Last week the Thursday field trip was a visit to the U.S. Botanic Garden, just south of the Capitol on Capitol Hill. It was the maiden voyage of the new minivan into the city, and I lucked out with a close - and roomy! - metered spot, phew.
We came here with Ed in January when they had a massive miniature village & trains set up everywhere, and it was magical. This time it was a simpler, and less crowded, pleasure, but still a pleasure to wander through room after room of plants representative of different ecosystems and climates.
Everyone took turns looking at the map to decide where to go next.
In the west gallery was an interactive "Plants and Culture" exhibit, where we spent the most time. This table taught about scents, how they're extracted, and where they're used.
This one taught about plants and cultural rituals, like henna for tattooing, tabacco for smoking, coffee and chocolate for drinking.
And this column told about plants whose names are used for people names, like this one:
When we were done, it was raining outside, so we had to scrap our plans for a Capitol Hill picnic lunch. But since we had 30 minutes left on the meter, and a room-on-wheels, we sat in the van and had our picnic there. The girls fell asleep on the way home and I didn't even get lost.