Washington National Cathedral, DC
Sunday March 6, 2011 3:00-4:30pm
Cost: $13.50/person (half price through Goldstar)
Highlights of the tour:
- Whenever the tour guide said, "buttress" or "gablet" (I have found another unacceptable word here)
- Tanti falling asleep in the Bethlehem chapel and Dilettante Amy thinking that she was so moved that she was experiencing a moment of quiet reflection and possibly, conversion
- Dilettante Kathleen then forgetting the word "narcoleptic" to describe Dilettanti and claiming that she was a "necrophiliac"
- Stone carvers and craftsmen who worked on the Cathedral have a great sense of humor
- When the tour guide explained that decorative elements on the ceiling are called "boss stones" Dilettantes Amanda, Kathleen and guest Dilettante Lisa all asked simultaneously, "The mighty, mighty, boss stones?"
- Finding out that Helen Keller's ashes are buried at the Cathedral. (When asked what her relationship was and why she was buried there, the tour guide said that he did not know and then a Dilettante-who-shall-remain-nameless mentioned that Helen mistakenly thought it was her family's crypt...)
- Dilettante Amanda trying to get our attention to point out Woodrow Wilson's crypt that we were tiptoeing by while a service was in session and we were trying to be extra quiet and saying in a loud whisper, "Woody....Woody...WOODY!!!"
- The fact that there is (no kidding) a Darth Vader carved into one of the pinnacles. They had a contest toward the end of construction where school kids got to submit ideas for design -- and Darth Vader was one of the winning entries.
We did get a ton of great information from our tour guide and learned stories behind all of the different sculptors and carvers involved in creating this gorgeous cathedral (with an intense, almost stalker-like focus on Constantine some-last-name-that-sounds-like-syphilis). Construction on the Cathedral was begun in 1907, had to stop three times (World Wars I and II; the Great Depression) and was finished in 1990. There are still some finishing touches being done (stained glass, mosaic work) and it is truly breathtaking.
Dinner at Two Amys pizzeria followed. Of the five of us, only Lisa and I were drinking, as we were not part of Club PMT (pregnant, Muslim, in Training...)
While researching libations, Lisa and I found the wine descriptions amusing...one wine was described as "brawny and self-restrained." As it is tough to decide between that and the "jocular, approachable" varietal, she asked the waiter for a recommendation. He was slightly built and joked that he would go for the "brawny and self-restrained" wine as it was most like him. We laughed. We laughed again (through our tears) as we realized the "self-restrained" part was also not true. He had flatulence at least two times while visiting our table.
Fun and soggy night made all the more fun by our Guesties.
|St. Peter? St. Paul? Someone...|
|Craftsmen with senses of humor. Igloos and husky dogs.|