Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Monday, July 26, 2010

Knowing we couldn't see everything, we chose to go to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History first. It is by far my favorite, so I was pleased that the others wanted to see it.

We had visited the original Smithsonian building, known no as the Castle, where they have a couple of models of the National Mall. This is the section of the model that shows the Castle in red and the Museum of Natural History with its dome directly across the Mall from the Castle.

The big elephant in the entrance hall is certainly a memorable part of the Natural History Museum. I wanted a picture of the family with that elephant, who is now an old friend. Soon we were in the hall of the dinosaurs.

Jeff, Ashleigh and Jordan are among the huge dinosaur skeletons. The skeleton shown above is right at their feet.

Jordan hangs out with a huge triceratops.

Ashleigh studies about some mean looking critters with lots of huge teeth!

Jordan would just be one mouthful for that tyrannosaurus rex behind her.

The family looks at some fossils that may have been like horses. They were not nearly as strange as this giant armadillo-like creature, called a Glyptodont, found in southern Arizona.

When they saw the squirrel in the display with the huge mastodon, everyone immediatley identified him with Scrat, our favorite character in the Ice Age movies. One wonders whether they added the squirrel in response to those movies.

The size of these creatures was truly amazing! There was something here to interest all of us. We spent the greatest amount of time in the dinosaur exhibit, but then headed for the sea exhibit.

We had a playful time in the sea exhibit, with the girls zipping around looking at all the fish exhibits. This display had a fish suspended in a clear acrylic material.

In the large hall of the Sea exhibit they had both current whales and large prehistoric sea creatures. You had to be impressed with the enormous investment of effort and creativity. We enjoyed wandering in this area, but then moved on because they wanted a little time in the Air and Space Museum.

From the Natural History museum, we walked across the National Mall to get to Air and Space, so we got a good view of the Capitol on the way.

A picture of Ashleigh, Jordan and Elyse with Grandma and Granddad with the national Capitol building in the background. And then one more with the Washington Monument in the background.

We went to the Air and Space Museum, but I got booted out because of my Leatherman in the bottom of my pack. It was a full airport-type x-ray security system. After their visit to Air & Space we walked just down the mall to the entrance to the Smithsonian station of the Washington Metro.

We waited in the cavernous tunnel under the Mall until our train arrived. We had a quick trip back to the Franconia-Springfield Station to get the car and then drove the 140 miles back to Williamsburg. It had been a full day.

We had had an intense three-day adventure, so we all just took it easy on Tuesday, July 27. We played around in our suite, the girls went for crafts and swimming, and everyone relaxed.

At the end of this relaxing day, Jeff and Darla left Brenda and I watching a movie with the girls and went out to the grocery store. When they got back, they interrupted the movie for a birthday celebration for me. I was delighted with the picture of the girls and the fact that Brenda even captured Darla in the mirror. We praised the Lord for the time of visiting with Jeff and family. They were getting packed to head out for Pearl River in the morning.

Awana boys to Bent Tree

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