Monday, August 30, 2010

Marina City, LEGOs and Lunch

Marina City in real life, taken in January 2009 when we were in Chicago for our friends' Sam and Stacey's wedding:
And in LEGO world:
Up close:

As previously mentioned, Dixon and I made the trek to DC on Friday to see the LEGO exhibit at the National Building Museum, which was super cool. It's not huge, but the LEGO buildings themselves are really impressive. They're intricate and perfectly constructed, taking hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to plan and to build. As my sister said, how cool of a job is LEGO artist/architect? Someone gets to actually do that. And get paid.

Dixon liked seeing the buildings, but he (and all the other kids) were more interested in the room attached to the actual exhibit. It was filled with low stools and benches, along with bins filled with zillions of LEGOs. The idea behind the hands-on part of the exhibit is that kids look at the buildings and then build structures of their own that they can place in an ever-changing LEGO landscape.

What's funny is that the parents accompanying the kids were all building, too. Everyone loves LEGOs.

Poor Dixon had to deal with not only his controlling mother, but also her controlling sister:

In this case, Erin might even be worse than I am, since she's the one in architecture school.

After lunch, we hopped back on the Metro (Dixon's first underground train trip!) to head back to Erin's neighborhood for lunch. We sat outside at a cafe about four blocks from her house, chosen (in part) because it's name, Cafe Saint-Ex, is an homage to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of the Waskom family's favorite book-in-French, Le Petit Prince.

The drinks menu was intruiging, but it was the middle of the day, so we didn't booze it up too much, sticking instead to a beer and a glass of wine. For lunch, I had a mixed green salad with big, chunky raspberries and a squat little piece of fried cheese - really nice all around. Dixon and Erin both had burgers and fries and, I have to admit, they made my salad look a little sad. Fortunately, I was able to eat a quarter of Dixon's burger (and a quarter of his fries). The fries were great - double-fried, I think - and the burger was on an incredible bun that was just a tiny bit sweet.

All in all, a very nice day - perfect weather, easy transportation, great (and fun) art, and a good lunch. Traffic wasn't even that bad! Not that I want to take up that commute, but it's totally worth it for an occasional day trip.

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