The Smithsonian

Our visit to Washington D.C. was a blast! We visited various places over two days, and were fortunate to have Heather’s aunt—day 1, and cousin—day 2, be our personal tour guides. We were also fortunate to have great weather on both days…blue skies and sunny, if only a touch on the warm side.

Our fist day was spent touring a handful of destinations along the National Mall: The Smithsonian Castle, National Museum of Natural History, Air & Space Museum, a couple refreshment stands and a carousel.

The Smithsonian Castle was iconic, but had limited visual appeal for the kids inside. We walked in, looked at the dedication to the founder of the Smithsonian Institute, looked at the large scale model of the National Mall, planned what we wanted to see, then made our way back out to head over to the Natural History Museum.

We didn’t have to stand in any lines to get in, or mill around the exhibits, but it was packed with people on just about every floor. I think it was a little overwhelming for the kids, but we pushed through and visited the areas that everyone wanted to see: the dinosaurs, the ocean, and the mammals. Unfortunately we didn’t make it upstairs, simply because of time, and the volume of people we would of had to plow through make it worthwhile.

After the museum, we headed to the nearest refreshment stand, as everyone was parched! I bought a round of drinks—think Sprite or water!—and then walked past the sculpture garden, over to the Air and Space Museum.

When we arrived, people were piling into a line along the length of the building…at first we weren’t sure if it was the line to get in. But as everyone came to a stop, we could see the line we were now a part of. Heather looked toward the front of the line and noticed a few other short lines heading directly into the front of the building — and they were moving!

We rounded everybody up and shuffled along the line to the front of the building, and promptly joined one of the moving lines, and we were in!

It was at this point that everyone was starting to slow down from all of the walking, and generally wanting to hurry things along, so we wandered around a few of the main floor exhibits, then headed upstairs. Overall, the exhibits were fun to look at, and we breezed through a handful of them before deciding we had had enough—and we were hungry!

So we promptly left, and made the small hike back to catch the Metro. On the way, about half way there, we asked Divagirl if she wanted to spend some of her birthday money to ride a carousel we were passing, and she unsurprisingly said, “YES!” — so we bought her a ticket, and she fully enjoyed the 3 minute ride :)

We eventually made it back to the Metro station, and grabbed the next train ride home, which was PACKED wall-to-wall with people. Traveling time was about 40 minutes, and fortunately, the restaurant to which we were headed was just around the corner from the parking garage.

We ended the day with a fantastically filling Italian dinner at Bertucci’s, then headed home to chill out for the rest of the night.



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