"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wrapping up an American History Year: Washington DC

We've had a wonderful string of visitors, field trips, trip trips, and new experiences lately.  It's been so beautifully exhausting that it's been hard to find any time to write about it!  But I have managed to sneak in a few minutes while the girls are at Religious Ed and soccer, and the boy is *ahem* working on the Wii (as encouraged by me, sadly, since I REALLY wanted to get these pictures online ; ).

So, here is trip update number one.

We have made an annual (well, really it's only been two years in a row, but it's a really long drive, so I think it seems like it's happened more often than that, ha!) Easter trip up to West Virginia to join in a family get-together.  This year we decided to tack on a day in Washington DC to get some living experience of all of the American History that we've learned this year.

And by "we", I probably mean me.  Hopefully some of it has soaked in to the kiddos this year.

I grew up in Virginia.  Many of our field trips were spent at the National Zoo, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, and various museums and monuments.  I have such fun memories of that area, which so far, I haven't really been able to share with my kids.  Every time we've managed to get up there, it's been too hot, or someone's been too little, or I've been too pregnant.

This time we were going to do it right!

We rode the Metro into DC, a truly exciting experience for Firefly and Bug (quite possibly one of the highlights.  *sigh*).  Once we got there, we headed right over to the American History Museum, part of the Smithsonian.


What a cool place!  We got to sit in at a presentation about an actual "sit-in", when four African American college students sat in at the white counter to be served.

We got to pull cotton, see the gowns worn by the First Lady at most Presidential Inaugurations, visit a colonial period house, and (both Turtle and I agreed), by far the coolest thing was Thomas Jefferson's Bible.

Seems Jefferson "edited" his Bible, taking all of Jesus' words, works, and miracles and condensing them into his own personal "morality journal".  This was his actual book, preserved.  You could see Jefferson's handwritten notes in it as well.

Really neat.  And not just because we just finished a unit on Thomas Jefferson right before we left either.


That was just icing on the cake!

After lunch, we took some time enjoying the gorgeous weather and wandered through a butterfly garden (minus the butterflies) and a sculpture garden, which was amazing!  Then we hung out for a bit near a fountain just screaming for pennies to throw in and picture opportunities.

We were happy to oblige.

After the wishes were made and the kids struggled through the pictures, we headed over to see the ACTUAL Declaration of Independence at the National Archives.

This is as close as we got.

None of us were up for a forty-five minute wait just to get into the building.  And my dh kind of broke the spell when he commented that he could just pull a picture of it up on his phone for those of us who were dying to look at it.

Yeah.  Way to break the "won't it be amazing to see the *actual* Declaration, kids?" moment.

Ah, well.

So then we headed over to the Air and Space Museum, taking a quick tour through the history of our space program.  Bug really enjoyed going through some of the rockets, which might have actually been space shuttles, or space stations, or some other kind of space something.  Flying machines are not my forte, in case you couldn't tell.  "Rockets" is kind of a catch-all for me!

But we did get a cool picture or two.

We ended our tour with a walk over to the White House.  Which sounds much more close and peaceful than it actually was.  I had no idea it would be such a long walk!  It ended up being one of those "hey, at least we've done it" things.  But again, some neat pics..
All in all, we had a wonderful time in DC.  Beautiful weather, exciting things to see, and a really cool way to reinforce our year spent learning about American History!  

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome experience for you and your family! D.C. has so much to offer in terms of history. Just love the museums and the Mall, especially the Vietnam Vets memorial.

    Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories, and for sharing at NOBH!



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