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More Sightseeing in Washington and Eating at the Hamlet

Air and Space

Tim and Derek had seen a lot of stuff on Tuesday, but they were ready to see another full day’s worth of sights today. We grabbed breakfast at the motel, then squeezed into the shuttle van with about a dozen other brave souls tourists headed downtown and hung on for the five-minute screaming session ride over to the Metro. We hoped that by getting to the National Archives early we’d not have a long wait. There’s a Metro stop at the National Archives too, which means we wouldn’t be too tired first thing.

Sure enough, there was barely a crowd at the viewing room at ten in the morning. We saw them all: The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and much more. I was surprised at how faded some of the documents appeared. There was no way we could read the flowery script either, even though the lines were neat. Someday we’re gonna have to get all those papers translated.

After the Archives we strolled over to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. I always go there when I’m in DC, even if I can only stay for an hour. The milestones of flight, from the earliest days to recent space triumphs, always inspire me. Besides, I just like anything that flies.

Speaking of flying, time surely did. It was lunchtime before we really knew it! There are fast-food places around the museums, but we didn’t want more fast food. We walked down to L’Enfant Plaza, but the two eateries in there were chockablock stuffed. So we went down into the Metro, caught a Yellow Line train and headed for Crystal City.


I knew there were several eating joints in the shops at Crystal City. In 2005, Jessica and I had eaten at the Morton’s Steakhouse there while PJ attended her conference. That place is decidedly up-scale, and I didn’t think we’d grab lunch there; but I also knew there were sandwich shops and sit-down bistros. And the Hamburger Hamlet, I recalled.

We found the Hamlet, but they’d changed. A lot! Nicer decor, broader menu, and they dropped the Hamburger from their name. Nice move, as it turned out. We arrived just at the end of the lunch rush, and ate a nice meal of nacho appetizers (a large and tasty plate of stuff) followed by Fish Tacos (Tim), Grilled Chicken Salad (Derek) and Oak Plank (me). No, it wasn’t grilled board; it’s the name of a hamburger steak meal with potatoes and veggies. It was delicious and filling without making us all stuffed and lethargic. We still had plenty of city to see!

Next up we visited the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History. We only spent an hour or so in each, as we were getting a bit leg-weary by then. If you plan to go to DC and see a lot of stuff, plan on preparing some months in advance by doing a lot of practice walking! If you stay a week you can easily wear out a new pair of sneakers. After that we were all beginning to drag, so we jumped back on the Metro and went home to the hotel for a shower and a nap…

Enjoy the (Nation’s Capital) Heat!


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