Just a quick note on what we’ve been doing in the nation’s capital (and no, groping statuary gluteus maximi has not been on the agenda…)

We got in late Tuesday afternoon and managed to get to the hotel soon enough to dash over to the Smithsonian Institution where we watched a special IMAX showing of “Night at the Museum, Battle of the Smithsonian”. That was actually pretty cool, watching that movie AT the Smithsonian… But that’s pretty much all we were able to do before hitting the sack.

Wednesday was the US Capitol, the Library of Congress and a bunch of museums, including the National Museum of the American Indian (yes, it’s still called that), The National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Naural History. We learned how to ride the subway (the “Metro”) and how much farther it is to walk down the National Mall than it looks. We got lucky at the Capitol when we wanted to do a tour. Their tour management is insane. If you don’t arrange in advance to get tickets (apparently most commonly by having your congressman put tickets aside for you) then you have to wait in a huge line and hope enough people don’t show up for their tour that you can go in their place. So I went to arrange for tickets later in the week but the young lady couldn’t figure out how to work the computer and ended up just giving us four passes that a Congressman from South Carolina had reserved, but nobody had picked up. So we got right in.

Today we did monuments, including Arlington National Cemetary (where we saw the ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) and then walked back across the Potomac to the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the WWII Memorial, the Washington Monument and some more museums, including finishing the National Museum of Natural History. We were lucky again at the Washington Monument, because they had already given out all the tickets for the day, but the group that was supposed to be there when we got there was late and they let us go in their place.

Tomorrow we are going to try to wrap things up so we can head out on Saturday.