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A New Era of Exploration

3 years ago

980 words

Photo: I love murals in this style. I don’t know why…


What a day, what a day…

What? Where am I? You are doing some quick geography in your mind and that doesn’t look like something in Massachusetts? Well aren’t you astute, Dear Reader!

I traded the Bay State for the Old Line. The real bay, my Chesapeake Bay, called me home.

That’s right… humid air, way too many people, terribly hot, all sorts of people of every shade of every color, the smell of crab on the wind… oh yes, Dear Reader, I’m home.

Why didn’t I tell you? Well, the internet is dark and full of terrors. Don’t get any ideas, because I’ll be back at the farmhouse in a blink!

Anyway, yes… summer “vacation” in the DC area for a brief bit of time. Funny story:

I’m the idiot who didn’t tell her father beforehand that she’s coming home for a brief visit but then announced on Facebook that she’s home for a brief visit. And, uh… yeah, when you’re “friends” with all your aunties and uncles on Facebook, this makes for awkwardness. Such moron. Haven’t gotten the nasty text yet but…uhm… yeah….

I’m not usually “that” Millennial, but I’m going to own this “Millennial Moment.” That was just plain dumb. I don’t plan on seeing my Father while I’m down here. The schedule is too jam-packed, and seeing him is an extra two hours of driving and drama that I don’t need. And seeing as the last time I spoke to him, he wanted to talk about his “legacy” and how it is “too much like work” to come up to see his grandchildren…

Lordy, I gotta stop.

I’m still not looking forward to the nasty few texts I’m going to get from him. I’m an idiot for that one. Still though, I’m a little tired of always having to be the one to “do the right thing.” This time, I’m willfully going to be wrong. I’m on effing vacation. Sorry, not sorry.

There is plenty of family to see. And Lord are they all full of plans. I’ll share them as I blog during the rest of my visit.

The Husband and I have spoken quite a bit since we’ve arrived about how touristy we feel. We made a stop at the Air and Space Museum (not the one downtown but the one out by Dulles. I’ll write more in a second). Meantime, our old neighborhoods have been knocked down and rebuilt in an incredibly fast and grotesque sort of way: favorite haunts are now blobs of buildings with expensive apartments on top and trendy shoe stores on the bottom. My favorite Peruvian Chicken restaurant is gone, replaced by a shiny new Washington Sports Clubs and a LuLuLemon or whatever. Old neighborhoods considered to be “high class” and where “the rich kids live” are now showing their age, falling in disrepair or being chopped to pieces for multiple families to occupy…

And then there are the boys, who aren’t of Maryland, who see every little thing as shiny and new and interesting. We’re discerning the best ways to get here and there, blending in with the crowd, our eyes upward and our mouths open… wow, we’re such tourists. The foreign plates should have been the dead giveaway, but you might as well give me a fannypack and an old Kodak camera. I don’t know this place. This place isn’t my home anymore.

Ok, that’s not totally true, but… you get the idea.

Anyway, we decided to take them to what we used to call the “Dulles Annex” of the Air and Space Museum, but what is actually called Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. It is a beautiful, spacious, kid-friendly, not-too-crowded, well-lit, super clean, reverently designed and exquisitely maintained facility. Today was only my second visit and I cannot wait to go back. It’s simply beautiful.



The last time I visited, the Shuttle Discovery was not there. I’ve never seen a real and actual space shuttle in person. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of cool things, but this took my breath away. You can see it from the balcony when you first walk in and… wow. It’s just… wow. The boys “got it,” but they didn’t get it… “Space” isn’t a concept for them yet. Airplanes? Yeah. But Space and “Space Ship”? Yeah, they are just words and silly stuff from cartoons.

But that’s ok, because Mama got a fantastic picture:


That one is gettin’ framed. Such cool.

Major got a lot more out of the visit than Minor did, but that’s ok, because they both really enjoyed themselves. They saw cool things, they asked lots of questions, but most importantly, all that really came out of their mouths was “wooooooowwwww” just about every second while we were there. So worth it. Such a fantastic memory. I’m so excited for this new part of childhood where we can start to present to them how cool the world really can be. You know? It made me proud on so many levels: proud of my country, proud of my home region, and proud of my two little boys. All the right stuff. Just what I needed.


To be clear, all Minor wanted to do was touch the planes. Or get in them. Or play with them. This picture perfectly captures his desires.

Anyway, it was a great day. This is going to be a great trip. Odd, because we’re tourists and that’s funny and strange. But awesome because we get to show the boys what being “home” is really all about.

Oh, and somewhere there is a bushel of crabs with my name on it. I can’t even wait.

I’m on vacation, Dear Reader, but I’m bringing you with me. Can’t wait to show you my favorite things.

See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.


2 Replies to “A New Era of Exploration”

    1. First of all, coolest museum of them all. I love the Smithsonian for every reason but this one, in particular, is just the coolest. Must go.

      Second, this is one of the best things I’ve ever done with the boys. They were impressed in a way that I know will last a lifetime. I can’t wait to take them back again and again.

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