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Detour

The arrival of a new administration always means lots of business travel to Washington, DC: How else are you going to lobby for that tax break? If you can get out of those committee rooms for a few hours, here are three things to do that don't require a disclosure statement.

Hotel Hiatus

Just ask Dilbert: Office life may be a reflection of the times, but even that doesn't explain the prevalence of spider plants in the 1970s. The National Building Museum's latest exhibit, "On the Job: Design and the American Office," (www.nbm.org) runs through August 19; 401 F St. NW.

Ditch the Convention Center

Those delicate cherry blossoms pale in comparison to a firearms demo by an FBI special agent. Head to the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building at 9th and E Street NW, four blocks from the convention center, for an hour-long tour which includes the popular firearms demo. If you ask nicely, you can take home the target. FBI tours (www.fbi.gov) are offered weekdays starting at 8:45 am.

Escape the Airport

At National and have a couple of hours to kill? Don't camp out at the newsstand. Catch a cab to Mount Vernon, Virginia. Just about 11 miles from the airport, the first G.W.'s mansion and 500-acre estate (www.mountvernon.org) are open to visitors daily from 8 AM to 5 PM.

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