Saturday, May 14, 2011

White House, Smithsonian, and snoozing on a bus

May 5th dawned bright, blue-skyed, and chilly. We had to get ourselves packed up to head home before boarding the bus. At this point, we were exhausted. Jam-packed days and not enough sleep will do that to ya.

I went rogue and try to comandeer the bus, but Bus Driver Will put his foot down. Party pooper. At least he let me take a picture.

First stop: the White House. We didn't go inside because we've heard that, with 300+ people, it would be a security nightmare and would take forever to get us through. So, we settled for taking pictures outside.

{sniper on the roof...I can say with 114% certainty that I'd be terrible at that job.}

{Bus 3's fearless leaders...and the sniper, ready to take out two teachers if we got unruly}

We saw a handful of protestors while we were there, and I'm glad the students got to see that. I think it's important for them to appreciate that we live in a country where you can peacefully voice your dissatisfaction without being punished.

The White House is a beautiful building, but it never fails to amaze me how...not is. I mean, it's big and all, but not nearly as big as you might expect. I've never been around the sides, so maybe it's one of those houses that goes on and on in the back.

Next up, a whole day of free time at the Smithsonian. Don't tell anybody, but I love museums. I get nerdily excited about seeing famous things and learning new facts. The Smithsonian is right up my alley. This year, we hit up the Air & Space Museum, the American History Museum (hands-down my favorite), and the Natural History Museum.

{Wright brothers' originial Kitty Hawk plane frame, with new canvas}

{Buzz Aldrin's spacesuit}

{One of the engines from one of the space shuttles. HUGE! And please look at the poor girl on the left I caught mid-yawn. Bless her heart.}

{lunar module}

{Smithsonian castle...the original Smithsonian seen from the Mall}

{Julia Child's kitchen...See that white ceramic basket on the table? I almost risked arrest to make it mine. Love it.}

{Bon appetit!}

At the American History Museum, we spent over an hour in an exhibit called, "The Price of Freedom". It was amazing and very well-done. The exhibit covered all of the wars in America fought in...from pre-Revolutionary times to the present day. It was just incredible, and I learned so much.

{the Appomattox chairs}

{That's it. I'm learning how to can this summer. And I'll make myself a frilly apron to wear while I'm canning.}

{We found a "Rosie the Riveter" simulator in the WWII section. You got to practice drilling rivets without making them too tight...that would break the skin of the plane. Here I am, beginning to buckle under the pressure.}

{Rosie the Riveter I am not. The kids waiting behind me were unimpressed by my skillz.}

We saw nearly everything there was to see at the Natural History Museum last year, so we made that our last stop before meeting our group to go home. We decided to wander around just to kill time.

Have you ever been to the Natural History Museum? It's scarily, unnecessarily crowded. Crowds don't normally get to me, but this did:

There were so many people packed around the Hope Diamond that it was hard to breathe. I had to get out of there, so we headed to some of the less crowded exhibits before meeting the rest of Bus 3.

After seeing the best that D.C. has to offer, it was time to head home! We couldn't leave, though, without sitting in some more traffic. I'll never live near D.C. for this reason alone.

We stopped for supper in Virginia, and then drove back to Alabama through the night. You'd think that you could get plenty of rest on a 12-hour + bus ride, but I've accepted that I'm not designed to sleep on a bus. I can get a good snooze going, but I can't maintain it. I think I clocked about three hours overall. Thankfully, we had a weekend to recover before rejoining the real world.

This was such a wonderful trip (as it was last year) and I'm thankful to be able to help expose our students our nation's wonderful capital. Give me a year to wind down from this one, and I think I'll be ready for round three!


  1. we are going to DC this summer and your recap is helping me figure out what to do...though i am not much of a history buff and get bored in museums so we will see how it goes. the last time i was there was on my 7th grade patrol trip :)

    p.s. sniper dude looks like he is texting someone! ha

  2. Ah, Washington DC... takes me back to 8th grade! haha

    We took trains up there and it was so much fun! The memory that sticks out the most is the drunk lady that came on our train car (the very last one on the whole train...) and they had to get security!

    Looks like y'all had a fun trip!!!!

    Details on the puppy coming soon!! :)

  3. Lauren, so excited yall are making a trip up there this summer! Both times I've been have been with my school, so we've been history-focused...very educational. If I was going on my own, I'd love to explore some of the neighborhoods in and around D.C. (like Georgetown). I'm sure there are also some incredible shops. Can't wait to hear what you decide to do!


  4. Molly, I've always wanted to take a train somewhere. Sounds so glamorous :) I'm thankful we had zero drunk people crashing our trip...makes for a funny memory, though! Can't wait to read more about that new puppy. Enjoy your week!


  5. Oh man... jealous of your travels AGAIN. :) I would love to visit DC someday!

  6. Leesha, there's so much to see in D.C. There are lots of things I'd like to do if I get to go one day NOT on a school trip. Until then, I'm trying to learn something new every time...not hard to do!

    You should take your girls when they get older. They may even love it as much as you :)



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