Saturday, August 02, 2008

Day in DC

Since it was Nana's last day in Virginia, I took off half of Friday to take Nana and the boys down to Washington DC. We parked at the centrally located Union Station, and used the DC Circulator to get around town. (More about this later!)

Eddie has been asking to go back to the cafeteria at the National Museum of the American Indian, and I have to say, that cafeteria is one of the finest features of the museum! In it, you can get Native American food from various geographic regions--the great plains, Mesoamerica, South America, the Pacific Northwest, etc.

Both boys enjoyed buffalo burgers with Native American potato strips fried in oil. Mom and I had braised buffalo shank with carrots and barley salad. These were SO good!

We didn't stay long at the museum, so we hopped the DC Circulator bus to head to the Spy Museum on F Street.

I wish I could say we enjoyed the Spy Museum more, but for an outrageous $20 per person, we didn't get a whole lot out of it. The biggest problem was that they dump you out into a room full of people, and everybody is crowding around all the displays and interactive features. You can't get close enough to read anything without getting shoved around. There's no hope of getting any time at one of the computers, and the boys don't have the patience to read displays anyway.

There were a couple of movies and interactive activities (like climbing through ductwork) which were cool, but on the whole, it was too expensive and too crowded. The boys favorite part was (guess what?) the gift shop. Eddie bought a wind-up music box that plays the theme from the Pink Panther, and Luke bought a switchblade comb. (With which he frightened the patrons at Gordon Biersch.)

After the Spy Museum, we hopped the Circulator back down to the Natural History museum. We bought tickets for the Sea Monsters 3D IMAX film, but had a few moments to enjoy the gemstones and skeleton exhibits before the show. Luke and Eddie especially enjoyed seeing the Hope Diamond and the skeleton of the Norway Rat (like Bob and Fred). Of course, Leslie and Sharon will tease me, because I took a lot of pictures of rocks too. (I guess I really like rocks.)

The IMAX show was pretty good--honestly, it was--but I fell asleep in it halfway through. Anyway, I've copied one of the movie images here, so if you have 3D glasses, maybe you can see it.

Finally, it was time to hop the Circulator bus and head back towards Union Station to 322 Massachusetts Avenue to Cafe Berlin for some fine German dining. We all enjoyed escargots for appetizers. The boys enjoyed some gorgeous Wienerschnitzels, while Mom supped on Kassler Rippchen and I had Sauerbratten. We even convinced Mom to try my beer, to our great amusement.

It was a very busy day, but we had a great time getting around DC. I have to say, the best part of the day was finding that DC Circulator! It only cost $1 per person (with a transfer) to go all around the city all day! That is a real bargain and beat the heck out of walking in the 95 degree heat! Thanks, Barry, for the recommendation!

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