Wednesday, July 9, 2014

If it's Tuesday this Must Be Washington DC

We left Boston Sunday to start our cross country train adventure. The first stop was in Philadelphia for two nights where Sprog and I had a lovely visit with relatives. 

Cousin time!

We took the kids to the Franklin Institute (science museum) where The Sprog had a great time going through the exhibits with his very lively and curious little cousin. 

Ben himself. 


Sprog showing off his crazy flexibility in the circus exhibit. 

The highlight of the museum for me was the giant, walk through model heart. I wish I had had access to this when I was teaching intro bio labs in grad school. What a great way to truly understand the flow of blood through the heart and body!

This morning it was back on the train for a quick trip down to DC where we had a 6 hour layover. We got our bags safely stowed in the first class lounge ('cause we's hoity toity fer this trip.) The look on Sprog's face when he found out that we got to use the the first class lounge was priceless. I'm guessing the look on my face was pretty good too.  Once we got that settled, we took the Metro to the National Mall. After a bit of negotiating, we decided to visit the Natural History Museum. Wow, wow, wow!  I love that museum!  

I was so happy to see Rosalind Franklin featured in the DNA exhibit. Her contribution to the discovery of the structure of DNA went overlooked for far too long partially because she was a woman working in a male dominated field and partially because she died of cancer (exposure to x-rays) prior to the awarding of the Nobel prize to Watson and Crick. 

Sadly, most of the dinosaurs were off exhibit for major renovations but the triceratops was still on display. I love this guy.  He's definitely been one of the highlights of every trip I've made to the Smithsonian.  

It was beastly hot out so we limited ourselves to a quick view of the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument rather than any extensive walking about for sightseeing. It was fun it be in DC even if only for a short time.  I am definitely planning a much longer visit in cooler weather soon.  I want to see EVERYTHING!  

Then back to Union Station to chill in the lounge for a bit before being escorted to our compartment on board the Capitol Limited. Our compartment is cozy and seems like it will be a comfortable place to spend the night. I got to take a quick shower using the onboard facilities which was very much appreciated after the heat. We passed a pleasant afternoon in the observation car knitting (me) and reading (Sprog) and watching the scenery go by. 

Dinner in the dining car came as part of our ticket and was actually quite good.  Now I'm settled back in our compartment feeling content, watching the sun set, and getting drowsy. We'll arrive in Chicago in the morning.  I've got my fingers crossed that timing works out so that we can have a quick visit at the Art Institute.  That would make three different museums in three different cities in three days!

Today I wore my Kali Ma earrings. 

Kali Ma is a Hindu goddess often associated with creation and destruction.  My mom sent them to me when I started grad school as a symbol of strength to help me through the exciting and scary change in my life. Now I wear them whenever I am facing a new or challenging task. They seem to be working. I was able to figure out what I needed to figure out at each step of the way and today went without any significant hitches or panic attacks. 


  1. This trip is awesome!!! what an adventure! truly, it's just fabulous. I would love to do something like this at some point in my life as it all is so thrilling - interactive museums are excellent, how they should be really and it's right women are recognised for their contributions (it's rather shocking when they are not, yet it happens) your earrings are beautiful and I have learned something too! I look forward to your next update! happy travelling! x x x

  2. Oooo, my G and I have been talking about taking such a trip, as we have a friend who lives in Baltimore, and Boston/Philadelphia/Washington DC are just a hop away, and we are especially gagging to go to the Smithsonianat some point!
    Thank you for popping by and leaving a comment, it's lovely to "meet" you! :)

  3. What a fabulous trip, the museums look amazing. I want to go! xxx