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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