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Trip Report A Mini Trip to Dumbarton Oaks

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The art group to which I belong took a nice morning trip to Dumbarton Oaks ("DO") in Washington, D.C. recently.

Here's the site for your information: http://www.doaks.org/

We left by chartered bus around 9:15 from the Annapolis Mall area and pulled up to DO at around 10 and were given a quick escorted tour (we made a reservation for this). Unfortunately, we were too early for the gift shop. What were they thinking?! Originally a farm, it was purchased in the early 1900s by Mr. and Mrs. Bliss. Imagine a farm in D.C.!

The grounds are lovely and the home is spectacular. Part of the grounds were purchased by an Embassy and part were donated to D.C. to become part of Rock Creek Park. The rest was donated to Harvard University and it is now a research center for much of the pre-Columbus art work and relics from South America. Mr. Bliss was an Ambassador to Argentina, hence the collection. An addition to the house was built to contain the collection in temperature-controlled environment.

There is a great room with a piano owned by---hmmm, senior moment--Paderewski? I'll check. Also Stravinsky wrote 2 concerti in honor of his friendship with the Bliss couple. Today, concerts take place in this room.

A differet docent walked us around the gardens. A special art installation with 70,000 crystals hanging from a "cloud" of chicken wire was roped off. A tennis court was turned into a formal garden. There was an outdoor swimming pool that looked very inviting.

After the tour, the bus took us to Wisconsin Ave. and Macomb St. Some of us ate at Le Zinc and enjoyed it very much. Others had pizza at Two Amys and declared them great. Bus picked up at 2:00 and we were home by 3:00.

The homes in the general area are gorgeous. I'm not sure about the parking situation though. FYI, DO is only a block or 2 from Wisconsin Ave but quite a few blocks to Macomb St.

It's really worth a look especially when azaleas are in bloom.

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