Thursday, April 18, 2019

U.S. Botanic Garden: The National Garden

Date of Visit: April 18, 2019

We didn't plan to visit the U.S. Botanic Garden today, but when we were out for a walk to play Pokemon Go (trying to catch Shiny Buneary), we ended up here and decided to explore the outside part of the U.S. Botanic Garden, which is called The National Garden. Mik thinks we may have done it before, but I don't think we have and in the end he thinks we maybe were going to explore it once with his old wheelchair and we quickly turned back around because of the gravel paths.

The gravel paths aren't the best, but they aren't the worst either. After doing it today, it does sound familiar that we tried to do it before and gave up because the casters on his last chair were horrible and it would've been a pain to go through here. Basically, it's somewhat thick in parts, but it does have an interesting set up with metal circles that appears to maybe at least help keep it evenly thick, which I guess kind of helps versus the mostly thinly graveled paths with random thick spots and potholes we came across in the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden on a walk last week.

There are steps to get up to a seating area in the southwest corner of the garden. To the left there is a path, which is actually the best path in the garden.

Only problem with it is that it a little of a bump to get up on it, but otherwise it is a smooth path as the gravel is like cemented together in this area.

Mik also enjoyed the wide bridge near the amphitheatre area.

The small one in the middle of the garden he was not so much a fan of. It was possibly wide enough to roll across, but definitely not an adventure he wanted to attempt. Going on the stone path up to it was worthwhile, though, as we enjoyed watching the birds in the water there.

Overall we found The National Garden a nice area to go through. Not quite as much as we like the sculpture gardens (Hirshhorn and National Gallery of Art), but only because those have smoother paths, although at least the gravel isn't as thick as it can get in spots on the middle paths of the National Mall.

Destination Info:
United States Botanic Garden
100 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20001

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument

Date of Visit: April 4, 2019

The entrance to the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument is at the back of the house from Second Street. There is a clear sign pointing up the stairs for entrance and the lift would be not be too hard to notice down a path to the left of the stairs except that the next door office building's accessible entrance sign happens to be very visible right past the stairs. Thus, we were initially confused on how to get up to the entrance.

The lift has a sign with a phone number you can call for access. We didn't even try it and just had Dad go upstairs and ask for the ranger to operate it. The ranger was really friendly and helpful. The only issue currently is that once you get up you have to go around to a side entrance, which is where they are currently doing some restoration work. The workers were really good about moving the ladder and getting out of the way, so we could get in (and later out), though. This entrance also even has an automatic button for opening.

We started our visit by watching the short introductory film about the National Women's Party, who used this house as their headquarters. We then proceeded to the main exhibit space on the first floor, which is accessed via another lift.

The first floor has three rooms of exhibits on the women's right to vote and equality movements. There is also a small gift shop. None of us went up to the second level, so not sure what we missed, but even just visiting the first floor was a worthwhile visit and the knowledgeable park rangers help interpret the site's significance very well.

One of favorite things was actually the stained glass in the entry.

Destination Info:
Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument
144 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002