DPR will blackball us!
DPR will blackball us!
Oh I doubt it he is too busy sorting images, reading maps and guide books in his sleep.
Since Dread is out of the tornado zone, hopefully he's having too much fun to post. Lost in the abyss (a good thing) of The DC Mall? A great place to wander.
DHS probably hauled him off as a subversive with all his photo gear. :rolleyes:
LMAO, What a vacation photo that would make! :D
Wait! I think the photo (taken by his daughter) it's coming in now.
Anybody heard from Dread? It's been about 4 days since the last post.
Oh D70 I love that photo, ROFLMAO.
The DC hotel pipped me off so I chose not to pay for internet hence the darkness. Here's the posts saved up in order. Apologies they're long winded and not 100% positive but I was writing from the cuff as it were without vetting.
I haven't had internet for a few days so here's all the posts saved up and delivered in one hit.
Wednesday 29/5/13 we drove from Columbia to Washington mostly still via the I70. The scenery had changed to heavily wooded low undulating hills the whole way, it was very pretty and still easy to drive.
The local motor transportation department has that insane view of the world of posting inconsistently low speed limits relative to the rest of the country (for this standard of road) and then not enforcing them which in my mind is a far more dangerous combination due to the high relative vehicle speeds one to another. It also meant everyone sped through dangerous areas like road works. "My friend" was driving at 30 km/hr over the posted limit and was still being passed by most of the traffic which included a marked police car (without flashing lights) - nuts. I far prefer Indiana's approach of posting reasonable speeds and enforcing the heck out of them so everyone travelled at the same posted speed.
En route we stopped for lunch in the car park of an old Baptist Church which had some revolutionary war graves in it. Later in the day we detoured to the Civil War battlefield of Antietam. Not much else to report except that the damn hotel was very disappointing. I hate this class of hotel that is pretentious but underwhelming. The pool is only open 11am to 6pm (so useless to us), they charge extra for internet, there's no fridge in the room, things are old and falling apart but my real gripe is that parking is charged at an additional $43 per day plus taxes. I wish I'd booked a normal hotel on the edge of town that included these things and just paid taxi fares to the Smithsonian's.
In a vain attempt to claw back some savings from this exorbitant hotel parking rate I waged a cowards protest by not buying tea or breakfast at the hotel. We stopped by a hot dog cart on the way to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and had dogs for breakfast. Truth be told on the way home we stopped by the same cart and had dogs for tea too, it was fun for 1 day but we can't and wouldn't want to keep this up for long. I advise I am about to write some unflattering things so if you're a blindly patriotic American you might like to look away now.
The natural history museum makes me very glad we did the other museums on the way here. It had grossly simplified informative plaques in which even I could detect falsehoods and inaccuracies. My impression of the museum was one of fairy floss, light and easy to absorb but lacking in any substance. That it is this famous and well reputed leaves me staggered. In my head I'd built up a picture of the best museum in the world and I find the reality very pale compared to my memory of the British Museum of Natural History. The museum was also full of mindless prats walking through, not looking at anything but instead pushing their arm past one to take a phone camera picture of the exhibit then moving on 2 feet and repeating the process. It is staggering to think attention spans are this short that exhibits should be dumbed down to this level to try and engage these Neanderthals.
We also saw the Smithsonian Museum of American History very briefly. It was extremely focussed on war. I hope that I missed peaceful galleries because I'd hate to think that the only moments this culture wants to pass on to future generations about itself relate to either slavery or wars. This museum also appeared to convey gross simplifications of it's content to make it easily and quickly digestible by the masses of tourists through it. In support of this assertion I submit the evidence of this, the only plaque on the battle of Midway.
In defence of the Smithsonian's I appreciate that 40 odd museums can only house so many exhibits and if you try and cover all of North American history in this huge space they have still had to make compromises in the interest of brevity. I think this excuse forgives them some simplification but not the factual errors.
Finally we retreated to the hotel and soaked up some rays poolside where I had an enjoyable conversation with a liberal minded (ie very anti Reagan) Californian woman for 4 hours while supervising the kids in the pool. I thought the kid she was supervising was her daughter but it turned out to be her great grand daughter - I guess I'm a shocking judge of a woman's age or they have kids early ....
Started with the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum where my jaw hit the floor as I walked in. The entrance hall is staggering, though the rest failed to engage me. I can't remember each exhibit but from memory the actual pivotal Gemini, Mercury and Apollo spacecraft, Yeagers X1, an X15, Spirit of St Luis, then the test/backup vehicle copies of Martian rovers, sputnik copy etc. The only worthwhile gallery had the original Wright flier. There were also dodgy WW1&2 and aircraft carrier exhibits. The massive McDonalds within the museum was hit at lunch time and an event in itself.
In the mid arvo we did the Smithsonian Indian History Museum which had a nice collection of South American Indian gold and some basic history on Spanish colonialism and an interesting assortment of Spanish weapons. By this stage we're all museum-ed out so even if the plaques had been educational I'd have failed to appreciate them. It was nice to see some light and fluffy exhibits and engage on a simplistic level. The conquest of entire peoples (apparently 10 Million people in all) was summed up with photographs on the 4 walls of rooms the size of my kids bed room - Blackfeet, Apache etc.
We concluded the day with the latest Star Trek film "Edge of Darkness" played in 3D in the 90 foot wide IMax theater within the Natural History Museum. I have no idea how sci-fi pop culture links to US Natural History but this IMax experience was awesome. The 3D worked better than my local cinema's back home. Given I don't have a local IMax theater back home I'm now heart broken and regretting moving out of Sydney (which has an IMax theater) to little old Adelaide (that doesn't). The kids first exposure to Star Trek was also a success and some useful variety from the unrelenting museums of the last week.
We emerged from the theatre at sunset whereby my daughter suggested Lincolns Monument so we walked there and saw Washington's Monument again, the WW2 Monument, the Reflection Pool and the Lincoln Monument. I regret I wasn't carrying my camera at the time let alone the tripod so you'll have to look at others photos as I don't have anything other than volatile chemical memories.
The unseasonably hot weather continues with humid days in the 90's (Fahrenheit). I have no idea what to see tomorrow and am feeling very hampered wit regard to my research by my pig-headed decision not to buy internet off this overpriced hotel and my inability to tether my damn i-phone's internet to my PC (I wish I'd bought Android personal phones as I miss my Android work phone which simply connects to a PC).