We sat in the front carriage of the Metro, and when we got off at L’Enfant Plaza the driver leaned out of his window to wish us a nice day. I emerged to see the Capitol and the Washington Monument, which was very strange and must be how going to London feels for non-residents.
Our first stop was the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, which was filled with wonders. The Bell X-1 in which Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier! The Spirit of St Louis! The Wright Flyer - the real one (they must get asked this all the time, because they had a sign up to say 'yes, the real one')!
The key thing I learned from the Wright Brothers exhibit was that Wilbur Wright's popularity
in France spawned a fashion of wearing caps like his, known as Le Vilbour.
Next we visited the National Museum of Natural History, where I saw the Hope Diamond and learned some amazing facts about narwhals. I discovered that the mountain beaver is the most primitive rodent in the world today, which seems a little harsh - who are we to judge? - and saw tanks inhabited by insects I'd never heard of: darkling beetles, honeypot ants, assassin beetles and vinegaroons.
To avoid the rush hour, we dined at a 'British pub', the Elephant & Castle. It was a fairly accurate pub experience except the food was too good and the staff way too cheery. I tried a local cider (or 'hard cider' as it is in the US), Woodchuck.
Here's a song we listened to at the Air and Space Museum:
Take Me Down To Squantum, I Want To See Them Fly.
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