Wednesday, January 15, 2014

DC Day 3

D.C. just keeps getting better and better, I don't know how we'll top day 3! 

Yesterday we got in contact with my aunt and uncle who live in Baltimore to see if they'd be able to take a day-trip to D.C. and spend some time with us. Luckily they were both avilible and agreed to meet us down-town at about noon. That left us the whole morning to wander around and see what there was to see. 

So we took the Metro to the Mall and decided to just wander around for a while. And then about 3 seconds later, we decided that we should go to the Library of Congress. It was a nice long walk (about 40 minutes) from the Metro station to the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. It was a longer walk than we were planning on, but it was well worth it.

The Main Reading Room

We wandered into the building and went to the information desk. 
"We've never been here before." we said, "What should we see?"
"You're in luck," they said, "there's a tour starting in a few minutes!"

So we watched a short video about the library, and then took a guided tour of the Library of Congress. We saw all sorts of beautiful things. The architecture is stunning and the sculptures and artwork are all beautiful and full of symbolism.

And lets not forget the books! It's a library after all, literally full of books. Absolutely stunning, I was almost literally drooling the entire time.

We got to see one of three complete velum copies of The Gutenberg Bible as well as Thomas Jefferson's personal library. Not to mention the amazingly beautiful main reading room (which isn't open to tourists, you need a Library of Congress library card in order to even get into the room).

We took a quick pit-stop at the Library's gift shop, and then when we tried to leave the way we came, we discovered that all of the doors were closed. We were told to leave by a different route but found that D.C. Police had closed off the exits (still don't know why). So then, and I'm not at all kidding you here, a guy from the pentagon showed us a tunnel that lead out of the building and into the Madison building across the street. Library escape tunnel!

There didn't seem to be any possible way to top the Library of Congress, but when we met up with my aunt and uncle and decided to go to the National Air and Space Museum, it certainly gave our day so far a good run for its money.

I had actually been to the Air and Space Museum before (about 14 years ago), but I didn't remember much of my previous trip, so I'm very glad that we all got a chance to hang out and explore it again.

We took another guided tour and saw the The Spirit of St. Louis, the Lunar Lander and everything in between. It was an amazing tour and an amazing museum, and I only wish that we had had the time (and the energy) to see more of it. We spent about 3 hours at the museum and still only saw a fraction of what was on display.

The museum was humungous and a little bit overwhelming (like all of the Smithsonian museums) and I spent a lot of time just trying to take everything in. One cool thing that the museum has (besides all of the planes and flying machines and rockets and satellites), is a piece of the moon. And it's available to be touched by museum patrons. So yeah, I touched the moon, no big deal.

But honestly, the best part was getting to see my aunt and uncle who live in Baltimore. We've actually seen them a lot over the last year (what with the wedding and all), but we usually never get to see them, so this was a real treat!

And that was pretty much Day 3 of our D.C. trip. It's been the most amazing vacation so far, and I just can't wait to tell you guys all about Day 4!

Stay tuned!

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