Monday, March 23, 2015

Walkabout Continues on the National Mall

As part of the forced march tour of the National Mall I inflicted on Sherry and Sarah our first day in Washington, we visited the Lincoln Memorial. By the day ended, Sherry's feet were blistered, and Sarah had a headache. I broke my womenfolk.
Sherry declined to climb the steps to go inside the building, but Sarah and I did so I could get this shot of the big guy on his throne.
Near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was a small portable building that was headquarters for a group raising money for the laudable purpose of establishing an interpretive center for that memorial. Being a U.S. Constitution geek, I was perplexed by this sign saying that Jefferson "Gave us the Constitution." Jefferson was American Minister to France and was in Paris during the Constitutional Convention and did not leave until late in 1789, after most states' ratifying conventions had concluded. In fact, he managed to hinder Madison a bit in getting the Constitution ratified in Virginia all the way from Paris. Jefferson, of course, was principal drafter of the Declaration of Independence.
As we made our way back across the National Mall, we saw a crowd of people watching the White House, where a helicopter was sitting on the lawn. After a couple of minutes three helicopters with paint jobs like Marine One took off from the White House grounds.

Our cousin Andrew took off from work on one of the days we were in town, and he offered to drive us around. We hadn't planned on visiting the Smithsonian Air and Space museum, but we lucked into a parking spot right across the street from it, so we spent an hour or so wandering around it.
The Wright Brothers Airplane
The Hindenburg
Sarah tried on a lot of hats in various gift stores during our visit.
As a kid I was fascinated by the Apollo space program, and probably a little worried about what I later knew as the Cold War. I remember asking my parents why the Russians hated us, and wondering if they were normal people that loved their families like we do. Perhaps that is why I was particularly interested in the Apollo-Soyuz space mission. The astronauts and cosmonauts docked their respective vehicles in space, a feat never accomplished before. It was a hopeful moment in history.
Andrew, Sherry and Sarah pose in front of a lunar lander.