Category Archives: Attractions

Spanish Steps of Washington

The Spanish Steps of Washington is a mere fraction of its namesake in Rome, but the Kalorama neighborhood marble oasis is a pleasant distraction and often place to rest. Built in 1911 by architect Robert E. Cook as part of … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

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Cavalry Baptist survives throughout the years

I once took a church group around Penn Quarter from Cavalry Baptist that wanted to know more about their neighborhood. I wanted to learn more about Cavalry Baptist. I’ve seen the brown brick venue peek out along 8th and H … Continue reading

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Police and fire boxes gain new life

I’ll admit not knowing the following story until becoming a tour guide. Like a lot of statues, I’d walk by these call boxes never knowing they were once the lifeline of police and firemen. It’s not often I find superb … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Breaux winery

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Tour guide on vacation – Boston

My first trip after graduating college was Boston. All those history classes made me want to see it. Thirty-four years later, my wife and I returned recently to see it again. Oh, I’ve been to Boston many times for work … Continue reading

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The history of flags by the FBI

Sometimes the government website says it better than we can. Here is the FBI’s website explanation of the history of flags along its building on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. The Grand Union, or Continental Colors, serving from 1775-1777, was first … Continue reading

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Where the gossip grew along Embassy Row

Welcome to the home of the other “Washington Monument” as Alice Roosevelt Longfellow was called. The oldest daughter of president Teddy Roosevelt, she lived 96 years and they were very colorful years. Alice once said, “If you can’t say something … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Mount Vernon

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This old stone house . . .

Georgetown has plenty of old bricks, but this stone home along M and 30th Sts. stands out. That’s because it’s the Old Stone House. Built in 1765, the home is the oldest private home in Washington. The house was built … Continue reading

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Octagon House – when six equals eight

                  I have driven past the Octagon House hundreds of times because my wife worked on the same block for 30 years. I never knew its full story; just that it was … Continue reading

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Where do tour guides go on vacation?

The plan last spring seemed simple: head to New York City for a couple of days I had free in mid-August and see the sites. Who knew it was going to feel like 107 degrees? I know, it was even … Continue reading

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Lunar Bird makes your imagination soar

Like many things in the Hirshhorn Museum’s Sculpture Garden, Lunar Bird is a bit of a mystery. The best guess is it’s an imaginary bird with a symbol of the moon for a head, small wings and thick legs. A … Continue reading

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Alice Roosevelt found in Peacock Alley

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Wordless Wednesday: Not everything’s alive at National Zoo

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I joined Panda Nation

Needing to kill time one day and near the National Zoo, I thought why not drop in. It had been nearly 30 years since I strolled the grounds – where does the time go? — but it was much like … Continue reading

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Volta Bureau remembers Alexander Graham Bell

It has been known as the Bell Carriage House, Bell Laboratory, Volta Bureau and Alexander Graham Bell Laboratory. No matter. The Volta Laboratory is a National Historic Landmark for helping the hearing impaired. Built in 1893 by Charles Summer Tainter … Continue reading

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The Warren Court

Sculptor Phillip Ratner once taught school in Washington for 23 years. Now he’s one of the nation’s more respected multimedia artists. Ratner has five sculptures at the Statue of Liberty, 40 at Ellis Island and others at the Smithsonian, Library … Continue reading

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George Washington’s whiskey is a little rye, uh dry

After beating the British and serving two terms as our president that included putting down the Whiskey Rebellion, George Washington retired to his home Mount Vernon — to make whiskey. In fact, Washington was the nation’s biggest whiskey maker the … Continue reading

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Sometimes attractions are in the bank

You can’t miss the gigantic vault door in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott Washington Convention Center on 9th and F Sts. N.W. The one-time home of Riggs Bank was built in 1891. It was quite the place with vaulted … Continue reading

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