Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Trip to Washington, D.C. - Vacation Days Four thru Six

We returned last night from Washington, DC. Julie and I had both been there for the Bicentennial, and I was able to spend a short time at the Smithsonian while I was at the Space Elevator Conference a year or so back. Stephanie had never had a chance to visit.

We drove down from Voorhees on Sunday. The trip is about a three hour drive. We were about an hour out when we realized that we had forgotten to mail our taxes; they were sitting on the desk in our library. We turned around, mailed them off, and returned to our trip. The two hour delay pushed off our visit to the National Zoo until Monday. We spent Sunday afternoon learning how to ride the Metro, and visiting memorials. In the evening, we found a great Greek restaurant, Jannis, in Cleveland Park, across from the Metro station.

We spent most of a rainy Monday at the zoo, and got to see the pandas, cheetahs, and other critters. Stephanie got a stuffed cheetah cub, and I bought a new umbrella. In the afternoon, we went to the Air and Space Museum. As the museum was closing, we were trying to find the Bell Rocket Belt, but instead found a small gallery about the history of rocketry, which included a rocket propelled torpedo from the the middle ages (something that would look great in raku, it was sort of a flat helmet with two rocket pods attached), and one of the TNT powered Orion test vehicles that Ted Taylor and General Atomics flew over Pt. Loma in San Diego. After the museum closed, we went over to the National Archives, and saw the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. We had a late dinner at an Italian restaurant that was easily forgettable.

On Tuesday, we spent most of the day at the Natural History Museum. Stephanie focused on her favorites; critters, insects, meteorites, and gemstones. When we went looking for a restroom at one point, we found a display showing an Egyptian pit firing, where the pieces were fired upside-down in a pile of wood and animal dung; the necks of the pieces were buried in sand, so they were black, while the body of the pieces were red. Very cool, and it only makes me want to do a pit firing again. On the way out of the museum, I picked up a book on reading hieroglyphics.

We plan to return again. There are a lot of museums that we didn't step foot in, but would like to. We would like to get tickets to go up into the Washington monument (half are available on-line, the rest are usually gone by eight in the morning.) We also plan to find a hotel that may be a little farther out from the Mall, but placed closer to a Metro station, so we don't have to walk three or four blocks at the end of a long day.


Post a Comment

<< Home