Last week, Jake and I went to Washington, DC. (No sadly we didn’t fly ourselves, the DC special flight rules are a bit intimidating I think) He’s on vacation and I’m transitioning from my winter job to something temporary while I study for ADX stuff, so we took the chance for a mini-vacation.
It was going to be a quick two day trip that Jake planned to the minute, but we ran into trouble. The Lincoln Tunnel was closed due to an accident during morning rush hour. A 40 minute bus ride turned into a 2.5 hour one. This was one of the few times I’m so grateful to be flying standby. I listed us on the next flight to DCA at 1:15pm, which did lose us most of the day, so I also used an app and booked us another night at a different hotel to extend our stay. Others weren’t so lucky. Lots of people going on beach vacations had to wait until the next day to get out, bummer.
The first night we ended up just going to dinner and walking around an expensive area. I pointed out all the mansions I want Jake to buy me – if only!
The next morning we started out early, we had to switch hotels and then find food which turned out difficult. We bought a 24-hour membership to Capitol Bike Share and got some bikes for Jake to give me a riding tour of DC. It was my first time riding a bike on city streets and that was rough. I was nervous and we ended up trying to do a left turn down a busy street, which didn’t make me happy. It was also incredibly windy, we road across the Potomac and at times I barely moved due to the headwind, on the way back we had a tailwind and I barely pedaled. Jake surprised me and we biked out to DCA to watch planes take off. They weren’t landing on the runway Jake wanted them to be, but it was still pretty awesome.
We returned our bikes after our 8 mile ride and went into the Museum of Natural History. We saw the Hope Diamond and walked through the entire museum. Next up was eating at the American Indian Museum and then walking all the monuments. Sadly, it was swarmed with middle schoolers on class trips. It made the experience not so enjoyable because they were loud and annoying. At the end of the night, we ended up walking 20 miles.
Next day is what I was looking forward to the entire trip! The National Air and Space Museum!! We got there 20 minutes before it opened, but weren’t the first ones inside. Jake started spouting out all his knowledge right away. We got to the first plane that flew around the world when an older gentleman at the information desk called me over. He wanted to make sure Jake was telling me the right information. He did fix some of the information and told us about a tour they give every hour. I told Jake that all the old guys who volunteer there must be the best and I really want to befriend them.
We went through the “air” section and saw Amelia Earhart’s Vega, the Wright’s first flyer, a Spitfire, a P-51, X-15, and many more! It was amazing to see all this aviation history. I got to see some WASP history too, their wings and uniforms.
In the afternoon, it was “space” time! Lots of it was covering the differences between the Russian and American space programs. It was interesting to see the different approaches each country took in designing for space. I didn’t enjoy the space side as much as the air side. The last exhibit was “How Things Fly” I told Jake I didn’t want to do it – we were approaching 5 miles of walking for the day and my feet were sore from the day before. I told him I know how things fly – thrust, lift, drag , whatever. We still went in, you know some of those exhibits would have made understanding some aerodynamic principles easier earlier in my training! Maybe all flight schools should have that. It was a great trip, I highly suggest going to the museum if you ever can. I can’t wait until we fly into Dulles and we can see the one out there!
Flying blog post to come soon! Just went up today! Yay!