Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Trip 3

Monday May 17, 2004

On this day we went to the National Air and Space Museum, the National History Museum, and got a brief look at the Natural History museum. This also happens to be Joshua’s tenth birthday. The NASM is interesting. When I looked at the Wright Flyer I remember wondering, when I was younger, why inventors made their inventions look so bizarre and un-polished. I thought that if I had invented the airplane I would have made it look like a modern fighter. I didn’t understand that when someone is just trying to make their thing run they don’t worry about looks. The cloth contraption comes before the sleek, lightning fast, dazzle machine.

There were many other aircraft/spacecraft at the NASM. It is hard to even begin just naming them. From a Hubble telescope and a Minuteman missile. Five of the main fighters of World War Two. An interesting exhibit of the different slugs and explosives used by the planes. In other words, there is plenty of information there.

The next place we went to was the National History Museum. One of the interesting exhibits was a replica of a two hundred year old house that passed through five families. It is interesting that only five families lived in it. Now it would probably only take about twenty-five years on average. In the exhibit on New Mexico there was a movie describing the life and people there. A twenty something man was there pretending to be a museum employee. He stood by the screen mostly regurgitating what was said in the movie. His buddy was sitting nearby enjoying the fact that the younger kids were fooled. Of course the Star Spangled Banner is there, though in a side room for renovation. I definitely recommend this museum, but don’t go with Josh unless “funny” movies are the only things you want to see.

In a quick glimpse through the Natural History Museum it showed promise, other than the inevitable MYA and BYA. Later in the evening we drove around the memorials to see them lighted. When we went to see the Lincoln Memorial Grandpa made the same mistake as yesterday, and we visited Virginia again. But we ended up fine. Correct lighting has an amazing effect on marble; especially marble that has been worked well.

So you see that we had a busy day. I have to give the Natural History credit for having the most information. The NASM is interesting. And the National History is in between them. Visiting the Smithsonians is a vital part of a trip to D.C.


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