|Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building. Carol M. Highsmith, 2007|
My daughter Googled herself the other day and, shockingly, there she was in a photo taken by a reporter in front of The Library of Congress. That day welcoming visitors to “the world’s greatest storehouse of knowledge,” the Librarian of Congress said, “This is all here for you.” On the historic occasion of its grand re-openning and launch of the Library of Congress Experience he explained that the Library, the largest in the world, and its collections are now available “to everyone in the world,” who from their computers are able to “turn pages” of the Gutenberg Bible or examine Ben Franklin’s edits of the Declaration of Independence by way of a new Web presentation portal.
As amazing as the portal launch was nothing is quite like walking through doors of this historic treasure - seeing Thomas Jefferson's handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence with notations by Ben Franklin and having the rare privilege of walking around the Main Reading Room (seldom open to the public). This place is not just a building housing accounts of history in books, its architecture envelops you and its artifacts speak to you. It was the best part of our trip but it was not at all planned. Lucky us!
We stayed at a great boutique hotel, the Palomar, got a private tour of the US Capitol Building, toured the Smithsonian Museums, found a tavern with the largest selection of beer in the world, Bier Baron Tavern - fka Brickskeller, and discovered a terrific Mexican cocina called Oyamel. There they serve the freshest homemade guacamole and an amazing margarita topped with a salt froth. All told it was a fantastic Washington D.C. experience and easily fell into the perfect trip category.
Reminiscing prompted me to now say what I've long thought, Why is it necessary to have such a category? Why shouldn't every trip be this rewarding? Why is it so hard for people to travel like this all the time? After all this is the age of information. Why is it that with all our technology we're still not getting the right information in front of the right people? We can find just about anything on the internet, can't we?
The problem is we're on information overload and the speed and ease of the internet comes with a price. Even with specificity most of our searches yield way more information than we could possibly sort through. Mountains of it! And these places - hotels, restaurants and attractions, are lost in the mountainous pile like a needle in a haystack; an internet size haystack. These places, destinations, want us to know, "This is all here for you," if you can find them. Unfortunately, it is most often left to us, travelers, to do just that. Lucky us?
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Travelvision.com - Know Before You Go