Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow and Natural History

Good morning! I woke up at 7am due to jet lag but we stayed in the hotel until about 8. Dad had to go to a meeting today so he left earlier. We had breakfast which was beautiful! It was an all-you-can-eat buffet.

We left at about 8:20 to head towards to Smithsonian Information Centre (or SIC... This is also called the castle because it looks like a castle. On the way we found some snow so Ryan and I had a snowball fight. Ryan got some snow down my pants so the fight ended early to clear it out. We spent 20 minutes at the castle getting information from the lady at the desk. The Smithsonians didn't open till 10am so we had an hour to fill.

We first went to the Place where they print money. We took a 20 minute tour on it and it was awesome. There were piles of a million dollars just behind a window in front of me. SOOO COOOOL!

Next we went to the Washington Monument. We bought a ticket and headed up to the base of the obelisk. We went in at 11am and got to the top to look out. We could see all of DC and beyond form up there. Some small facts. The Monument was the highest structure in the world until the Eiffel Tower was built. (Which, btw, dwarfed it. The Eiffel tower is twice the height of the Monument) It is also the highest purely brick structure in the world to this day.

Finally, we went to the National Museum of Natural History. The first thing we did there was head straight to the cafe for morning tea! lol. Next we went to Ancient Mammals! This showed how small camels and horses were earlier. It was so fascinating especially the Ice Age part which had Mammoth skeletons and the like.

We then went into the African exhibit. This was pretty cool as it really opened my eyes to what life in Africa was like and how the people of Africa were taken as property!. I just couldn't believe it.

Next we went into the Ocean Room. This held heaps of cool stuff like Giant Squids, Whales and heaps of types of fish. There was a theatre that showed a deep sea exploration team going down the the bottom of the ocean. There were so many types of fish down there. Dad arrived back to DC from his meeting and met us there in the ocean room.

We then went into the dinosaur exhibit. Here we saw heaps of skeletons and fossils of dinosaurs from different periods facing each other off. There was a T-Rex and a Triceratops facing down and an Allosaurus and Stegosaurus staring daggers at each other. There were many other amazing things inside which was really cool. The T-Rex in there was even the model for the CGI one in "Night at the Museum"! How cool is that!

After the dinosaurs we went into the Ancient Ocean Exhibit. This took us back in time going from penguins and dolphins to ammonites and trilobites. This was cool as well because it showed how some of the early sea creatures would have hunted, eaten, breathed, swum and survived under the water.

Next, we went into the modern mammals room. This had every mammal you could think of. From Polar bears to desert mice. From Chimpanzees to Gazelles. This was interesting and I even got to see my long lost cousins! (I hope you know who I mean)

After that, we went into the human origins hall. This was focused on how early humans lived, survived, hunted and what they ate. It also focused on how scientists work out what roughly what happened in scenes from 1.8 million years before!

We then went upstairs to the 2nd floor. I didn't enjoy this as much as i would have liked to because I was tired. Basically, it involved the Geology and Insect Rooms. The geology one involved rocks, mining, planet formation, geodes, gems, earthquakes, volcanoes and a special exhibition on the Hope Diamond. The insect room included a butterfly house and many display cases full of a massive variety of insects.

We then walked home after a long day of excitement and bitter coldness.

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