Monday, June 30, 2014

Marine Corps Museum - H Fam Sightseeing Part 24

It's finally summer for us! With snow days, they had Jake going to school until last Wednesday. To survive this summer (ie keep them from being a wild pack of wolves), I'll be doing my mom's summer weekly themes like last year!

The first full week is this week, ending with the Fourth of July, making it USA week. I asked the boys what they'd like to learn about. Last year we were more general with our "America Week". They said they wanted to learn about Presidents and the US Military.

Yesterday we went to The National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center. Super easy to get to, easy access, and ample parking. What a simply impressive museum, and it's free. I've got to say it's better than any Smithsonian one we've seen. The layout was great, the information and stories were superb, and they incorporated the younger visitors along the way. Definitely my favorite museum so far! Go Marines! Ooh-Rah! Special shout-out to the Marine in our life, my Uncle Bernie!

They're open every day except for Christmas, and admission is free. Very easy to take a stroller for a little one, and I saw a bunch of nice wheelchairs with the Marine Seal on the back lined up for anyone needing one. Only drawback at all, is the restrooms. Only one on first floor all the way back at the front entrance and one upstairs also tucked further away. That didn't hamper my opinion of the place at all, but with kids it's nice to have more accessible restrooms. We were warned of their wayward locations by a nice retired Marine in the lobby. He also had lots of great things for the kids, a sticker, tattoo, and a "Gallery Hunt". The Gallery Hunt was perfect, they loved finding and checking off things they've saw in each section.



The building is stylized after the famous Iwo Jima scene





Planes and jets in the soaring lobby







My Marines through history :)



In the boot camp section: you can stand in these booths and a DI will yell at you!



 
Starting at the beginning, Tun Tavern. Complete with a discovery space for the kids.
They could "fish" and try on various outfits
 


Civil War Hatzl brothers

Ironsides!


First Armored Car

WWI Soldier


The WWI section was "wooded" and you could sit down to watch a reenactment of some of the fighting at Bealleau Woods.

This was one of the boys favorites! The combat newspaper correspondent with his typewriter in a fox hole!


This thing screams deadly... a Trench Knife... aka studded brass knuckles knife
 
One exhibit about the history of the music in the Marines
 



You could take the stairs three stories up to look at the planes & jets

I was trying to get a picture, but leery of heights Jake took off!

Evan wasn't too thrilled being picked up that high either


Iwo Jima in Legos in the gift shop!

Neat Stuff for the kids! Little Leathernecks Gallery Hunt. You can see some of Jakes notes: "Awesome" on the correspondent, "kind of cool" on the trench periscope, and a sketch and "awesome car" about a Standard B truck.

Then to the east of the parking lot there is a really great set of playgrounds with picnic tables that also connects to a fitness trail it looks like. I didn't get a sign of it, but the entrance sign read "For the Enjoyment of Future Marines".

Getting in some play time after keeping hands to self and body & mouth under control at the museum!
They really liked this playground!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

National Museum of American History - H Family Sightseeing Part 23

This last weekend was Father's Day weekend. Just so happens my own father came to visit as well. We did lots, last baseball games for the big boys all weekend, out to eat a few times, Arlington National Cemetery, and the National Museum of American History.

We parked at the Reagan Building and from there it was an easy walk around the corner to the museum. We actually had a quick lunch when we were down in the food court of the Reagan Building as well. Be prepared to have your car searched when you pull in, and then also go through security when you come back. All the employees were very nice and even told Greg and my dad, Happy Father's Day!

The museum was easy to get around even with kids, lots to see even with kids, lots of bathrooms (always good), and even had a couple of cafes and gift shops. There's so much to see, I'm sure in our few hours there we only quickly skimmed the surface of it all! We focused mainly on the Transportation and Americans at War sections.

Here are some pictures of our little morning outing to the museum...


Cheese


Brothers!


All the men in my life!




John Bull train


An original "firetruck"



 
Someone was goofy


Inside an old Chicago El car






Apparently he ran into someone he knew!


Titanic Life vest









WWII "Trigger Finger" mittens








 


These last picture is cool because for them to be up there,
my dad was down on all fours so they could stand on him!
What a grandpa!
Another exhibit we saw was the Star Spangled Banner. However, photography is not allowed due to how fragile the flag is now. It was very neat to see it (it's HUGE!) after just having recently visited Fort McHenry!


 "It's much easier to become a father than to be one."
~Kent Nerburn, Letters to My Son: Reflections on Becoming a Man, 1994