We have some friends in from out of town and we met them in D.C. for an afternoon--during which I finally got my first trip on the D.C. Metro (above). It is an amazing system of tunnels and trains running under the Capitol--almost like another world. It's entrances are unobtrusive and blend into the buildings and surroundings. You go down steep escalators and from the bright sun and heat of the street into the low light of the tunnels below. It's worth a ride not only for its inexpensive transportation throughout the city but also for the experience in and of itself.
During another trip (this ones with a good friend and her kids), we traveled south to the Science Museum of Virginia which is housed in a beautifully architechtured former train station. Both my kids were fascinated by the huge pendulum that hung from the dome of multi-storied lobby. Most of the museum was hands on, giving the kids a chance to ride in and control mechanized bumper cars that rode on air, build a replica of the St. Louis Gateway Arch out of pillow blocks, see how human joints work, see their heartbeat in jumping beads, test their ability to smell and see, examine hissing cockroaches (yuk), and touch a live shark (below) after watching an IMAX presentation on them.
Outside the museum, there was a display of some of the trains that used to come through the area when the building was a train station.
It's been a busy few weeks, but we've seen some great things, too. This has got to be one of the most amazing parts of the U.S. in which to live.