Thursday, November 8, 2007

Poodledoc Goes to Washington, DC

Since George Bush wouldn't invite me to dinner, I got to see the sights of the city instead. We went to several wonderful restaurants which were undoubtedly better than White House food!

When I was a kid, I always wanted to be an astronaut (true confession) so my friend took me to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum to look at what astronauts have done and are still doing. All those teeny tiny space capsules. Going into space in the Apollo moon capsule would be like spending 10 days in my station wagon. Yuck! Got to touch a piece of the moon. Went to "Space Station 3-D" at the IMAX in the museum which showed life on the International Space Station. Then I realized I still wanted to be an astronaut but I know there's already been a veterinarian in space and he got to go twice. So much for that idea! Looked in on the "Spies in the Sky" exhibit, which details the many "creative" ways space and airplanes have been used to spy. I think it took about 5 years after the Wright Brothers 1903 flight for the airplane to become a tool of war. One part of the exhibit showed various aerial spy photos and there were three pictures, framed 1-2-3. The first photo showed a satellite view of Iran's nuclear reactor and production facility. The second showed the World Trade Center just BEFORE 9/11. The next and last photo showed the World Trade Center 5 days after the attack. I found it curious that the three photos should be grouped like that. I'm SURE it was an accident.

Then we visited the National Conservatory with hundreds of lovely plants. Someone, incredibly, had constructed various DC monuments out of twigs and then varnished them (see above photo)

Visited the Jefferson Memorial. In this city, you could spend days visiting monuments. But I really liked the Jefferson Memorial, once the mob of middle school kids had flowed, screaming and shouting, down the steps past us.

I attended my friend's Quaker Meeting which felt very welcoming to me!

Then hung out at Dupont Circle trying to look cool (yeah right!)

It was a fun trip!


Ed said...

How about the first quaker in space? Or maybe the first quaker veterinarian in space? I'm sure there must be a way!

Even before the airplane, they were using balloons as tools of war, so it wasn't exactly a great leap when the airplane came along. The airplane certainly changed the way in which war was waged and the military, in turn, was responsible for advancing aviation technology at a quite rapid rate. Isn't it odd how warfare has been responsible for so many technological advances? And how many of them, really, would have been missed if the desire to wage war didn't force their advancement?

Crayons said...

Hi Poodle,

I really love DC. Some parts of it remind me of Paris -- the broad avenues and Baroque-ish architecture. I love visiting free museums -- all museums should be free! The monuments are very moving. Next time I'll visit the botanical gardens; thanks for the tip.

I know what you mean about feeling at home with Friends. That's a neat way to round out your visit.

Suzy said...

We spent a long weekend in DC back when Sea Cow was a toddler, and I was attending a math educators' conference. I had to walk through the zoo to get to the metro stop every day. And we had to go pay homage to the Spirit of St. Louis, for Ed's dad. It was a wonderful city to visit.

poodledoc said...

Yes, Ed, it is odd and a bit disturbing what you say about the airplane. I like to think that the techno advances would have happened anyway.

I agree with you Crayons, the Quaker Meeting was moving and comfortable. I feel my Quakerism deepening which feels good to me. This is the spiritual home I've been searching for .

Yes, we saw the Spirit of St Louis. That was important for me. The flight was one of my favorite stories. What happened to Lindbergh after is another set of stories. The museum was, in a way, a re-connection of an earlier part of my life with the present. There's an energy there that was lost along the life journey. I feel like it's back with me. It's a hopeful part of me. The yearning for adventure. Plus, I got to touch the moon. How cool is that?

Gartenfische said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip. I've never been to D.C., but would love to visit.

The museum sounds great. My husband would've LOVED it--he's really into the whole space thing.