Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What We Saw

We arrived home on Sunday evening after three days of blessedly uneventful driving. In all, we count our trip a raging success. We saw dozens of relatives, museum exhibits, monuments, and more without any lost children, blown tires, or major mishap. The kids were cooperative, engaged, and interested most of the time.

Here's a list of what we saw, as compiled by the kids as we drove. My plan is to add pictures as I have time, so check back if you're interested:

  • cornfields in Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois

  • Rodin's The Thinker

  • Barry Flanagan's Thinker on a Rock and Lichtenstein's House in the National Gallery's sculpure garden

  • a two-horned narwhal skull at the Natural History Museum (hm--sounds suspiciously like Luna Lovegood's two-horned snorcrack or whatever it is)
  • the Wright flyer


  • the cast for the statue of Freedom atop the Capitol

  • a lunch counter from famous civil rights sit-in in Greensboro, NC,
  • a preserved giant squid



  • an anglerfish



  • rubble from the Berlin wall beneath the feet of Ronald Reagan's statue in the Capitol

  • an Easter Island statue


  • sonar tool like the one Uncle Josh uses

  • Amelia Earhart's goggles, jacket, and plane
  • George Washington's breetches

  • a Punch-and-Judy-style puppet show depicting an angry colonist confronting a Red Coat

  • 2 George Washington campaign buttons
  • the Lincoln Memorial
  • the inside of the Washington Monument
  • a Civil War musket

  • the "Pile of Loot" prop created for Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian by copying many of the real Smithsonian artifacts we saw in our travels
  • Dorothy's ruby slippers
  • the Jefferson Memorial
  • the White House
  • the Capitol Dome


  • a Navy band
  • an Apollo shuttle
  • the Hope Diamond

  • Marie Antoinette's earrings
  • a bulletproof jacket

  • Able the space monkey (stuffed)

  • the largest unfractured ball of quartz in the world

  • a Mars rover (the one used on earth for parallel testing, not the one that went to Mars)


  • the subway under the Capitol that Senators and staffers use to get quickly to chambers
  • the hallway where Mr. Smith's office would have been

  • the Gutenberg Bible

  • The Declaration of Independence



  • The Constitution and Bill of Rights


  • a Kimodo Dragon (stuffed)

  • the statue of Brigham Young at the Capitol

  • Marines twirling bayonets

  • da Vinci, El Greco, Warhol, Raphael, Rembrandt, Titian, Vermeer




  • Potomac falls foaming with pollution

  • a 20-pound catfish caught and reeled in by Logan

  • a mammoth fossil

  • the Ice Man

  • astronaut food

  • Viking robot

  • Arlington Cemetery

  • World War II Memorial

  • Vietnam Memorial

  • all but 1 of our Qshurst cousins

  • the kids' Great-Grandma Benac, both Qshurst grandparents, and a couple dozen second cousins and great-aunts and -uncles


  • a two-ton painting depicting two thousand characters from the battle at Gettysburg

  • the green fountain in front of the White House

  • an Amish wagon (crossing a freeway overpass as we whizzed by)
  • The Star Spangled Banner

  • a barn with a cannonball hole from the battle at Gettysburg
  • Abraham Lincoln's top hat

  • Abraham Lincoln's blood (on a cuff worn by an actress who rushed to his aid)

  • a statue of Phil T. Farnsworth

  • the metro
  • the Pentagon

  • the Air Force 9-11 Memorial

  • George Washington's easy chair

  • the Mississippi River

7 comments:

  1. Whew! Sounds fun and full of culture!

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  2. The Air force 9/11 Memorial? I admit I've never actually stopped to look at it, but I thought it was just an Air force memorial having nothing to do with 9/11 despite the fact that it's near the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon. Am I wrong or did you skip an "and"?

    All nit-picking aside, that is a very impressive list. I live here and I haven't even come close to doing everything on that list. I'm glad it was a memorable time for your kids. You're so good about helping them see what they're seeing and learn from it.

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  3. The one with the three things representing the three planes, no?

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  4. Wow. Impressive Angela! I think you may have knocked out all historical contexts they might need to have for the next six years in school on this one single trip.

    What a great idea to have them write down what they saw! I am going to practice that for our next trip to Utah.

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  5. Wow, what a lot of things that you saw! (I'm glad I clicked over. There were no pictures in the Reader feed!)

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  6. What a fun trip...and what fun memories for the kids.

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