Tuesday 10.21.14 The DC trip Part 2
It was Thursday and we were scheduled to go visit the White House. After breakfast in our apartment, we made sure we had all of the proper documentation to get in. We cabbed over to where you line up and got in line hoping the rain would hold off a while. Our visit was schedule for 10:30. I suppose we were in line for at least 30 or 40 minutes when we were finally allowed to go to the first checkpoint. When it was our turn to present info, the Secret Service guy gave us a funny look. The name was not on the list. After checking our paperwork, he told us that we were in fact scheduled for the following day – Friday.
So… we had to make our way back through the crowd of people behind us, muttering “wrong day” for their benefit as well as ours. With all of the Secret Service snafus over the last couple of weeks we did not want to look like we were trouble.
When you go to the White House, you are allowed to take almost nothing with you. Wallet and ID, ok. Cell phone, ok as long as it is off and in your pocket when you go in. This was the reason I did not bring my camera. We decided to explore DC. We started at a Barnes and Noble where we purchased umbrellas that we would never have to use… but we were now prepared. From there, we headed over the Air and Space Museum.
Of course, we had to stand next to Uranus. Little known fact is that a group of scientists almost changed the name of Uranus in 1937. After much debate, FDR stepped in and took control saying “The American people have suffered enough during these past few years. Removing the ability to make Uranus jokes would be, at this time, cruel and insensitive. The other thing we need to fear besides fear itself is the loss of great joke material in times that require great humor. I declare that Uranus will remain Uranus for perpetuity. From this moment forward, the entire world will celebrate Uranus.” None of that was in any way actually true.
(Other Info… Inside the Air and Space Museum, Max and I got into a flight simulator. Max would be the pilot and I would be the gunner. When you get into one of these things they first give you about 22 seconds of “flight school” on the outside, then you get in and are all belted in very securely. We took off and almost immediately were sideways and upside down. I managed to help Max steer us up and told him to keep us level. Well, that did not happen. It was about this time that I remembered that I’m not so good with things like carnival rides. Fast merry-go-rounds are too much for me. We ended our flight. Lindsey was laughing when we got out. Evidently she could hear me squealing in there, even though she was standing a good distance away. We still managed 3 “kills”. Never again. I leave that to the pros.)
After the museum, we made our way to the Old Ebbitt Grill where Max and I enjoyed a lovely glass of Guinness.
After a fine lunch, we made our way over to Ford’s Theater. There, we discovered that John Wilkes Booth actually had tiny Tyrannosaurus Rex arms as depicted in this image:
The bottom of the theater houses artifacts from the Civil War and the assassination. Upstairs in the theater, which is still used as a theater, a guide takes you through the events of the night Lincoln was shot. We arrived about 13 minutes prior to the discussion and I can now say that I have actually slept in Ford’s Theater. Must have been the Guinness.
We then went across the street to the Petersen House, where Lincoln was taken and eventually died. When he expired, Edwin M. Stanton said “Now he belongs to the ages” (or possibly “angels”). What is interesting about this, or Stanton, is that he was one of the lawyers who successfully used the plea of temporary insanity when Daniel Sickles was charged with the murder of Philip Barton Key II, son of Francis Scott Key. We had learned about Key the previous night on our ghost tour. We witnessed zero ghosts.
Back in Arlington, Max worked on some homework and wrote about the trip so far in his journal.
We made our way to the underground for provisions. Once again, Lindsey cooked enough food to feed most of Arlington while Max got caught up on “Earl”.
Tomorrow, the White House… maybe.