Thoughts From Places Spotlight: Smithsonians (2010)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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My Trip to (some of the) Smithsonian Museum 

during my trip to DC!

Elephant at the Natural History Museum
The main purpose of our trip to DC was so that we could see some of the Smithsonian Museums. We saw 3: Natural History, American History, and Air & Space. We probably would have seen more except that we took 2 days to go to Manassas and Mount Vernon.

Easter Island Head
Natural History Smithsonian Museum:

            I suck at museums. I love them a lot but I am a horrible museum goer. I spend 99% of the time going around, ignoring signs and taking pictures of things that look cool. That’s pretty much what I did at the Natural History Museum. The only thing I knew about this is that it was the setting of the Night at the Museum movie so after I saw the Easter Island head I went a bit stir crazy. So needless to say I didn’t learn much. I saw a lot of stuffed animals and that was it. They did have an aquarium though and I found a Dory near a Marlin so I imagined how those Finding Nemo characters would have felt if they suddenly turned up in a museum across the world. My favorite thing though was the Elephant in the Atrium. He was just so big and cool.

Edith and Archie Bunker's chairs (All in the Family)

American History Smithsonian Museum:

            Even though I still took a lot of pictures in this museum this is an experience I remember better because I was so excited to be around the artifacts that I had studied for as long as I could remember. Here’s a little back story: I had never heard of the Smithsonians until I was watching that episode of Gilmore Girls when Rory is in DC for the summer because she was elected class VP. In passing she said, “Well, I got to see Archie Bunker’s chair at the Smithsonian Museum, so it was a big thumbs up for me” and Jamie replies, “Yes, there are times when this country’s priorities are exactly right.” I immediately knew two things: that I needed to see that chair and that I needed to see what else this “Smithsonian” thing had if they had cool stuff like the chair!
Ruby's Ruby Slippers
(If you don’t know who Archie Bunker is I am very disappointed in you.) Once I did more research into it I realized that Archie’s chair was in American History Smithsonian and that the majority of the museum’s collection was not pop culture memorabilia, but very important artifacts from our history.

This museum might be my favorite museum in the world BECAUSE of our priorities. This museum honors everything from Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers from Wizard of Oz and Disney World rides to Lincoln’s Top Hat and the famous “Teddy” Roosevelt bear! The museum represents American’s diverse, often misplaced interests. They just had so much STUFF! I really cannot give you an accurate description of even a percent of the coolest items but I am adding 6 photos of my very favorite ones.
Dumbo Disney ride!
Lincoln's Hat!
I had so much fun at this museum. I also realized that my dad is not to be trusted near anything because as soon as you put a “don’t touch” sign my dad is there poking it. He put his finger up all of the mannequins’ noses (I am not kidding, he is pretty much a huge kid). There was also a great moment when my mom was leaning over a train display and her sunglasses fell in. So my dad CLIMBED into it and got them out. Alarms went off, but my dad was able to climb out and look innocent before the guards could surround him. (Where was I through all this? Well, as soon as I saw the glasses fall I skedaddled to the next exhibit in case my parents got arrested I wouldn’t be associated with them so I could bail them out.)  I could have spent at least a full day just there but after a while my parents were getting tired and we needed to move on. However, one day I will go back to DC and spend as much time as it takes from me to see everything!

Greenough's Washington
 Air & Space Smithsonian Museum:

Famous Teddy Bear!
Dad was the one who really wanted to see this one. I could not have cared less about it and yet the few cool things I found were SO COOL that it made the whole experience worth it. I saw the Wright’s Brothers’ plane, vehicles that went to the moon, and I touched a MOON ROCK. My favorite bit of this trip happened in an empty display room with my dad. We were alone and looking up at some plane or another and then when we looked down we were SURROUNDED by about 20 or 30 little kids all wearing bright yellow. They were in a single file line holding hands. The chain of kids was turning around and the kid at the end looked exasperated as he said, “WHAT?! We’re turning around AGAIN?! HOW BIG IS THIS PLACE? I like planes as much as the next kid but this is too much!” I connected with that kid. That museum was huge and seemed endless if you aren’t a fan of planes, or space. 

If you want to read more about my week long trip to the DC area, click here!