Important Paper and Pictures (Kevin's Title)

Trip Start Mar 22, 2013
Trip End Mar 30, 2013

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Thursday, March 28, 2013

Up about 9:00 and I walked to the National Archives to get in line while Grandma and Kevin grabbed some breakfast...they were going to bring me a donut.  I walked the 4-5 blocks to the Archives and noticed a line about as long as we saw yesterday.  I got in line fearful we might never get in.  It was only 9:25...the place opened at 10:00.  About 9:55 an employee came by and told folks in line that it would probably be an hour to an hour and a half wait from where we were standing when they opened the doors.  Sandy and Kevin headed to the warmth of the Natural History Museum to see the dinosaurs.  I called them back about 10:15, but it was almost 11:00 before we got in to the Museum.  And it was darned cold standing there in line!!!

Once we got in, they did the usual security check...Kevin was clean, while Grandma and I had to be "wanded."  You know how dangerous we are!!!  

We went the wrong way immediately and ended up in the gift shop.  Kevin spotted something right away, but we decided to see the rest of the Archives before coming back to the gift shop.  

Then we made our way to "the mother lode."  One of only four remaining copies of the Magna Carta, one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, and original copy of the US Constitution and an original copy of the Bill of Rights.  The one thing you notice is that it's very dark in the "rotunda."  That's to prevent the documents from further fading.  And they are very faded.  I remember seeing them 15 or 20 years ago and they were not nearly as faded as they are today. We told Kevin to remember seeing the originals because it's possible they may fade away totally in his lifetime.  

There is more than those documents to the Archives.  They have items that document our lives.  Copyrights for inventions, copies of Presidential speeches, telegraphs from Presidents, audio and video recordings of important events in American history like FDR's "day of infamy" speech, etc.  Exhibits on genealogy, and much, much more.  We finally saw the Archives introductory film (alright we didn't do things precise what?)     

Then we headed down to have lunch in the cafeteria.  Good paninis and one of the least expensive lunches we have had...$14 for the three of us!!!

Finally, we made it back to Kevin's favorite...the gift shop!  He bought a harmonica and we bought things for Kevin's friends and relatives.  I got to carry them in my backpack!!!

The we walked a few blocks to the International Spy Museum, but the line was pretty long.  So we headed to Ford's Theater where Lincoln was assassinated.  All tickets sold out for the day.  

Diversion...Kevin's shoes had been bothering him for quite some time.  I found a Payless store about 3 blocks away and 20 minutes later, we walked out with new shoes for Kevin...on sale!!!  $20!!!  

We headed to the National Portrait Gallery...thinking not too many kids would be at the gallery, and we were right.  Got in right away and headed for the Portrait Gallery of America's Presidents. Portraits of all of the Presidents.   They had them in chronological order...Washington to Obama.  This brought about a teachable moment for Kevin.  We not only discussed the Presidents in order, we also discussed unique things about the Presidents.  For example, there are currently still four living former Presidents (Carter, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II).  One President served two terms, but not consecutively (Cleveland).  Some Presidents died in office (William Henry Harrison, Lincoln, Kennedy, etc.).  One President resigned (Nixon).  One President was in a wheelchair (FD Roosevelt).   All in all a good history lesson about the Presidents.  

After visiting the gift shop and actually NOT buying anything (ALERT THE MEDIA!!!)  We took a quick cab ride back to our hotel.
 Grandpa has a CIRA board meeting to call into at 5:30...4:30 Central Time.   

Board meeting done...curse sequestration and the FAA!  

We walked to a "food court" (unbeknownst to us) for dinner...Mama Ilardo's...not bad, but not Giardiano's either!!!  

Home and bed...tomorrow is our last full day in DC.  Laura will join us tomorrow.  Great fun.

Take care my friends!    

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