July 3 -5, 2010 -- crowds, heat, and fireworks

Published: July 25th 2010
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DGS in front of National ArchivesDGS in front of National ArchivesDGS in front of National Archives

July 3rd, prep work for the reading of Dec of Ind on the 4th

Saturday, July 3rd: Had breakfast in room then headed out to Farragut North and Metro Center to see about getting a Metro senior pass, but the Sales office was closed until Tuesday. Just got farecards for planned trips for this day. Needed to change trains anyway to go to the Int’l Spy Museum. It’s kind of spendy and we weren’t overly impressed with it. Had a longish wait to go up in the elevator to start. It was unpleasantly crowded already and there was an even longer line when we came out. Went across the street to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Protrait gallery. Looked at some exhibits and had lunch there ($24.00 for the two of us); the Airmen of Note were doing a concert in the courtyard that was on while we ate --- good timing. Tried to go to Nat’l Archives but there was a 45 minute wait outside to even get into the building. It is of course brutally hot and crowded. We wandered on to Natural History and looked at dinosaurs, the Hope diamond and a few other things there. Went to the Federal Triangle station to head home via Dupont Circle,
The three of us by hotelThe three of us by hotelThe three of us by hotel

DD, DGS, and Grandma, on our way to the Nat'l Mall for firework, July 4, 2010.
for a CVS stop. Pretty easy walk to hotel from Dupont, but DGS didn’t like the long escalator. DGS prefers the TV and computer in the room to wandering around museums -- but he has liked some of the stuff we’ve seen. Fixed dinner in the room. We have a fridge with good sized freezer, stove top, small sink and a few cookpots. One small plate, two wine glasses, two forks, one knife, and two cereal bowls in the room. Good thing I brought stuff along. DD has arrived and is out at BFF’s (Jo) for the night.

Sunday, July 4th. Having an easy morning getting ready to go to the Mall this afternoon. R and Jo arrived about noon. I fried pork tenderloin, made rice and pasta mix, and canned green beans for lunch so we’d have a good meal to start with. We packed up and it took a while to get a cab; dropped Jo at Metro station and had the cab drop us at 14th and Penn -- the closest we could get. Got a pretty good spot in the security area (only some of the Mall is fenced off -- a lot of it
Our second non-shady spot for watching the fireworksOur second non-shady spot for watching the fireworksOur second non-shady spot for watching the fireworks

We were under the trees in the background for the afternoon.
is open), between the Washington Monument and American History Museum. DGS and I spent a little time in AH museum and played a little poker with toothpicks. Had some shade for the afternoon, then moved out into the open in the evening. We got there much earlier than needed. Could have gotten a good spot up until close to 8 p.m. It actually was not as crowded as I expected -- although certainly a large crowd. Not too bad a wait for a porta-potty when it was close to 9:00.

The fireworks were off to the right of the Washington Monument from our viewpoint, and we could not hear any of the music -- a little different for us; we’re used to a loud soundtrack with fireworks. Perhaps we should have tried to get closer to the blast zone, but the shade we had in the afternoon was very helpful, and it's very open closed to the Wash Mon. It was a spectacular show, with a very busy finale. Pretty much all regular shells of various colors (not shaped bursts). We walked back to the hotel (a little over a mile), but the traffic was moving north and south; maybe could have taken a cab, if we had found one. It was fun to walk in front of the White House in the evening.

Monday, July 5: Fixed breakfast in the room and debated between Arlington Cemetery and Air and Space Musuem as a stop on the way to the airport. Went with Air and Space, but took the wrong way out of L’Enfant Plaza, so we were hot and tired by the time we got there. I waited on my seat cane, while DGS rode the Simulator (which he loved); DD walked around. After checking on Alberto Santos-Dumont with a very helpful guide, we had lunch at the Food court and DD left to head to the airport via Metro. DGS and I spent some more time in Air and Space, then worked our way to the Smithsonian stop, via the Hirschhorn, and the “Castle” (nice exhibit of Madeleine Albright’s pins). Too bad Arts and Industries is closed; I always liked it. There’s a CVS by Farragut North so we came home that way and got a couple of things (paper plates, etc.) and made a brief stop at the Nat Geo Museum -- it was about closing time. Interesting Leonardo DaVinci exhibit, so we decided to come back in the morning. Spent the evening getting repacked.


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