Monday, April 1, 2013

Day Two: Washington DC (cont.)

Despite heading to bed pretty late, we were expected to be up with our bags packed early the next morning.  Except for one morning, every day after breakfast, we had a guest lecturer who would teach or share about his historical perspectives on the places we would be visiting.  On this particular day, we got some free time to tour Washington D.C.  Mike, Michelle, and I joined up with three other people from our teacher group- the six of us pretty much spent the whole week together.  We took the MetroLink to the National Mall area and spent a lot of time walking around.  Did you know that all the Smithsonian museums are free?!  We definitely tried to take advantage of that.  First up was the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. 
This elephant greeted us in the lobby.

 Check out this mummy!  I am fascinated by all things Egyptian and wish there had been more things in this exhibit.  I've been told I really need to check out the Egyptian museum in San Jose.
Our next stop was the National Museum of American History.  Our teacher group met one of the museum's curators there, who guided us through an exhibit called, "Within these Walls..."  It was interesting to learn about a partially reconstructed house from Massachusetts and the families that lived there over a period of 200 years but I will admit that I was disappointed- we were meeting with a curator- I was expecting to learn so much more!  Afterwards, we were once again given free time.  We lined up for "The Star Spangled Banner" exhibit where we got to see the flag that inspired the national anthem on display (no pictures were allowed).  Our group got hungry at this point, so we didn't stick around to see anything else.  There were still a few exhibits that I would've wanted to see.  Next time!  
After lunch at a cool Asian fusion restaurant called Teaism, we walked towards the U.S. Capitol.  It would've been very interesting to see the inside, but this was as far as we got since tours have been booked solid through April.
We spent some time visiting the National Air and Space Museum.  My family would've loved this museum! My group and I even went to see a 3D show called, Space Junk. Jason was surprised that I actually went- I get nauseous pretty easily, so I usually bow out of 3D shows.  I didn't get sick- yay!
After this time, we had to go meet our teacher group.  We headed to dinner at the Old Ebbitt Grill.  This grill was established in 1856 and presidents have dined there.  I enjoyed a fantastic meal of Irish Oat-Crusted Salmon. Yummmmm...  After dinner, we boarded the bus and headed to Charlottesville.  Most of our traveling between towns took place in the evening and we checked into our hotel pretty late every night.  With all the walking we did on this day, I was beat and quickly fell asleep.  There is still so much to explore in Washington- I will definitely be back!  

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