On Friday, Mom and I had a picnic at Lafayette Park, a park adjacent to the White House (photo). We sat on the grass as we marveled at the number of tourists flocking to take photos at the gates of the White House. Indeed, July is a busy, touristy month in DC. It was a nice, breezy afternoon, so we decided to walk around the city. We took photos at the Washington Monument, explored fossils at the Museum of Natural History, fought our way through the crowd visiting the Smithsonian Castle, and joined the festivities at the Smithsonian's Folk Life Festival featuring Texas and Bhutan at the DC Mall.
At the Texas tent (it was huge), a band played country music while the dance floor filled up easily with couples. Of course, we just tapped our feet to the music. Soon, the enticing aroma of good ol' Texas barbecue saturated the air. The smell was heavenly, and tempting as it maybe to eat again, we decided to visit the Bhutanese tent instead. The Bhutanese showcase was impressive; it was filled with paintings and different works of art from Bhutan including a colorful sand mandala. There were monks demonstrating clay sculpture (photo), the process of color and paint preparation from natural/organic materials, and cooking Bhutanese recipes. Unfortunately, I found their taste too spicy.
Overall, it was a fun weekend, as Mom and I shopped at the Amish owned Lancaster County Dutch Market on Saturday, and haggled prices at the Bethesda flea market earlier today. After going through a disheartening experience six months ago, this is the first time I feel happy again.