Tuesday, May 10, 2011

National Arboretum

Our Opinions on the Arboretum
The National Arboretum is a nice place to go if you want to see dead flowers and get terribly lost. Both of these things happened to us. After a traffic-filled, forty minute drive through the city, we missed the tiny Arboretum sign telling us where to turn. We had to drive twenty minutes towards Bladensburg and got lost again on South Dakota Avenue. It was awesome. We finally turned around and found the arboretum entrance only to be greeted by overgrown grass, weeds and empty parking lots. The place is pretty spread out, so we had to drive from one flower collection to another. The azalea signs excited us, but we were disappointed when we found they were all dead.

Beautiful brown Azaleas

The only cool part was the Capitol Columns which were not even that great. Apparently, both Andrew Jackson and Dwight D. Eisenhower's inaugurations were held in front of these columns which were moved from the city and put in the Arboretum. There were two families with young kids who were enjoying themselves at the columns and reflection pool. We talked to the mother and she said she tries to bring her kids to the Arboretum a couple times each spring.

Capitol Columns

We were ready to leave when we stumbled upon a herb garden. It was mostly brick and there were only a few potted plants. We wish we visited the Botanical Gardens instead of the unkempt Arboretum. But our terrible adventure doesn't end there. We were only a little lost when we found ourselves at the arrivals terminal of National Airport. Mind you, the Arboretum is located in D.C., nowhere near the airport. We don't regret our trip to the Arboretum, because we can warn you all to not waste your time.

Oops

I thought it was great................ not.
- Natalie

Driving sucked.
- Haley

I have more flowers in my backyard.
- Mishta

Background
Location: 24th and R Sts., NE, Washington, DC
The National Arboretum is a large botanical garden in the city filled with many different species of trees and flowers. It was established in 1927 and is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Arboretum is so unique because it's a beautiful 446-acre park located only 2 miles from the Capitol. There has been controversy over the past year surrounding the arboretum's decision to remove their azalea and boxwood collections due to budget cuts. There are even a few organizations raising money to save the azaleas and boxwoods (http://savetheazaleas.org/). However, the arboretum has recently decided to suspend their decision to remove the flowers because of the chaos it created.
More Information: http://www.usna.usda.gov/index.html

Admission Price: FREE
Time: 8 am to 5 pm daily 
Location: Washington, DC 
Transportation: Metro accessible from Stadium Armory (Blue/Orange Line) and then Metrobus B-2
Our Rating: ★☆

Nationals Game

Our Opinions of the Game
We had so much fun at the Nats game yesterday! The metro ride was only 25 minutes, and the trains were full of fans going to the game. The walk from the Navy Yard stop was only two minutes, and there were vendors selling cheap refreshments, hot dogs, and Nats gear. We bought our tickets there which was really easy. We walked up to an automatic ticket machine and bought tickets that were only $10! Our seats were pretty high up, but we could still see the action really well. The new Nats stadium is built so that the majority of the seats have a great view of the game. The game was pretty intense too, since the Nats had lost the last three games in the week to the Marlins. Also, the Florida Marlins are notorious for beating the Nats at home. We made six runs in the first inning, with both Ivan Rodriguez and Jason Marquis getting two runs each. This historic inning was only the second time the Nats have scored six or more runs in the first inning. 


The view of the diamond from our seats


I had a great time cheering up high and yelling "Here we go, boys!" at the players. I got a little dizzy at first since our seats were so high up. Maybe it was altitude sickness. We also ran into my best bud from elementary school who was there with a friend. The Nats game is obviously a great pastime for teens! 
- Natalie 


I didn't know if I would enjoy the game, since baseball isn't my favorite sport, but I ended up having an awesome time. I found my favorite player - outfielder Roger Bernadina - and went crazy every time he caught a fly ball even though Mishta and Natalie thought it was a little embarrassing.  Although we were in section 405, getting there on crutches was really easy.  Elevators were easily accessible and they were quite speedy!
- Haley


I can't believe I've never been to a Nats game before this Sunday! The weather was beautiful which made the game even more enjoyable. I finally got to eat Ben's Chili Bowl, which I highly recommend everyone try. No, but seriously, don't leave the stadium until you get a bowl of that chili- you won't regret it! I will most definitely be attending more games this spring and summer. 
- Mishta



video
Singing during the 7th inning stretch


Background
Location: 1500 South Capitol St., SE Washington, DC 20003
The Washington Nationals, or the “Nats” are a baseball team in the eastern division of Major League Baseball. They played their first three seasons in the RFK Stadium in D.C. but then switched venues when the Nationals Park was built in Southeast D.C. in 2008. The franchise started off as the Montreal Expos in 1969, when they first joined the league. In 2005, they moved to Washington D.C. and have been there ever since. In the MLB there are two leagues—the American League and the National League. The Nationals are in the National League in the East division. Within this division, the Nats are currently ranked 4th with a record of 16-18. The Nationals are one of two teams in the league that have never been to the World Series. From some of the seats in the stadium, spectators can even catch a glimpse of the Washington Monument and the Capitol building. The Stadium has 23 seating zones, and 3,300 of those seats are available for $10 or less. Go Nats!
More information: http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=was.

Sitting in section 405--not a lot of people, but a lot of fun!


Admission Price: Nosebleed seats- $10
Time: Game time
Location: Nationals Park
Transportation: Metro Accessible from Navy Yard Station (Green Line)
Our Rating: ★★★★★