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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spy museum, Air and Space museum, & American History museum

Friday May 19

Today was our last touristy day. We started off early at the International Spy museum.  This was also on Ethan's favorite list. I have to admit it was interesting to get into the mind of a spy. The exhibits taught us to 1. trust no one, 2. always be on guard for suspicious behavior, and 3. watch for surveillance. We saw lots of examples of cool spy gear and learned about how the art of spying has been around since almost the beginning of time, and infiltrates every country. 
No photos allowed for obvious reasons :).

Next stop was Ethan's number one favorite: the Smithsonian's Air and Space museum. 

 We saw the original plane flown by the Wright brothers and

 Amelia Earhart's plane. Very cool.

Ethan tried all the hands-on science exhibits and we even flew in a flight simulator. That was an experience.  After spending half of our three minute exercise upside down, I was reminded why I never wanted to be a flight pilot.  There were also a number of exhibits about space travel and the skyline was full of space ships and planes.  
We could have spent all day here.

  The last museum we visited was the American History museum.

Here we saw my favorite exhibit of the trip; Old Glory.  We walked into a light controlled room where photography was prohibited and read about the inspiring events that moved Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem;  Star Spangled Banner. 

  I am grateful for museums where we protect artifacts that are so important to our history.  There is nothing that can compare to seeing with your own eyes these beautiful relics.

Other interesting exhibits included the hall of presidents, and a display of inaugural dresses of the first ladies.There was an exhibit dedicated to American iconic symbols including a Kermit the Frog puppet and Dorothy's red ruby slippers from the movie The Wizard of Oz. I was surprised to see a granite sun stone and a china plate from Nauvoo with a description about Joseph Smith and his Mormon religion. We also saw Abe Lincoln;s iconic tall hat.

I should mention that we visited DC in the peak of the tourist season. There were buses EVERYWHERE and groups of school kids all over the place.  Navigating the crowds was crazy!

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