Think of how long ago we split off from bananas!

This morning we began our tour of the Smithsonian Museums. The Smithsonian Institute was founded in 1846 for the “increase and fusion of knowledge.” Today it is a group of free museums funded by the US government. In Washington, DC you will find the largest complex of museums and research institutes in the world.

Today we explored the National Air and Space Museum. This museum houses the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. This museum is massive. In our short 4.5 hour whirwind through we did not have time to read and see everything we’d have liked. Kris spent 12 hours here when she visited last summer and Justine can easily see how. She can’t wait to return.
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Highlights included:
– Touching a moon rock…like an actual piece of the moon!
– Wearing a real astronaut glove (that was once on the hand of an astronaut in space) and trying to pick up a coin. As difficult as it was, we’re told the glove inflates in space to make all tasks even more difficult.
– Seeing the Wright Brothers first plane from 1903…Justine decided she would not trust flying in it.
– Seeing the command modules from the Apollo missions and parts & replicas of various other spacecraft.
– So Many Planes!
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It was raining when we left and made our way to The Castle or the Smithsonian Institute information building. Here we saw the tomb of James Smithson. James Smithson is the founding donor of the Smithsonian Institute even though he never visited the US. In the castle we stopped at the cafe for a quick lunch. We shared a chicken ceasar salad and pulled pork sandwich.
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Next we were off the the National Natural History Museum. Kris didn’t have time to walk these halls when she previously visited so it was completely new. This museum is the most visited natural history museum in the world and the most visited museum of any type in North America. Upon entering you were greeted by a massive elephant in the atrium. Cue Kris’ elephant impersonation. The museum had some great exhibits and one day we will spend more time reading about them all.
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Highlights included:
– The Hope Diamond: The most famous diamond in the world. The Hope Diamond has passed through history often resulting in death and
turmoil. It is famously believed to be cursed and interesting looks similar to The Heart of the Ocean in Titanic. It is believed they used the Hope Diamond as inspiration for the necklace in the movie.
– The Hall of Bones: This room housed skeletons of the different forms of life on the planet. It was amazing to see how intricate the skeletons are, especially for the tiny crestures. The large mammals were also impressive to see for their massive size. Also, turtles have very few bones inside theirvshells…its weird.
– Ocean Hall: Here you could find almost anything you wanted to know about the ocean. Justine loved it and wished she could have read everything; she passed a lot of information onto Kris. A highlight here was the giant squid. Gross.
– The Hall of Human Origins: The room showed the evolution of humans from our ape-like ancestors to our current form. There was a wide
assortment of skulls showing the evolutionary steps. We alao neanderthaled ourslves and made friends with an informative volunteer.
– Walking among Dinosaurs: Here we were in a room and got to walk with dinosaurs. Seriously, check out the photo.
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We left the museum and headed towards Georgetown. Georgetown predates Washington DC and became part of the city as DC grew & expanded. It is here you’ll find Georgetown University and the surrounding area remains the hip & trendy area of the city…where everyone uses words way cooler than hip…

This morning Justine spotted an add for a seafood restaurant in one of her brochures (which she loves to collect) and upon learning the restaurant was closed Kris could not shake the idea of seafood from her mind. Luckily we stumbled upon the perfect place in Georgetown. Pier 2934 was similar to The Crab Pot which Justine had visited in Seattle. We settled on the Chef’s Special. This included mussels, shrimp, crawfish and crab mixed with some corn, potatoes, and sausage. On top of it we also received fries & calamari. It all came in a large pan for us to devour, and we did. The waiters tied classy lobster bibs around our necks and gave us everything we needed to enjoy. We preceded to chow down and gobble up a meal that was probably (once again) meant for more than two.
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Being as it was Friday the 13th today we thought it was only fitting to fill our evening with a Ghosts of Georgetown walking tour. On the tour we heard a number of stories related to the presidents and those they knew, most specifically Robert Todd Lincoln (the son of everyone’s…especially Kris’…favorite president). You should totally look him up and read about the crazy & tragic coincidences that occurred throughout his life. We also saw the house from the film The Exorcist and even walked down the creepy “Exorcist stairs.”
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After the tour we were exhausted, had really sore feet and were way too far from our temporary home. Instead of complaining the entire walk we decided to catch a cab. Give our little feet a break!

WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY:
– We are 60% genetically similar to bananas.
– We would not make the cut as flight attendants.
– Robert Todd Lincoln was linked to 3 (possibly 4) presidential assassinations.
– We do not own the Hope Diamond.

Love, Luck & Landing (…like the moon landing…),
Justine & Kris

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