Friday, December 4, 2009

Smithsonian Museum of American History

We started the day by heading uptown to the National Geographic Society Museum, hoping to see the fabulous new Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit we had heard so much about. Turns out it is new enough that tickets are sold out until Monday - unfortunately the day we leave DC and head to New York.

We got over our disappointment quickly once we got our sandwiches at DC landmark Potbelly Sandwich works. Great place to people watch as well.

We headed back down to the National Mall to the Smithsonian Museum of American History and spent the rest of the day there, only seeing maybe a third of the exhibits. The place is HUGE!

We spent a lot of time in the On the Water exhibit which traced maritime history and culture from early times to the present. Goldfish and I met almost 15 years ago in a maritime setting and Unalaska is the quintessential maritime community.

There was a scale model, looping video, and crew gear exhibit area of the F/T Alaska Ocean, a factory trawler that works out of Unalaska.

Lots of great exhibits covering the history of travel and commerce through the years.

We watched Julia & Julia in Idaho so seeing the Julia Childs kitchen was a must.

This is the mortar and pestle the husband gave the wife in the movie (and in real life).

The Icons of Modern Culture exhibit had a few gems in it, and the display rotates frequently.

This was the exhibit hall housing the American flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the national anthem in 1814. Housed in low light and and low oxygen display case, photography was not allowed. Since it was the honor system, I think I was the only one in there not taking pictures . . . .

When we got out of the museum, from the front steps we had these views of the Capitol Dome and the Washington Monument - love the trees!

We headed back to the apartment to freshen up then headed to Jenny's Asian Fusion on the waterfront for a great meal to end a fun day!

Today's Observations from DC:

1. Lots of helicopters in this town, very important looking helicopters.

2. Washington DC is supposed to be one of the most expensive cities to live on the East Coast. Coming from Unalaska puts that all in a totally different perspective.

3. We've walked the streets in many different areas of the city; some areas are almost completely black, and some areas are almost completely white, with other areas of varying degrees. As a rule, we have found the folks in the predominantly black areas to be more open and friendly.

4. Goldfish and I knew this already but this vacation continues to reinforce that we are perfect traveling partners - we don't try to do everything, we make time to relax, and we'll try pretty much anything (as long as I "go first").

5. When you are living even temporarily in an area that makes the national news regularly, then the news becomes more relevant. I think if I lived outside of Alaska I would probably watch more television that the couple hours a week I watch at home. Normally I am much more interested in what is happening outside my window than what goes on in Washington, and I've always considered that a character defect.


Carol Anne said...

That is a beautiful photo of the Capitol dome. Love how you captured the light.

Lori said...

Great post Steve. Can't believe that we too have ate at the same Potbelly restaurant you were at - I knew the surroundings immediately. Love the museum of AH - have some of the very same pictures - brings back some nice memories of our trip. Doesn't the "red" lights (eyes) on the momument look spooky (especially at night). I hope you guys got to see the Lincoln memorial at night too - it's awesome. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Bren said...

So glad you are enjoying your self and each other. Did you have a chance to go to the Washing Monument?
love ya

Mystic said...

Steve and Goldfish:
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your DC trip! I have been all over the world, but I have never visited our nation's capital. The pictures and commentary are just so enticing. You are both wonderful tour guides! Enjoy your trip; make wonderful memories and travel safely.
As Tolkien said, "Not all who wander are lost."

Suzassippi said...

Beautiful day--thanks for sharing. Reminds me of traveling with Gigi!