Sunday, August 02, 2015

The Raymond's do DC!

Our trip to D.C. started out rough. I had a really sore throat and the worst day or two of it was when we were traveling. Scott drove the entire way because I was tired and groggy. 

We drove to Philadelphia and stayed the night with Scott's sister Nancy and her family. I was bummed that I was sick because I didn't get to hold Baby Ethan. Bruce did a good job taking care of him though. 

We went to church with them on Sunday morning, then drove the rest of the way to D.C. 

We found an awesome park...

...and a splash pad.

We visited Scott's childhood friend, Dave, and his family. 

They live about 1-1/2 hours from D.C. along the Chesepeake Bay. We had a Maryland crab feast with some seriously tasty hush puppies.

By Tuesday I was feeling better so we got right to business and took the train downtown. We visited the memorial for fallen police officers and found Sean Collier's name; he was the officer shot by the marathon bombers by our house. So sad, but it's good to see him honored properly (there is also a cool memorial where he was shot).

We walked to the National Mall...

...and headed to the Air and Space Museum. Highlights included walking through the "space lab," walking through a commercial jet (Phoebe thought the toilet was hilarious), spending time learning about the Wright Brothers and seeing their first plane, and watching videos of aviation "firsts." 

We spent the afternoon swimming at a local pool and meeting Scott at a playground before heading home. With all the business of museums and new things, it is nice to slow down and just be together at a park.

On Wednesday we went to the National Building Museum. There is a super exhibit called "The Beach" that is there for the summer; it is an indoor beach with translucent balls instead of water. Think 30,000-square-foot ball pit with umbrellas, beach chairs, snack area, pier, and beach toys. 

We spent more than two hours swimming in balls.

The deepest part of the beach was nearly six feet, so some people freaked out a little when the balls went over their heads. My kids were fine though. Even Oliver would start drowning in balls and when I couldn't see his head anymore, I would pull him out and he'd be laughing.

The rest of the Museum was awesome too. 

Fun was had by all. I only got pictures of the kiddie exhibits but there were cool adult exhibits too. My favorite was one about designing buildings for disasters. We built houses with special shaped roofs for tornadoes, watched videos of buildings in earthquakes, and read about designing homes resistant to wildfires (Phoebe really liked this because it had a kiosk all about fire safety).

On Thursday we went to the Museum of Natural History. We went to the butterfly
garden exhibit. Bruce and Phoebe loved it, but Oliver was scared of butterflies flying at his face. 

He clung to me the whole time. That is him feeaking out because there is a butterfly by my chest. 

We visited the "insect zoo," where Phoebe held a grasshopper. 

We saw the Hope Diamond, to which Bruce said, "It's not that big!" After reading about it, he gained greater respect for it. He was also impressed at the security guard and lasers in the room. Cool. 

We saw lots of animals and photography.

And had a lengthy discussion about evolution and religion when we visited our ancestor, Lucy. 

On Friday we went to the Museum of the American Indian. There was an excellent children's exhibit with lots of fun things to do like sit in a kayak...

...and build an igloo like the Inuits.

All this museum-hopping requires serious picnicking. We have been eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, and chips.

We wrapped up our day at the Washington Monument, then went swimming again. Perfect.

I went for a long run on Saturday. I ran down to the Mall and around the Tidal Basin (this is looking across the Basin at the Jefferson Memorial). I've seen a lot while running here this week: sketchy crowds, a dude with pants to his ankles taking a dump (saw this twice actually), a lady walking in the early morning with a huge sharpened dowel rod.... It's been a little crazy. 

After my run we went to the Air and Space Museum (the one by Dulles airport). We heard an astronaut speak. The kids thought it was funny that astronauts Velcro things like peanut butter and tortillas to the walls. 

We saw the space shuttle Discovery...

...and the Enola Gay, among many other planes.

We saw two military helicopters retire. They flew in and landed, then there was a ceremony where the flight crew handed the log books over to the general. Oliver mostly loved listening to the Marine Corps band, but Bruce and Phoebe loved climbing through the helicopters when they were opened to the public after the ceremony. 

Phoebe said going into the helicopter was "the coolest thing in [her] life." 

On Sunday we went to church and relaxed a bit. We went to Rock Creek Park and threw rocks into a river for a long time.

We even saw a deer not too far away. Now that we are rested up, we are ready for another week of museums and crazy running!

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Blogger ellen said...

I loved seeing Officer Collier's name. :)

Jeepers -- you are busy down there!!

11:23 AM  

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