Day 1: The Long Drive

We started on Thursday afternoon and drove a long way. Near Greenfield, Georgia we entered some really bad traffic. It was because of construction. However, it turned out that the construction was not even going!!! The afternoon suddenly felt blazing, dizzying, dazing hot. Me and my brother started just jibber-jabbering away. Mom told us to be quiet, and we stopped. After nearly 1 hour, we crossed the South Carolina border. In South Carolina, one of the roadside attractions we saw was the big peach.

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Again after a few more hours, we crossed the North Carolina border and the night had fall. Since we were driving in forest areas, it was quite dark outside.  We couldn’t see anything. Suddenly, a bright circle appeared. What in the world? Mom asked us, “Is that a moon?” I couldn’t tell. But suddenly my brother said,  in all of the choices in the sky and quite out of box, “It may be a Burger King sign.” We got closer and it actually was a really Burger King! This little joke gave us the energy we needed to survive through out the long night. We finally reached Richmond and hit the hay. Whew… we were exhausted!

Day 2: Homecoming/D.C Arrival

Let me give out a little bit background. We used to live in Richmond,VA before moving to Atlanta. Actually myself and my brother were born in Richmond. I felt right back at home.

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We drove around and met some old friends. It is quite a great feeling that nothing has really changed. After lunch, we then drove to Washington. It just a short 1 hour drive. We immediately start walking around the National Mall. We then had a tour in the the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. This is where the paper bills are printed. (there is only 2 places they print money. Fort Worth, Texas and here in DC.) Unfortunately, photography is prohibited so we cannot show anything. The highlight was a plaque on the wall. It said: Just think how I feel. I just printed my lifetime salary in a few minutes. Smile with tongue out

Day 3: Exploring American Roots

In the morning, we headed out to the Library of Congress and looked around. It is such a beautiful architecture!

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We explored more exhibits and and enjoyed the ambience.

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Movie_national_treasureThen we took a look at the National Archives, where the Charters of Freedom are located. Here, photography is also prohibited…

The movie National Treasure was featuring the National Archives where they try to break in and see the Declaration of Independence for clues to treasure. In fact, Washington, DC is a great city of connections to countless movies.

This was an amazing day of books and documents.

Day 4: Smithsonian Highlights

We headed to the Smithsonian Castle for our behind-the-scenes tour.

IMAG7368The Smithsonian Castle

IMAG7317Planning of the Smithsonian Castle

IMAG7322Antique silverware

IMAG7349A china cabinet (used to be a upright piano) owned by James Madison.

IMAG7353Holding a replica of the package that transported the Hope Diamond

After the tour, we headed across the street to the Natural History Museum. There was a lot of amazing things. Here are some:

IMAG7376The amazing, brilliant, deep blue…Hope Diamond!

The Hope Diamond is the world’s biggest deep blue diamond. The world’s biggest diamond is the Star of Africa.

IMAG7380A pure aquamarine column (looks like Elsa’s creation, doesn’t it?)

IMAG7389A Tyrannosaurus Rex(they are creating a new Fossil Hall)

IMAG7394A split totem pole and its stories

IMAG7401A Easter Island Statue (commemorating the dead)

We then went to the National Air and Space Museum. There was lots of antique planes and aircraft.

IMAG3105The Spirit of St. Louis (lucky to get a close up look)

IMAG7494Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Vega

IMAG3102Glamorous Glennis

IMAG7412Apollo 11 command module

downloaddownload (1)Don’t you see these things have a connection? Yes, to the movie The Night at the Museum and its sequels!!!! The second one was based on Smithsonian museums.

We then headed to the Udvar-Hazy Center next to Dulls Airport. It is a little bit far away from DC so it took some driving. We definitely want to go because now it is the home of space shuttle Discovery!

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Back to 2010, we actually went down to Florida and watched its launch – STS-131. The launch was the last night launch of space shuttle program and the second-to-last launch of Discovery! Here is the HD video of STS-131 launch. It was quite amazing.

This center is just a big hangar. There was also a lot of other planes.

IMAG7525This one had a lot of flags on it.

IMAG7523Concord, the first and only supersonic passenger airplane.

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Enola Gay is a B-29 Super fortress and is the bomber to drop the first atomic bomb at Hiroshima, Japan. The bomber dropped the second atomic bomb at Nagasaki, Japan, Bockscar, is in the National Air Force Museum at Dayton, Ohio.

IMAG7561We had dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant and then headed back to the hotel. We visited many museums and walked quite a bit.

Day 5: Final Day

We headed to our last attraction, the Washington Monument. However, due to possible traffic, we took DC Metro. However, DC Metro also had problems! Because some fire department activities, we have to take different route and delayed. Luckily, we did not miss our monument tour.

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We waited for a few minutes and headed to the elevator and got to the top.

IMAG7602IMAG7650The view was amazing!

IMAG3170IMAG7606East look, museum are close by. But cannot see the Capital clearly due to the weather.

IMAG3167IMAG7615North view. We can see the White House and the busy city clearly.

IMAG3173IMAG7622West side. The Lincoln memorial and reflection pool looks great. We also can see the Pentagon in distance.

IMAG3176IMAG7628South angle. The Tidal pool and Jefferson memorial are beautiful. Should come here during Sakura season though.

IMAG3178IMAG7644There are several exhibits showing the structure and source of stones of the monument.

When we came back down, the elevator slowed down and showed us inside of the monument.There are stones from many states. It was pretty cool!

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Before we finish our DC trip, the last thing we did was walking around the White House.

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Finally, we headed back home! It was another long drive and we even got some traffics and thunderstorms. Anyway, we arrived home safely around midnight.

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