Saturday, March 29, 2008

lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

What a beautiful day! The cherry trees were unfurling as we pushed the stroller all the way down to the Washington Monument hoping to be able to ride the elevator to see through the tiny windows at the top. But alas, the guidebook didn't mention that these days you have to obtain timed tickets which are distributed beginning at 8:30am and by the time we arrived at 9:10 they were all gone for the day. I knew that we would have to be out of the house the next morning at 7am to have a chance so wisely I gave up that idea and told the kids, "Another time perhaps."

We headed back up to our next stop, the Natural History Museum and after waiting with the hoards of other folks eager for dinosaurs and gems I carried the double stroller with Timmy seated inside like a rajah all the way up the marble steps to the entrance. Whew, my poor back! While the majority of folks turned right toward the fossils, our crew headed left to see all the impressive animals that have been preserved. An elephant, lions, a huge bison, kangaroos, as well as this pretty scene of a nursing fawn were among the creatures we could see up close.

After a quick trip to the potty we went up the one ramp to the dinosaur and fossil exhibits and marveled at the effort required to reconstruct the bones of these enormous creatures. The kids were fascinated over how large many of these prehistoric creatures were, the mastodons and mammoths, the huge early armadillo, and these turtles. By now the masses of schoolgroups had arrived at the museum and I had to swim upstream to get back to that lone ramp to leave the exhibit. It took all my willpower not to start ramming people with the front of the stroller as it took me longer to navigate the 15 feet to the entrance as it did to see the entire gallery of fossils. "Excuse me, pardon me. Please let me through." It took me right back to Italy where I was always the last on every flight because people would see an opportunity to slip in right in front of the stroller.

Finally we headed upstairs to see the Hope Diamond and other gems, but when I saw the 6 deep crowd around the glass I gave up. Will and Mary insisted on wiggling in and trying to take a photo of the exquisitely crafted gem. Perhaps Will's picture will come out, but with flashes constantly going off as well as his propensity to get too close to his subject to focus properly I doubt it. After a quick stop in the gift shop for postcards and a sugar crystal lollipop treat we headed outside and back to the house for lunch and naptime. The rest of the afternoon we read, played UNO, washed clothes, and relaxed. The few schoolbooks I brought stayed in the basket, and everyone was eager for bed and the much anticipated return to the Air and Space museum in the morning.

1 comment:

Lorri said...

Welcome to DC! Are you here for good now or is this a scouting mission? I've gotten together with a couple of the ladies from the 4Real forums and when you're settled we should all meet up at the zoo.