Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Summer Vacation, Part III

Day four in DC started out at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It was one of my two favorite places that we visited. I have decided to do a separate post for this museum as it’s not exactly a “feel good” place and it just didn’t seem appropriate to talk about this and then go on to more light hearted subjects. Also, I want to be able to do it justice and be able to convey the feel of the place which will take more time than what I have right now. Suffice to say, once you visit this place I don’t believe you will ever be the same, nor should you.
A nice shot of the Capitol looking down the National Mall on our way to the Museum of American History

Our second stop of the day was The Smithsonian’s Museum of American History. This museum just recently re-opened after being closed for renovation for quite some time. While it was closed the exhibits went on tour around the country. Some of them have not made it back to the museum yet so there were limited things to see. We saw the first lady’s dresses and while the guys didn’t really get into that the girls and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The pop culture exhibit was the reason we really went there and it was a little disappointing that there was not much to see. Dan was especially disappointed that he did not get to see Fonzi’s jacket. But we did see an elephant seat from the Dumbo ride at Disneyland, and much to Sarah’s delight it was a purple one; Archie and Edith’s chairs; Kermit the Frog and Oscar the Grouch; and of course, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers. In another room they had some very old musical instruments which included Stradivarius violins dating from the 17th or 18th century. Beautiful instruments that Sarah coveted. I think one of her dreams is to own a Stradivarius violin, I wish her luck with that one.

We weren’t really up for seeing much more there so we headed on to lunch and then to my favorite place of all…….

The National Air and Space Museum. I could spend all day in this place. I can’t tell you how much I love it. I don’t even really care about the airplane part of it, I’m just in love with all the space stuff. I can’t get enough. It’s all there from the test rockets to the spaceships of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. There is a small piece of a moon rock which is so smooth that it feels like a piece of polished steel. I don’t know if it’s that way naturally or just from the millions of people who have run their fingers across the surface just so they can say they touched a moon rock. Of course, I especially love the displays of Apollo 11 and the lunar lander. Dan and Beth really had a good time wondering around the place and I think Dan had a good time teaching her about all the airplanes. She really got into it and I think she took a picture of every plane in the place. I will spare you all of those but I will share a few of my favorites:Mural as you enter the museum
The beginning of flight. Do you think the Wright Brothers ever thought in their wildest dreams that what they started would end up taking us to the moon?

The rockets

Apollo 11 Command Module

The Lunar Lander

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
In July 1975 two manned spacecraft were launched into Earth orbit - one from Kazakstan, the other from Florida. their rendezvous in orbit fulfilled a 1972 agreement between the Soviet Union and United States to participate in a joint venture in space.

Obviously I love this place and imagine my delight when as we were leaving we saw a mock up of the new addition. They will have an actual space shuttle there when the addition opens. Be still my heart. I can’t wait!

Until next time……

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