The Nomads went to DC for the first time a month or so ago. We saw some of what DC had to offer. So, we vowed to come back. And come back we did. This post is about The Nomads Return To DC – Exploring With A Vengeance! Hahaha!
On this trip, we knew more than we did the first time. One thing we ensured that we had locked down was parking. We found a service that allowed us to pay online, reserve a parking spot for the entire day (until midnight), be only a few blocks from the National Mall and only have to pay $12 for it. The last time we had to race back to our parking to be out of there by 6pm or so. This time, no need to racing. We engaged the pace of strolling.
Our first stop was the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Mama Nomad and the boys had been reading about the Wright Brothers. So this trip started with a focus on these pioneers of flight. This place covered everything from the thoughts of flight before the Wright Brothers up to space craft and everything in between. We saw designs by people like Leonardo Di Vinci, the planes that battled the skies during multiple wars throughout the years and the drastic change in how airlines both dressed and operated from the 1960s until now.
The Nomads were impressed by the breadth of information that was covered and the detail to which it was explained. We learned about the Red Baron in World War 1 and the existence of Dark Matter in space. If you are an aeronautic, space or history enthusiast, this shrine to all things flying and space related is your stop.
One note, when it is closing time, you will know it. You do not have to look at your watch. Some very friendly, yet firm, guards push and guide all people to the exit. You basically get the message of “you do not have to go home but you cannot stay here.”
After we departed the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, we contemplated walking to our next stop or driving. After a quick review, driving was the course of action we decided upon. Our next stop was the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. This was located just off the tidal basin and across the water from the Jefferson Memorial.
It was a grand thing to see with Dr. King standing there carved in unwavering stone, looking out over the water with some of his most famous quotes chiseled into the wall behind him. It was a site to see.
After the Dr. King Memorial we ventured to one of the most instrumental Founding Fathers’s memorials, Thomas Jefferson. We drove around in circles trying to find where you were supposed to park. Here is a hint for the rest of you, it is across the road and between two bridges. You will have to walk about a half mile to get to it from parking. Unless you are on a tour bus, this is the closest access.
Along the way we saw a metal statue of someone and we had to stop. It was George Mason; a man that was mentor to George Washington, a man whose thoughts were similar to Thomas Jefferson’s and a man whom a college was constructed in honor to. It was an interesting and rewarding sidetrack.
We finally arrived at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. It was a magnificent sight from outside and the interior wowed us even more. To see a statue of one of our founding fathers in the middle of a huge room surrounded by walls and columns was somewhat surreal. Each wall had a famous speech, made by Jefferson, carved on it. If you take the elevator to the ground floor, you will find more historical data on Thomas Jefferson in the lobby like area of an underground museum.
We were not able to linger for too long. The place was closing down as was the gift shop. We observed that it seems that everything related to the Federal operated endeavors closed at around 5pm EST, even the refreshment stands. So, plan accordingly.
The Nomads ended their day with a stop through Georgetown. But we’ll save that for another post. Again, if you are an aerospace enthusiast, visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. If you are in the DC area, take the time to see the Dr. King and Thomas Jefferson memorials. Safe Travels.