A couple weeks ago, I decided to renew my old habit of going into DC once a week to take advantage of the long list of incredible attractions the city offers. My boys are finally both in great ages for museums. They are happy in the stroller for a while, and then happy to walk/wander for a while. I’ve decided that Friday is our day, and these last few weeks have been awesome! If you’ve never visited Washington DC, you likely are unaware that all of the Smithsonian Museums are free (as is some of the parking around them, if you know where to look!) I’ve been to almost everything before, but exploring without financial investment makes it a whole lot easier to commit to visting everything again!
I’ve also been trying this new thing where I take pictures with a real camera instead of just my iPhone:)
Natural History Museum
The real highlight of this last visit to the Natural History Museum was the butterfly exhibit! We hadn’t ever been inside (becuse you do pay for a ticket because it is a special exhibit.) All three of us were fascinated. This huge butterfly landed on Milo, and didn’t want to leave! We finally let it crawl over to my hand, and I passed it off to the docent!
On the way back to the car, we wandered through the Sculpture Garden. Milo jumped out of the stroller and asked me to take a picture of him with the bunny statue. Then, when I had the camera out and ready, he would only look down. Weird. He did the same thing at the next couple sculptures, begged for a photo, then acted like ” Oh, mom, another photo of me, really?!” Pretty hilarious.
Milo was in heaven in the Air and Space museum. The first ten minutes he kept saying “Look, mom! An airplane!” about every.single.airplane. in the place! Have you been? There are a lot of airplanes. After wandering for a good while we came to this fun interactive zone. Here Milo has the air blower that helps imitate windspeed and air pressure…
…and what it feels like to stick your head outside the window of an airplane.
Baby Eliot got lots of practice for his new trick, pointing at things. He basically followed his index finger around the whole museum. Always headed toward something awesome.
On the way out, I nonchalantly glanced up at the ceiling and felt a surge of patriotism as I saw the blue circle with the white star indicating the American Airforce (in 1942-1943, according to wikipedia). When we visited, I was in the middle of reading Unbroken, and was absolutely enthralled with the story. It was really cool to be able to see a piece of the story as I was reading it.
Last week, some good friends joined our adventure and we walked through the sculpture gardens before visiting the Hirshhorn Museum of contemporary art. The weather has been absolutely wonderful here lately, so we’re taking full advantage!
There are some really amazing things in the Hirshhorn. And some really wild things. Like that giant naked man statue (Untitled, Big Man by Ron Mueck). Eliot is wondering what on earth is happening over there. Milo told me “That guy need to put his pants on, right mom?” Yes, but he probably just got out of the bath… Overall, I am thrilled for the boys to be introduced to different things, and talk to them about it.
One of the main installations right now is called Belief+Doubt by Barbara Kruger. It is awesome. Giant phrases like “Belief+Doubt=Sanity” and “You want it. You buy it. You forget it.” cover the walls and floor. I loved reading her interview about the exhibit, and a quote of her’s “Art should make you say ‘Huh? Wow!’ instead of ‘Wow! Huh?’” I definitely saw some “Wow! Huh?” at the Hirshhorn, and lots of pieces I simple loved, too.We are really lucky to have so many fantastic sights nearby, and free.
Today we’re heading to the National Arboretum (I’ve only been once before and fell in love!) with a picnic lunch. It will be the perfect way to begin another weekend. Then, tomorrow we’ve got plans to pick apples (so I can make a winter’s worth of applesauce like I did two years ago. Milo was so tiny!)
I hope you all have a great one, too.
ps If you live around DC and want to hang out on a Friday in the District, let me know. We’d love to meet up!
pps I just noticed Milo is wearing the exact same tee in all three of these outings: his “soccer shirt” gifted to him by beloved Uncle Ben. He asks for it every single day, and most of the time it’s in the laundry. I guess by Friday it’s either clean, or he wants it bad enough I pull it out for him! Funny. I think today it actually is in the laundry.