Friday, June 27, 2008

Spy Museum and sad goodbyes

Today was the last day Patti, Kerri, D.J. and Austin were with us in DC. We went to the International Spy Museum. The Museum was great, but no pictures allowed. If you would like to see a picture of a Spy, the three steps are 1. get up from the computer. 2. go to any mirror in the house. 3. Look into the mirror and look like you blend in and look very normal. (I know that's hard but try anyway) and take off your shoe and put the heel up to your ear and talk into it. If no one answers try the other shoe. ---------------Welcome back to the computer and wipe the dirt off your ear.
The Museum was great. Lots of Spy stories and Spy equipment including the great story about the Spy tricks that were played on the Germans for the D-day invasion. It is amazing the things you see, but even more amazing the things you don't. The boys spied on everyone from the duct work in the building. Yes, there was even a place for them to get into the duct work in one of the areas. All these places are so full of neat stuff that if you took the time to see it all, it would take longer than your feet would hold out.
It was great to see Patti, Kerri, and the boys and show them around Washington and create great memories.
It gets a little noisy and hectic at times, but well worth it. Goodbyes are hard, we will miss them.

Thanks for coming Kids
We love you
September Song out

DC Metro pictures

DC Metro

View from the cross over of the tunnel and trains

Metro train

Waiting for the train

On the Metro
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Smithsonian Folk life Festival

Hello all! Today we went to the Smithsonian Folk life Festival and National Archives. At the National Archives, we were able to see the original documents of the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. It was very interesting, they are kept in vacuum sealed vaults within a very controlled environment as far as temperature, low lighting, humidity control, etc. in order to keep preservation of the parchment and ink that make the documents. And yes, you can still see John Hancock's signature along with all of the other famous signors. Another funny thing at the Archives I did not know is that they keep all letters sent to the White House and the Presidents. They had on display some funny letters kids had written, and one of those letters was from Fidel Castro as a 12 year old boy that they found. It was not very well written as his mastery of the English language was not very good, but the purpose of the letter was to ask the president to send him a ten dollar bill. I'm not sure of the significance or why a ten dollar bill, but it was kinda funny to see.
Smithsonian Folk life festival was really neat. It was held outside on the grounds around some of the Smithsonian museums. NASA had tent after tent celebrating their 50 year history and it was a great opportunity to interact with employees of the many different facets of NASA. We were able to meet and listen to people who worked in their robotics division, geologists, archeologists, engineers, map makers, educators, a lady that programs the Mars rover, even astronauts from NASA offices all over the US. You could visit a NASA office and not get to meet the variety of people we were able to learn from all in one spot today. WAY COOL!! We also checked out the cultural exhibit where we saw a dance from a country (I can't think of the name of now and I'm the only one still awake) near the Himalayas not Tibet, It starts with a B... Sorry can't think of it. Anyway, that was interesting. The 3rd exhibit was "Texas", we didn't spend much time there. (Hope I don't offend any Texans, but it was hard to compete with the whole NASA thing...)
Tomorrow is our last day here. We are leaving Union Station at 4pm to head back home on the train. We do have plans to do one last stop, The International Spy Museum. Dad will have to blog it for you as this will unfortunately be my last blog. Goodbyes always suck, No matter how old I get I still cry every time we have to leave Dad and Steph. If I have not said this enough, we are so grateful for everything and fortunate to have been able to do this. I'm afraid I have a bit of my dad's adventurous spirit in me, take me some place I've never been and I will love every minute of it. It's hard to say goodbye to DC, it was spectacular. As I promised in my first blog, many great memories were made, and I hope my posts helped preserve those memories and help you experience a bit of it with us.

September Song out, but never forgotten...
We love you-Thanks for everything!

Oh I almost forgot, I promised to say hello to all of my friends at home and work. Wish I was there, NOT! :)

Austin and DJ learning Robotics, NASA style

Yeah, these guys are real astronauts. How cool is that!

