Wednesday, August 19, 2015

D.C. Week 3

We started off the week at the International Spy Museum. That would be Phoebe as a ninja.
That is Bruce escaping an aggressive shark. There was an extensive James Bond section of the museum with an exhibit for just about every Bond movie ever made. 
Since Bond has so many cliffhanging moments in his movies, there is a bar to try out the cliffhanging thing. Most kids could only hang on for 8-10 seconds, but competitive Phoebe put on her game face and hung on for 45 seconds. 
After the Spy Museum, Oliver fell asleep in the stroller and we headed across the street to the American Art Museum. It had a really nice atrium and even nicer art. We checked out portraits of all the presidents, a few celebrities, and even Joseph Smith!
When Oliver wakes up, it's time to leave the museum. 
We ended the day at the playground with new friends. We found another radiology resident family with kiddos! 
On Tuesday, we went back to the Museum of the American Indian. 
We went there last week but went again because they had a great space for kids to run and play. And we wanted to try the fry bread in the museum cafe. The kids loved it.
We ran and played in the morning to put Oliver to sleep in the stroller again. Once he ran out of steam and fell asleep, we headed to the Modern Art Museum.
Most of the art museums don't allow
photography so there's not much to show. But the kids were not
Impressed by modern art. "This is just light bulbs!" and "I don't get it." Most of the time, I didn't get it either. But we feel cultured.
We wrote a few postcards and Phoebe made one for me. 
On Wednesday we drove out to a big park and went for a hike/ scooter ride.
We played on a playground and rode on a carousel.
Then went for a train ride.
This must be a Maryland thing? There are several town-owned parks with cheap carousels, train rides, nature center, etc.
When we came home, the local fire department was flushing the hydrants outside of our building. We met some new firefighters and sat in the truck. Phoebe just happened to be wearing her Boston Fire Museum shirt and red shorts. Of course.
On Wednesday night we babysat for some new friends so they could go on a date. They have four kids and the husband is a radiology resident. We had a lot to talk about!
On Thursday we went to the WWII memorial. We thought of my grandpas that served and thought of the 450,000+ that were not so lucky and did not survive the war. There is a powerful place in the memorial that shows a huge wall of gold stars, each star representing a thousand soldiers killed. Beneath the stars it says something like, "This is the price of freedom." 
We walked along the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Memorial. It was hot, so the kids were not cooperative for picture-taking.
We stood on the Lincoln Memorialand looked down across the Mall. Scott had been in lectures earlier in the morning, but joined us here. 
We walked by the Vietnam memorial. Unlike the star for every thousand, the individual names are etched into the stone. So pretty and sad.
We walked by the White House. We couldn't get a tour but went to the visitor center and learned fun snippets about the house and presidents. President James A. Garfield liked to request squirrel soup for dinner. Ronald Raegan really liked jelly beans and always had some with him. 
On Friday we went to the Newseum. I had to drag the kids there but once we were there, we spent the whole day. They loved it! We checked out the Berlin Wall...
...and the funnies...
...and the not-so-funnies. There was an incredible exhibit about September 11 that showed the broadcast antenna from the top of one of the twin towers. 
There was plenty for the kids to do too. 
At least those who were awake.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

D.C. Week 2

We started off the week with a trip to the National Zoo. We saw lots of animals but the ones we got closest to were wild. There were a few "wild" deer that wandered through the park, and they didn't seem to care that we were snapping photos next to them. I'll bet they don't wander into the lion exhibit though. 
Oliver really likes getting his picture taken. He puts himself in places, stands up straight and says, "eeeeeeee" and waits for me to take a picture.
We met the Meyers at the Zoo for some more fun. We had quite the crew.
This orangutan was very social and liked watching kids as much as the kids liked watching her.
On Tuesday we played at a park near the train station. We found a cool pedestrian bridge that crosses the tracks and spent more time watching trains than playing on the playground.
We went to the city library to read books and play. It's good to have a slow day occasionally. 
Wednesday we headed back to the National Mall for the Museum of Amercian History. Sounds boring, right? The kids thought so, but they were pleasantly surprised.
We spent some time at a lab where they "invented" toys.
We saw the gigantic flag that flew above Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Key to pen "The Star Spangled Banner." 
We saw a few pieces of Mormon history: a stone from the Nauvoo Temple and a commemorative plate from its dedication.
We saw Kermit the Frog, Muhammed Ali's boxing gloves, Apolo Ohno's speed skates, Sandra Bullock's astronaut costume from "Gravity," John Coltrane's saxophone, the ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz," Duke Ellington's piano.... 
We saw the Woolworth's lunch counter where four black men sat in protest and pushed the Civil Rights Movement.
We saw Julia Child's kitchen (taken from her home not too far from ours in Cambridge). I loved it: it isn't fancy or frilly but it is super efficient and functional. She has hardware store-type shelving and hooks on the walls where she hangs dozens of cooking utensils. She makes Martha Stewart look fluffy.
On Thursday we went to the National Postal Museum. 
We viewed an itty bitty stamp worth $9.5 million. It had a security guard stationed next to it.
Then we learned about sorting mail...
...and trucking it around the country...
...and scanning it...
...and delivering it. 
On Friday we went to a park with a Wizard of Oz-themed playground.
We played.
And then played mini golf. Bruce got the hang of it, but Phoebe had a few rough holes that ended in tears.
We rode a carousel and visited a farm and nature center, all at this county park. 
That night we went to a fire station-themed restaurant near where we are staying. Phoebe had seen it and declared that we MUST go there, so we got around to it. It had the typical burgers and pizza so the kids were happy, although a few hours later Oliver started throwing up and we think it was something from the restaurant.
I started Saturday with a long run. The sun was just coming up when I started. 
We went to the National Arboretum later that morning. There are big wide trails and the kids were hoping to ride scooters there. When we got there we realized that scooters weren't allowed, so the kids were disappointed and grouchy after that. It didn't help that we went to the National Bonsai Museum, which featured an entire exhibit of containers for bonsai trees. Bonsai trees are cool, but containers?! Not so much.
Our Saturday wasn't a total bust though: we went to the Washington DC temple grounds and visitor center. The kids had a lot of fun at the visitor center; there are lots of great activities for kids there. 
We also met a friend there. Sister Miller served as a missionary in Boston and lives near DC, so we got together and swapped stories.
We ended our day with hoops and scooters. 
The kids were happy.

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