Friday, March 29, 2013

The Sights (DC Part Two)

So I've already posted about the scavenger I'll upload some photos about the stuff we actually did while in DC earlier this month.  First of all, both of us have taken week-long family trips to DC before, so we'd been almost everywhere.  The two places that I really wanted to go to and had never seen before were the Holocaust Museum and Arlington National Cemetery.  Not only had I never been, but I also teach two large units a year about the Holocaust and JFK, so this was perfect!  Kyle wanted to go to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs, so we made sure to plan for that, too.  I'll just give you the picture tour:

Holocaust Museum.  No pictures inside, unfortunately.  Only cried once and it was when reading a key passage from the novel I teach next to a mold of a crematorium door.  I'll never look at that passage the same way ever again!

First morning in the hotel.  Gettin' our Arlington on!

Took the metro everywhere, and this was the most vacant stop.  I loved Arlington...everything was so peaceful, which is weird, since it's like right next to the interstate.

Used to play "Taps" at JFK's funeral

Taking his artsy pictures
It stretched as far as the eye could pretty!

Eternal flame, JFK and Jackie
Weird picture, I know...but in front of the eternal flame, freezing my butt off!
At the amphitheater deal behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Challenger Memorial
Where Lincoln lives, of course :)
All I could think about was Night at the Museum 2:  Battle of the Smithsonian where Lincoln talks to people...
So if I were on the OTHER side of the Reflecting Pool, it might have been where Jenny got in the water to run to Forrest!  Maybe?

We decided to look up our last names on a whim at the Vietnam Wall...guess what we found!

Dorothy's ruby slippers in Smithsonian American History Museum.  Also saw Singin' in the Rain sheet music, the first Wicked Elphaba costume, Harry Potter's robes, and Archie Bunker's chair...

Jackie Kennedy's pearls!  We also saw her Inauguration Dress as well as all the other First Ladies' dresses, including Michelle Obama's.  Kyle asked me, "What will they do when we have a female president?  Include her dress, or put her husband's tux in here instead?"  GOOD QUESTION!
Hungry, hungry hippo at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History...

Going beserk taking all the pictures of dinosaurs!
Me as a cavewoman!

I'd also never been to the Air and Space Museum.  I'd also venture to say we'll probably never go back!  YAWN!

Amelia Earhart plane

So this is some sort of wishing tree in the gardens of the Smithsonians.  Apparently in the summertime, you are supposed to write your wish down and hang it on the tree, but in winter months when the branches are brittle, you whisper your wishes to it instead.  So I'm whispering my wish, but I'm not gonna tell you what I wished for!  Then it might not come true!

Replica of the statue on top of the Capitol building

Inside the Library of neat!
Overall, pretty great trip!  A LOT of driving, a LOT of walking, and a LOT of windy coldness, but a good couple of days away with my sweetheart.  We discussed the next time we plan to go back...think we'll wait until the kids are teenagers, that way they can appreciate it a little more!

DC Scavenger Hunt (DC Part One)

So the first weekend in March, Kyle and I took a mini-vacation to Washington, D.C.  My good friend from high school, Jared Shrack, was being married there in the temple for time and eternity to his fiancee, Melody.  It was such a wonderful ceremony.  As many of you know, however, no pictures of the ceremony allowed.  So, instead, we took lots of pictures of the rest of our trip!  Jared and Mel were married on Saturday, March 2nd.  We left for DC on Wednesday night (February 27th).  We knocked out about 6 hours of the trip that night and drove the rest of the way Thursday morning.  We had from Thursday afternoon until Sunday to spend in our nation's capital.  It was a blast!  I'll do this post as a'll be overloaded with pictures if I don't.  

One of the things Jared and Mel proposed to everyone coming to DC is a picture scavenger hunt if they were up for it.  Many of their guests had already been to DC (including both of us!) and had seen a lot of it.  So, the picture scavenger hunt provided something very cool and interesting for everyone to do!  I have to say we had a nice advantage in the hunt since we were there a few days earlier than everyone else (hey...the rules did NOT state the the hunt had to be completed over the span of one day!), plus we had no large group of people to drag around, so we got a lot of the hunt completed!  I'd have to say we won, but I'm pretty biased.  Here's what we did/found while on our trip as well as the point value (keep in mind that we have to be in most of these pictures):

In front of a double-decker bus...10 points!  (at the Pentagon City Fashion Centre near our hotel)
Sitting on a bench eating potato chips...15 points!  (at the Washington Monument)  Yeah, we brought those chips in our backpack...
Doing a hand-stand or head-stand in front of the Lincoln Memorial (15 pts, 25 pts if the handstand is a good one) 15 points! Dang it, Kyle! Get me while I'm in the air! (at the Washington Monument)  This was hard to do, because the ground at the monument was covered in goose poop :(
In an elevator...10 points!  (at our hotel, Comfort Inn & Suites, Arlington)
A photo of tourists with matching shirts...25 points! BIG POINTS! (at Arlington National Cemetery) These kids probably thought I was creepy, because I was kind of obvious about taking a picture of them and not the person I was with!
In front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier...15 points. (at Arlington National Cemetery)
Photo with a horse with 2 feet on the ground, one w/ 3 feet on ground, 4 feet on ground (30 pts if all 3, otherwise 5 pts apiece) front left is 2 feet (5 points), horse behind it has 3 feet (5 more points)... (Arlington National Cemetery)
BAM! 4 feet on the ground! Never said it had to be a real horse! Everyone wishes they could think like meeeee! 30 points! (at Arlington National Cemetery)
Kicking over the Washington Monument...15 pts. This is what Kyle called "forced perspective." (at the Lincoln Memorial)
Planking over the Reflecting pool (half your body must be hanging over it) (20 pts)...okay so it felt like half when I was doing it, but I guess it really wasn't. Can I get 10 points? (at the Reflecting Pool)
(not a photo) Get an imprint of a name from the Vietnam Memorial....15 pts. I took a rubbing of this, I SWEAR! I just don't have a picture of it...? A relative, perhaps? (at Vietnam Memorial Wall)
With a street musician...15 points! (outside the Smithsonian American History Museum)
Holding hands with a statue...15 pts. Forgive her nakedness...she was the only statue we found with hands we could reach!  (at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History)
With a stuffed Wooly mammoth...10 pts. AHA! We looked all over for this :)   (at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History)
Jumping photo in front of the Smithsonian Castle...10 pts. (at the Smithsonian Castle)

Pretending to be an astronaut with a planet in the solar system...15 pts. (at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)
A paper airplane race in front of the Air & Space Museum (you can make the airplanes yourself)...15 pts. Getting ready to fly...(at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)
You can't read it very well, but he's standing in front of the building name (to prove we did it the right way!)
Pretending to be a statue in the Botanical Garden...15 pts. (at the United States Botanical Garden Conservatory) Again, it's hard to read the building name, but doing it right!
Saluting the flag of the United States...10 pts. 
(at the United States Botanical Garden Conservatory)
Jumping picture on the steps of the Capitol building...10 pts.  (at the US Capitol Building)  Kyle REFUSED to do any jumping pictures, so I got stuck doing them both!
Of a protest...10 pts. (at the US Capitol Building)

All in all, not too shabby, I think!  Of course, we were doing these while taking our tours, seeing the sights, etc.  285 points total!  It was SUCH a good time, and I'm glad we did it!  Makes for some great memories :)