I spent another day today becoming totally impressed with Washington, D.C. After a typical in-room and self-supplied breakfast (see below!), I took a stroll down 15th street, hopped on the Metro, and was standing on The Mall about forty-five minutes later after I got out of the Smithsonian stop. On my left was the Washington Monument, on my right, the U.S. Capital building, and in between were acres of space that exuded all the things that make this place great. Those things are: People, Spaces, History, and Culture. The people watching here is fantastic, and there are many time you are hard-pressed to find people around you speaking English. D.C. draws a world-wide crowd and that is a testament to its pull as a destination worthy of a long trip.
|Cups of coffee (or two...three?), bowl of cereal, some fruit, and I'm out the door...|
Speaking of spaces, I spent the morning in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It is an incredible collection of all things that relate to flying. While the collection celebrates the world’s accomplishments, it is a great time to comment on our country’s prowess as a technology leader. From the Wright brothers airplane, to currently deployed technologies Smithsonian celebrates it all. The access to history is second to NONE…One minute you’re standing on The Mall, the next minute you’re standing in FRONT of the airplane that launched the modern aviation age…It leaves you breathless!
|Starting my day off on the Wright stuff...Standing in front of the Wright Brothers' airplane! Got to give them props...|
|Planes just hanging everywhere!|
|Standing in an a forest of missiles and rockets...unreal!|
As if that’s not enough, it was time to stroll over to the United States National Archives. If it’s worth keeping, they have it…My goal today was the Holy Grail of American documents: The Declaration of Independnce, The U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Once inside the impressive building, where photography is prohibited, I was ushered into the collections rotunda. On my way there, a docent casually said to me, “By the way, sir, we have a Magna Carta on display, too.” I was FLOORED. It was like hearing “today’s special” at a restaurant…and what a special it was! To see an original Magna Carter, signed in 1215, was almost surreal.
|Headed to the U.S. National Archives...It's like the attic for our country!|
|Seeing those document is akin to seeing the country's instruction manual...|
However, the Magna Carta was just the appetite for my document dining. There, in glasses, casements, low-light, cool temperature, proper humidity and a room full of armed guard were the most important pieces of paper in our country’s history. To see the VERY pieces of paper that all of the Founding Fathers cast their eyes on was an epic brush with history. Although aged and faded, the “When in the course of human events…” and “We, the People of the United States…” at the top of the parchment was too much to believe. Words cannot describe the impact of this visit.
After I pulled my jaw from the ground, I headed out to take The Mall on for one last go-around. I hit the National Sculpture Garden, National Museum of the Natural History, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Washington Monument, and ended my day like many others do…sitting down on The Mall, taking it all in…
|As long as I'm here, time to see the National Sculpture Garden! (Archives in background)|
Join me for the last picture, there’s room on the bench, and we’d have PLENTY to talk about!
|What a day! Let's sit down and talk about everything we've seen...where do you want to start?|
Thanks for joining me today…~Mr. K.