Sunday, October 12, 2008

DC Pictures: Local Attractions

((This is DC Pic Post #2. Read more here about what in the world that means.))

Here are some pictures of others things in DC besid
es monuments and memorials. Basically there is alot you can do in DC and we could have seen so much more, but in our time frame- we did pretty good!

The White House

We stopped by the White House, unfortunately we only could
get as close as the rod iron fence would let us. Ahead of time, you can reserve local tickets to visit the White House, with your state representative, but its never gauranteed- and we didnt get to take a tour-which was sad. But maybe next time!

Did you know the White House is made up of six stories? The ground floor, state floor, second floor, and third floor, and well as a two-story basement.

The security was amazing, we had a police officer just watching us bystanders at the gate look as we looked at the White House. Then as Im taking pictures of the White House, I notice that theres a man on top of the can zoom in and see that he is security. They take their job seriously!

The Capitol
We then went on over to the Captiol, which was so beautiful too. Again,
we could only get close to the fence, but it was close enough. You can see construction in the picture in front of the Capitol, they are building a visitors center, so people can have a close look and a deeper experience with the Capitol. It should be finished in Dec. 2, 2008. The CVC will contain 580,00 square feet of space below ground!! Large glass windows have been installed in the ceiling's center, which will frame the view of the Capitol rotunda. Too bad we missed it!!

Bureau of Printing and Engraving
We took a tour to see how our nations money is printed. It was against the law to take any pictures, so we wouldn't go home and print our own money I guess. Its amazing how much money is printed in a day. Two Interesting facts were:
  • During fiscal year (FY) 2007, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced approximately 38 million notes a day with a face value of approximately $750 million.
  • 95% of the notes printed each year are used to replace notes already in, or taken out of circulation.
  • We were able to take some pictures in the lobby. This is the closest we will ever get to a million dollars!

    U.S. Botanical Gardens

    We love visiting gardens big and small. This was a big one filled with lots of plants! We spent some time in the huge green house, which had a walking level to oversee all the plants.

    There was also children's' hands one area, that the kiddos plant, dig, sweep, pump water, etc.. We spe
    nt lots of time there! (moreso so we could sit and let the kiddos burn some energy)

    The National Mall

    Theres an excellent picture and description of the Mall here. We had alot of fun walking, picnicing and resting up and down the mall. Lots of greenery, birds, and squirrels. Too bad we didnt come during Cherry Blossom season- Im sure it would have been beautiful. The Mall was our walking road to all the monuments, museums and other places we visited.

    This is us picnicing and being stalked by birds!

    Smithsonian Museums

    There was so much to be seen and not enough time. As you may or may not know, there are several Smithsonian museums around the mall in DC- that are all FREE it visit. We were only able to visit two. The Air & Space Museum, and the Museum of Natural History.

    The Air & Space Museum
    This museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. The Wright brothers exhibit was our favorite. You can see a replica of the first ever plane flown. Check our their website and you can view their online exhibit- very intriguing!!

    The one in five Wright Bicycles.

    Also the First Helicopter ride around the world was pretty cool.

    The girls checking out the Space Exhibit. Look at how huge it is!

    Museum of Natural History

    This museum was packed with a collection of over 124 million objects, displayed on t
    wo floors. The museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibits, and educational programs. Click here to look at their virtual exhibits.

    Us four on the top level.

    The girls
    really enjoyed the butterfly exhibit. We were able to enter into a climate controlled dome full of different types of butterflies. They can land on you (which several did) and you and sort of be "one" with the butterflies in their habitat. REALLY COOL! Also there was a mammal hall, Emily loves those Elephants!

    Joel really enjoyed seeing the real mummy! EE
    EK! The boys really liked the Dinosaur Hall, especially the triceratops and the t-rex.

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