The next day we made our way down to the Capitol building. Instead of walking we tried our hand at the metro. After using public transportation during my Eurotrip I have become quite the pro.
Now, I had seen pictures of the Capitol building in many textbooks, but it is much more impressive in person.
We had to wait in a long line to get into the Visitors Center/ Museum. It was really cool for me because I just taught an entire unit on the branches of government to my 3rd/4th graders. My dad was reminiscing about his last trip to DC (probably 20 years ago) when you could walk right into the Capitol buildings front door. Things have definitely become more secure since then…I have never seen so many police officers in one town!
I look super awkward in this picture…mid taking my sunglasses off, but I love the angle
After the Capitol we went to the Air and Space museum…my fathers choice. Personally I am not a big fan of museums so I was bored out of my mind here! I would definitely recommend this museum if you are intrigued by air and space but otherwise I would save your time. After the museum we went to lunch, and my little brother Matthew bailed for the day and headed back to the hotel (I am embarrassed to say he never saw the White House or any monuments!)
My parents and I then made our way to the front of the White house. To be honest I was expecting it to be much bigger. It was a beautiful day, and the front gates were decorated with wreaths.
We ended the day with a somber trip to the Holocaust Museum. This was my pick…as I have mentioned before the Holocaust has always been the topic in history that intrigues me most. I think it stems from my disbelief that people could be that heartless and cruel to another human being.The museum was very interesting, but after visiting an actual concentration camp (Dachau) this summer I wasn’t that intrigued with pictures and words. After writing a giant paper and taking a college course on the topic, I had already been exposed to the images and facts. Plus I had already SEEN the place where these horrible crimes were committed.
One thing I really liked was some of the obscure facts included in the museum. Several of them were facts I discussed in my IB extended essay (the US Holocaust Museum provided me with SO many quality sources)! I also like how you start the exhibit by randomly drawing the passport of someone that either survived or perished during the Holocaust. It adds a more personal dimension to the experience. (the passport I drew was a little girl that SURVIVED and was reunited with both her parents after the war)
Picture via United States Holocaust Museum
As a teacher there was one exhibit I LOVED! It was called Daniels Story and it presented the Holocaust from a child’s perspective. I think it was an appropriate way for children to learn about the Holocaust. (did you know in starting in first grade students are supposed to learn about the Holocaust every year?)