Saturday, January 21, 2012

Trip to Washington DC

Man oh man did we have a great time in Washington, DC today. Since we didn't actually get there until around noon, we decided to eat lunch first. We stopped in at the Old Post Office to see what kind of food they had.

Our stomachs eventually led us a barbecue restaurant called Hill Country. Food is served up Texas style in a wrap of paper with lots of hand wipes for that finger-lickin' barbecue sauce. We split the special. Now before you go thinking that you'd be starving if you split a meal, listen to what The Pitmaster included: 1/4 lean brisket, one pork spare rib, one beef rib, quarter all natural chicken and any two sides. We picked mac n' cheese and cole slaw. All that food plus two drinks and tip for less than $28. We couldn't believe it. It's right by the Crime & Punishment Museum if you're ever in the area - and apparently bands play there in the evening. 

After lunch, we began our walk past the sculpture garden to the Air and Space Museum. On the way, we encountered this little guy. He walked right up to us but even before he did that, we knew people must feed him because he was quite a hefty fellow!

We then walked up the street to the Air and Space Museum. I personally wanted to see the Albert Einstein Planetarium so we bought tickets and enjoyed a viewing of Journey to the Stars. Did you know they've discovered objects in the Universe called "brown dwarfs" that are too big to be called planets but too small to be called stars? There are just as many brown dwarfs as there are stars. Fascinating! My favorite, of course, are the nebulas - a cloud of dust that serves as a virtual nursery for the birth of stars. After they're born, stars kind of hang out together in the nebula as a cluster. Our own sun hung out in a nebula until it broke away with the planets. I could go on and on but I digress. 

The Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Mall is full of spacecraft and aircraft - both models and the real thing. And there are missile, like the ones seen here. Yikes! Of course the warheads are removed so these are the Heidi Klums of the missile world - just mere models now.

Here you see the nose of the 747 jumbo jet. We got to walk into the cockpit of this baby. You can't really see the scale here but it was GIGANTOR big.

I don't get as excited about planes like Robert does but I did love seeing the sky lab. I swear I took a picture of it but I can't find it now that I'm looking for it. Anyway, I have such a hard time imagining people hanging out in a cylinder in the sky with no place else to go! Astronauts truly are pioneers, in my opinion. There's also a satellite out there somewhere that has recordings from every country on Earth just in case someone out there finds it. It's like something off of Star Trek!! 

Besides the planes and the spacecraft and the missiles, there were also uniforms - lots of them. 

This was an Englishman's outfit complete with gas mask. Hmmm ... wonder why I was so fascinated by an Englishman's get-up! We also watched a 3D movie called Legends of Flight. It was all about how they designed and built the 787, the latest and greatest fuel efficient airbus (which is just another name for an airplane that can carry a bunch of people). The inspiration for the design came from an albatross - a bird that can glide for an incredibly long time. 

By the time we got through all that we were pooped! But not too pooped for some gelato. We walked to Pitango, a gelato shop on 7th street and had a refreshing treat. I selected cardamom and hazelnut. Robert had vanilla and creme (did I mentioned Robert is allergic to chocolate?). 

It was a great ride home. We talked and talked. About 20 minutes from our exit, we both just went quiet. Now, as I sit on the couch watching "The Guardian" and retelling our story, I think back on how much I learned today. It was definitely a great day for both of us.

Forgive the layout on this post. I couldn't get it to line up then finally decided it's good enough as it is.

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