Saturday, January 9

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Jordan had requested to go to the Museum of Natural History, so on Wednesday morning that's where we headed.

Black bear and her cub.
Plains Bison, also known as a buffalo.

Grizzly bear.


Polar bear. This guy sat on a shelf high above the room. He certainly looked real.

The sign in the museum near this display said, "Prepare to meet your ancestors," or something very similar.



Tree kangaroo. I never knew these existed until we went to the Zoo on Tuesday. Odd, hearing about them twice in two days.

Lioness' making a kill. The boys found this quite interesting.

Can't remember what this represented. A Senior Moment.

The Hope Diamond. There was quite a crowd around this display but everyone gave way for those who wanted to take photos.

A quartz crystal and a gigantic one at that.

Woodpeckers of North America. I enjoyed this display. They were all beautiful.

Pheasant, quail, partridge. It was very interesting to read about them all.
Tomorrow I will post more photos of what we saw at the Museum of Natural History. It was awesome.

Thursday, January 7

The Washington Zoo

On Tuesday morning we decided to bundle up, brave the cold and go to the Zoo. We found our way up Connecticut Avenue and found the parking area. We received a ticket that said "Free Parking Today," so we thought we'd lucked out.

The wind was nasty and very few animals were out in the Zoo. What a disappointment for everyone.

The zebras did venture out of their enclosure.
As did the Capybaras and the kangaroos.

At another point we saw two zebras, but they were staying quite close to the buildings in order to stay out of the brisk wind.

As you can see, the boys were well bundled up.

This is a tree kangaroo, according to the sign posted. I didn't know there was such a thing, so we all learned something.

We went into the bird house and saw parrots and toucans and a variety of other birds AND we were able to get warmed up.

At first, no pandas were out. We did watch them on the webcam and a very nice lady explained some of the habits. We did get a glimpse of one later eating bamboo right next to the building. This little guy was outside the Panda Cafe.

We didn't see much else and I wasn't impressed with the smell either. When we got to the gate, the guard charged us $15 saying that the free pass was only for certain people. What's up with that. If the ticket said free, it should have been free. Anyway, we paid the parking and headed downtown. We went to the Smithsonian of Natural History, where we had lunch. That was the most expensive Smithsonian to eat at. $64 for hamburgers and soda, so we would never eat there again.
This was when Jordan left to get some more soda and was going the wrong way. I got up to go after him and my coat caught my cup of soda and spilled it on Brandon. He was soaked. So we decided to head back to the motel.
On the way, we saw this statue of a Civil War soldier. We couldn't tell exactly what type of memorial it was. The photo was taken from the van.
We were all glad to get back to the motel and get warmed up. The boys played Spong*e Bob So*rry, Dwight watched tv and I read. After we went out to eat, I played Sor*ry with the boys, Dwight watched tv and then we all bunked down so we could get an early start on Wednesday morning.

Comment: Really Washington is a very nice place to take kids. All the Smithsonians are free. Hotels are reasonably priced...much more so than we thought. The only place food was really expensive was at the Smithsonians, so we learned our lesson and bought our lunch at street vendors. Same fare, much different price.

Wednesday, January 6

A Bit of This and That

I had planned on posting photos of Tuesday morning in Washington, but blogger is not letting me upload photos, so plans changed.

I had some high blood sugar levels while away, but was hoping it was just because it's hard to get the food required in restaurants. However, the highs continued, so today I went to the doctor. The good news is that I have lost 4 lbs. The not so good news is that my evening insulin injection had to be increased, though the doctor wasn't too concerned. I would really like to keep my blood sugar levels below 10. Borderline for Canadians is approximately 7. We measure differently than the US. I have to try this out and have an appointment for a follow up on January 20th. We will see how it goes. I also phoned the Diabetic Education Center at he local hospital and have an appointment for March 17th for a one-on-one with a Diabetic Educator to make a meal plan.

I haven't talked to Jo Ann today, but she is now on antibiotics because a blood clot formed at the surgery site. Her face is still very swollen and they are afraid of infection, so please keep her in your prayers. She goes back to the surgeon on January 11th and will probably find out at that time when her radiation therapy will begin.

Not much other news here. It wasn't so bitterly cold today, but is supposed to be colder again tomorrow. We have a couple inches of snow but nothing to worry about. Many around us have been dumped on. We've been lucky this year.

Tuesday, January 5

Smithsonian American History Museum

After we left the Horticultural Building, we caught a taxi and asked him to take us to the Natural History Museum, but he had a bit of a communication problem, so dropped us off at the American History Museum. This is the one place that I wanted to visit.

It was very interesting. It showed old steam engines. Some made of wood,
some made of metal. They had figures set up to look like passengers waiting for the train.

A fruit wagon loading freight at the station in 1895.

A display on Southern Railway.

The army crosses the country.

Another steam engine.
One of the first cars. I think it would have been fun to ride in one like this but I sure wouldn't have wanted to cross the US in it.

The traveler renting a cabin. For some reason this display reminded me of the traveling salesman.

A beautiful car, but more modern. I would love to own a Buick like this one. Very classic.

The boys found this domestic gasoline engine intriguing. Grandpa used one of these on the farm before they got electricity in 1961.

Another interesting display. The boys found all of these things remarkable and wondered how people ever survived back then. LOL

This diorama was pretty. I love water wheels. Imagine running a factory or grist mill by this means.

Christmas tree in the foyer.

We didn't have much time to spend here that day and only were able to see things on the main level. We did get back another day and I have more photos that I will post later. I loved the Horticultural Building and these two places were my favourites on the trip. I will post more photos tomorrow.

Monday, January 4

US Horticultural Building Photos: Part Two

We all really enjoyed our time at the US Horticultural Building, but we were all tired from all the hustle and bustle of the big city. Traffic was horrendous and there was wall to wall people everywhere. No wonder we country bumpkins were feeling a bit exhausted.
The boys were quite enthralled with all of the exhibits.

Can you tell this Grandma was tired. LOL I think I was sleeping when this photo was taken.

This is in the room known as the jungle. The entire area was lush and green with blooms here and there.

We all loved the orchids. These were quite large and entirely white except for the center, which was pink.

Then we ventured into the dessert. This was quite a learning experience for everyone. These are aloe plants and they were huge.

Cacti galore graced this room. There were cactus that I'd never even heard of.

This one was also huge. I can't remember the name of it now.

Water was flowing from this neat oasis.

The boys examining plants in the jungle.

More interesting jungle plants.
Running water...such a tranquil sound and the lush green plants complimented it nicely.

These beautiful orchids were spectacular.

These were quite different but really pretty.

These were my favourites. They were very large blooms and so pretty.

Orchids growing on a log. We really enjoyed our stay in the Horticultural Museum. It was probably our favourite place on the entire trip.

Tomorrow I will post what we did on Monday afternoon. It has to do with one of my favourite subjects.