Last Day in the DC Area

We had a lazy day at the campground since the weather was finally nice. We did some chores around the motorhome and laundry. B and I enjoyed swimming in the 80F pool! So glad it finally warmed up.


We practiced our water acrobatics routine. We decided that if we just stop arguing for a while we actually can do great things. Our words, not Mom’s.


We did the last load of laundry and went and played putt-putt. The course is $1 to play for 18 nice holes. We had a great time. We didn’t keep score. I worked on my silly shots.


After we grabbed some food and headed in to DC on the Metro one last time. We met up with Dad near the Ford’s Theater.


We took a historic walking tour complete with a man dressed in period clothing of the night Lincoln was assassinated. We learned all about the suspects and characters involved as we walked around DC.


Booth escaped through the back of Ford’s Theater after shooting Lincoln. This is what it looks like today.



There were sealed statements from witnesses that were read as we went from location to location. It was neat to piece the puzzle together and find out who were the bad guys and who weren’t.


We eventually ended in from of the White House around sunset. We learned the fate of the people involved. I was shocked how many were put to death for their involvement.


It was a very interesting living history lesson. I was really glad we got to do this.

Visiting the NSA?

We went over to the NSA! Well, really we went to the National Cryptologic Museum. We learned all about secret codes and how they were used to communicate during wars. IMG_8739

We even saw a piece of the Pentagon Building from 9/11.IMG_8741

We stared at the Rosetta Stone model for a long time.


This old 77,000 GB tape storage machine was amazing! I loved watching the arm move the tapes around.


Some of the machines used to code were neat.


Back looking at the large tape machine. I just couldn’t get enough!


We got to use an Enigma machines to try to code our own names. I forgot to write down the initial setting on my code and I had to start all over.


After the museum we needed outdoor time. Mom started to google and found that we were;t that far from the Patuxent Research Refuge. This is the research center that is pivotal in helping bring back the whooping crane population.

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We got to dance with interactive whooping cranes. We learned about the programs they have to support the birds. This year so far they have 30 hatchlings! YAY!


We got to use binoculars to look out on the lake at the migrating birds. It was mostly Canadian Geese.


Me as a whopping crane!


Me in a bald eagle nest. They are really big birds!


We had a great day exploring. We stopped for groceries and then came home and cleaned the motorhome. Tomorrow we hope to get in the pool as it should be warmer out.


The Early Bird Gets the Worm?

Mom shook us out of bed at 4:45AM! We were on the Metro by 5:45 and in line at the Washington Monument visitors center by 6:30AM! The center opens at 8:30 and they start to pass out tickets for the day. We fussed and grumped about waiting. Mom was prepared with snacks, iPhones and some studying for Marine Ecology for next fall for 4-H! We got tickets to the 9:00 group! YAY! We eagerly raced up the hill to the waiting area.


We were the first people in line for the day! After security check we waited in the elevator lobby and read signs about George Washington.


A quick trip and we were at the top. We looked out in all directions. They have maps and I enjoyed finding all the buildings on the maps.

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The White House!


Then you proceed down 15 steps and there is an information section with all about how the monument was built.


Then we went down the elevator and it paused so we could see the stones donated by each state. Sadly we only saw a few but they were very cool!


Back on terra-firma!


I was sucking the cold out of the cool marble benches.


We walked over to the National Museum of American History for a meet-up with B’s pal, Aran. Aran moved to Washington state a while ago and we just happened to be in DC at the same time!


We saw Prince’s Yellow Cloud guitar!


Finally we connected with Aran and his mom.


We explored the museum and returned to the Spark Lab for more inventing.


I worked on a laser project. I had to make the beam split, reflect and bounce around to a goal. It took a bit to figure it out but I made my goal!


The lab was very crowded so I retreated to a corner with tons of books on inventing and art. I had a great time curled up reading.


I invented a cool microscope that has a shoulder mount so you can take it into the field to examine specimens.


We found our photo from the other day. Aran got his on the wall too!


I made a “photo holder”. I call it Mr. Wire.


Saying good-bye to the mall area. We have plans outside of DC the next few days.


Rock Creek Park

Today we visited Rock Creek Park by car. It was another drizzly day here in DC. The Nature Center at the park was awesome. I loved seeing all the mounted birds and other animals. I really enjoyed the indigo bunting.


We worked really hard on Jr. Ranger books since the weather was so icky. We earned the badge for Rock Creek Park and also the National Parks Night Sky badge.


Then we headed south in the park to Peirce House. It was an old mill. We got to learn how the mill worked. Sad;y they only have it active twice a month on Saturdays. We missed it by a week.


After the mill we walked back to the car and drove to the Old Stone House.


This is inside the Old Stone House. We learned that this building is where Washington and L’EnFant planned out the area we know as District of Columbia today. We got to play with some cool classic toys.


Due to a slip up we had to drive back to the Nature Center to get our badges for the Centennial Book and the 50th Historical Book. There are so many badges and patches to earn in this area we would need weeks or months. We did fairly well so far!