Shabby blogs

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Washington, D.C.

Kendra and the cousins met the kids, my mom, and I down in DC at the Mall (not sure why exaclty they call that the mall when there is no shopping - not even a Starbucks) to visit the Smithsonians (see photos here). We all rode the Metro in - such a fun experience - and visited some of the museums. First was the Museum of Natural History. I have been telling my kids for a long time about the huge, blue whale that they have in there and they were all so excited to see it. We get there and the ocean exhibit is closed - nice. We did see the Dinosaurs (awesome) and the things that crawled up on the Earth 40 billion years ago (yeah, right!) and the Hope Diamond. For any of you that have not seen the Hope Diamond, it is a great sight to behold, but it is a bit of a disappointment. I remember as a kid, knowing that the Hope Diamond is the largest blue diamond in the world, thinking that it would be this enormous rock. However, it is not. It IS a completely flawless rock and I guess saying that it is small is kind of nonsense, because if it was MY small diamond, I would not complain.
Our next stop was the National Gallery of Art which was a treat for Josiah and I. Everyone else stopped having fun after the first hour. My favorites were the Monets, especially one that I had never seen before. There were Mary Cassats and even a Van Gogh that I had never seen either. Unfortunately the British and American exhibits were closed. We were hoping to see some Western art.
Kendra and the cousins went home and my mom stuck it out with the rest of us to see the National Archives. We had to stand in live for quite a while, but it was worth every second. WOW! To actually see the Declaration of Independance and the Constitution and Bill of Rights was amazing. The Declaration is so faded that you cannot even read it any longer. It is encased in many inches of bullet proof glass. I asked the armed guards (yep, 2 of them) there if they really secure it just like in National Treasure. He assured me that they did indeed keep it just as in the movie until recently. Now, however, it does not descend three stories and then go into a vault. It is still vaulted with teh same way (surrounded by steel), but doesn't travel into the dark recesses of the building any longer. There was also a copy (one of only 4) of the Magna Carta on loan from England. In addition, there are two enormous and beautiful paintings of the document signers on the walls of the rotunda with a key to help you identify them all. We all loved looking them up. If you follow the link I inserted here, you can view them interactively.

We were planning on returning the next day to do the Air and Space Museum and another art gallery, but we were so pooped, that we decided to stay home. On another trip, when the youngest kids are a little older, we will take a few days to go and see all the DC sights.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Oh I'm so jealous! How fun to see that the at in Washington DC. My kids would go crazy! Bryce has been bugging me to take him to DC. Maybe in a few years when Maso is bigger. You can meet me there :-)