The boys got to sign their names on this tire that had been up in space.

The festival was right next to Washington Monument (and Capitol Hill on the other side.)
Talk about your prime real estate with a view.
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DC Metro

First of all I apologize for yesterday, the camera malfunctioned. The trip was to the National Zoo, the park service does a great job with the exhibits. The highlight of the day was the Panda exhibit. If you would like to see the pictures of the monkey and orangutan exhibit you must do 3 things. 1. get up from the computer. 2. go to the bathroom. 3. Look in the mirror and make faces. :-)
The Metro system in DC is a great way to get around the city. You wouldn't need to own a car. Once you figure it out you can go just about any place you would need to go. We have been using it every day. The only time it gets a little crowed and hectic is during rush hour. It is a very clean and efficient system.
I am going to turn the computer over to Patti and let her do today's blog.

September Song out

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

US Capitol

Today we visited the Capitol. Stephanie called Rep. Jack Kingston's office and made arrangements to meet Mr. Kingston and have a private tour by one of his staff. We arrived at 9:15 and were ushered into his private office. On the coffee table was, of course a bowl of Georgia peanuts and tons of memorabilia on the walls and shelves. Mr. Kingston was in Homeland Security budget meetings and would meet us later. A staff member gave us a tour of the entire Capitol including a ride on the private subway under the Capitol, the Rotunda, tunnels under the Capitol and a chance to sit in the gallery and observe a session. After the tour the Staff member took us to the meeting room where Mr. Kingston was working and he came out and talked with us for about 15 minutes. The whole experience was incredible. It was 12:30 so we had lunch and went to the Museum of Natural History. It would take at least a day to see most of it, but we did catch a good bit of it including the hope diamond (not so big) before we wore out.
September Song awed and out
Tunnels under the Capitol
Private subway under the Capitol
The Rotunda
Ceiling of the Rotunda
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Another rainbow last night
Private subway under the Capitol
Representative Kingston's office
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Jefferson Memorial

It's this big

View from the pilot house

The President checking up on our visit
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Korean war memorial

Poor FDR

Waiting in line for a job

Jefferson memorial

How many died in the Vietnam war Grandma? "59,000"

Lincoln Memorial

Honest Abe himself

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Dad is busy helping Steph make dinner (tacos, yummy!) so I was elected to give the narrative for the day again. As you can tell by the pictures, we had a very productive day. We walked alot, saw alot, enjoyed alot. We saw the Washington monument, WWII memorial, Vietnam War memorial, Lincoln monument, Jefferson monument, Korean War memorial, FDR memorial, and the boys managed to get Grandpa on a paddle boat in the River Basin. Did I mention it was a productive day?

Washington DC is such a rich place filled with many reminders of our government, our past as a nation, and symbols of our freedom. Every American should experience this at least once, if not more since there is so much to see it is hard to see it all in one trip. I am very thankful for the opportunity- Thanks Dad and Steph!!

I would be hard pressed to pick a "favorite" so far, but I want to say that even though I did not live in that era, the Vietnam Memorial was incredible. I can't imagine what an impression it makes on those who did live through it and were affected by Vietnam. Call me a crybaby, I was in tears and am on the verge of them now just talking about it. 59, 000 lives and countless more that still live with the effects. Stephanie's brother was lost, Dad's best friend Jim was lost

Washington monument

WW II Memorial

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Look out Washington, We have arrived

We spent the day getting our first look at Washington from a tour trolley. Stephanie suggested we get an overall view of the area. She always has such great ideas. We saw so many things that we would not have time or energy to see in only a week. After our tour of the entire District including the Georgetown area and Embassy Row, the balance of the day was spent exploring the Air and Space Museum. Now it's time to put on the walking shoes tomorrow and explore Washington to the max. So much to see and so little time!
Speaking of time, It's late and past my bedtime again.

September Song out

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Our tour director

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