Saturday, June 12, 2010
Sherri and Rheid's Most Excellent Washington DC Adventure Day 8
Day 8: June 11, Friday
Tired we are, stop we can't. So late this morning we headed off to The Old Post Office…where, by the way, you can't buy a stamp! It is the oldest DC post office and 15 years after it was completed they needed a bigger facility. So it was slated for destruction until a group of citizens rallied to keep it. The main floor has turned into a food eatery but tourists flock to see the bell tower with its spectacular views of the city.
After a quick lunch, we were off to the Museum of Natural History (of Night at the Museum fame.) The dinosaur skeletons/fossils were pretty cool. My favorite area though had to be the mammal exhibit--a taxidermy paradise. I saw animals I never knew existed with lots of fun facts thrown in too. There was an area with gems and minerals that I thought might be a yawner but turned out to be amazing--also got to see the Hope Diamond. We zipped though several areas because if you stop to read all the explanations, it could take you days to get through the museum.
With an hour and a half before we had to report to Ford's Theatre, we decided to try to finish seeing the museum we started on the very first day. A wing dedicated to the presidents was so interesting we weren't able to finish it before we had to leave…argh.
Up the hill we went to join a walking tour, History on Foot: The Case File of Detective James McDevitt . We signed up at home when walking sounded like a good idea--what were we thinking??? The tour documents what happened in the aftermath of the shooting of President Lincoln as seen through the eyes and experiences of DC detective McDevitt. Luckily the worst part of the tour was getting to the theatre from where we started out--didn't know if I could make it at one point but managed to survive. It was definitely worth the effort--learned a lot about the "conspiracy" to kill Lincoln, kill his vice president, and kill the secretary of state (who was gravely wounded) just 5 days after the end of the civil war. John Wilkes Booth and his ilk thought by taking out the leaders of the union that they could destroy it. At the end of the tour, we found out about the fates of the conspirators--Booth was shot 12 days later while trying to evade capture and four others were sentenced to death for their involvement in the plot. A couple of people got by with lesser sentences and acquittals. The tour ended at LaFayette Park, across the street from the White House--where we got our first up close look at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Sorry Dad, Obama wasn't there to greet us. :)
The last challenge of the day was to find a place to find nourishment (aka- dinner) after 9 o'clock. After another half mile of walking, we finally found a Qudoba which thankfully staved off our eminent demise. I will definitely be having another night of "walking nightmares" I fear. It's been another great day.