It was a sunny Presidents' Day today, so Chuck and I took advantage and walked through Georgetown down to the Mall. After stopping at Shophouse for lunch, we headed past the White House and some kind of small demonstration, where we stopped to take this pic with the Park Police on horseback, and on to the Mall. Before ending up at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, I took this shot of Chuck with Smithsonian Castle in the background.
Walking around the Air and Space exhibits, I found myself much more intrigued by the social and cultural aspects of it all than by the large pieces of machinery. The personalities of the first flyers, the historical advent of "stewards"--drawn from the naval tradition--and "stewardesses"--at first, nurses, to quiet travelers' fears--and the plum satin ensemble of an early woman pilot grabbed me more than the intricate workings of an engine.
We walked through the bathing, exercise, and dining compartment of America's first space station, Skylab (a backup model that hadn't been in space). That caught my attention. I can't imagine being sent into space in the 1970s. It seems so long ago when our technology was much less advanced. I wonder how much the facilities differ now. I bet the food is better....
Thoroughly worn out, but wanting to come back to the exhibits on time and navigation and the Wright Brothers', we headed to the Metro and home.