–there really aren’t words for the amazing tapestries on the walls and the china, table and serving ware they used. It was a house that was designed by taking photographs and sketches of places they’d seen around Europe–they wanted a little Hampton Court Palace, oriental influence and other castles in one building. It was so awesome.

After I left there, I headed to National Mall and went to the Freer & Sackler gallery–they have the Peacock Room on display–it was even more amazing in person than how awed I had been studying about it in my museum classes; they also have some of the most intricate oriental art I’ve ever seen. Then I went to the African Art Museum, and I enjoyed it just as much. Both museums have amazing hidden treasures, and are totally worth the visit.

That night, I met a friend for dinner at Ming’s again and then we went and saw Spiderman–totally recommend this also. It was so good!

Basically, it was a perfect Saturday.

Day 43, Sunday, July 29, 2012: Today was a wonderful day as well.  I woke up and ventured over to the Newseum, D.C.’s newest museum. It was very well-done and extremely interesting. I highly recommend going there–even though it is one of the few places that you must pay for in D.C., it is completely worth it. There were fantastic exhibits. My personal favorite was the one about the different FBI cases that have been huge. I even saw a few photographs by one of my photography teachers in that exhibit! The other super cool thing was this section of the Berlin Wall.

That afternoon I spent at Merriweather Post’s home, Hillwood Estate. It was truly one of the most underrated gems in D.C.. Ms. Post purchased the mansion and re-did it to house her extensive French and Russian collections. She owned things from Marie Antoinette and Catherine the Great. I was in heaven when I walked into the home’s foyer. The walls were covered with panelling and gold plating. There was a beautiful rock crystal chandelier above the doorway. Facing inward from the doors, guests were greeted with cabinets that were built for Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI–they were grand and had amazing detailing in the carvings. To the right was a grand staircase, where on the walls was a huge portrait of Catherine the Great and other portraits of Romanov monarchs and family members.

The house was filled with fine china that had been owned by the two great women. There was an original painting of King Louis XVI’s goodbye with his family before he was taken to be executed and other original paintings owned by the royal family. In the hallways were vases, clocks and paneling that had been brought from the homes of these and other great leaders from that time. It was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever visited. I stayed in that house to take photographs and to just keep looking for over three hours. It was amazing. It was so fun to actually see things I had been reading about in the many novels I’ve read about Marie Antoinette this summer.

After I finished viewing the home and breathtaking gardens, I headed to the National Zoo to see if any animals were out. I saw some cheetahs, elephants, zebras, gazelles and a few animals I am not really sure what they were. After I went to the zoo, I hit a few bookstores in Dupont Circle to get a few books since I was almost finished with Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn GirlAs scandalous as it was, it was a fantastic book. I finally found the next Kate Emerson book–don’t worry, I will probably be stalking Barnes and Noble August 7th for her release of her next book. They’re amazing…I HIGHLY recommend ALL of them to anyone. I finished the night reading my book (sorry I’ve been bad about posting, I’ve gotten really excited about reading about people from countries I will see this next year, and even live near some of the castles they went to on progress during Henry Tudor’s days).

Overall, this weekend was absolutely perfect. For more entertaining things and cool pictures, follow me on Twitter @amyestone12