Staying in DC has been pretty expensive. We were really lucky that we arrived late saturday night because we found out that Parking can cost anywhere from 30 to 95 dollar a night. Luckily, when we pulled up to the hotel there was an open spot, and we got to park our car there Saturday evening and all day Sunday. However, I had to wake up at six o’ clock in the morning in order to avoid a 50 dollar ticket. I was told by the Hotel manager that the one thing they are very efficient at in DC is enforcing parking rules. Having only been there two days, I wouldn’t call my self an expert, but I will say that driving downtown in the morning is scary. People run red lights, walk out on the road in front of a green light and go out of their way to not let you change lanes. After about twenty minuets of trying to park in a garage three blocks away, I managed to make it into the lot and pay the 15 dollar twelve hour parking fee. I walked down to a local Pete’s coffee and wrote the blog I posted before this one. When I got back to the hotel, I woke up Alisa and packed our things in order to check out. We were both really sad that our trip here was coming to an end. Like I wrote before, we feel as though the time we had allotted there was not nearly enough to explore and appreciate all the free things on the Washington Mall. I would like to say that we would come back again and try to stay a lot longer, but it is so expensive that I can’t imagine us returning anytime in the near future. Unless you want to pay for our next trip??
We checked out and made our last walk toward the Washington Mall. We made one final stop at the White House and just took in the view. It’s really weird to imagine that the President is right there in the building in front of you (However, I think he was on vacation the whole time we were there.) We started out our last day at the Hall of Records and got a chance to see the Magna Carta, The Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, and The Bill of Rights. The building that houses these documents is truly amazing. It’s huge on the outside and very elaborate on the inside. The room with the actual documents is huge. The ceiling itself has to be several hundred feet. They keep the lights really low the whole time they are on display because it damages the documents. It was a really cool to be able to see all these documents, however the Declaration of Independence is not doing well these days. The writing on it has almost completely faded away. You can hardly tell what it is. Shortly after it was written, an artist was commissioned to make a plate of the document in order to preserve what it originally looked like, so we had to opportunity to see and original print from the era, but it was still a little sad to see it in that condition.
|No photos were allowed inside|
When we got to the American History Museum, we discovered that the entire right wing was shut down for renovation. We headed inside for a bit and snapped a few pictures before deciding that we should explore some of the other museums that were completely open. However, before we left the museum we did find a really cool exhibit. It was a gun boat that was sunk in 1776 called the Philadelphia. I have attached a picture of the plaque if you want to read about it and a few picture of Alisa next to it.
|Behold! The Triceratops digestive system|
From there, we headed to the Natural History museum. This place is awesome. It has everything a big kid would love. There was a section with every type of stuffed animal possible (Alisa and I took mostly photos of the Big Cats). We saw a collection of rare rocks, and I got an opportunity to hug a meteorite (have you ever hugged one?). We got to see a collection of rare diamonds and the the Hope Diamond (I guess its the most famous one on the planet). We were bummed out, however, that they only had one set of dinosaur bones on display–it was a triceratops. Also included was a highly sophisticated scientific diagram of how the digestive system of said dinosaur functions (see the picture on the right). The T-Rex was completely blocked off from the public view and the only thing you could see was the top of his head.
Afterwards, we ran back to the air and space museum with only about an hour to spare. We weren’t quite sure what we should do, but I remembered that Alisa wanted to take a picture of an original Wright Brothers bike they had on display. When we got to the exhibit, we discovered that the bike is one of only four originals that are known to exist (how cool is that?). We spent a lot of the hour reading everything in the entire exhibit. They did a really good job explaining the hard work and trial and error that went into creating the Wright Flyer, and it’s still kinda crazy to have stood only a couple of feet away from the actual plane that completely changed history and has led humanity to the point we are now in aviation.
With only a short amount of time to spare, we made the best of it. We went to one last exhibit that dealt with space life. We were both really sad that we couldn’t stay and just take everything in. They had space robot and rocket prototypes that were never seen to completion. They had parts of space ships opened up that you could walk through and much more. As we were standing there looking at a video of the Discoveries last launch into space, my phone alarm went off, and we had to run back to the garage to pick up the car before it closed (we were in such a hurry we forgot to take pictures of this exhibit).
It took us about 47 minuets to walk to the garage. We loaded up all our stuff and hit the road for our long trip to Grove City. Because we were leaving so late, we decided to book a cheap hotel room about an hour and a half outside the city. We stayed in a small town called Hagerstown. The name was appropriate because the hotel we stayed in was pretty haggard. Actually, it was pretty gross. Before we got our keys the lady told us we could only switch rooms if the room was unlivable. I asked her if the room was ok and she responded that she thought that it might be but she couldn’t be sure. There was an uncomfortable silence for a few moments then she said if we didn’t like the room she would switch it for us. We got our stuff out of the car and headed toward our room. To be honest, I was a little scared to open the door. I looked at the window and noticed that there was a big fly on it. I batted it away only to realize it was on the inside. Alisa and I shared an uncomfortable stare and entered. On a scale of 1-10, I give it about a 3. The place was dirty and slightly less than filthy. I said to Alisa, “If only these walls could talk” to which she responded, “i’d rather they didn’t.”
We got up early the next day and pack up our things quickly. I wanted a cup of coffee but there really wasn’t anything nearby so since we stayed in a low rent hotel for the evening we decided to get low rent coffee and headed for McDonalds. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was more of a coffee flavored tea with cream.
I write this now in our room at Grove City college. We are going to be at a assembly conference here until Saturday. It’s been pretty fun so far, and we have seen a lot of familiar faces. We ran into the Bassets, the Vedders, and more of the Hayes clan. We have also met a lot of new people from Canada. Since they don’t really want you using your computer for personal use such as this I think Im gonna take the next few days of from blogging. Im getting a little tired of doing it and I need a break. However, on Saturday I will update the blog from our week here and continue writing.
There’s a men’s soft ball game going on tomorrow. Its the single guys against the married ones and the losers have to sing a song in front of everyone at dinner. Alisa and I hung out with the married ones tonight and their game plan consisted of organizing how the song should be sung at dinner. This should be interesting.