Smithsonians Galore

Aaron and I both agree that one of our favorite parts of living in DC is going to the museums. I’ve been through a few of them with my family when we took a trip to DC about 8 years ago, but it’s incredible how a college education has made these museums so much more exciting because I’ve learned so much about art and history in that time.
A few weekends ago, we hit up the National Air and Space Museum. That museum is so incredible! A little dated, yes, but I felt like a kid all over again, wandering around the main exhibits with my mouth just gaping open. It’s hard to know what to look at first! There’s a plane. Whoa, there’s a bigger one! Is that a spaceship?!

This was definitely one of Aaron’s most anticipated museums, and I’m so glad we got to go! We heard that there is another part of the museum in Virginia with even more planes to see, so we’re hoping to go there soon!
We spent the rest of the day at the National Zoo, which was a bit of a letdown. One of my main reasons for going to the zoo was to see the Giant Panda because Giant Pandas are awesome. Duh. When we arrived at the giant panda exhibit, they told us that they had just put the male panda away literally 2 minutes before that. They were still putting his toys away. I fell to the ground, cursing our timing and regretting trying to find the antelope in the previous exhibit. OK, not literally, but it was very soul crushing.
After that, I was severely disappointed with the rest of the zoo. I grew up in Omaha with the 3rd best zoo in the country, so pretty much every other zoo I’ve encountered is like child’s play in comparison. The highlight of the day was seeing some elephants eat leaves and hear a lion cough up a hairball. Do yourself a favor and skip the zoo and just watch the baby panda cam online. I mean, look at this gem Allison caught! I just want to die of the cuteness of panda snuggles. Buh.
Another weekend, we hit the National Museum of American History. This one was so much fun! Definitely our favorite so far. One of my much anticipated highlights was checking out the Julia Child kitchen. It was so amazing to see how she organized everything, how the TV crew installed special rods to hang camera lights for her TV show, and most importantly, how many kitchen gadgets she could cram in one room. See, Aaron? We can fit sooooooo much in our kitchen if we’re more like Julia! 

Peg boards are cool. True story.

We loved seeing a sunstone from the Nauvoo Temple. Beautiful.
There were lots of cool, interactive exhibits about transportation, music, and presidents. One of the most amazing parts for me and Aaron was seeing the American flag that Francis Scott Key wrote about, the original “Star Spangled Banner.” It’s kept in this dark room with special lighting, but I was so amazed at how big it is. It’s full of holes and is discolored and fading, but it is so majestic. Thinking about how important that flag is to our country, Aaron and I were both a little emotional. I sure am proud to be an American.
We ate lunch outside on the steps of the museum, and I was struck again at how incredible the architecture is in DC. I asked Aaron, “What do you think that building across the street is? It looks important.” Aaron had no clue, but I had to take a picture anyway. Love this town.
We finished out our day at the National Gallery of Art. I had been there once before on a lunch break, but this was Aaron’s first time. Aaron’s humanities classes really came in handy as he told me stories about the various American artists, which ones had scandalous backgrounds and so on. Aaron’s favorite was this one, “Snow in New York” by Robert Henri.
Afterwards, Aaron and I enjoyed the nice 15-minute walk to my work to enjoy the beautiful fall day.
I really wanted to show Aaron where I work. I work in the red part of the building, which is the original part of the building that was renovated for us to work in. I love this beautiful place.

And more leaves. I can’t stop! There are so many amazing trees out here! Unreal.

4 thoughts on “Smithsonians Galore”

  1. Summer says:

    You guys are so cute to visit all those fun places! On the weekends I just want to sit around. I think it’s awesome that you guys actually go do stuff.

    1. Rachel Taylor says:

      You’ve got a pretty good excuse growing a baby :) It helps to have so much we want to see!

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