Day 4 – Washington

Breakfast at the Waffle Shop across the road from Ford Theatre, the place where Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth. Long lines outside the theatre, even at 8.30am. Across the road from the theatre is the house where they took Lincoln after he was shot and it was in this house that he died.

The Waffle House Menu:

Lincoln's Waffle Shope

The waffle:

A waffle from Lincoln's Waffle Shop

The view of Ford’s Theatre from the Waffle House:

The view of the theatre where Lincoln was shot from Lincoln's Waffle SShop

Ford’s Theatre:

Fords Theatre

The waffles were yum, but the service was pretty lax, I ordered bacon and waffles and they came separately ages apart, which kind of defeated the purpose. We waited ages for the check too, but gave him the normal tip amount. Probably shouldn’t have though.

After breakfast we walked down to the National Museum of American History which opened just as we arrived. On the walk we encountered a bunch of people walking down Constitution Avenue to raise money for charity. It was here that I first noticed the unusual photography stance of Auntie Sue. This became my favourite thing to photograph for the rest of the trip, so watch for further photos of Auntie Sue taking photos.

People walking to Capitol Hill (they had closed off the street):

Capitol Hill

Auntie Sue taking photos (she is the one dressed all in black):

Auntie Sue assumes the standard Auntie Sue photo position

At the museum, they check what is in your bag as you go in and you also go through a security screen. Inside the museum they had some great exhibits of transport, african american history, civil war, dresses of the first ladies, Abraham Lincoln’s outfit, the star spangled banner and my personal favourite, Kermit the frog and Oscar the grouch. We spent about 2 hours in the museum then met outside to go to the next one.

National Museum of American History

Cool vehicles from the 50s:

Doing laps down the street

Girls can do anything!

Women can do it!

Pieces of the World Trade Center:

A peice of the world trade centre

The Pill  deserves a display (better than nature!):

I love that they have a display for The Pill in the Smithsonian

Only gave ourselves an hour to go through the Museum of Natural History since we hadn’t planned to go there but since it was next door to the American History one and Pauline wanted to go we headed in. Inside there was a huge elephant on display and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it. They display animals throughout the museum and pose them in really cool positions that really give you an idea of what the animal is like. There is even a scene where tigers are attacking some sort of african deer like animal. Mum was more interested in the Hope Diamond which was on display in the Gem Section, whereas Pauline wanted to hang out in the butterfly section.

The daunting view as you enter the museum from the National Mall:

Elephant at the National Museum of Natural History

I loved how they posed the animals in the museum. No punches pulled:

Storing food at the National Museum of Natural History

Don’t look up, there is something hiding in the corner!

Polar Bear lingering at the National Museum of Natural History

We exited the museum on to the mall which gives you the now very familiar view of the Washington Monument and Capitol Hill. Walking down the mall avoiding the kite flyers and merry go rounds we headed to the Air and Space Museum. Lunch was the first thing on our minds so we headed to the food court only to be disappointed that it was dominated by McDonalds. A few of us were desperate for salad so ended up with McDonalds salad, while Auntie Sue got a “small” milkshake.

Capitol Hill from the National Mall

IMG_0831

After lunch the group separated, Auntie Sue and Fiona headed off to Capitol Hill while Mum, Pauline and I visited the space museum. It was cool walking through rockets and planes and getting close up views of the capsules that some astronauts returned to earth in. We were there for maybe two hours then walked back to the hotel.

Skylab Lunar Module:

Skylab 4 command module

Sopwith Snipe

Martin B-26B Marauder Flak Bait

Northrop 2B Gamma Polar Star

A bride leaves the Hotel Monaco

On the walk back we saw a tonne of people in red shirts with Capitols written on it, looked like they had just come from a hockey game at the Verizon Centre which is across the road from where we were staying. We had to meet Fiona and Auntie Sue in front of the bus stop at 4pm. I managed to slip in a quick visit to see the original print of the Obama Hope picture by Shepherd Fairey. It was a really great screenprint and I’m glad I got to see it.

The real life Obama HOPE screenprint

Outside we waited and waited and waited and waited for the yellow line double decker bus to take us to Georgetown. It finally came to take us past all the hotels then drop us at the river. We walked along the banks until we got to 37th Street which had the Exorcist steps. The steps are damn steep and we did walk up them – even Auntie Sue! At the top was a bar called The Tombs – a place that the St Elmos fire was based on. Further down the street was the church that JFK prayed in when he was in Washington. The streets of Georgetown have wonderful old houses with cobblestones and even old tram lines that don’t go anywhere. On the main street are all the expensive clothes stores and some restaurants which we gawked at, then headed down to wait for the return yellow line bus back to the hotel. The stop was in front of the Four Seasons Hotel and since there weren’t any seats a few of us sat on the garden pots while auntie sue and I happily sat and leaned on a statue. It wasn’t until Fiona came to see us that we learnt what we were leaning up against.

The damn hop on hop off bus that was so annoying:

Hop on Hop off bus

Houses in Washington:

Georgetown

The exorcist stairs – even with asthma Auntie Sue made it to the top:

The exorcist stairsAuntie Sue dies climbing the Exorcist stairs

The Tombs, which St Elmo’s Fire was based on:

The Tombs - St Elmo's fire is based on this pub

O Street in Georgetown:

Tram lines in Georgetown that lead to nowhere

Obama, has pyjamas, is coming down the stairs:

Obama Pyjamas

The statue Auntie Sue and I used to wait for the Hop on Hop Off bus:

Auntie Sue waits for the hop on hop off bus using the statue as a seat

The arm rest on the statue we used:

Our arm rest

So after waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for the yellow bus, it finally turned up and took us on a tour of Dupont Circle and all the embassys nearby. We were happy when we saw the Australian one, but were disappointed it was so ugly. After arriving in front of the National Portrait Gallery we swapped buses again, from one yellow bus to the other yellow bus which took us to just across the road from the White House at the Willard Intercontinental. After 4 days of arriving in Washington we finally saw the White House on the evening before we left. Auntie Sue was corrected by the White House Police when she called the Washington Monument the “thingy”. Obama wasn’t in the house when we visited, he really is a smart man.

The boring Australian Embassy in Washington:

The Australian Embassy in Washington. Can someone say ugly?

The White House at night:

The White House at night

Pauline is really impressed to be at the White House:

Pauline, Lynne, The White House, Fiona, Sue

We walked back to the hotel, dropping in the ESPN Zone only to find out that their huge HD screens floor was closed. Exhausted from the days activities we didn’t even eat dinner and just went to bed.

For more photos, check out the flickr set

Tweets of the day:

Spent the morning at the museum of American history. Highlight for me was kermit the frog and oscar the grouch. Saw a tmnt too.
This is a tmnt.   http://twitpic.com/3joi7
This is a small milkshake.  http://twitpic.com/3jomb
I have a hunger as big as… http://twitpic.com/3jopp
Saw the original Obama hope picture. It’s great.  http://twitpic.com/3josa
About to take the hop on hop off bus again. Hope it isn’t as bad as yesterday.
Visited the exorcist steps in Georgetown. Survived the walk up it – just.  http://twitpic.com/3km0u
Was waiting for the most annoying bus ever when fiona pointed out what auntie sue and I were using as an arm rest.  http://twitpic.com/3km4e
@hmboorer So did we! 🙂
Will be going offline tomorrow for a day or so. For some reason they don’t have wifi in Amish County. 😛
Forgot to mention we were at the air and space museum today too.  We were busy today!  http://twitpic.com/3knmx

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