Sunday, August 10, 2008

In Which Hitty Grace Goes to Virginia

As we have family visiting from North Carolina (the husband's mother and his niece and nephew), it seemed very fitting for us to take them on a day trip on Saturday when Jen did not have to go to work. It was decided that we would go somewhere that my family had not been to either - The National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which is an annex to the Smithsonian Institute and is located near Dulles Airport in Chantilly, Virginia.
Because there were seven people in our party, it was necessary for us to travel in two vehicles. Jen drove her Rogue behind her husband's Titan. Sometimes it was hard for her to keep up, especially on the beltway around Washington, DC! Even though it was Saturday, traffic was still congested and there's always some sort of construction work going on to complicate matters. We were all very excited to finally arrive!
We paused for pictures out front, before going inside. You can see the museum behind us - it is a building with large hangars, and an observation tower, just like those at airports!
Inside the main area of the museum, you can walk on balconies to see airplanes and gliders hanging from the ceiling, and huge airplanes on the floor below.
We walked downstairs to get a better view of the planes on the floor. There was so much to see there!
Some of the airplanes were very old! But not older than the orginal ancestor Hitty!
After looking around for a few hours, we became very hungry, so we went to the McDonalds inside the museum and grabbed some lunch.
This airplane is called "The Goose." It was designed to land on the water. The rubber tires would seal up the wheel wells and landing gear and the plane could float!
This plane was called "La Cucaracha" - there were others with intersting names, too, like "Wendy" (the first FedEx plane used for overnight packages), and "Winnie Mae" (an experimental US Postal Plane), and the solar powered NASA Pathfinder (not a Nissan)! We had fun looking at the intersting names of the airplanes.

Some planes had other intersting designs on them. We saw a skink, and this one had Felix the Cat (can you tell it was a bomber?).

The museum had rockets and the Space Shuttle Enterprise there, too! It was hard to see everything in one day. We managed to see everything, but wished there was more time to really read and absorb all the information on the plaques.

Our last stop was the observation tower. We had to take an elevator up the six stories to reach it. The new Dulles Airport's tower is 14 stories high. They must have a good view from there!

It was a beautiful day! Here is what we saw:

I hope that I can go on many more adventures to share with you.


Hitty Grace Sycamore-Brown

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