Saturday, November 28, 2015

Washington DC: The Museums (Part 1 of 3)

I love it when a plan comes together. And believe me, I love to have a plan. Take a typical Saturday. I always ask Colin over our first sips of coffee, "So what the plan?", even though the plan is always the same. My pockets and purse are filled with to-do lists. I'm constantly running around the house screaming, "Where is my list maker?!" (pen and paper).

So it was slightly out of character of me to not create a detailed itinerary for a trip we planned to Washington DC. Colin was to be attending a conference and the kids and I decided to tag along. We weren't going to have a lot of time there. We'd fly in Wednesday night and fly out Saturday morning which would only leave Thursday and Friday to see the city. 

No one said anything about the elephant in the room.

I have been told that I can be rigid and high-strung but I prefer to think that I just like to be prepared. I decided this trip was my chance to show that I can roll with things. The plan was simple: I'd take the kids to some of the museums on Thursday while Colin attended conference sessions all day and then Friday, when Colin had a little more free time, we'd all check out the monuments together. 

I didn't fuss over details like how we'd get to the National Mall from our hotel or where we'd eat. I didn't stress over navigating through the city by myself and two kids. Because, honestly, I didn't care. I figured anything we saw would be amazing.

Is a sea cucumber preserved in a jar a sea pickle?

It turned out the Mall was about a mile and a half from our hotel, a relatively easy walk through the busy city streets. The Museum of Natural History, where we spent most of Thursday, had a cafe. And, as it turned out, it rained Thursday making it the perfect day to be indoors.

Looking into those museum lights all day would make anybody's eyes bloodshot.
Mina morphed her face into the early human Australopithecus africansu.
Nick morphed into the early human Sahelanthropus tchadensis. I think he looks more like a werewolf. 
We stood next to real mummies or "dead bodies" as Mina called them.
Who's job is it to wash and brush the dead animals? I want that job.
We probably spent six hours in the Natural History museum that day. Afterward, we took a quick stroll around the Air and Space Museum.

Then we went on to the National Gallery. As we went through security the guard asked if we'd been to the National Archives yet. We shook our heads and he said, "You have to! That's where they keep the Constitution." Enough said. 

The kids began an incessant Bart-and-Lisa-Simpsonesque chant: "Can we see the Declaration of Independence? Can we see the Declaration of Independence? Can we see the Declaration of Independence?" 

We spent just enough time in the National Gallery for me to take this picture before the kids dragged me across the street to the National Archives.

The National Archives was one of the most amazing stops on our tour. It was incredible to see the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights along with many other historical documents. 

No photography is allowed in the Archives to protect the documents, however, there was a scuffle as we tried to get in the elevator to leave:

Nicolas Cage! What are you doing with the Declaration of Independence?!

Colin met us at the Archives that evening. We stopped at Five Guys for burgers, fries, and milkshakes and then walked back to our hotel together, exhausted but excited for day two.

Next: Washington DC: The Monuments (Part 2 of 3)

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