Sunday, May 6, 2012

2 years down...Washington DC!!!

We got really lucky this year and were able to combine a visit with Xanthe and her new baby with a trip to the nations capitol to celebrate our two year marriage mark!

We flew to DC late Sunday night, spent Monday and half of Tuesday touring the city, got picked up by the Aintablians Tuesday afternoon and headed to Virginia where we spent Wednesday (Xanthe's birthday) and Thursday with our friends and their sweet new baby before we headed back to Utah.

We had made a master list of all the things we *most* wanted to see in DC. Of course, with just a day and a half we didn't have nearly enough time to do all that we would have liked, but we definitely got a lot in.

I'll try to make this post more concise and readable by picking my favorite photos from each event---read the captions to find out more!

Here is what it looks like on the outside!

First we went to the International Spy Museum! (Thanks Mom Lindsley for the tickets!) They don't allow any photography so we couldn't get pictures, but I found some online. ;)
Inside it's a self-guided tour that tells you about spies over time.
There were even spies in the Revolutionary war days!
You even get to pretend like you are a spy if you want. ;)
There is this awesome "spy-car" that has all kinds of tricky gadgets like
guns in the headlights, a revolving license plate, and a shield that pops up in front of the trunk.

The international spy museum warns against trusting beautiful women...

The last room at the museum talks about technological warfare, and how if a computer virus shut down all electricity, basically the world would collapse and the apocalypse would begin. It was terrifying to realize how dependent we are on technology.

After the spy museum, we headed for the American History Museum at the Smithsonian. It's awesome how everything is within walking distance in DC. Also, EVERYTHING IS FREE!! It is amazing. I told Steven I wouldn't mind living in DC, it's like the perfect blend of big-city-meets-family-friendly. I can't wait to take kids there!

We saw money and coins from the earliest coinage on...did anyone know that early Mormon settlers had their own money?

We found my mom's vacuum....

Abraham Lincoln's death mask

Stone from the Nauvoo temple is there

Kermit the frog. <3 

Judy Garland's ruby slippers from Wizard of Oz

The ACTUAL Star-Spangled Banner is in a protected room here.
Steven is a witness to how much I broke down and cried looking at it.
Such an amazing moment. I love America. Best part of the trip to DC. :)
Inauguration gowns from the first ladies of the United States. I really wish I'd taken more pictures in here.
Some of the dresses were EXQUISITE! Michelle Obama's was amazing. :) 

This is George Washington's suit. SO SO SO AMAZING.
This was my favorite museum by far. ;) It's the patriot in me. 

Irving Berlin's piano. OMG I wish I could have touched the keys that his hands played...

A piece of Germany for Steven. <3 

Beams from the two towers...
Of everything in the museum I think this hit hardest because we were actually alive when it happened.
It still seems so real. We watched those towers fall just a little over ten years ago. 

After the American History Museum we walked around to see all the monuments that we could before it got dark! Good thing we're good walkers!!

Washington Monument. It's still closed for visitors on the inside since the earthquake...

The WWII memorial with Lincoln's temple in the background

Lincoln's memorial tomb. I've always wanted to see this in person. :) 


Korean war memorial

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. 

Us on our anniversary looking out over to the Jefferson Memorial which was too far to walk to before the sun went down. 

Jefferson's memorial in the distance

Another little memorial building we found, I'm not sure who it was for.
There was no one else there. 

Outside the white house!


Eating our anniversary dinner at Hard Rock Cafe in Washington DC! We got a free hot fudge sundae. :)

Tuesday we headed for the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian. It was AWESOME! It is a self-guided museum, but it lets you walk through the evolution of the earth from the creation on. We went through dinosaurs to the ice age, through the ancient oceans to the first mammals and onto humans! After that you can walk through the modern mammals/oceans and insect rooms. There is also an indoor butterfly house! We didn't have time to go through that, maybe next time! SO AMAZING! This would be the best museum for kids!

Getting up close and personal with some Tyrannosaurus bones!

Steven and a wooley mammoth

Can you believe that prehistoric animals were this big??!? 

Steven accepts the offering of a neanderthal monkey-man. 

I love Apes and Primates of all kinds!! :) 

This was a special room just for the Chilian miners! So cool, since that happened just last year or so...
This picture is of the tube that rescued them. 

They have the National gem collection there too! This is a HUGE diamond!
We also saw the Hope diamond! WHAAAA!??? yeah. We saw it. Steven has the pictures
on his camera though. It's HUGE!!!

Last picture of our trip to waiting in line for the National Archives.
We saw the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and The Declaration of Independence.
SO COOL. We couldn't take any pictures in there, but it was amazing to see them with our own eyes.
We also bought a replica of the Declaration to hang on our wall. :) 

We enjoyed our short visit to DC so much! I would put it at the top of my recommend list for family vacations. It is awesome, beautiful, inspiring, educational and tons of fun. 

As Tuesday drew to a close we were excited for the next part of our trip, a visit with Xanthe and David! We collected our luggage from our hotel (the AMAZING Courtyard by Marriott in Arlington!) and called a Taxi. 

Off to Virginia!! :) :) :) 


  1. Yay for DC! We saw a lot of the same things you did, but not the spy museum or Hard Rock Cafe. I agree that it's great that everything's free. Love the pictures you took! The Star Spangled banner was one of our favorite parts too.

  2. Two things:
    I love your hair.
    And I want to go back to DC so so bad!! I love it there! I wouldn't mind living there, either. It's gorgeous and alive with history!!! What more could you want?!


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