Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our Trip to Washington DC to visit Jacki!

The day we arrived we went to the National Zoo which is RIGHT next door to Jacki's apartment. The Smithsonian National Zoological Park, commonly known as the National Zoo, is a zoo located in Washington, D.C. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Founded in 1889, it consists of two distinct installations: a 163 acre (0.7 km²) zoo within the Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., and a 3,200 acre (13 km²) Conservation and Research Center located in Front Royal, Virginia, at the edge of the Shenandoah National Park. The zoo in Washington is free and open to the public and is dedicated in large part to education; the conservation center in Virginia is closed to the public and is used primarily to breed and study endangered species. Altogether, the two facilities contain some 2,000 animals of 400 different species. The National Zoo, as part of the Smithsonian Institution, receives federal appropriations for operating expenses. It was very nice but just a little disappointed that we did not get so see more animals. We will probably go one morning early while we are here to see all the other animals. Apparently there are more out in the mornings. Rowan was SOOO cute signing the different animals. I just loved hearing her say hippopotamus. Lance had a blast playing with the camera. We also saw some Amish people which we also video taped.

Rowan Pointing at a Zebra!


Rowan on statue

Today is Wednesday and we were going to the Smithsonian's but Lance was carrying a few knives on his person. SOOO because they have metal detectors and security is elevated because of the shooting at the Holocaust we decided we would not bring the knives and go tomorrow. Today we went to all the monuments. They were all so beautiful.
Kiernan after her snack!

Rowan eating a snack and stopping for a potty break!

The Washington Monument is a large, tall, sand-colored obelisk near the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It was constructed to commemorate the first U.S. president, George Washington. The monument, made of marble, granite, and sandstone, is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk in height standing 555 feet 5⅛ inches (169.294 m).[n 1] There are other monumental columns (which are neither all stone nor true obelisks) which are taller.[n 2] It is also the tallest structure in Washington D.C.. It was designed by Robert Mills, an architect of the 1840s. The actual construction of the monument began in 1848 but was not completed until 1884, almost 30 years after the architect's death. This hiatus in construction happened because of co-option by the Know Nothing party, a lack of funds, and the intervention of the American Civil War. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m), or 27%) up, shows where construction was halted for a number of years. Its cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848; the capstone was set on December 6, 1884, and the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885. It officially opened October 9, 1888. Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure, a title it inherited from the Cologne Cathedral and held until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was finished in Paris, France.
Our family at the Washington Monument.

The Lincoln Memorial is a United States Presidential memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and was dedicated on May 30, 1922. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue (Abraham Lincoln, 1920) was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior murals was Jules Guerin.
Mommy, Kiernan, and Abe
The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln. The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered on August 28, 1963 during the rally at the end of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a national war memorial in Washington, D.C. It honors members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War and who died in service or are still unaccounted for.
Rowan wanting to go swimming in a no swimming area

Its construction and related issues have been the source of controversies, some of which have resulted in additions to the memorial complex. The memorial currently consists of three separate parts: the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women's Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, which is the best-known part of the memorial.

The memorial was inspired by the 1971 establishment of the Vietnam Veterans Peace and Brotherhood Chapel (now the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park) in Angel Fire, New Mexico, which was begun by the parents of Marine First Lieutenant David Westphall, who was among thirteen men in his unit killed in an ambush in Vietnam in 1968.[1]

The U.S. National World War II Memorial is a National Memorial dedicated to Americans who served in the armed forces and as civilians during World War II. Consisting of 56 pillars and a pair of arches surrounding a plaza and fountain, it is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on the former site of the Rainbow Pool at the eastern end of the Reflecting Pool, between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

It opened to the public on April 29, 2004, and was dedicated by President George W. Bush on May 29, 2004, two days before Memorial Day.[1] The memorial is administered by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks group.[2] As of 2009, more than 4.4 million people visit the memorial each year.[citation needed]

What I don't understand is why all of the Asian individuals were taking pictures of me. I am just a mom with a overloaded double stroller and carrying an infant. Apparently I was the attraction of the day. Maybe next time I should take a picture of them. Then I can add them to my blog. Ha Ha Ha I am sure I will have more opportunities. It did not bother me at all. I was just yesterday filming a HUGE group of Amish individuals. ;)

Thursday was National Museum of Natural History. Rowan thought this museum ROCKED. The museum was established in 1910, with its building designed by Hornblower & Marshall. The building, designed in the neoclassical architectural style, was the first constructed on the north side of the National Mall, along Constitution Avenue, as part of the 1901 McMillan Commission plan. In 2000, Kenneth E. Behring donated $80 million to the museum and in 1997 donated $20 million to modernize it. The museum's collections total over 125 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and human cultural artifacts, making it the largest such museum anywhere. It is the second most popular of all of the Smithsonian museums and is also home to about 185 professional natural history scientists — the largest group of scientists dedicated to the study of the natural and cultural history in the world.

