Saturday, September 17, 2005

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

It hit me as we were riding the metro train today... we have been on planes, trains and automobiles on this little vacation! Hence the title.

See my webshots page for more pics... Click Here...

Brew was right, the trains in and around DC are a BREEZE to work. The buses suck, and I never rode them. So we found that we were about 6 miles from the nearest train station, which ironically was the furthest train station from DC... so we drove to the station, parked (for free) and walked in.

You have to buy tickets to ride the trains. So, being dumb, we buy 2 tickets, worth 10 bucks each... after the day was done, we realized 5 bucks each was plenty for us since we only rode to the national mall and back, so I ended up selling my 10 bucks to some other people.

We take the 30 minute train ride to the smithsonian station, which comes out via escalator right smack in the middle of the mall grass area. We go to "the castle" and get a little map and head out to the air and space museum. The castle is the original smithsonian building which is now sort of a "start here" place. Looking behind us, we notice the washington monument and decide to look at it on our way back. I got bored fast... on the off set, it SEEMS like a cool place to go, but I could have sat and watched a Discovery Channel show about space, rockets, or the Wright Brothers and been just as entertained and informed.. whats worse, I wore flip flops so my knees were killing me. After being bored enough, I said lets eat. There were some over priced disney-stlye eateries in the air and space museum, but the prices were higher and the food was not near as good as disney counter service...

Now bear in mind, we had been told "Oh, you could spend all DAY at the smithsonian" (and I am sure you could if you had all day to be educated out the wazoo) so I hadnt planned to do anything BUT that this day... Just keep that in mind...

At this end of the mall you go right by the capital building which was neat so i took some snaps...

We then walk across the mall to the natural history joint. After ignoring about 4 homeless guys all saying the same scripted message and doing the same scripted movements, we arrive. This is where the big elephant is. It is cool I guess. If we had a kid this place would have been better but the floor you walk in on is basically a zoo where all the animals were stuffed. It was very crowded so I didnt feel like just stopping and looking at things. Oh, this place also thinks that evolution is something to be bowed down to, worshiped, and have its toe nails polished with your tax dollar's tounge. Very off-putting.

Upstairs had a bunch of minerals and gems... all the rocks were... neat... but the phrase "million" and "billions" of years were used alot too. The hope diamond was up here too, but guess what? So many women oggling it, i couldnt get a shot of it...

So we leave, and go to the american history museum. This one was my favorite yet. Mainly because i like american history, but also because all the crowds didnt want to be bored with history. But it excited me.

So we get done with this museum stuff early because I felt like i was being forced to learn stuff and was tired... but when we emerged I got LOADS of energy because we were almost next to the washington monument!

"Let's go up there!" I say to Larissa, pointing at it... she smiles in a way that says "You were complaining of being tired and whining and now you want to march up a hill?" and she says "Okay!"


This thing was pretty cool to look at. It doesnt take much to impress me. When you try too hard, I am not impressed (as with the museums). But this impressed me... we walk around to the back thinking this was the end of our trip and we were about to head back to the train when I see the lincoln memorial emerge from behind the washington monument... cool! Look Larissa!... i snap some shots then realize... this end of the reflecting pool is where they built the new world war 2 memorial! COME ON!!!

We hike down another hill. This memorial is beautiful, but nothing great. No names. The veitnam memorial is more touching due to the names. This just has states listed... but it was pretty. We walk through it, i take my flip flops off and walk through the fountain and we leave it, looking for the vietnam memorial. I forgot where it was, after a little searching we gave up and headed back to the trains (turns out it is right next to the lincoln memorial, which was too far to hike anyway.)

On our way back, we have to pass the washington monument again. Out of the corner of my eye I look towards a tree clearing and there sits the white house. Wow! This was the icing on the cake for me. Loved it.

We got back home around 6:30, got some ruby tuesdays take out, and brought it to the room to watch college football together. Yes, my wife likes it too. Tennessee is losing right now... gotta go (wait, they just scored during my spell checking, go vols!).


Oh, they say Washington DC is a cheap place to take a vacation because everything you go to is free and it is true! The smithsonian museums (including all the art museums we didnt go to) were all free, and of course any tours of buildings are free... this turned out great becuase I SO wanted to see some memorials but was afraid I wouldnt have time. Thanksfully, so many of the museums were boring.

