Posted in WashingtonDC

Christmas in DC

The Capitol Christmas Tree.

This was our second and last Christmas in DC. There was no snow, of course, and it was 50 degrees most of this week, so it practically felt like spring. Sadly, it looks like Geneva is getting similar weather. Even though it’s SWITZERLAND, Geneva is actually at the base of the mountains and is only 1,230 feet in elevation. So it doesn’t snow there nearly as much as I’d like. But I guess it makes getting to work easier, and at least you’re not too far from snow.

One big change from the DC holidays last year: the government is open. Twelve months ago on this day I was one week into our four-week government furlough. Happily we did get both Christmas Eve and Christmas day off this year. And I took Monday off, so my son and I had five whole days to spend together.

On Saturday we just relaxed and lazed around the house. But on Sunday evening we met some friends and went downtown to check out some of the holiday art installations. I think I can safely speak for both of the adults when I say that we were underwhelmed.

The first stop was “Light Yards” at the Yards Park. The Yards used to be part of the Washington Navy Yard and was redeveloped into commercial and recreational space with a decent park along the Anacostia River. The exhibit was free and parking was only $2.50, which blew my mind. But we thought there were going to be art pieces all along the waterfront, but it turned out to be just one…and it wasn’t particularly holiday themed. It was still cool looking, and the kids liked it, but we probably wouldn’t have bothered if we’d known ahead of time.

Light Yards at the Yards Park.

From there we decided to cruise over to “Georgetown Glow” and see if their production was any better. It wasn’t. There was more of it…but the word glow was very misleading. We saw three installations, and only one of them was self-illuminated. The other two had spotlights shining on them and could’ve been any piece of art anywhere. But Georgetown itself is always cute, and we stopped into Luke’s Lobster for a beer and some lobster rolls. Yum!!

Overhead art at “Georgetown Glow.”

On Monday, A and I went back downtown to catch a 3:00 performance of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re quite famous for their elaborate stage shows…lots of light, lasers, TV screens, fog, fire…fake snow. They’re also a ‘90s head-banging, Christmas-themed hair band, which is really entertaining to watch. 🙂

It was my son’s first concert, and it was supposed to last 2.5 hours…I figured he’d make it about an hour. He lasted 45 minutes but gave me an extra 15 since we’d arrived late. I could’ve stayed the whole time…SO much fun.

Before we hit the concert we came down early to find parking…for $27 (much closer to what I’ve come to expect in DC)…and to see the Capitol Christmas Tree. The Capitol Tree is also pretty famous. It even has its own website, Facebook page, fancy 18-wheel delivery truck, and tree tracker, so you can see where it is in its journey from the National Forest to the Capitol lawn. This year’s tree was a Blue Spruce from the Carson National Forest in New Mexico.

The Capitol Tree being loaded onto it’s fancy truck (photo by Roberto E. Rosales for the Albuquerque Journal).

On Christmas Eve we had some friends that we worked with in Iceland over for drinks and snacks. And on Christmas Day, my son actually slept in until 7:30am, which was a gift in itself. I also stayed up ridiculously late watching the new season of Lost in Space. So a good time was had by all. I hope your holidays were merry as well!

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