Two weeks ago, we packed up the family, got on a plane and headed to Washington, DC. I LOVE that place. I grew up there.
Actually, I grew up in Northern Virginia or NoVA. That's how the cool kids say it. When someone asks me where I am from, I just say, "DC." It's much easier and is a great conversation starter. The person will usually make a comment about how they have never been there or ask if I have been there for the Fourth of July or recall a memory from a safety patrol trip in the fifth grade. (For the record, the NoVA safety patrols did not go to DC, we went to a movie theater and saw "Benji the Hunted." Robbed.) Saying I'm from DC is kinda deceptive, but it's fancier.
We went to visit friends who live outside of the city, but decided to take the kids downtown one day to see a few things. Much to the shagrin of the friends we were visiting. You see, when you live there, and people visit, they want to go downtown. Of course they do. But to the native it gets old. Really old. I understand that feeling... "I was just here last month... Really?" But I pushed on... for the kids. I knew my kids wanted to go.
We hit the metro. Orange line. Straight to L'Enfant Plaza. Super simple trip to the Air and Space Museum.
So this Museum is not my favorite. I remember going with my dad- the Airforce Officer. He would inform, I would listen, and then we would get freeze dried ice cream. You know, like a real astronaut. (My dad has no memory of that, by the way. I clocked a lot of hours for it to be forgotten.)
My boys were super excited about the planes and rockets and the Middle really wanted to see the exhibit on Amelia Earhart. We checked out quite a few of the exhibits and of course, slipped into the rockets and planes. I will say, after watching ABC's miniseries The Astronauts Wives Club, I had a better understanding of the beginnings of our National Space Program. Hurray for educational programming!
Our time in city ended with a ride passed the Capitol, White House, and Lincoln Memorial.
I really do love this city and I'm so thankful for my childhood just a few short minutes from there. I can remember being amazed that people went there on vacation, but I totally get it. It is a melting pot of all things history and government and deep secrets and fresh starts. The languages, and colors, and ethnicities. You can stare face-to-face with the present, in light of the past. It is a place that I want my children to associate with possibilty and hope. Thank you Washington, DC, for being there for us.