Dum Dum, give me gum gum…

Those of you who have not seen “A Night at the Museum” will never understand that but if you have this photo says it all.

We have had an amazing two days back aboard Cbay and I will bring you all up to date as best I can but be aware that time limits me and it will mostly be in photos and short captions rather than my usual narrative. You can all stop clapping now.

But first a little catch up. The answer to the mystery animal is a Barred Owl. As best I can tell he was swooping across the road to grab a mouse in the tall grass beside the roadway when he failed to watch for traffic. That was one lucky mouse who lived to tell his friends about seeing that owl blasted out of the sky. Kids, let that be a lesson to you to look both ways twice before crossing the street.

We left home on Saturday around 1630 and drove as far as Bull Springs, TN where we rested for the night. Little did I know there was a dirt track behind the motel where a big race with fireworks display would be running most of the night. Still we got some sleep. Some people thought I had stopped in my hometown of Bull Springs to renew my roots. 🙂

On Sunday we set off early for DC and made it in by 1500. Jan suggested that since we had a car we should go ahead and take in Arlington National Cemetery so we did.

Say what you will about the Kennedys, and I was never a big fan, but they gave their all in service to this country.

Custis-Lee Mansion that was confiscated by the District and sold to the US Government for unpaid taxes because Robert E. Lee could not pay them in person. He did send a cousin to pay the $96.14 but they refuswed to accept it from him. Then Lincoln turned it into a burial ground for Union soldiers and buried the first private in Lee’s front yard. Now they call it Arlington House. I guess Lee would not mind much now.

Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier in WWII. Came home and became a movie star. I have seen many of his pictures. He was only 5’4″ tall proving you don’t have to be big to be a “big man”. They had to sometimes dig a trench for his leading lady to walk in scenes next to him so he looked the same size of taller than her.

Changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Very moving for all of us.

Mast of the USS Maine sunk in Havana Harbor. This started the Spanish American War.

Astronauts killed in explosions of space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. Makes you remember doesn’t it. So many things happen in today’s world that we often forget the most important.

After that we met the Brookbanks for dinner and exposed the twins to Alex. I had warned him no talking about zombies or violent video games or war. That sort of limited him to sitting quietly through the meal as this encompasses most of his repertoire. After dinner the Commander agreed to drive us up to the Iwo Jima Memorial at sunset and as soon as it was just Alex, the Commander and us in the car, Alex started asking him about his time in Vietnam so he did get to hear a few war tales.

The Iwo Jima Memorial was inspiring as always.

The Commander is apparently going to run for the School Board in Alexandria and nothing I could say would deter him. So I am announcing here that any citizen of Alexandria, VA cannot go wrong by casting their ballot for Mike Brookbank if you want a school board run honestly by the book.

Back aboard we quickly stowed all the gear we had hauled from home and turned in to rest up for a big day on Monday.

Monday morning the Admiral was blowing reveille early and breakfast was served. Then we set of toward the Mall in DC.

First a trip to the National Archives where Alex was forced to stand in line to view the Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We tried to explain as much as he could absorb.

Alex is attacked by a giant robotic spider!

Mystery of the day. Can you name this object and if so when is the last time you saw one?

Next we hit the Museum of Natural History where we saw everything from dinosaurs to the Hope Diamond. Alex even made a new friend there who sat with him during a movie on evolution. I will have to give him a counter theory tonight when we say prayers.

On the old Smithsonian Building and down the street to the National Air and Space Museum. We took it all in from the Wright Brothers to the Space Shuttle and beyond. Last time I brought children to DC I fell asleep in the Planetarium Theater and once again I never saw most of the film. They put you in these reclining seats and turn off the lights and Whoopi Goldberg starts narrating and there I go. Alex said I wasted my money one more. It was an expensive nap but I would have paid twice as much for it.

Finally we headed back to the boat. I do not have to worry about getting my cardio in this week. Now we are resting and tonight we dine just down the street. Then Alex and I go on an evening bike ride to the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and WWII Memorial. It should be cooler and most of the million or so school kids will be safely back at their respective hotels.

And that was an easy day. I had a lot of excess energy to burn off and Alex helped me do it. When we got back to the boat Jan could not believe where we had been.

Tomorrow we tour the Capital and anything else that gets in the way.

Sent from my iPad Rusty Carlisle