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Archive for March 2nd, 2013

This morning, Bart and I made our first casual trip downtown by ourselves. Our previous excursions to Federal City have been quick trips with friends, and it’s been awfully cold to just volunteer to walk around downtown. But today we ventured out to explore a bit.

In previous excursions, we had various reasons that required driving, which isn’t very fun (as I have described previously). This time, we hit the metro. We took a quick metro trip once immediately after we moved but haven’t had occasion to since. It’s definitely the most convenient way to get downtown, though, if you don’t for some reason need your car. While DC’s metro is a bit pricey (the fares are also scaled by peak vs. off times, but parking is at least free on the weekends), if you consider having to pay for parking in town, it’s not so bad. In anticipation of more trips into town, I ordered us some SmarTrip metro cards that give us a bit of a discount and provide the convenience of scanning and going, no standing at the automatic kiosk scratching our heads and trying to figure out how much the fare is from outlying stop on the Red line to the National Mall.

DC Metro

DC Metro

On this trip, we popped out literally one block from our first destination, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. I wouldn’t have thought to come here, but I found a Groupon deal on admission, and it seemed like a decent excuse to get downtown. We saw the wax effigies of many movie stars, athletes, and celebrities. The claim to fame here is the Presidents Gallery, where you can walk among the likenesses of all our nation’s presidents. Madame Tussauds encourages you to get up close and personal with their figures, so we got some pics with some of them. Here I am with the Gipper. Somebody tear down that wall!

The Gipper and me

All in all, it was fun and quirky, but I definitely wouldn’t have spent more than we did with the discounted tickets. It took us less than an hour to wander through. From there, we wandered a few blocks, coincidentally past Ford’s Theater.

Ford's Theater

Ford’s Theater

We had lunch across from the FBI building, and proceeded to the National Archives. There we saw the original founding charters of our nation: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights (sorry, no photos allowed).

There’s something incredibly weighty and proud about reading the direct words of our founding fathers as they labored for decades to provide this nation with the best form of government possible to imperfect human beings. It gives you incredible respect for our democracy and makes you want to fight to maintain it. Or it should.

I can think of a few people who should maybe walk a few blocks west on Constitution Avenue from their workplace and gaze upon these documents again sometime.

We also saw an original Magna Carta from 1297, which was really spectacular, too. Then there were some exhibits on some of the many types of information housed by the national archive. One can go there and actually research through the billions of documents housed by the Archive, but that wasn’t within the scope of our day.

From there, we could have wandered some more, but it was ridiculously cold and we were a bit tired. We’ll save a lot more exploring for warmer weather. We hopped back on the metro and scooted back home, where we’ve actually been pretty productive. In fact, I tackled both of my goals of the week, so those are done (though talking to my friends is really an ongoing process :)). Bart and I even team cleaned the bathroom and non-wood flooring in the house. I hate cleaning.

All in all, a fun and productive Saturday by we the Taylors.

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