First we hit the Saint Ocean Hall. A one-of-a-kind interpretive exhibit, extraordinary in scale, the Sant Ocean Hall presents the global ocean from a cross-disciplinary perspective, highlighting the biological, geological, and anthropological expertise and unparalleled scientific collections of the Museum, as well as ongoing research in marine science. The ocean is intrinsically connected to other global systems and to our daily lives.
Rowan looking through the Great White Shark Jaw!

The discovery room was a nice touch for Rowan to get out and play. In the Discovery Room, students interact with each other, Museum staff and volunteers around objects from the Museum’s collections to hone their scientific inquiry skills. Programs are developed from exhibition themes and emphasize comparing and contrasting objects, closely examining specimens such as fossils, skulls, and shells, and using evidence to draw conclusions.

She thought the Dinosaurs and the Ice Age was the best. She thought the Fossil Mammal area looked like dinosaurs. There was a armadillo in the Ice Age exhibit which Rowan pointed out. A little boy about eightish asked his mom if that was and armadillo and Rowan looked at him like what the hell you did not know that was an armadillo. It was too funny. The museum has over 570,000 cataloged reptiles from around the world. The National Collection of Amphibians and Reptiles has increased 200% over the past 40 years (190,000 specimen records in 1970 to over 570,000 specimen records in 2008). The Hall of Dinosaurs has fossilized skeletons and cast models, including Tyrannosaurus rex facing off with Triceratops, and the "Triceratops exhibit shows the first accurate dinosaur skeleton in virtual motion, achieved through the use of scanning and digital technology." The collection consists of 46 "complete and important specimens" of dinosaur
Mommy feeding Rowan to TREX

She loved the Fossils and cried when we had to go look at something else.

The Mammal area was awesome. They were so lifelike. Rowan ran around to each one telling us what they were and if she knew the sign for it she showed us that also. She just went crazy and spent a long time in there. The museum has the largest collection of vertebrate specimens in the world, nearly twice the size of the next largest mammal collections, including historically important collections from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Its collection was initiated by C. Hart Merriam and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (later the Department of Interior), which expanded it in the 1890s-1930s.
Breastfeeding Statue

We did look at the Hope Diamond. Yeah not to thrilled about that. I guess not my kind of thing.

All in all we had a great time. We ended the day by going to eat Mexican and shared a strawberry margarita. Dinner was great and now everyone is asleep but me.

Going to the ZOO!

Saturday was another beautiful day at the zoo. All five of us went to the zoo and had a blast. About 2,000 animals from 400 different species can be seen in indoor and outdoor exhibits throughout the National Zoo. Some of the exhibits show animals that live in the same part of the world, others highlight a variety of animals in a taxonomic group—such as birds and great apes—and others feature animals all on their own. This time we were able to see the pandas which Rowan loved. The Zoo's three pandas—Tai Shan, Mei Xiang, and Tian Tian—live in this state-of-the-art exhibit, designed to mimic the pandas' natural habitat of rocky, lush terrain in China.
Jacki, Rowan, and Panda
The Elephant House is home to Asian elephants, capybaras, pygmy hippos, and a Nile hippo. The Zoo is building Elephant Trails, an innovative new home for our Asian elephants. It is so wonderful to see Rowan sign Elephant and get so excited jumping up and down.

The Great Ape House is home to western lowland gorillas and orangutans.

Invertebrate Exhibit This exhibit is home to dozens of fascinating species, from the giant Pacific octopus, spiny lobster, and other aquatic animals to the Goliath bird-eating tarantula.

Asia Trail Six Asian species, including sloth bears, clouded leopards, and red pandas, can be seen in a series of habitats on Asia Trail.

Jacki and Lance went to get us pizza at Adam's favorite pizza by the slice place. The pizza was great.

Then Jacki took us on a drive around DC. We saw all the monuments and different buildings. What a beautiful city and boy was it busy on a Saturday.

