National Air and Space Museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by stomps on December 30, 2006

After visiting the US Botanic Gardens, we worked our way west and into the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. I was particularly interested in checking out what the museum had to offer, since my only memories of my previous visit, during a spring break trip in 5th grade, were of giant airplanes hanging from the ceiling and only being able to find a unisex bathroom that sported a stall… with no stall door. Embarrassed, I decided not to use it and ended up spending the entire visit crossing my legs instead!

Apollo 11 greeted us in the entranceway, and after turning a few more corners, we found plenty of other spacecraft. Unfortunately, living right next to the Space Center and taking countless visitors there has somewhat dulled the excitement of seeing spacecraft up close and personal, so I wandered on. James didn’t idle for long in front of these giant vehicles, since we didn’t have a lot of time and he knew he’d be visiting Space Center Houston shortly anyway.

We went through a few exhibits but didn’t spend long in any of them until we found the Wright Brothers Flyer. This was the one thing in DC that enchanted James more than anything else. Our pace slowed immediately as he pored over all of the signs surrounding the Wright Flyer, absolutely enthralled (apparently, he was fascinated because he had done a report on the Wrights in grade school). For some reason, I didn’t get a picture of him in front of it, but we did get a good shot of the Flyer on its own, which has been his desktop background ever since. We also got a good picture of one of the best descriptions in the exhibit, stating that the Wright Flyer was “The World’s First Power-Driven Heavier-than-Air Machine in Which Man Made Free, Controlled, and Sustained Flight. Invented and Built by Orville and Wilbur Wright, Flown by Them at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, December 17, 1903. By Original Scientific Research the Wright Brothers Discovered the Principles of Human Flight As Inventors, Builders, and Flyers they Further Developed the Aeroplane, Taught Man to Fly, and Opened the Era of Aviation.”

After dragging James away from the Flyer and skimming a few more exhibits, we acquainted ourselves with the Smithsonian food court. It was full of lesser-known restaurants like McDonald’s, where we bought ourselves a snack to tide ourselves over until lunch, which we planned to eat in Georgetown. We then arranged with my friend Debbie to meet outside the Museum of Natural History, so we took off quickly in that direction so we could take in the most important parts of the museum (read: the Hope Diamond) before she arrived.
Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
Independence Avenue At 4th Street SW
Washington, DC

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