After leaving Charlottesville, Joe and I started the long journey home – except that it wasn’t long because we planned to visit our friends Dave and Rose (whose wedding we went to a little over a year ago!) in DC. On our way, we decided to stop off at the National Air & Space Museum at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Basically, we had seen the DC Air & Space Museum last year and wanted to explore the larger museum this trip. Again, the conversation was “Hey Joe, do you want to see the space shuttle on our way home?”, to which he replied “!!!!!” (to be fair, I really wanted to see the shuttle, too).
It did not disappoint – but how could it ever disappoint two history geeks?
You walk in and there are planes everywhere. I’m not exaggerating either – they’re on the floor but there are also planes that are hanging from the ceiling. Not to mention that there is a whole lot of variety. There are planes from before the 1920′s, from WWI and WWII, the Cold War, modern planes – heck, there are even unmanned planes. Basically, you will be able to find at least one plane you like. My favorites were the shiny, the bright, and the stealth.
I would love to tell you all about the planes in the photos, but that’s Joe’s area of expertise. I’m more the type of person who is amazed that these things can actually fly. The entire time we were there, he was telling me bits and pieces about each plane while I was snapping pictures. Roughly 100+ pictures if you’re looking for particulars.
The big star of our trip was the Discovery Space Shuttle. It’s sort of amazing. It’s also pretty popular. So popular that getting a photo of it without a large group of tourists was no easy feat, let me tell you.
When Joe and I walked into the room/section of the hangar, we were upstairs so we got a great view of the entire shuttle. It was pretty empty up there (I’m not sure everyone knew how to get up to our level) so we were able to linger for a little while and snap photos.
Of course, we finally made our way downstairs. That’s when it really hits you how big this ship is. It’s not as big as I imagined it would be, but it’s still pretty large.
After pulling ourselves away from Discovery, we headed over Dave & Rose’s. We got settled and then headed out for a late lunch/early dinner. After eating a whole lot of guacamole, we headed out to explore the town. Dave & Rose were great tour guides, pointing out a lot of awesome thing around DC.
One of the first stops was at Old Alexandria. There are a bunch of cute shops so Rose and I were in our glory, while Dave and Joe were very patient husbands.
[Dave & Rose, our wonderful hosts]
After walking around for a bit, Dave and Rose brought us to a park (I believe it was Gravelly Point Park) with killer views of DC. You can see the Capital building above and the Lincoln Monument in one of the photos below.
Dave and Rose brought us here because it’s a pretty darn cool place. You’ll just be hanging out and then a plane comes and basically flies over as it’s about to land. It’s terrifying (note Joe’s face) and so cool (note my face). Sadly, the four of us were the only ones amused by this – we laughed the entire time. Everyone else was too cool to react to it.
Our last stop was to the Pentagon to see their 9/11 Memorial. If you haven’t gotten a chance to see it, the space was done so tastefully – very beautiful and serene.
After our mini-tour of the DC area, we all headed back to Dave & Rose’s apartment to relax. It was so nice getting to see them, and the perfect way to wrap up our trip.
So, that about wraps up our trip! Have you gotten to see one of the Space Shuttles yet? Anyone else love planes? Who else’s favorites are the shiny ones?