About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

A Day at the Museums (Washington DC)

Okay, it's officially Day 1 of my holidays in Washington DC and in my mind I was sure the weather was going to be warm and sunny. I checked the weather on Sunday while I was still in Sydney and to my delight, the weather forecast was telling me sunny all the way from Tuesday to Sunday in Washington DC. Perfect! I couldn't have asked for more!!!!

After a relatively eventful day of travel, I was relieved to arrive in Washington DC around 8.30 pm last night. I put on my sun protection lotion as I was gearing up this morning for a day of outdoor walking. I stepped out of the hotel only to find the clouds looking threateningly grey and small drops of rain plopping down. Back to the hotel I went to pick up my umbrella.

Suffice to say, it ended up being a very wet day. So it was a change of plans from outdoors to indoors. On to the Smithsonian Institution. I can be such a dork sometimes; how could I not have known that the Smithsonian is the largest museum and research complex in the world and that it consists of many museums and research facilities? In my very small mind, I thought it was 1 block of buildings which included the Air and Space museum. I have been corrected big time! :-)

National Museum of American History
I decided to start by visiting the National Museum of American History. I cannot believe how much effort and artefacts have been put into this Museum. There was so many interesting things to look at and read about.

I found the Food section interesting (you wouldn't be surprised by that would you?). There was a large space dedicated to Julia Childs and a replica of her kitchen was on display. Fascinating stuff!!

There were trains, cars, engines, generators of various kinds showing the different eras. I even saw an open wagon up close.

Visual map of Route 66
The Buick!
They had a section especially dedicated to the Star Spangled Banner and I actually saw the very first flag that was hand made. The lady was paid US 455.50 for making the flag. Apparently at that point that amount of money was more than the average year's salary. Wowzah!!

I even got to touch a piece of the Berlin Wall. And I am not even in Germany.

There was a section on the American Presidents and a separate adjoining section on the First Ladies. Traditionally each First Lady gifts her inaugaration dress to the Smithsonian for the public to view the history of all First Ladies special outfits. It is not always the case it is the inauguration gown but definitely something of historical significance. 
Michelle Obama's gown
In this exhibit, guess which First Lady was the most popular? As in most photographed and most looked at? Of course, it is Michelle Obama.
Judy Garland's Red Shoes from Wizard of Oz
Abraham Lincoln's Pocket Watch and Fob
The whole place is amazing. I cannot believe that I didn't have to pay a cent to see all of these things. Some sections were prohibited from taking photographs but mostly it was quite free for us to take pics and when they wanted us to touch something, there was a sign that said 'Touch me' or 'Touch this'. Cool!

National Museum of Natural History
After spending about 3 plus hours in the first Museum, I went to the next building which is the National Museum of Natural History. Wow! I was blown away by how much to there is to see and learn too.

When I stepped into the main entrance the first thing to greet me was a large elephant right in the middle of the rotunda. It turns out each major section has a rotunda which centrepieces many of the mammals the section is focused on.

Amazing! I didn't expect to spend as much time there as I finally did. There were Elephants, whales, dinasours, creatures from the sea, and on, and on. Best to just show photos rather than try to talk about something I am not an expert in. I even saw mammals of the land and sea kind, some were species which I didn't even know existed.


There was a section on minerals and gems. Boy was it packed!!!! I even got to see the Hope Diamond; which I didn't realise was donated to the Smithsonian by Harry Winston; the renowned jeweller.

37.8 carats Chalk Emerald
Hope Diamond - my photo is blah! Can't do it justice..sorry!
This place was so cool. I loved it!!!!!

By the time all this came to pass, it was almost 5 o'clock. My body was weary, my feet were tired and I was feeling hungry. Time to rest up and re-energise for tomorrow.

Peak hour in downtown Washington DC - seems to be a one way queue only

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