17 comments:

bigsip said...

Fantastic blog, my friend! Glad y'all had a great time. I think I'd be disappointed by the Smithsonian, too. I'd much rather hike around and look at monuments anyway. The WWII memorial looked pretty! I know you weren't terribly impressed, but it still looks pretty nice. Maybe they'll improve it or something, though. Glad y'all made it back safe!

mullinz8 said...

I like the idea that American history bores everyone else in the country and excites Jamison and the rest of the museums in the Metro D.C. area are forcing Jamison to learn something that he didn't want to.
I guess we should close those stupid buildings and put in roller costers and water parks.

Just busting on ya Jamison.

bigsip said...

I'm all about some history...twas the philosopher, Santayana who said, "Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it." Of course, the Bible already said as much in 1 Cor 10:9-12. Anyway, I digress. I like history. I don't like to have limp, silly hypotheses crammed down my throat by humanistic morons. Of course, the humanistic morons don't want creationist ideas crammed down their throats either. Maybe a balance should be struck, though. I'm afraid that the evolutionist crap has been so ubiquitous for so long, that it has been accepted as fact when it's all a big lie. Anyway, I think putting in water slides and coasters in the MONH ain't too bad an idea. At least then the laws of gravity and inertia could be demonstrated without trying to say the universe is billions of years old.

Jamison said...

sorry, i just find history exciting. I like to ready historical based books (revolutionary war, and one of my bathroom books is a historical tale of battling smallpox called "the speckeled monster)

I was ho-hum about history in high school, but it was the subject I got the best grade in.

The space museum was nothing more than a physical representation of evey dicovery channel show i have seen related to space and rockets...

Brewster said...

My memory tells me that the museums weren't all that great either. There is a ton of stuff in the Smothsonian and I'm sure you could spend forever in there. It's like when we went to the Louvre though, there is so much stuff that after awhile it all becomes the same.

The mirror pond things was spectacularly disgusting when I went. Bird crap covering everything.

Did you get a chance to see where Lincoln was shot? That was one of my favorite bits. That and the constitution.

Brewster said...

Oh, and I really dig that first picture.

bigsip said...

I've been up there twice on Chorus tours. One of the coolest places I visited (and Jamison's been there too) was the National Cathedral. It was truly an amazing architechtural feat to behold! I love all the memorials, too. I'm only a museum person when I'm in just the right mood.

Jamison said...

i just learned that the constitution was in one of the smithsonians and ive been kicking myself because i didnt see it.

goose crap was all over the grass everywhere

Jamison said...

oh, and thanks brew... if you want to know, I took that pic with you in mind. I was sitting there waiting for our train and as one was going by, i thought if i left the shutter open for a few seconds it would be a cool pic. I also thought "this is a BREW-esque pic" and was hoping you would like it. In my opinion, Brew, you are a very good photographer, and you saying any pic i take is good is a compliment...

how about them naked pics my wife took though... not bad eh?

I think we need to see if all of our wives will take similar pics of us doing the same thing (jumping on bed nude).... if so, please censor the pics...

bigsip said...

Oh, that's all we need. Us and our balls!

My wife would do it, no questions asked. Well, she might ask a few questions...

tnmommieof2 said...

i would take a picture of matt naked, but having that out on the world wide web might drive folks away from our blog....just kidding hunny!!!

bigsip said...

Time for Mullins to do his Rodney Dangerfield impression. Why don't we all just do a Playgirl spread and get it over with? Now that's something Rachel would never let me do!

tnmommieof2 said...

yeah, playgirl...i'm thinkin no....

bigsip said...

HAHA! That's what I thought, too. You ladies don't need that mag when y'all have men like us!

Jamison said...

actually, it has some very insightful articles in it.

Brewster said...

Slow to comment here, so I hope someone reads it. Jamison it really is a great pic. Nice shutter speed, has a nice look of both movement and solidarity.

I love taking pictures. I know very little about the techniques of photography, but I've become pretty good at composition.

My key is to take a lot of pictures all the time, that way a few are bound to come out pretty good.

Jamison said...

...and with digital camera technology, there is no reason not to take loads of pics...

and thanks for the reply, though it be slow