Coffee Sunday! Even in DC.

Sunday we went to coffee down the street from Jacki's. The atmosphere was quiet and comforting. The coffee was good. The back of the restaurant was a little outside sitting area. The tables were covered with grapevines. It was very neat.

Next we went to the spy museum. This museum was all about spies. From how to be a spy, history of spies, and spies today. Very interesting and eye raising. Makes me think even more about my surroundings.
I ended up carrying both girls as they got cranky.
Mommy holding the girls in front of the spy museum. No pictures were allowed to be taken in the spy museum.

Then we went to potbelly for lunch. WOW were their sandwiches great and milk shakes also.

Then Lance gave his knives to Jacki and she went back to work on school stuff. That is never ending. Took mom to The National Museum of the American Indian. We really worked her walking around everywhere. Got her a wheelchair at the museum so she did not have to walk around in there. There was a neat boat there.
Yes this is my life. My wonderful husband!

The National Museum of the American Indian is the sixteenth museum of the Smithsonian Institution. It is the first national museum dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of Native Americans. Established by an act of Congress in 1989, the museum works in collaboration with the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere to protect and foster their cultures by reaffirming traditions and beliefs, encouraging contemporary artistic expression, and empowering the Indian voice.

The museum's extensive collections, assembled largely by George Gustav Heye (1874–1957), encompass a vast range of cultural material—including more that 800,000 works of extraordinary aesthetic, religious, and historical significance, as well as articles produced for everyday, utilitarian use. The collections span all major culture areas of the Americas, representing virtually all tribes of the United States, most of those of Canada, and a significant number of cultures from Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Chronologically, the collections include artifacts from Paleo-Indian to contemporary arts and crafts. The museum's holdings also include film and audiovisual collections, paper archives, and a photography archive of more than 300,000 images depicting both historic and contemporary Native American life.

Then we went to the cheesecake factory for dinner. The cheesecake was AWESOME. Oh and I had a fantastic drink. My new favorite drink. It is a lemon drop martini!

Monday is Mommy, Daddy, and Kiernan's day!
The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. "Holocaust" is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed "inferior," were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.

During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived "racial inferiority": Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals

In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy or influence during World War II. By 1945, the Germans and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the "Final Solution," the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe. Although Jews, whom the Nazis deemed a priority danger to Germany, were the primary victims of Nazi racism, other victims included some 200,000 Roma (Gypsies). At least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly Germans, living in institutional settings, were murdered in the so-called Euthanasia Program.

As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, the Germans and their collaborators persecuted and murdered millions of other people. Between two and three million Soviet prisoners of war were murdered or died of starvation, disease, neglect, or maltreatment. The Germans targeted the non-Jewish Polish intelligentsia for killing, and deported millions of Polish and Soviet civilians for forced labor in Germany or in occupied Poland, where these individuals worked and often died under deplorable conditions. From the earliest years of the Nazi regime, German authorities persecuted homosexuals and others whose behavior did not match prescribed social norms. German police officials targeted thousands of political opponents (including Communists, Socialists, and trade unionists) and religious dissidents (such as Jehovah's Witnesses). Many of these individuals died as a result of incarceration and maltreatment.

This is my favorite museum!

Arlington National Cemetery was next on our list. We saw the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Eternal Flame of the Kennedy grave.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


Eternal Flame

Then Jacki took us out to an AMAZING dinner. OMG was the food fantastic. And the server was the best.

Tuesday mom decided she would venture out with us. Rowan started the morning off by wearing some more of Jacki's shoes.

We drove out to see the Iwo Jima statue. The Marine Corps Band was practicing on the field and we got to enjoy their music. It was wonderful to listen to the band and have the Iwo Jima statue behind them.
Iwo Jimia

Marine Corps Band

Then we drove by the White House for mom to chatch a view of it. Then off the Potbelly's again for lunch.
Daddy and his girls

Kiernan along for a ride

We wound up at the Natural History Museum again while the kids took their nap so we could enjoy some of the parts we did not get to see. Then we headed off to the Air and Space Museum. There was a plane you could go in and Rowan did not want to stop going in it.
Skeleton section

Lance going into the airplane

inside the plane

Wednesday was just a relax day. Got to go out to eat with some old friends Chris and Russ, whom we have not seen in 7years!! It was wonderful getting to spend some time with them and their kids.
Myers Family

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