Today we spent a good portion of our morning running errands. By the time we actually arrived in Washington D.C. it was close to 1pm. This was also the first day that we drove our car into the city in lieu of taking the subway. After driving in and out of downtown Washington today, our decision to take the subway the last couple of days was reaffirmed. This isn’t the easiest (or funnest) place to drive if one is not familiar with the streets. The fact that all of the streets go out from the center of the Capitol Building provides many unique angles as they intersect!
With so many things on the to-do list and so little time, we prioritized what we wanted to see the most and picked a couple of museums to visit. Unfortunately, a lot of the places on our list will have to wait for a return visit some time in the future. There is simply way to much to do in three days! Our first stop of the morning was the Natural History Museum.
The Natural History Museum has a couple of intriguing exhibits. The first is their dinosaur exhibit. This exhibit is more extensive than any dinosaur display I have seen anywhere else. Several different species are represented with both fossils and casts on display. This was one part of the museum that we spent quite a bit of time in. After visiting the dinosaurs, we headed through an exhibit featuring award winning nature photography. Some of the photographs that we saw were stunning. It was a wonderful reminder about just how important nature really is in a spiritual sense.
The only other major exhibit to visit at this museum is the gem display. The gem display features not only the Tiffany Diamond and Hope Diamond, but several other incredibly beautiful pieces of jewelery. The gem display area was the most crowded and was full of drooling women. (Ok, they might not have been drooling, but they were snapping pictures of the jewelery rather frantically!) There was always a crowd of people surrounding the Hope Diamond, making it tough to break in and take a picture. It was even harder to contemplate and enjoy what we were looking at! After seeing a couple of the gem displays, we left the crowds behind to explore other areas.
At this point we walked through an outside Butterfly Garden about four blocks down to the National Photo Gallery. On our way, we passed the National Archives, but the wait was over an hour to see the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. We simply didn’t have the time, so we moved on. When we got to the National Photo Gallery the security guard took Jasmine’s pocket knife, put it in a wooden box and after it was gone told her she couldn’t get it back. I told the guard that since she didn’t inform Jasmine she would lose the knife before she took it, that we would need it back. She told me that no one had the key and I told her I would need to hear that from her supervisor. Of course, after twenty or so minutes the supervisor came and unlocked the box and we left the museum.
I want to mention that this problem was the only negative encounter that we had with a police officer or guard in Washington D.C. All of the police here have been extremely helpful and let it be said, that there are a lot of police. It is hard to tell what agency each one belongs to, since there are so many operating in the capital. All in all, they treat the tourists quite well and are very helpful with suggestions and directions.
After leaving the photo gallery we went over to the West Building of the National Art Museum. They had several Renoir paintings and many others that were wonderful. It was enjoyable, but once again we were rushed as our 3 hour time limit was approaching on our parking and Shawn Reece doesn’t show much interest in these types of museums. He was actually pretty good though and when we were done in the art museum it was time to leave D.C.
The other day in my post about the National Air & Space Museum I neglected to mention the temporary display from the National American History Museum. The National American History Museum is closed for refurbishment, so they moved some of their best items over to the Air & Space Museum. On display was everything from R2D2 and C3PO from Star Wars, to campaign memorabilia from the Clinton Gore ’96 presidential run. I think in total 100 items were on display in a small corner of the Air & Space Museum. I am sure seeing the whole American History Museum would have been much better, but what we did see was fascinating!
Tonight we are staying in New Jersey just across the border from Wilmington, DE. Tomorrow we are going to explore around the area before heading further north. Thursday will be another Six Flags day before we pull into Philadelphia Thursday night. We do have reservations to see Independence Hall on Sunday and are looking forward to seeing another chunk of this countries’ history! I also have to respond to some questions arising from a picture I posted of Jasmine at the Kennedy Space Center a couple of weeks ago. The picture is deceiving as the pants Jasmine was wearing are actually to big on her and were sagging. Apparently it made her look pregnant to a couple of people, but I assure you this is not the case! I hope you are enjoying the updates. We sure enjoy bringing them to you!
We want to thank everyone for the comments and emails. Your support is truly appreciated and keeps us going.
The Coomer Family