Saturday, 5 February 2011

Dec 30 - Smithsonian Mark 1

Ordinary buffet breakfast for the second day in a row was not as exciting, no matter how much value it was. It served the purpose of energising us for the day though, and off we went to our first museum of the Smithsonian Institution, The National Museum of the American Indian.

View from the National Mall. US Capitol on one side...
...and the Washington Monument on the other. The children were given a chance to "go crazy" before they had to "behave" within the museums...
Our first stop

It must have been cold as the water feature was frozen
Channeling our inner Indian
Waiting for the museum to open. Very kiasu...had to be the first ones there!
The museum was well set out and the children, surprisingly, enjoyed it. They sat transfixed, watching Indian folk stories, on the screens. A similar system that was used in the Jefferson Library was employed for their displays of native artifacts. This meant the children could touch and look closely without undue parental anxiety.
We strolled through the various aspects of American Indian culture including art and music, before completing our experience with an American Indian lunch. We settled for ground buffalo nachos, buffalo pull apart, pork crusted with coffee and chocolate accompanied with a wild rice salad, blue corn bread and an Indian version of tres leches cake. The meal was quite nice!
The excellent interactive system
American Indians in popular culture
Ground buffalo nachos
Blue corn bread

We moved on to the National Air and Space Museum, another excellent museum! In particular, I really enjoyed the gallery on the Wright Brothers. Amongst others, we saw a plane built by Wilbur and Orville as well as the plane owned by Amelia Earhart. The simulator ride although fun was a little disappointing, considering one had to pay $7 for it. The hours zoomed past and before long, it was dinner time.

The boys loved the National Air and Space Museum
Amelia Earhart's Vega
Where we spent most of our time
Watching an educational demonstration of the four factors for flight
Even Jonah is watching!
"I can do this!"
A lovely view of the Art Gallery on the way out
A McDonald's cart?!?!

We caught a taxi to DuPont Circle. I struggled to see why it was listed as a place to visit as I felt there was nothing special about it. Perhaps, I missed something...We, of course, ended up having Malaysian cuisine for dinner. Char kway teow, har mee, Hainanese chicken rice, roti canai, otak otak and po pia were well appreciated by all. With our failure to find any shopping establishments, we headed home.

No more words needed...

I wanted to make a comment about the seemingly poor ventilation in the galleries of the Air and Space Museum. Despite only wearing a thin top and jeans, it was still very hot and stuffy. It was rather unpleasant at times. We couldn't work out whether it was simply a lack of ventilation or intentional heating. We have noticed that the insides of buildings in Washington DC tend to be warmer than those in New York. Just a small observation...

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