July 30, 2011




Last month my family and I visited the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum 
or the Uvdar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
where they had an entire hangar full of real planes and even the actual Space Shuttle. 
It was a boy's dream come true and even I (girly as can be) found some interesting things
to see in there. It's definitely worth a visit. I mean, it is an entire hangar full of planes.
It was awesome and it's free. :) 

All images taken at the Uvdar-Hazy Center.
All images (c) brandmarie at thecopyrightofbrandmarie.blogspot.com

July 29, 2011

The San Francisco Cable Car is probably the most iconic tourist attraction in the city,
aside perhaps from Fisherman's Wharf. Though the ride is pricey, the cars take you on a
scenic route to the most popular tourist spots in San Francisco. You can choose
to ride either inside the car, in the open air benches outside the car, or hang from the
poles in true 1920's style. The car is powered electronically but has to manually be
prepped for the next batch of riders. Meaning it can only travel in a straight line, 
cannot turn on its own, and two strong men have to turn it around at the pick-up
point so it can go in the other direction. It's quite amusing.

July 28, 2011

One of three buildings that make up The Library of Congress

Located right across the street from the US Capitol is The Library of Congress, which is 
the largest library in the world and home to over 22 million books, including the 
Declaration of Independence and one of four copies of the Gutenburg Bible. According 
to our tour guide, the Gutenburg Bible will probably be worth at least $1B 
in the next five years, which explains why it is kept under heavy lock and key.

Our tour guide also explained that each sculpture or artwork present within 
The Library of Congress had a specific symbolic purpose for being there.

The first hallway from the second floor

The arch where the tour begins

Beautiful stained glass ceiling

Poets and authors names were written on the ceiling and part of the artwork

One of four pairs of angels located on every corner of the ceiling

The beautiful ceiling on the second floor

Unfortunately they did not allow photography in the library itself. 
But it was indeed a sight to behold! 

All images taken at The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
All images (c) brandmarie at thecopyrightofbrandmarie.blogspot.com
The newly constructed visitor center where the tour begins

Just before the heat in the East Coast became unbearable, my friends and I took a tour of the
United States Capitol. It was a short, yet free and informative guided tour of the public areas 
in the building like the National Statuary Hall, which houses the infamous"whispering gallery"
and The Capitol Rotunda, which is the building's symbolic and physical heart.

The Capitol Rotunda's beautiful 180 ft high ceiling

The ceiling design up close is reminiscent of Michelangelo's work

The artwork just beneath the dome

The National Statuary Hall

The beautiful architecture within the hall

Tourists gathered around the whispering gallery

A direct quote from Wikipedia:
"It has been said that John Quincy Adams took advantage of the Hall's acoustics to eavesdrop on other members conversing on the opposite side of the room. To test the acoustics today, one party should stand near the floor plaque marking Adams' desk on the West side of the Hall while the other party stands at the corresponding spot on the East side. However, this is only a myth, as the current half dome, which creates the effect, was not installed until 1902. The Adams story began long after Adams' death as a tourist gimmick, according to Capitol historian William C. Allen. Though echoes were a significant problem, there is no documentation of a "whisper spot" prior to the early twentieth century."

 It would have been brilliant though, had it really happened.

All images taken at The United States Capitol
All images (c) brandmarie at thecopyrightofbrandmarie.blogspot.com

July 24, 2011

It's been so hot lately even my airconditioner can't take the heat! 
I wish I could transport myself back to breezy San Francisco!

All images taken from the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
All images (c) brandmarie at thecopyrightofbrandmarie.blogspot.com

July 13, 2011

I finally got close enough to take a decent picture of the US Capitol Building.

All images (c) brandmarie at thecopyrightofbrandmarie.blogspot.com

July 9, 2011



Image taken at the Boston Public Garden
All images (c) brandmarie at thecopyrightofbrandmarie.blogspot.com

July 2, 2011

Read Alan Rickman's Harry Potter Goodbye Letter.  *tears*

Source: Fandango