"" Writer's Wanderings: Visiting Washington, DC

Monday, January 19, 2009

Visiting Washington, DC

Tomorrow, depending upon whose predictions you use, there could be as many as 3 million people descending upon our nation's capital, Washington, D.C. When we were young marrieds, and before having kids, we lived near D.C. and took advantage of many of the free sites and activities that took place there. Later, with our children, we returned and again enjoyed many of the freebies that abound in the city.

The largest and some of the most impressive of the free things to do and see are the Smithsonian Institution Museums. The Institution is composed of 19 museums, 9 research facilities, and the National Zoo. The museums do not charge admission fees and you can spend days trying to see them all. Art, history, culture, and science and technology abound throughout the mall area that is surrounded by the historical museum buildings and their modern counterparts.

When we visited, the things most remembered were the ruby red slippers from Wizard of Oz, the Mercury capsule from early space flights, and of course, the Giant Panda at the zoo. But the exhibit that brought the biggest smile to my face was the one we saw in the American History museum tucked among some of the technical communication products. I recognized it immediately because when it became obsolete, Bob had brought one home to save for posterity. Afterall, he had a hand in designing it. It was a credit card terminal--a very early model that was larger than an old typewriter. Today, it's that little box where you swipe your credit card.

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