Cassie Shepherd

October 8, 2010

DC Part I - Smithsonian


Our first day in DC was unreal. We utilized our time so well and got to see so many things. We were exhausted after walking all over NY and Philly. By this time the heels of my feet were starting to consistently ache, but we kept going. I knew our time in DC was limited and as everyone who has been to DC knows - you could spend months at the Smithsonian. I wish that is how much time we would've had there. There is much to be learned and that is the place to do it.
  • The National Cathedral

This was a high priority on Mitch's list because he had heard Glenn Beck talk about the National Cathedral as a must see. It was really pretty. We attended an early Holy Eucharist Sunday morning. Ty got a kick out of everyone sharing the cup of wine while they partook of the sacrament. He turned to us and said, "I know! I'll tell everyone if they follow me and read the Book of Mormon they can come to our church where they'll get their OWN cup of water and slice of bread!" 
We heard the choir sing which, obviously, didn't quite compare to the Mo Tab. However, it was a neat experience. It was interesting to see everyone and know this is where they come to church every Sunday morning. They were surrounded by tourists, like us, taking pictures and video. Not your typical LDS Chapel. That is for sure. It was different, but wonderful and such a gorgeous building. I would definitely make an effort to see it again.


After our little visit there we headed toward the National Mall (which was only a couple of miles away). We drove by the White House and found great parking in between the Air & Space Museum and Art Museum. We spent the next four hours at the Air & Space Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian.

Along the way - Mitch found some mini trucks :)
  • Air & Space Museum

If it had been up to me this would've been a quick walk through. However, the guys loved it. I think all air and space museums look alike. A bunch of planes and a bunch of rocket stuff. Some of the things were really cool though. I especially liked the room that had huge blown up pictures of space in HD. Those were neat and definitely worth the time to see. You can't see those everywhere.

  • National Museum of the American Indian

This was also a high priority for Mitch because his family really enjoys the history of Indians. He has family in Arizona who has a particular liking for the Anasazi Indians. We bought a book for Pop (Mitch's grandfather) called, "The Four Corners." It is about the Indians in the West and has some neat pictures.

  • National Gallery of Art

Alright, not the boys favorite. Understandable. I wish I could've spent more time here. I used to love studying art, but I haven't had the chance to do so in a long time. I used to be able to name multiple artists, their paintings, where they were painted, and when. However, over time, my long term memory has failed me. We did get to see some neat paintings here though. 

Jacques-Louis David - The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries
I especially am fond of Jacques-Louis David and his connection with Napoleon because there is a painting in the Conference Center that actually is connected with both of them. 

Notice, Mitch and Ty posing...
Leonardo da Vinci - Ginevra de’ Benci
You can't miss seeing a da Vinci!

We took this is memorial of my nephew, Eric. While we were in DC 4 years ago my three nephews were being just being boys inside of an art gallery. Really, I don't think you could expect them to be totally interested (especially if you know them). Anyway, Eric started playing around and sat on this rope and it fell off making a loud clinking sound. Bob, my brother, rushed the boys outside and gave them this huge lecture about being polite, respectful and thankful on the vacation. It is quite the joke around here now.

Raphael - The Alba Madonna
This is one of my favorites because it is the most familiar to me. I studied it in a couple of my classes -most likely due to its popularity. Very neat to see in person. Again, I only wish I had more time there!
  • National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

This is a great walk through to get to the other museums. There are some really fun and crazy looking sculptures!

View of the Natural History Museum
  • National Museum of Natural History


Last time I went here we walked in and walked out. This time we spent a couple of hours and I am so glad we did. It was really cool. Again, more time needed. My favorite area was where a tube ran from the outside and carried bees into a honey comb. There were hundreds of busy working bees. You could even smell the honey! 

Can you tell he is a hunter?
This was an exhibit where Mitch and Ty solved a murder case by looking at the bone structures. It was from a real person too. Mitch particularly liked this because it was medical related. He could name the bones and use all of his medical lingo.
 Hope Diamond

I hate how all of the museums close around 5:00. We were so tired, but we kept going and going the rest of the night. After the Smithsonian we headed up to Arlington Cemetery. Then we came back and saw the National Memorials at night. That was cool and a great way to effectively utilize our time in such a short visit. Then, on top of all that, we ended up going through and eating in Georgetown. What a day!

Smithsonian Castle

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