Monday, May 17, 2010

Mark One Off the List

Now that I've been here for a month, its time to start marking things off my list and finding new things to add on. Two weekends ago, I went to this thing called Passport DC where more than 200 embassies and international cultural centers opened their doors to showcase their culture, art, music, dance and food. Now, my lazy butt didn't get out of bed until like 11am and then I had to get ready and then OF COURSE the "ghettro", aka metro, was having weekend delays so I didn't end up getting to Dupont Circle until later and it was like a 20 minute hike up to the UK Embassy. I could have stopped at many along the way, but as I was only concerned with one I kept on treking along. I FINALLY made it to the UK embassy only to find a ridiculous line. I guess that's what free food and whisky tasting does for you. I finally made it in and walked around the beautiful site. While I was hoping, wishing, and praying that Prince Harry would be there, alas, he was not. Oh well, there's always next year ;) I actually ran into one of my work colleagues there and we chatted for a few. He said that the Belgium embassy is giving out free beer and chocolate...you know where I'll be next year!

For all of you nerds out there, here is some info to brush up on the location:
The British Government has had representation in Washington, DC, since 1791. The Embassy moved to its current location at 3100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW in 1930. This location gave them more space, prime location next to the Vice President, and a grand Residence and Embassy. The British Embassy was the first to build on what would later become Embassy Row. Sir Esme Howard was the first Ambassador to live in the Residence.

The British Embassy is the largest in Washington, DC. It has nearly 500 employees from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, other Government Departments in Whitehall, and Ministry of Defence. The British Embassy in Washington is the largest British Embassy in the world.

The Embassy has been visited by many of the world's leading statespeople. In July 2005, President George W. Bush visited the Embassy to sign a book of condolence following the 7 July bombings in London. HM the Queen hosted President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush for dinner at the Residence in May 2007. Prime Minister Gordon Brown hosted presidential candidates Senators Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barak Obama in April 2008.

Anyways, I didn't take many pictures inside and I wish I had taken a picture of this thing called Echo's point or something to that effect. Basically you stand in the middle of it and say something out loud and you get an echo! It has something to do with how the little stage area was built...I wonder if they did that on purpose or if it just happened. Anyways, here are the few pictures I took:

Pretty columns on the building.

You can just barely see how many freaking people were there!

I would love to lay on this bench all day long.

The grounds had beautiful landscaping and I wish I had taken pictures of the flowers...the colors were amazing.

This is the Ambassador's residence.

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