Friday, June 14, 2013
Family Trip to Washington D.C.
For our big vacation trip of 2013, we hitched up the Airstream and, over the course of two days, drove to a campground in College Park, Maryland where the Overlander was parked for a week while we took in the sites & museums of the D.C. area.
The campground was nice that, in addition to two pools, it had bus service to D.C.’s subway system. This trip marked a first in that this was the first time Jared, Daniel or I had ever negotiated a subway system. The Metrorail was old hat to Kim because she used to travel to Maryland on business all the time.
The Air and Space Museum is almost mind boggling with the amount of stuff it has. It was great finally seeing a lot of stuff that I had, in the past, read, “…and it now resides in Smithsonian Institution”.
The interactive displays were neat -Everyone appeared to get something out of them.
We drove the truck back & forth to the campground’s bus stop every day. While the truck cannot hold as much stuff as the Suburban, it did do a good job of keeping the dirty clothes basket out of the Airstream. But at one point, the basket got so heavy that we just decided it could ride shotgun while I chauffeured everyone.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: If you look closely in the window above the door, you can see the President waving at us.
Visiting Arlington Cemetery certainly put a perspective on how many American lives have been lost in war.
While we were hoping to see the changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknowns, there was apparently another event happening there at the same time, and due to the sheer number of people, we could not get close enough to see anything.
Through Kim’s careful pre-planning, we got to meet Mo Brooks, one of our Representatives.
His Interns then took us on a tour of the Capitol.
We had lunch at whatever was convenient to the day’s activities. Breakfast was enjoyed at the Airstream as well as supper on most nights. The little Weber grill purchased for the Florida Keys trip has turned out to work well when it is just the four of us.
While I have seen countless pictures of the Lincoln Memorial, it is a wholly new experience to see it in real life.
The Natural History Museum was great. I was impressed at how friendly some of the exhibits were.
Since I am somewhat of a minor league WWII naval history buff, I thought the WWII memorial’s layout was neat.
Both the Vietnam and Korean War Veterans Memorials were other sobering reminders of the human cost of war.
I really wish we had been able to tour the Washington Monument. But it is still closed for earthquake repairs.
The morning of our final day found us at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. I love steam locomotives, and this museum did not disappoint. The HO scale model train layout was a pleasant surprise – It was extremely well done.
The museum also had a kiddie train ride through the land of Choo Choo Blueville that Jared probably would have enjoyed had the ride not been closed due to rain.
But the rain did not hamper one of my personal highlights of this vacation – I got to meet professional Airstream Restorer Frank Yensan whom I have known via Internet forums and phone conversations for years, but had never met in person.
Frank motored down in bad weather to sit under my Overlander’s awning, and talk shop & drink beer with me. He’s a super talented person.
But all great trips must come to an end, and breaking camp started after Saturday’s breakfast. While the overall trip had been great, we had a little black ant problem the first couple of days which surprised me because I had sprayed the entire trailer at the start of warm weather this year. I ended up having to spray bug spray inside the fridge/stove countertop cabinet (I usually only spray at floor level) to resolve the issue.
I think I found the ant’s nest just before we left town – While winding up the power cord, ants came swarming out of the electrical connector.
Actually, they only swarmed in the time it took me to retrieve the Raid. After that the ants immediately became a study in still life.
The weather was beautiful at our Wytheville, Virginia layover stop. It was perfect for drying the previous day’s rain off of the awning.
We left really early the next morning, and made it home before lunch.
It was a fantastic trip, and undeniably one of our best-ever vacations.