American History Museum

American History Museum

Washington, D.C. – June 20, 2009

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is another of my favorites.  I like the Air and Space museum more; however, the American History museum is very good.

On any particular day, the main entrance to the museum is bustling with people.  Mom, Leslie, the kids, and I had carried our lunch with us on this day’s outing.  After touring the American History museum, we sat down outside the front entrance to eat.  That was not only a welcome break, but it allowed us the opportunity to “people watch.”  At times, that was more interesting than the exhibits inside.

The north entrance to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
The IRS building.

One of the exhibits that I enjoyed was the inaugural dresses of the First Ladies of the United States.  It is always so interesting to me to see what people have worn in the past as well as getting an opportunity to see their stature.  I was struck with how tiny many of the dresses are.

Laura Bush’s inaugural ball gown.

The other area of the museum I found particularly interesting was the transportation exhibits.  I especially liked the 1401 Steam Locomotive. I think one reason I liked this locomotive is that it was not all black like most of the locomotives of that time.  The green really stands out.  It reminds me of something you would be more likely to see in Great Britain.

I recommend this museum to others.

An old locomotive appears ready to depart.
Hillary and her Buick.
A remnant of the Berlin Wall.
Remnants of the World Trade Center.
A World War II poster for defense bonds.
A salesman’s wagon.
Tyler “meeting” the Obamas and the Bidens…

Outside the museum, we walked to the White House, part of the Mall, and through the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

The White House.
The Washington Monument.
The United States Capitol in the distance.
A whale and whale skeletons in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
An elephant in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Watch out below!!
Grabbing for dinner.

The next day, our destination was the charming Old Town area of Alexandria.  Some of the buildings date from the late 1700s.  One such building houses a Christmas store with multiple floors containing everything you can possibly imagine for Christmas decorating.  Some of the streets around these buildings are still cobblestone streets.  This adds to the charm of the area.

The Christmas Attic store.
The cobblestone charm that is Prince Street.

No visit to Old Town Waterfront is complete without a stroll through the Torpedo Factory Art Center.  This old torpedo factory houses numerous shops in which local artists showcase their work.  If money were no object, it would be fun to get a piece from each shop; however…

A staircase in the Torpedo Factory.
The symmetry of the lights in the Torpedo Factory.

As we walked along the waterfront we noticed a tall ship was docked.  As we got closer, we were able to see the Gazela from Philadelphia.  It was originally built in 1883.  It now sails up and down the east coast of the United  States.

Lastly, at the dock, there are several boats available to tourists from which one can explore the area from the water.  One such boat is the old paddlewheel, The Cherry Blossom. It is a very entertaining and enjoyable way to see some of the sights.

A Delta jet on final approach to Reagan National Airport.
The Cherry Blossom at dock.
A jet cruises above the boat.
The Gazela.
A jet passes the Gazela.

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