Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saturday in DC

Saturday morning we headed back into DC with the intention of visiting some museums and the Archives, as well as seeing the Capital up close.  We got off the subway at Union Station and headed over to the Capital first.  It's extremely impressive in person - you always see photos of the middle section but there are two rather large buildings on each end so in all the building is massive.  I was a bit disappointed that they have some ugly white tarps that are hiding what I assume to be scaffolding around the top portion, but I guess there's not much of a better way to conceal the necessary repairs that need to happen from time to time.
 From there we began walking down to the Smithsonian museum area.  We were going to wander around the museum for a little bit, see the Hope Diamond, see some exhibits and then head over to the Archives to see the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Once we got into the museum and discovered how crowded it was, and how many more people continued to file inside, I decided that I was pretty much done with indoor activities for the day.

I did get to see the Hope Diamond, which I guess is impressive but it really isn't as big as you might expect it to be in person. They have the diamond in a glass case on a pedestal that rotates in order to view it from all four sides of the case. You pretty much have to force and weasel your way up to the glass because that's what everyone else is doing. It sits about waist high, which may or may not be the best idea because if you are not up against the glass you pretty much can't see anything. I would think a higher vantage point would give more people the ability to see without having to step on small children (not that I mind that.).  Also, I didn't realize when I snapped this picture of the diamond that Will and Olivia were standing on the opposite side from me. Happy coincidence.
 We left the museum and spent a little time out in the National Sculpture Garden, letting the girls run around and play. It was there that we decided to change our plans about the Archives because the line to get inside the building was crazy long, so we made the decision to go ahead over to Arlington Cemetery instead. I'll do a post just for that experience because it's worthy of it's own post.

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