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Trip Report A Mini-trip to DC for Potato Seminar

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Had a fun interlude at the US Botanic Gardens (USBG). Owners of the Potato Museum presented science projects for children (which at 64 I am still) including how to make plastic from potatoes.

But first, some firsts for me that I'd like to share:

1. The Suitland Parkway (rte. 337 and a left turn off Pennsylvania Ave. just before the Beltway) is a nice way to go to DC on a weekend a.m. if you live in the southern Anne Arundel County, Md. area. DC is about 42 miles from my home and it only took 38 minutes to get into the city. I passed signs to the Suitland metro station-am told that's a great way to go to baseball game. DH and I usually took Rte. 50 which became New York Ave. and he always bemoaned the lack of a pretty drive into our Nation's Cap.

2. I ended on South Capitol Street. Google directs one to turn left on 1st St. SW to get to the USBG but I missed it (googling at the Capitol) and ended up on 395 S. Just got off at the first exit and back-tracked.

3. Leaving, I tried to go back to 1st St and ended up on 395 again and again going south so took an exit and found signs pointing north, I ended up in the 3rd St. tunnel that meets New York Ave. and, although more north than I needed to be, a straight shot to the Beltway on route 50. If you wish to get out of DC going due-east, find L Street and you'll be fine.

4. If you are standing in the driveway of the Cap. building, with your back to the Mall, USBG is on the right. If you like plants, it's a neat place and has tours (please check online). The outdoor gardens are lovely and have some tables for picnics. No café there. Neat toy trains come out during the holidays. You can get on their mailing list for activities.

5. Also, there is a horse-shoe of parking spaces with signs that sternly say they are for special permits only. You may park there on the weekends. I believe this is Maryland Ave.-will check.

I was about an hour early so walked 10 minutes to the Indian Museum for lunch. It being the closest place for food according to the USBG folks. The café is a smallish cafeteria but with separate sections for the various tribe groups. For almost $18.00, I had some rice, 2 squares of pork bellies (never had before) and a bottle of iced tea. Very expensive, IMHO, but good. My choices were gluten free or I would have tried other things. Pretty view to fountain outside.

So back to USBG and the Potato man was very entertaining, albeit disorganized. One of his most fun props was an apron showing his digestive system. A hot water bottle was the stomach and the large intestines were fabric which he unfurled and his wife/helper walked around the room with to show how long the trip was from beginning to end. He also passed a piece of potato plastic (liquid potato starch, vinegar, glycerin). He also put the dreaded packing peanuts (corn starch ones) into water along with some regular clear plastic and weren't we amazed to find that the peanuts dissolved in water. Which do you want in the land fill, eh? He suggested that potatoes have more vitamin C than oranges and that, if you had some dairy, you could get enough to live on with potatoes.

I didn't stick around to shoot a potato gun, make a slice of potato float, etc., but did look at the views in the microscopes. Again, look on-line if you are interested. All sorts of activities going on each month. Thus ends the mini trip.

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