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washington d.c. vacation day 2

after our great day of getting to the d.c. area (alexandria, va), and getting acquainted with our surroundings, we settled in for a night of sleep to be well rested for our first day in the city.  the only problem is that the air mattress that shannon and i brought for ourselves wasn't holding air, and i slept horribly.  i was up by 3am and didn't really sleep much after that.  even though i was tired, we had a fantastic first day of sightseeing.

we got to hunterdon station, took the yellow line of the metro to l'enfant station, and walked to the smithsonian visitor center, and then walked across the mall to the museum of natural history.  what a great museum!




we saw lots of bugs (and got to watch a tarantula attack a live cricket, which the boys loved),



some pretty cool egyptian stuff, and a stunning exhibit of nature photography.  We also saw exhibits dealing with the ocean, with mammals,



and with rocks and gems (in which we saw the hope diamond).



from there we walked back across the mall to maryland avenue where the food trucks line up.  with some 30 trucks to choose from here's what we had:
quin: american (chicken fingers and ench fries)
cade: chinese dumplings
jack: philly cheesesteak
shannon: ethiopian chicken
greg: jamaican chicken patties




after lunch we walked up to the capital to see some of the monuments around there (peace monument, grant, garfield, reflecting pool),



and then we walked over to the national botanical gardens, which were really beautiful and fascinating: so much beauty and diversity and wonder in nature!  wow!



at one point jackson said to me, "at first you wouldn't think plants would be that interesting and amazing, but when you start to look closer, you start to see how beautiful and different they are."  yes.  there is beauty in all the nooks and crannies and life.  more beauty than your brain can possibly process.  the more you look, the more you'll see.

we made it back to virginia on the metro, went to target for a new air mattress, and then dinner at IHOP - yum!  we finally collapsed into bed, exhausted, and blessed with a full and fascinating first day.




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