Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 38: Washington D.C. & Smithsonian Museums

Herb and Gayle's place is very close to Washington D.C., so we made a trip into the city to see the monuments and tour some of the museums.  They were nice enough to drive us into town and drop us right at the Capital.  We rode back on the Metro.

If you want to visit the Capitol, don't bring any food or water with you.  Security won't let you in.  No problem, we have our own dome in Texas.

The Library of Congress doesn't mind if you pack a lunch.

You're not supposed to photo the Gutenberg Bible so you'll have to go see it in person.

Gutenberg's printing press was quite a technological break through.

The building is magnificent!  Mosaics and marble everywhere...

Go to the link and read about this when you have a moment.  It's a pretty fascinating story. Of course, you can't take pictures of this either.

This is where you go to check out volumes and do research!

This was a highlight of the day.  It was actually raining off and on and this was a great place to get out of the rain!  There's about 10 different climates with every plant imaginable.

The outdoor gardens are beautiful too...

Especially the roses!

Seeing this Magritte painting was like seeing an old friend because we lived with a print of it on the wall of Scott and Amy's casita this past year! This one's the real deal.

No, just the Smithsonian Castle.

Pretty whimsical though, as were the contents. It was like a buffet of all the Smithsonian museums where you could have a taste of natural history, american indian culture, american history, contemporary art, pop culture, live animals (via the live panda cam!), geology, etc. Quite the smorgasbord of stuff. 

Across the Mall at the American History Museum is more of the amazing Smithsonian collection.  Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet and Herbie Hancock's keytar!?!

There was a big exhibit featuring Edison and all things electric.  It looks like after electric light, toasting bread was the next big priority!

Jackson and Crocker's roadtrip, 1903 style, and they brought a dog!
This was the first time a car was driven successfully across the country and it was done on a dare!  Read about it here and here.  The entire trip cost $8000, including the cost of their Winton automobile, and it was done in 63 days.  Kind of interesting, their daily average works out to $127 per day and ours is currently at $66.50.

In addition to cars, the museum has locomotives, trucks, motorcycles, and things transportation related.

Elsewhere in the museum: an original Superman costume worn by George Reeves.  There was also a Patsy Cline costume on display, the scarecrow's hat and shoes from the Wizard of Oz (Dorothy's red shoes were being cleaned), several gowns worn by the First Ladies, Presidential clothing...

...and the top hat President Lincoln was wearing the night of his assassination.  

We also saw the original flag from the War of 1812...the flag that was "so gallantly streaming"...the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner.  No pictures are allowed of it (for it's preservation), but it's very powerful.  It's full of holes and burnt in places from when it flew over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore.  It's 8 feet shorter and 200 square feet smaller than originally due to the battle damage and because people took pieces for mementos after the war was won, it's even missing a star!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the photos ans especially of the George Reeves Superman costume of the 50's. I grew up with Superman and it was the greatest ever even though today's special affects greatly enhance the affect of Superman's super strength, speed and abilities.
    I only hope that People of the future will be able to truly appreciate the Legend of Superman as a lot of us did when we grew up in the 50's and 60's.I am still deeply attached to the Superman emblem that George Reeves wore as it was the best.Long Live Superman !!!(Kal-El of Krypton) Truth, Justice and the American Way!