I'm in Virginia today with the family. It's our summer vacation. We spent yesterday on the mall in Washington, D.C. where the weather was mild and breezy. Our day began at the White House at 8:30. On the way over from the hotel, our Pakistani cab driver shared his philosophy and family. He was quite enthusiastic about his views, to the point where he overshot our destination by a block so he could finish his thought.
The White House tour was the shortest of the day, a self-guided look at a few of the "public rooms" on the first floor including the East Room, the Blue Room, and the Vermeil Room, which used to be the billiard room. The kids were underwhelmed, but it was cool to see some of the presidential portraits.
We walked to the natural history museum and waited outside about 30 minutes for it to open at 10am. It was worth it. They've got some cool exhibits including the Hope Diamond. In fact, they have an extensive section on minerals and gems. It included a display of Herkimer Diamonds, aka black diamonds, from Herkimer county, NY, where my mom's mom's folks hail from. We checked out the mammals and the dinosaurs. This was the kid's favorite stop.
We worked our way east along the north side of the mall, cut through a sculpture garden, and entered the dimly lit confines of the National Archives where the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the Constitution are on display. No flash photos please.
After lunch at the hotel, we walked to the Capitol, where a congressional intern guided us through some of the sites like the Rotunda, the hall of statues, the crypt, and a Senate debate on the war in Iraq. Mrs. Jones liked that part.
We ended our day by catching the 5:06 commuter train out to the suburbs where the brother-in-law collected us.
Today: miniature golf.