Patapsco Valley State Park
Ellicot City, MD
Today is our fifth and final day to visit Washington DC. I must say I think we saved two of the best museums for last, The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and The National Archives. We also took a stroll through the Hall of Presidents exhibit at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery but didn't take any pictures.
First up this morning, The Air and Space Museum. There is so much to see and do here, some of it is historical and some of it is educational (mostly geared towards children). For us, we were here to see the Original 1903 Wright Brothers Flyer (the guys who started it all), Charles Lindberg's Spirit of St. Louis and Amelia Earhart's Lockhead Vega with which they set so many early World Records. On the space side of the museum they had a Mercury Space Capsule, an Apollo Lunar Module and a Touchable Moon Rock. The moon rock was kind of a big disappointment, it was surrounded by glass and just a flat shaved piece of rock was exposed that you could touch. I didn't even take a picture, but if anyone ever asks, I did touch a moon rock!
Second on the list was The National Archives building. Just like all the rest there is so much here to see you could spend the whole day. For us we were here to see The Charters of Freedom exhibit. It includes the big three documents that tells the world what The United States are all about, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and The Bill of Rights. They are located in the central rotunda of the building, all along the walls under dim lights to preserve the 240+ year old parchment they are written on. There were three guards in the room at all times and I imagine several more watching on cameras from above. As wonderful as it was to see these three historical documents, also on display were some rough drafts of each with things crossed out and rewritten in the margins, just like my high school homework used to look like.
Lastly for the day was The Smithsonian Portrait Gallery. So much to see and do but we were here to see the America's Presidents exhibit. This is the only place outside of The White House where you can see the official portraits of every American President, George Washington through Barack Obama. We kind of squeezed this one in at the last moment, it's located across the street from the Metro Station and I'm glad we took a look inside.
With five visits into Washington DC in the span of ten days I'd say we covered about as much we possibly could.
STATS FOR TODAY - 13,168 steps or 4 miles
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