>Travel Pictures

Washington D.C.

Scenes from our nation's capital - 2008

Visiting Uncle Rob, Aunt Blanche, Boyd, and Sam, we decided to make the most of the trip and visit a few of the museums on the Mall. Of course we had to start out at the granddaddy of them all - the Air and Space Museum.

 Breck and Alea (and Sam) loved all the hands-on exhibits. Breck (above) and Sam (below) took turns flying an airplane, Alea (above) practiced aeronautical engineering, and Alea/Breck tested their reflexes.
Breck got to pilot a simulated space shuttle with Susan, while Sam, Alea, and Breck oohed and aahed over the size of real-life spaceship engines.
Whether it was under a model of the solar system or next to a diorama of airplanes, it was a great place to play!

And Dave had a special moment with Breck near the Wright brothers' airplane.

The kids fired up those internal engines for some high-speed chases in the shadow of the Washington Monument.

When it came time for a break, we wandered out onto the (hot) Mall for a bit of outdoor entertainment.

Cooling off in a fountain or swinging the cousin in front of the Capitol - all part of a fun day!

Wandering over the the National Gallery (to give mom a taste of culture), Breck and Sam both studied the drowning-and-about-to-be-eaten woman in the painting - looks like some budding art critics. Of course, by this time in the afternoon, we were all tired (although not quite so much as the girl we saw sleeping on the floor!), and so called it a day and headed home.

Our next day followed a 'walk first, enjoy air conditioned museums second' plan. (It was only after we left that we read the newspaper stories about how this had been the hottest three day stretch in a long time!)
We started at the end of the Mall, walking from the Metro stop to the Lincoln Memorial. Even with the clamor of the tourists and the roar of the airplanes overhead, it was a beautiful reminder of the obstacles our country has had to overcome in its history.

Even though the kids are sometimes a bit hesitant about getting their pictures taken, they stood nice and still - and even offered to take one of mom and dad!

 As we headed towards the Washington Monument, we could see the pillars and fountains of the new World War 2 Memorial. I say new - even though it opened 4 years ago - because it was not around the last time I was in DC).

We chose to walk on the Vietnam Memorial side of the reflecting pond. Breck and dad had a pretty good discussion about some of the symbols and meanings of what we were looking at, and I think he walked away with a bit more insight into what 'war' is about and the sacrifices it demands.

The colors on the flags around the base of the Washington Monument and those on the WW2 Memorial stood in stark contrast to the muted whites and grays of the rock (and the brilliant, sun-burnt sky).
 And of course, there is a great view of the Lincoln Memorial from the base of the Washington Monument, which Breck and Susan showed off for us!
But my favorite story of the morning came when I was trying to show the kids the White House. "Look, right over there. That's where the President lives."
Their response? "Cool - but hey: SLUG BUG! SLUG BUG!"

Breck posing in the iconic entranceway...

We all got in touch with elements of our inner children at the Natural History Museum. Susan met up with an old friend...

Dave loses his head, and Alea dives deep into crystalline structures.


Exploring the wildlife was fun - Alea loved the skeleton of a prehistoric turtle (she said it reminded her of Be-Be), while Breck got to hold a giant grasshopper.
And nothing is better than dinosaurs - Breck and Dad confront the tyrannosaurus while Alea revisits the stegosaurus she saw as a baby (although it is hard to see, the top right picture on this page is of her standing in front of the same skeleton!)
We wandered the afternoon away, with the kids enjoying the dead animals and mom enjoying the precious stones. Happy after our whirlwind tour with Rob and family, we bid them adieu and headed off to visit Susan's family in Minnesota.

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