Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 2

We stayed at the Marriott on Pennsylvania Ave. which was very central to everything. In fact it was only a few blocks from the White House so it is kind of embarrassing to admit that we didn't ever walk by the White House and only saw it on our ride back to the airport. We did a LOT of walking in some serious heat and humidity and the kids did GREAT--only a little complaining.

This day was crazy--we were busy every second of the day-- and hot (only we didn't realize that it would only continue to get hotter and hotter with each new day).

We started the day off with a tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. (Jack let me know that there are only two places where they make dollar bills--DC and Texas. He was full of fun trivia throughout the entire vacation. I was thinking that the public school system was better than we think until he told me had learned most of it from his Nickelodeon magazines.) We got to see literally millions of dollars being made. There were security cameras everywhere and I am thinking "Mad Money" might not be a documentary after all! We ended the tour in the gift shop and the kids were so excited to spend their real money on some fake money inside the gift shop. They bought big pennies, a bag of shredded dollars, bookmarks and key chains, etc. If you remember envying the kid in elementary school that had the pen full of shredded dollars, than this was the store for you!!

We spent most of the day at the National Mall. This picture is of Hadley, Jack and Ryan outside the Natural History Museum. We were able to see some dinosaurs, fossils, mammals, butterflies (oh wait, we didn't want to spend the $6/ticket to walk through the exhibit so we missed that part) and lots of beautiful jewels, including the 'Hope Diamond'.

Taking a break in one of the many exhibits

Then we went to the Air and Space Museum. I loved learning more about space travel. I am thinking it would be a good time to watch "Apollo 13" again. It was cool to see the early planes, too. I talked everyone in our group into seeing an Imax movie called "To Fly". It got great reviews on all the travel stuff I searched before we left. Unfortunately no one really liked it. My kids just wanted to see something, any show really, in 3-D ("To Fly" wasn't in 3-D).
We ended our National Mall touring with a trip up to the top of the Washington Monument. We were able to see all the beautiful sights of DC from up at the top. Hadley said it was her favorite part of the day even though, initially, she was very scared to ride the elevator up to the top of the monument (she seems to have a fear of elevators right now).
Here we are in front of the Lincoln Memorial with the Washington Monument behind us.

We went on a 'Monuments by Moonlight' tour at night and were able to see the Lincoln Memorial, World War ll Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and Iwo Jima Memorial. I thought it was such a neat experience to see all the war memorials and learn more about each war. I was also so impressed with all the trivia Jack knew about the different wars and casualties. He would tell me things just moments before the tour guide would say it. Like, "Mom, did you know that more American soldiers died in the Civil War than any other war--600,000?" And literally 60 seconds later the tour guide told us that exact same fact. Pretty cool.
Ryan and Jack in front of the Lincoln Memorial

All of us inside the Lincoln Memorial

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