Friday, May 29, 2009

DC second post....

Today we spent our last day in DC visiting Ford's Theatre and touring the Spy Museum - which I might say is by far my most favorite museum. If you ever get to DC and if you have a love of spy's and their life... you should go through the 1 hour "Operation Spy" and then it quite easily will take you over 2 hours to go through the museum.

You have to assume a "cover" with a backstory and details about your visit to DC... You are an undercover agent on a mission - throughout the museum you have interactive monitors that "check your status" to see if you can keep up your 'backstory' and can keep your 'cover'. When you leave you are asked by the agent one final time to recap all you learned about your trip through the museum to see if they will allow you to leave...
I assumed the cover of "Dimitri Ivanov" a russian fisherman from Kirov Russia who was visiting family here in DC with a final destination of Boston Mass. I was to be here for 5 days with the assignment of meeting my contact at the local baseball park with the cover story of searching for potential baseball recruits for a russian team. I was given code words for contact and names for fellow agent contacts. The details are classified and so I can't give you any more detail... it's eyes only stuff!
Well, Ashley and I were successful, Garhett tried to cheat and Dawn was restrained from leaving the country due to some 'inconsistencies' in her story... I loved it. This museum uses some of the most innovative and unique methods to display the information - you just don't walk up to the exhibits and view them. Some are interactive and some are computerized - well done and very well put together!

Well tonight is our last night in DC - I get to go rent a car tomorrow morning to drive to Gettysburg where we will visit the historic battleground then check into our hotel. In the morning we will go to Hershey and visit the "chocolate lab" and tour the hershey museum and hershey gardens. We are going to Chocolate World too! I know some of you readers are really jealous right now!

I know the two women I am travelling with can't wait!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Newsflash: Bambrick family in Nation's Capital on a 15 day tour!

That's right - we are on the 4th day of our 15 day trip around our national capital and I have realized a couple of things:

  1. The historical significance of the monuments, memorials, buildings and museums are overwhelming.
  2. Our founding fathers were amazing Godly men.
  3. The building materials used in states where earthquakes are not a factor are amazing.
  4. Other than the historical significance, this city stinks. Quite literally. People say Los Angeles smells and is full of smog - but it doesn't smell like this city does. PU!
You can't walk more than a block without running into a building, statue or park with historical significance. It is truly amazing how much has happened here - and what this city stands for...

We have visited quite a few things already:
  • The Capitol building
  • The White House & visitors center
  • Nearly every building of the Smithsonian (there are 19 of them folks!!)
  • The Washington Monument - yep, went to the top!
  • Mount Vernon, Estate, Grounds, Museum - and took a "National Treasure" tour of the grounds! (my favorite so far... haven't been to the spy museum yet!) George Washington was an AMAZING humble and Godly man. The current President could learn a whole lot from him.
  • Nearly every monument/memorial - gonna do those again at night next! Oh, did this on Memorial Day - very touching stuff.
  • The Bureau of Engraving and Printing - saw billions of $$ printed - no samples though...
  • The Holocaust museum - very, VERY moving and quite scary
  • Watched "Night at the Museum 2" at the Air & Space Museum in IMAX
  • Had lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn - Colonial food - yum!
  • Saw some CIA "black SUVs" filled with sleeve talking fed's chase someone down the street. Oh, yeah... don't think I wasn't looking for Jack Bauer...
My wife has done an amazing job of planning each day out - my feet are blistered and hips are sore - but it is very worth it!
I will post some photos as I get them uploaded - but there just isn't time! Each day starts at 7am or earlier and doesn't end until 11pm usually.
Oh, and what's up with Starbucks on the east coast - they are located nearly 2 to a block and all close at 4 or 6 PM, the latest I have seen one close is 7pm. Thanks for nothing - when I have been walking all day in 80 degree heat with 90% humidity, I need me a venti-iced green-tea PRONTO - yet can't find one to save a parched and dehydrated soul...
  • Well, tomorrow it is a visit to the National Archives then the Supreme Court, botanic Gardens then a night time tour of the monuments and memorials.
  • Library of Congress, Ford's Theatre and Spy Museum on Friday.
  • Saturday is a drive out to Gettysburg.
  • Sunday Hershey Gardens & Chocolate world.
  • Monday drive to the Amish country, Wheatland and the Christmas Center.
  • Tuesday PA here we come! Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Christ Church and a night tour of the city of Philadelphia.
  • Wednesday - New York! Ground Zero, Statue of Liberty and an evening on Broadway where we will see Wicked!
  • Thursday - Drive back to Baltimore after a visit to the Empire State building. Then Fort McHenry.
  • Friday we visit some friends in Maryland
  • Saturday we head home!
More later... gonna head off to bed for the night!