Sunday, January 24, 2010

4 more checked off the list

WWII Memorial

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian Museum of American History

This was the first weekend in a long time that the weather was decent and I didn't have anything planned, so I decided to check a few more things off my "DC to-do list." Saturday, I went to the WWII memorial, 2 Smithsonian museums - Natural History and American History, and the Holocaust museum. My legs were ready to fall off by the end of the day!!

The WWII memorial was very neat but I was a little annoyed at all the school tours visiting and the kids being so loud and irreverent. It was evident they couldn't care less about the history and meaning of the memorial. My grandpa fought in WWII and my grandma worked in an airplane factory, so I was there to honor them. What's really cool about the memorial is that you can look up the names of people who fought or contributed to the war effort on computers. I found both my grandpa and grandma on the list...and then held up the line of people behind me trying to take pictures of their names without the computer screen glare! Ha! I'm so proud of them and I intend to go back to the memorial one evening after work when there aren't so many obnoxious kids around.

The Smithsonian museums were great, but again, really crowded....and it's not even prime tourist season! Yikes! Can't imagine what this city is going to be like when the cherry blossom trees are blooming. The Natural History museum definitely fed the science geek in me :) I was in my element surrounded by ecology, anthropology, geology, biology, oceanology, etc. The more "-ology" the better! (FYI...the suffix "ology" means "study of"). The American History museum had some very cool exhibits, such as Julia Child's actual kitchen, pictures of holiday storefronts throughout the years, and of course iconic items from movie, television, plays, and musicals. I almost started jumping up and down like a little kid when I saw Kermit the Frog! I was staring at my childhood!! I even dressed up as Kermie for Halloween one year....those were the days.

Then I went to the Holocaust museum....should have done that first so I wouldn't end the day on a sad note. It was a good museum full of important history but I was slightly disappointed because of all the hype and rave reviews it has received since opening. I was expecting more hands-on exhibits or real items and artifacts but instead it was probably 90% pictures and words describing the pictures, or just posters of words. Lots of reading, which was difficult because of course everyone was pressed against the walls trying to read the posters. I will say that it was nice to see the reverence on everyone's faces as they moved through the exhibit and not a single cell phone rang!

So, it was an eventful Saturday and I would definitely like to go back through the Smithsonian museums when they are not so crowded!

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