I had very good intentions. I had planned to write up a separate post for each of the interesting places we visited in DC. However, here it is Tuesday and I haven’t even begun to catch up at work, much less with blogging. So, here’s a somewhat shorter wrap-up of the trip…
We had planned to get an early start so that we could do the zoo before it got too hot, but we overslept. The good thing was that most of the Metro crowds and diminished.
The zoo had crowds, but wasn’t too bad. We hit most of the major sites, but it seems like a large part of the zoo was under construction. The elephant house was closed, as were several other exhibits. We especially liked the bird house.
The human animals were about as much fun to watch as those in the exhibits. Some had no internal monologue, and carried on conversations as if to engage everyone around them sometimes quite loudly.
International Spy Museum
On the recommendation of my new choir director friend from the cathedral, we decided to check out the International Spy Museum.
The Spy Museum is a private endeavor, and strikes me more like a Ripley’s museum than a serious institution. It was pricey, but turned out to be quite interesting. There were interactive elements that let visitors assume a cover and try their hand at espionage. I think we might have enjoyed it even more if we hadn’t been so tired from the zoo. As it was, we reached saturation point and walked rather quickly through some of the more interesting exhibits.
Evening Tour of DC
After dinner and a bit of a rest, we managed to get tickets for an evening trolley tour of the city. We stopped at the Jefferson Memorial (along with hundreds of students), the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Of course, there were lots of sites to see in between.
No trip to Washington DC would be complete without a visit to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum. Sunday we had checked out of the hotel, but still had most of the day until our flight left.
Laura’s father was an engineer with Hughes Aircraft. As we wandered through the exhibits she pointed out the various satellites and projects he had worked on.
Laura also told me about her parents neighbor, Mr. John Guy. He passed away just a few a years ago at an age over 100. He had also been an early aerospace engineer, and had actually met Howard Hughes. On a visit to Air and Space, a docent overheard him identifying several people in a historic photograph. He was immediately ushered into some back room and asked to look at other photographs and identify the people in them.
As with the spy museum yesterday, we were quickly reaching saturation point and information overload. However, I had to make one quick stop in the gift shop. There one finds the original model of the USS Enterprise used in the television series.
It was a great visit to Washington DC, but we were completely zonked when we got home. Next vacation, I think I’ll opt for something that involves lying on a beach with an adult beverage.