Friday, February 18, 2011

Day two in Washington DC

For a populated city the vibe is very relaxing. We have been to NY before and you can feel the hustle of the city. Not in Washington DC. Our Hotel is one block from the White house and in walking distance to everything. I think if we were driving our experience would be much different. As we walk to one museum and another, we pass many parks and joggers. People are hanging out in the parks playing football, Frisbee and the kids are just running around freely.

We got an early start so we could get as many museums in as possible. We were at the museums by 9:00 a.m. only to find out they don't open until 10:00 a.m. There was one building open at 8:30 that I’m glad we stopped and took in this sight. I am going to give you the short version of the story. But if you ever have the chance to come To Washington D.C. stop in and take a thirty minute tour and find out the full story. A Castle built and dedicated to James Smithson. The founder of the Smithsonian Institution. The story is quite interesting on how this Englishman came to rest here in the United States. He was descended from English royalty and very wealthy. He was also a successful chemist. He never had any children of his own. Three years before he died he had is will drown up to leave his entire estate to his only nephew. There was a strange stipulation in the will. He had put in there if his nephew should die and have no children of his own his entire estate should then go to Washington DC. His nephew only lived six years after James Smithson passing. His nephew lived very well on the inheritance. Since he did not have any children of his own James Smithson estate now became the property of Washington DC. The castle was built to honor James Smithson and promote creative thought and science.

The architecture in this castle was stunning.  James Renwick, Jr. was the architect.  He was also the architect for the St Patrick’s Cathedral in N.Y.
Air and Space Museum.
There is a whole section devoted to hands on experience.  
There are several guides around the museum doing different activities. This one is demonstrating the gravitational pull of a spinning tire.  He had The Cisco Kid sit on a stool.  Once the tire started to spin, The Cisco Kid would move the tire side to side and it would swing him in the stool.  
The Wright brothers
Tomorrow we are going into the White House. Unfortunately we are not allowed to bring in cameras, cell phones, etc, I will let you know how it goes. 

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a great day of sights! I LOVE Smithson castle!! It looks like my kind of place to visit!! Love the pictures...I think the space exploration was right on track for TCK!!! Thanks for sharing your day. So glad it was a great visit.



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