Melting in DC

Today we took a drive to Washington DC to see some sights.  I have learnt a thing or two on this trip, and our to-see list only had two things on it: the Air & Space Museum, and the White House. If we had more time and energy than that, we could ad lib.

Babess was very excited by the Air & Space Museum, although she would have liked to have found more information about “air” (ie the atmosphere).  It’s entirely possible we just weren’t looking in the right places – it is a big museum and we certainly didn’t see it all.

It's important to remember to look up, at this museum

It’s important to remember to look up, at this museum

We did see some very early planes and conceptual models (my favourite is La Minerve, a balloon with a ship hanging from it, complete with church on deck, and a cannon for signalling), and walked through the cabin of a 1950s airliner.  Then the kids enjoyed a computer game where they had to make decisions to get a mail plane safely through its route despite bad weather and failing instruments.

All three cooperating to get the mail through

All three cooperating to get the mail through

We saw an exhibition on the Wright brothers’ plane(s), and walked through a SkyLab module.  There was a big room about the lunar landings, including a lunar rover, but the space shuttle gallery was closed.

Fainjin "flies" a simulation of the wings of the Wright brothers' plane (it was broken before he got there, honest)

Fainjin “flies” a simulation of the wings of the Wright brothers’ plane (it was broken before he got there, honest)

Then we headed off for lunch.  The day was very hot and sunny, and the temperature had risen steadily while we were in the museum.  By the time we got to a restaurant we were very hot, and grateful for the air-conditioning and iced water.

After lunch we braved the heat againto see the White House.  We were outside for maybe 20 minutes, perhaps a little less.  We saw the White House (through the fence) briefly and posed for photos, then took refuge in a certain fast-food restaurant for ice-creams. Poor Babess was beet-red, not just her face but her arms and legs too, and we were all drooping and sweating from the heat.

I declared extreme weather conditions, and we took the metro back to where we had parked our car at a friend’s place. Even though the metro was air-conditioned, we all needed more iced water and even ice-blocks to suck on by the time we got there!  It was 35°C and humid, and even the locals were suffering.

If only we could get to the fountain to splash in the water...

If only we could get to the fountain to splash in the water…

We had a long drive back through rush-hour DC-and-surrounds traffic – we’re glad it’s not our daily commute!

© UpsideBackwards 2014.


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4 Responses to “Melting in DC”

  1. Says:

    Glad you had a good time down in DC.
    My boys are 10 and seven. We were thinking about visiting DC next year. Summer is the best time for us but it is supposed to be very hot down there.
    Anyway, I think my boys would really enjoy the AIr and Space Museum. That computer game you mentioned sounds like something they would have fun with.

  2. Steve C Says:

    We are so lucky in New Zealand to be able to have lunch on the grass in front of Parliament!

    • Kate @ upsidebackwards Says:

      We are indeed – but it’s not the same thing at all. The White House is more equivalent to Premier House or Government House, and is more accessible than either of those. You can do a public tour, and they have events where people are invited into the garden. I don’t think Premier House is ever open, and Government House is open once a year for tours, as well as occasional outdoor events in the grounds. 🙂
      The Capitol doesn’t have a lawn outside it per se, but there’s the great expanse of the National Mall to picnic and/or run around on, so I don’t think Americans are missing out!

  3. Stimey Says:

    The two spots you hit are definitely good ones. But, oh jeez, yesterday was the worst day to do it! Yes, even the locals suffered. Trust a local. 🙂

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