Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 2- Washington DC

Rise and Shine! Wanting to get an early start at the zoo, we were on the road by 7:30am this morning.

The National Zoological Park is part of the Smithsonian so it was free.

By 9am it was already close to 100 degrees. Many of the outdoor animals were sleeping it off somewhere in the shade. Not a panda to be found. The grounds were lovely.

The indoor exhibits opened at 10am. There were many lively creatures inside.

This is a pretty large zoo and we all took advantage of the misters located around the park to help alleviate the heat.

After three hours the children were hungry again. The food offerings at the zoo were quite pricy so we made our way back to the street where I asked a local for recommendations. He said that we were just doors away from the best pizza and subs in Washington. Sounded good to us!

We piled into Vace Italian Deli, located on 3315 Conneticut Street, close to Macomb. Wow! The guy didn’t lie. We had the most delicious pizza with a perfectly done crispy crust and paid less than $2.00 per slice. There is no place to eat in the deli so we took our feast to a shady bench on the street, then went back for seconds….yum.

Fed and watered, we took the metro to the Museum of American History. Once again it was free. There were so many interesting things to see including the dresses of the first ladies, the original American flag, the hat Abe Lincoln wore the night he died, Kermit the Frog, Michael Jackson’s hat, Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, Julia Child’s kitchen and exhibits on the Presidents and American wars. There was definitely something for everyone here…we spent three hours in this delightfully air conditioned museum.

Much to my horror, my eldest son wanted to climb the Washington monument and the other kids seconded the motion. When we got there, there were no more tickets available for the day. If you really want to do this, I recommend ordering tickets ahead of time or show up early in the morning for timed tickets….apparently the line-up is pretty long.

While the males in our party hung out eating and drinking on a shady bench, the females checked out the Smithsonian Castle. You do not need much time for this, but I recommend it. You can see a video orientation and a scale model of the federal city or relax in the café or gift shop.

It was time for McDonalds then we caught our ghost tour at 8pm in front of Dolly Madison’s house on Layfayette Square (which is kind of like the White House’s back yard).
Ghost tours need to be booked and paid for in advance. Our group enjoyed hearing about some of Washington’s really unique, haunted history.

We were back in bed at our bed and breakfast by 11pm.

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