Friday, April 11, 2008

new museum

I have so much serious blog catch up to do, so here I go.

Friday was the opening day of the a new museum in Washington D.C. It is called Newseum. A museum all about the news and broadcasting it. It is one of the few museums that cost money to go to. $20 an adult. Which seems like a fortune when you can to most of them for free. Opening day there was no fee - that speaks volumes to me.
I waited until 1:00 pm to pick up AK from school so it would not count as an absence and I took the girls downtown - solo. I actually considered taking the metro down, but am so glad I drove.

The museum is on Pennsylvania Ave, about 1o blocks from the White House.

I could not have found a better parking spot. The photo is my car and the building behind it is where we needed to be! Score.

I have an obsession with keeping all meters free from ticketing. If I walk past a expired meter i have to put at least a dime in it. The meter next to ours was expired, I gave it 30 minutes. Someone told me once in New Orleans it is illegal to do that - who knows.
the line out the front the museum was CRAZY! it went down a whole block and winded in and out in front of the building. We walked past the line and then got in the back and I thought, "What am I doing down here!" I seriously considered getting back in the car and going to find some ice cream.

After standing there for less than 30 seconds a woman who works at the museum came to the end of the line and took everyone from the end up 50 people and said "follow me" I was like girls, let's go!
We walked a block behind the building and then she let us in to the press entrance. The museum was crawling with people who looked extremely important. I heard many people address someone as , "hello Senator so and so" Half the people who were there seemed to be from the press or worked in the city. It was kind of exciting and saved us at least an hour in line.

Wolfgang puck opened a new restaurant in the building as well called The Source. He was there in the morning as I saw him on the news. They were getting ready for a big party that evening that i am sure he was there for as well.
There are 6 floors to the building. We were able to see a few. The floor we went straight to was the one where the kids could be a newscaster. Annie Kate was a bit shy about it but did it.She got to pick a background from one of the places in the city. You read from the prompter and can ad lib - but she was a bit nervous.
Then you can watch it on the big screen and take your ticket to a different desk and get a print out of a photo of you doing your newscast. Then the best part, which I didn't know till we got home or I would have done one too is this....

How amazing huh.
You go home type in the number off your ticket and can download your video.

They had a bunch of computers for kids to do different games about the news.

The 3 hydraulic elevators were the girls favorite part. They are serious wonkavators made of glass. You get to go up 6 floors and and they ask you to get off if you are afraid of heights.
The museum has the largest piece of the Berlin wall in the US. It was so great to talk to Annie Kate about it and makes me realize how few of her questions I could really answer.
The top floor of the museum is beautiful. Being solo I didn't have time to read anything but really wish I could have.
The top floor leads to the Pennsylvania Avenue Terrace. Which would be a great place to take some photos.
You over look the Capitol to your left and the National Art museum in front. It was really neat.
A photographer for the museum was snapping shots of Caroline on the balcony and then offered to take this photo of me and the girls.
This is an exhibit of 911
Sally Jane in front of the quote
"The American people don't believe anything until they see it on television"
Richard Nixon

there is this massive screen showing news clips constantly. As me and the girls came to see this from the 4th floor I realized AK was not with us and had not come down the stairs with us. This lead to a 15 minute search for her. One of the employees of the museum encouraged me to go downstairs and go to the front desk. Every floor looks down to the main desk. They had everyone with a radio looking for the freckle faced girl in a Hilton Head t-shirt.

I was standing down below just waiting. Holding two tired girls in my arms who were crying for different reasons - i felt myself getting a little panicked. I often play role plays with Annie Kate at different museums saying, "if you got lost right here what would you do" I had confidence she would have stayed in one place or got to one the employees to ask for help. After 20 minutes I started to get worried and kept asking them to say her name on the loud speaker. Being opening day and so many people not knowing what to do I was getting impatient. I told someone , "if you don't announce her name I am going to start screaming her name" A mother's instinct just kicks in and social graces have no place when you can't find your child. After another minute I said sorry I have got to call for my child. Then imagine me standing below this helicopter screaming over and over her name. All the parents on all 6 floors hang over the edge saying, "what does she look like" I was still in control but started to get emotional. So there I am holding two other kids screaming for Annie Kate. Then out of the corner comes the most beautiful Jamaican woman holding her hand. She worked at the museum and had the whitest teeth and biggest smile. When Annie Kate saw me she started crying. I dropped the other two girls, grabbed Annie Kate in one arm and grabbed the beautiful woman in the other and stated just kissing this strangers face over and over. By this time the director of the museum came over and she was so nice in calming all of us down.

