Playing a Tourist

This is Stephanie of IMS.


Last week, I had the opportunity to fly to Washington, D.C. for a business trip. Although I used to live in southern Maryland for many years, due to the constant and heavy traffic, my family and I rarely made trips to D.C., the capitol of the United States.


This trip we were able to visit the Library of Congress, the United States Capitol Visitor’s Center, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.


The Library of Congress is the national library of the U.S. Its research materials are from all over the world and written in over 450 languages. The interior of the main building was absolutely gorgeous! It also houses a display of third president Thomas Jefferson’s personal collection of nearly 6,500 books – some of the books are the originals, and obviously very old.



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The United States Capitol is the location of the U.S. Congress. The building is very recognizable to many Americans, and its picture is currently on the fifty-dollar bill, but also like many Americans I had not had a chance to visit it before. The visitor’s center has many exhibits and information about the history of the U.S., and after living for over two years in Japan, it was kind of strange to play a tourist in my own country…





My favorite part, however, was the Museum of Natural History. The last time I was there was around 15 years ago, but I was glad to see once more the Hope Diamond on display. The gem and mineral exhibit is always interesting, and I love going. I was even able to touch a piece of Mars! There was also a scientist in the “Fossil Lab” who was fixing broken bones of a dinosaur skeleton while people watched outside the room.


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Sometimes living in a place makes it difficult to see it as special, but I encourage everyone to explore and discover the city and country you live in like it was your first time visiting. Play a tourist, and don’t miss out on the local history!