This Sunday we went into the city to meet my mother-in-law, nephew and sister-in-law, who was in town for a business meeting on Monday. We started at the National Air and Space Museum, which is always fun for the kids. We spent quite a bit of time in the hands-on "How Things Fly" section of the museum before moving onto the National Museum of the American Indian, which is conveniently right next door. We took time out to eat lunch in the Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe, which features different native foods that are representative of different cultures and regions.
After lunch we felt quite refreshed and headed to the top floor of the museum where, unfortunately, the introductory film "Who We Are," was not playing. But we still enjoyed walking around the different galleries and exhibits, listening to stories like the one about Devil's Tower, and visiting the hands-on portion of the museum. Afterwards, we enjoyed the weather and the gorgeous waterfalls that we'd viewed during lunch. (Sam's not angry in that picture—he's just feeling especially earnest about the turtle totem necklace he bought.)
The day was so beautiful and the kids still had quite a bit of energy, so we headed over to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights on display in the rotunda. The kids were totally psyched to see the original documents, and the adults thought it was pretty cool, too.
We were all surprised and a bit dismayed by how faded the documents are—John Hancock's signature is barely visible. Still, just seeing the original documents is such a powerful experience. Of course, we watched National Treasure when we got home that night! (Well, except for Jim who watched the Giants v. Eagles game.) Sam asked one of the guards whether there were really temperature sensors in the cases, but the guard said that part was only in the movie.
On our way home, we stopped for some ice cream and wandered through the National Gallery Sculpture Garden, which is always lovely and relaxing. The kids enjoyed some time by the central fountain, cooling tired feet. The day was absolutely glorious! Spring and Fall are beautiful times to visit D.C., and the best part about all these wonderful places is that they are free to visit—free of course because American tax dollars fund them, but hey, it's still pretty great!