To the Smithsonian

Saturday and Sunday, June 27 - 28, 2009

The last time I ever visited the Smithsonian I was in gradeschool. I wore pigtails, dragged behind my classmates and thought the most interesting thing about the field trip was the freeze dried ice cream at the Air & Space Museum.

Decades later there was a trip to the National Gallery one Thanksgiving weekend with my newly married siblings and infant niece. My brother wanted to take his baby girl to where she could "soak up some culture". As the years went by a weekend in our Nation's capitol was something I always said I wanted to do. After all, it's only an hour away from where I live. But somehow I never found the time.

This year I vowed to follow through. Using my Marriott Rewards points (and a certificate for a free night's stay), I found a Residence Inn a few blocks from the Mall. I've learned in the past that the best way to get yourself to tour your own hometown is to book a room and become a tourist for the day.

Always wanting to share our adventures with others, Grandpa Mohawk and I invited my sister's family along. She has two boys, both gradeschool age and both avid fans of the new Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian movie. It had all the makings of a perfect scavanger hunt trip through movie and American history.

Let's begin with the trip down to Washington, D.C....