Thursday, April 25, 2013

Air & Space Museum with a Canon

I had never been to the Air & Space Museum before this weekend! Can you believe it? I feel like one of those regular DC people who have lived here forever but have never done the DC stuff because "that's just for tourists"!!  I'm one of those people that tourists stop to ask for directions, then scoff and say "you've never been!?" Ha ha ha. Not really. I've been to literally everything else, including the Dulles Air & Space museum, but I'm letting this little slice of DC virginity soak in and make me feel more like an assimilated citizen instead of the giddy girl who is overly enthusiastic about being out of Texas!

While my brother was visiting this past weekend, we took all of our boys down into the city to explore the museum. A fun fact about our visit? Ok, well a fun fact for ME... is that I shot the day on my brother's Canon instead of my Nikon. I ALWAYS play with my brother's Canon whenever he is with me because I like to know the differences between the two brands. It was A LOT of fun to play with.
One thing I noticed at the DC Air & Space verse the Dulles one was all the hands on exhibits. We live right near Dulles airport so we have been to the museum out by us many times. It is HUGE with an awesome control tower that overlooks the runways of Dulles and, of course, the space shuttle is pretty danged amazeballs... but we've said a million times as we are walking out how disappointing it is that we cannot go inside ANY of the planes. Not even a guarded sheet-of-plastic barrier peek. I mean, they have the flippin' Concord just chillin' right in the middle of the place and we can't even look inside!? I find that terribly annoying. I really want to look inside that Concord!!

But down in DC, where there is much less space, my kids climbed in a Cessna (to be fair, they have one at Dulles too but there are only certain times that it's available for play), they walked through a DC-7, we walked into the top story of a full sized 747 and could check out the huge cockpit, and there was another rocket-like thing that you could walk through as well but we forgot to go in it.

It just seemed sort of odd to me that the giant and NEW Dulles museum doesn't have anything like that!
2013-04-23_0006 2013-04-23_0008 2013-04-23_0007
I am a huge aviation nerd. That's something I'm pretty sure I've picked up from my engineer big brother because it certainly doesn't come from me naturally. I hate flying. But I loooove airplanes. I am a complicated and complex human being who very often makes no sense whatsoever.

I wanted to read ALL the stuff. Do you know how hard it is to read all the explanation plaques in a museum when you have a 5 month old, 2, 3 and 8 year old to keep your eyes on?? Impossible. It's 100% completely impossible. I told the hubs as we were leaving that it is a total shame that we never went to a single museum before Charlie was born. To be fair, we were really too busy sleeping until 1pm on weekends back in those days...
2013-04-23_0005 2013-04-23_0009 2013-04-23_0010
Henry spent the weekend professing his love for Oliver. Very often, Henry would tell him that they were best friends and encourage his cousin to follow him everywhere. "Come ON, Oliver!!!" It. Was. So. Cute.
2013-04-23_0011 2013-04-23_0012
Toddlerhood is so exhausting.
This is the point of my blog post that I gush over how amazing my big brother is. I adore him. This is nothing new, I've always thought he was amazing (aside for a few years in high school when I was way too cool for him) -- but watching him be a dad and an uncle makes my heart explode. He will play and play and play with our kids. Past the point where, as a mom, I'd be done. He's funny with them in a way that I have never been able to be myself... and he's always genuinely interested in them. And they ADORE him because of it.

Mikey and I frequented the Charlotte Discovery Place all the time when we were kids. My mom would give us some money for food (you know, back in the 90s when it was safe/safer... to just drop your kids there for a day...?) and we would ALWAYS save that money to buy astronaut ice cream. It became a tradition over our childhood that we cherished. I can even remember our little conversations about how we couldn't buy too much lunch so we would have enough leftover for our ice cream. :)

Now, whenever we go to science museums (which we do a lot when we're together because we are a nerdy-chic family), my big brother buys astronaut ice cream for Charlie (insert a big, fat, giant, heart-melty "awwwwwww" here). We realized on this particular trip that we will need to amend this passing-on of tradition to include buying a few more packages of ice cream because Henry and Olly definitely noticed they were left out on this and FREAKED. Ok, just Henry freaked.

Side note: It was $3 back then. It costs $7 now. Since it was my brother's birthday, I paid for this round. $14 for two packages of 3 inch squares! How is this even possible? We don't even have a space shuttle program anymore! I'm not even supporting dudes going up in space with that additional $4. Rip off.
After the museum, we walked outside and played goofed off on the mall for a bit. We took the obligatory family photos in front of the Capitol. Some of which were photo bombed. And children, or my big brother, convinced us that we should take nose-picking shots...
2013-04-23_0015 2013-04-23_0016 2013-04-23_0017
The little guys were super interested in the dirt path. And my big brother was interested in being awesome with the kids.
And little man H fell asleep on the way home and snoozed on the couch for much of the afternoon. Being a toddler is really exhausting.


  1. So much love expressed by you!! Happiness. Yet again, you should be a writer. :)

  2. Just noticed I was still smiling...and I finished reading 5 minutes ago. (You should be a writer) :)