Growing up in the suburbs of Washington, D. C., you don’t appreciate all the history at your doorstep. Every year for field trips and summer camps, we made the 15 mile trek into the city. The Smithsonian museums were always on the agenda, as well as the monuments – Washington, Lincoln, Vietnam Veterans, Korean, Thomas Jefferson and more. We were herded around like cattle and I’m sure were very obnoxious.
The Air & Space Museum was always a favorite, as we were in the height of the space age and the public’s fascination with astronaut travel. Another personal favorite was the Natural History Museum, where you were greeted with a massive prehistoric mammal at the entrance. It was like a huge wheel with spokes fanning out in every direction beckoning us impressionable kids into its labyrinths. Everything from dinosaurs to reptiles to underwater creatures…. it kept us entertained for hours.
We all brought brown bag lunches and sprawled out on the long, green walkway leading to the Nation’s Capitol. If we were lucky, we found an ice cream truck to raid too. Summers were scorching, so we never had enough water and had to find refuge in the next museum. By the end of the day, you were just over it all.
A year would pass, then we would get ready to do it all over again. I haven’t been back to D.C. in over 20 years, and now yearn to get back to the innocence of those scheduled yearly field trips.