Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DC Day 2

Yesterday I had my very own wild and crazy D.C. adventure! My husband was stuck attending meetings and such all day (we're technically here for him to attend a conference), so I was on my own.

The first thing I had to do was finally figure out how the Metro works. I bought one of those SmarTrip cards I was telling you guys about at a drug store, and took it down to the closest Metro station to put some extra cash on it. Now I had $18 worth of Metro fares and all of DC to explore!

I wanted to get myself downtown as quickly as possible, and I was lucky that the train I wanted happened to be at the platform just as I arrived, I hopped on, and my adventure started.

My first stop was the American History Museum, which again is run by the Smithsonian, and as such is 100% free to visit! I saw so many amazing exhibits that I'll admit, I was more than a little overwhelmed. Usually when I go to a museum I like to learn as much as I can about the different exhibits, but I was so overwhelmed, I just tried to take it all in as best I could.

I saw an exhibit full of boats and planes and cars called American on the Move. Next up was something called FOOD, which was, surprisingly enough, about food. Specifically, about how food has changed in American in the last 50 years, and how that in turn has changed our country. But the absolute coolest thing about that exhibit was this:

Isn't it beautiful?
That is Julia Child's kitchen. As in, her actual kitchen, which she donated to the Smithsonian in 2001. How awesome is that? I couldn't stop starring!

Next up I went to visit the Star Spangled Banner (the flag that inspired the song), which I had seen on my last visit to DC, almost 14 years ago. I saw another exhibit on the lives of the Presidents and First Ladies, and then I took a trip through time in an exhibit called American Stories. This exhibit was full of classic icons of American culture, like Dorothy's ruby slippers and...

My favorite frog!
There was actually an entire little display on puppetry in America, but I'll be honest, it kind of creeped me out...

I spent a few hours at the museum, and even though there was a lot left to see, I knew I had to head out to the zoo! I told you I'd go back to the National Zoo. There was just so much that we didn't see on Sunday, and I knew that at least one more trip was going to be in order!

I tired to spend my time visiting the animals that I didn't see on Sunday. And even though I spent another 2 hours at the zoo, there's still a lot I haven't seen!

Although I did visit the Asian Trail, and see this adorable Red Panda. I also spent some time with the Elephants, which we hadn't really gotten a good look at on Sunday. I made stops at the Ape House and the Reptile House, which were both lots of fun. Apparently, there's a sort of sky-line that connects the Ape House with a research building called the Think Tank. The line (which the zoo calls the O Line) is for the apes to swing across back and forth between buildings. How cool is that?

Also, while I didn't exactly go into the Bird House, I did wander around the outside of it, where lots of beautiful birds were exhibited. I saw Greater Rheas and Kuri Bustards and these lovely but very very loud flamingos. I had no idea that flamingos could be so loud!

And that was about it for my wild and crazy D.C. adventure. I had a wonderful time exploring the city on my own, and I would love to do it again some day, but for the remainder of this trip at least, I'll have some company. My husband is done attending the required meetings and such and will be joining me in my future explorations. We're actually meeting up with some relatives of mine who live in the area, and the plan for today is to hit up yet another museum or two!

Stay tuned!

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