Our Dog Jake

Our Dog Jake
Jake's a happy dog

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hidden Treasure: National Postal Museum

The National Postal Museum, totally unassuming Smithsonian location, holds an incredibly interesting and interactive set of exhibits.  Everything from the history of mail delivery, to lost mail, to mail fraud, to a Stamp Gallery.  There is also a totally interactive exhibit of how direct marketing really works.

These are some of the more creative mail boxes on display.

This is the exhibit about the Unibomber.  These are the handcuffs used in his arrest and an unopened package.  Interesting, living history.

Union Station DC

I had never been inside of a large train/travel station like this before. I was really excited that we were able to visit.
Here we are with another large Christmas Tree. This is the one in Union Station. It's covered in little American Flags. Nice touch.

This was a miniture train set inside of the station. It was a good stop.

National American History Museum

Route 66 exhibit

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National Air & Space Museum

Being a very cold day, right in the middle of Christmas vacation time, the National Air & Space Museum was very, very full. Millions of people visit each year, and I am pretty sure that 1 of those million were there the day we visited. This fact alone made the visit to the other Air & Space Museum all the better. The exhibits here were interactive, high-tech, interesting and at times hard to see and really enjoy. Here are a few that we were able to really take advantage of:
Raven & the Wright Brothers

JB & the Starship Enterprise:

Luke & Raven at Lunchtime:

Library of Congress Christmas Tree Capitol, and National Museum of the American Indian

The Library of Congress in one AMAZING place. It houses over 145 million items and over 33 million cataloged books. It is the largest library in the world. And it is always growning, collecting more books and other items. Not just printed or other wise recorded artifacts are on display at the Library of Congress, but we found Houdini's actual cuffs:

It is awesome to see the preservation of print in thie digital world in which we live.

It was a very cold day when we visited these locations. The Capitol tour was quite informative. The building has so much history, so many have been through it's halls, to see it in person was a wonderful experience.

The National Museum of the American Indian is the 16th museum of the Smithsonian Institution and the first to showcase and preserve the life, heratige, history and arts and the Native Americans. This unique structure houses collections of artifacts from all around the Americas.

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Inside the Museum of Native Americans

Raven loves when we see anything that is a Raven. Here on the upper level of the museum is an exhibit of How Raven Stole the Sun.

Inside the graceful expanse of the National Museum of the American Indian there are visually stunning works of art, expressions of visceral feeling on the history that the Native Americans have experienced as this land became the United States.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

National Zoo Lights

We did not make it to see the National Zoo durring the day, but we were able to go for an evening of the Zoo Lights event. It was a great night! A few of the buildings and exhibits were open for us to visit along the trail of lights.

These dancing pandas, albeit a bit strange in this more than life size snow globe, they were engaging and playful with the kids.

The light displays were beautiful and the ones set to music were fun for the kids to sing and dance with.

It was a real treat to see the Pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, being active this evening. Raven LOVES Pandas. There was a zoologist available to talk about the research they are doing with them and tell visitors about Panda daily life. Very Cool.

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Washington National Cathedral

The Washington National Cathedral was first the idea of L'Enfant's in 1791 as a "great church for national purposes." It was not begun to be built until the early 1900's. It was not considered "completed" until 1990, 83 years of construction. 15 Presidents have had their funerals at the Cathedral, 5 have held their presidential inaugural prayer service, and there is a Darth Vader sculpture near the top of the west tower.

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National Ait and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

I don't think that we could have made a better choice for seeing the National Air and Space Museum than we did going out near Dulles to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. A short drive from DC, the thousands of aviation and space artifacts are well showcased and easily strolled around to take it all in.
The Space Shuttle Enterprise in the McDonnell Space Hanger was amazingly big.
It was not crowded, so we were able to enjoy reading about and looking at aircrafts, prototypes, bombers and airliners and so much more.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Arlington National Cemetery

It was a very cold, brisk morning when we visited Arlington National Cemetery. I was unsure what to expect when we arrived, the sprawling hills of headstones were awe inspiring.
We were able to watch the change of guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial

The Marine Corps War Memorial stands as a symbol of honored dead of the U.S. Marine Corps. While the statue depicts one of the most famous incidents of World War II, the memorial is dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in the defense of the United States since 1775.

The statue is 32 feet tall with a 60-foot flag pole, on which a cloth flag flies 24 hours a day and is replaced regularly.

This was a very meaningful visit for Raven.

National Museum of American History

If the Smithonian Institution is "America's Attic" then the National Museum of American History is the really-cool-you'll-never-see-it-all corner of the attic that you just want to try on the old shoes, clothes and masks and play dress-up.

We saw so much and at times got distracted enjoying the sights we just forgot to take pictures. For those we did take, if you really want to see them, they are all on the web albums.

"It's not easy being green" . . . yes that's what you want to sing when you see Kermit.

These are the real Ruby Slippers, a great find for us Wizard of Oz fans!!
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Korean Memorial

Years ago when JB visited DC on business, I remember pictures he brought home of the Korean War Veterans Memorial. It was rainy and foggy and the statues of the soldiers in the field seems to breathe.

When walking upon this memorial on the clean, sunny Sunday that we visited it, I did not feel the same effect as I remember from the pictures before. Nonetheless, it is a moving and meaningful memorial.

Washington Monument - to the top

We were fortunate enough to be able to get tickets to go to the top of the Washington Monument. The tickets are free, you just have to be there early to get them and flexible enough to come back when a time is available. It was a beautiful clear afternoon when we rode to the top.

The view from the top was so cool! It was fun seeing all of the places we had been and planned to go.

Here is Raven taking the picture above:

I like this one of the Capitol:

This is the Smithsonian Castle, the original building that housed artifacts and research. It now has operational offices and a rotating exhibit in a small area, it is also the resting place of James Smithson, the benefactor of the Institution, in his crypt. A picture of this to come later from our visit to the Castle.

You can see the change in color of the marble stone used to build the Washington Monument. If you are interested in the details of why . . . see details.

Some of our YouTube's


Coco's demise

Coco's demise
Luke's coconut cut open and not liked!

Green Sand Beach

Green Sand Beach
yes the sand is really green!

Easter 2007

Easter 2007
Akin & Puryear kids

Red River 2006

Red River 2006
New Mexico w/ the Hager/Puryear/Lee Family

New Mexico 2006

New Mexico 2006
Raven, Luke, Noel & Trey 1 year ago

JB & Kids in Bishop Castle

Field of Flowers

Field of Flowers
Elk Mountain's colorful wildflowers in early June