Monday, June 29, 2015

East Coast Adventure Part 4

We enjoyed a meal at the City Tavern, a restaurant which recreates an 18th-century colonial atmosphere and diet.  It was wonderful!

This is the kind of  sedan chair that Ben Franklin rode in when he was very old.

At the Constitution Museum there was a a fascinating statue display of each signer of the constitution.  They were carefully crafted to be life-size and as accurate as possible.  I particularly enjoyed seeing James Madison, because I had read that he was the same size as me.  And he was!  That's who I have my arm around.

We stopped at Elfreth's alley, the oldest residential street in America.

Look closely at the bottom of this mural to see Anna and me.

Mercer Museum was interesting to say the least.  In 1916 a historian/archaeologist named Henry Mercer decided to build a six-story concrete castle to house his collection of 30,000 pre-industrial tools and machinery.  Using a steam-powered concrete mixer, he and eight assistants built the castle piece by piece.  

We started at the top of the castle--where they keep the most disturbing artifacts.

A gallows.

A prisoner's dock.

A hearse.

Many large objects are hung up in the central atrium.

We drove through Valley Forge.  This building was Washington's headquarters.

We had a great time at the Einwechters', talking and playing crazy games.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

East Coast Adventure Part 3

 After a week in D.C., we went to Union Station and hopped on a train to Philadelphia.


The Philadelphia train station is old and fancy.

Here's the outside.

 We enjoyed hanging out at our cozy inner-city apartment.

The building with the white bell tower is Independence Hall, where both the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention met.

This is the inside.  THIS IS WHERE THE DECLARATION WAS SIGNED!!!!   THIS IS WHERE THE CONSTITUTION WAS WRITTEN!!!!!   In that sweltering summer of 1787 fifty-five of the most brilliant, remarkable men who have ever lived sat in this very building and hammered out the document that has governed this nation for over two hundred years. 

And this is Congress Hall where congress met for the first ten years until D.C. was built.  This rather simple room is where George Washington stepped down from the office of presidency in what was the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power that the world had ever seen.

Here at Carpenter's Hall we met a man dressed as Henry Knox, the Boston bookseller who directed the hauling of 60 tons of canon and artillery across 300 miles of icy rivers and snowy mountains (via ox-drawn sled) in order to chase the British out of Boston.

Monday, June 15, 2015

East Coast Adventure Part 2

The Museum of American History was the best museum ever!  So much cool stuff... Warren G. Harding's silk pajamas!

 ...and George Washington's suit!

...and a wedding dress made out of a parachute!  War rations kept them from buying fabric, so the bride's aunt just cut around the bullet holes in the parachute that had saved the groom's life. 

The Spirit of St. Louis--the very one!  (And to the right you can see part of the thing that the astronauts came back in after walking on the moon.)

The Very First Airplane!

We saw this at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving--a million dollars in ten dollar bills.

We had a lovely boat cruise down the Potomac to Mount Vernon.  (Notice Seth lying on the deck.)

The view from George Washington's house--it hasn't really changed since he lived there.

The gardens at Mount Vernon are simply beautiful.  The gardeners there wear khaki pants and mint green polos and most of them have horticulture degrees.

This carefully groomed fruit tree is about eighty years old.

This is a replica of a wheat-treading facility designed by Washington.

We kept getting in trouble at the National Art Gallery for getting too close to the paintings.

We saw this bear at the Museum of Natural History.

The restoration hangar at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.

That museum is where they keep the extra airplanes that are too big to fit in the main museum.

We finished off our time in D.C. with a trip to Arlington Cemetery.  This was Mama's first time to see her paternal grandparents' grave since she was six years old.

In the background you can see Robert E. Lee's house.  The northern army turned his estate into a graveyard on purpose to spite him.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

East Coast Adventure Part 1

This nice lady was the pilot.

 Here we are  riding on the subway.

 Inside the Library of Congress.

Thomas Jefferson's incredible library.

One of the few remaining Gutenberg Bibles in the world.  Laura was wearing a shirt with a quote from Pastor Voddie regarding why he chooses to believe the Bible.  Quite appropriate!

Going to church on the bus.

The singing at this church was amazing!

 At the Supreme Court.

The Capitol dome is currently undergoing extensive restoration.

The mall is also under construction.

We rode the carousel!

We toured the memorials after dark.  This is the view of the Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial.

The WWII Memorial with the Lincoln Memorial behind.

The White House.