Someone else came over and brought all of my girls the mascot from the museum. A dog with a vest and microphone. Wow - it was an emotional way to leave the "Newseum"
I was able to add a new photo of "Me in D.C." in front of the new museum.
So to answer the question "would I pay $52 for my family to go back for the day" hmmm maybe. they have a 4D movie that was not playing but is supposed to be amazing. It is a virtual movie where the chairs shake and it rains in the theatre. This along with the digital download of the kids being newscasters could be worth it. I would put it on your radar when you visit the city if you have any interest in the news or broadcasting. But for sure go to the museum and see all the daily front page of Newspapers all over the US - this was cool. It is out front of the museum.

It was now after 4:00 and the thought of Friday traffic made me sad. So we decided to just make a day of it and head to the cherry blossoms down by the Jefferson Memorial. We missed I think the peak of them but it was still really great.

The have a stage set up at the Memorial and have constant shows going on. The little girls were thrilled to see live fairies dancing.

We then did something that I still can't believe I did flying solo -
we got a paddle boat to go around on the Tidal Basin. Am I crazy? It was so fun. The girls and I had a blast.
The big bummer was once I got in the boat I realized I was wearing a skirt! oh no this was not good. Everyone else on the water got a great peek show. Annie Kate had to sit in the back as the girls were too little to sit out back by themselves - so i got to be the only one paddling. This made up for the fact I did not go running today. We did do a lot of laughing. Walking back the bridge to the memorial Annie Kate noticed the design of the metal on the bridge and said, "I bet they did this because they look like mini Washington Monuments. Take a picture for your blog" so i did.

Then Caroline insisted we go inside the monument and "see the guy inside" The Jefferson Memorial is a total pain if you have a stroller because you can only access the elevator from one entrance. But I thought the longer we wait hopefully the less traffic we will have getting home. So we went inside...
and came out and saw Thomas Jefferson. Caroline said the funniest thing to date that she has ever said...

"No, not this guy, the other guy.
You know the one sitting in the chair!"

I about fell over laughing but waiting until after I took a photo of her saying it. She was thinking we were at the Lincoln memorial which is her favorite. Funny that at 4 years old she is a huge fan of Abraham Lincoln. (Jane Payne you would be proud of her)Annie Kate and I were laughing so hard and then took this mommy daughter SP.
we found a great place to take a family photo in front of the Jefferson columns. The deck on the right side when facing the memorial. If you sit on it and have the person taking the photos stand down below you can get some great shots. (Anne want to go back at 7:00 am for some more? JK)
I could not believe what a great day we had just me and the girls. They did great, only a few meltdowns and we only had to buy ice cream once. So it was a great day.

I took my last photo of me at the Jefferson Memorial.
Today was a great day to be a mom!


Kristen said...

Wow what a great day! Just you and the sweet! Once again loved hearing all about it.
Such a great post!

Liz said...

Oh Kristi, my heart stopped when you were talking about Ak being missing!! I'm glad it all turned out well in the end. It sounds like an interesting museum. I think it is great that you ventured onto the paddle boats on your own!!

Erin said...

Cried again! So scary! I love the motherly instinct.

Autumn said...

WOW! you are brave but you know I've decided if I had to wait for someone to go with me to help with the kids we would never get to go any where since my husband works a lot. So I'm proud of you for flying solo! Thanks for sharing your day!

Staci said...

That sounds like so much fun. I always enjoy reading about all your museum visits. You always post such good info about them. I can't wait for the day when I get to go to D.C. said...

Fun! Fun day!! I love you were so brave!!!

Cali said...

Oh my goodness, I AM proud of Caroline! The girl has red, white and blue blood in her veins.

And you peddling the three girls in the paddle boat on your own? Stupendous. Strictly stupendous. (And here is an unsolicited tip: Next time you could charge for the skirt show and have an extra $52 for the next newseum visit :)

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

ooops. That was me not Cali.

melanie said...

I'm so proud of you braving that by yourself. That's huge! I felt panic when I was reading about you yelling for AK. That is so scary and people need to watch out when those mother instincts come out!

Caroline is just plain funny! Love her comment about the Lincoln memorial. Jane will be proud.

Lauralee said...

I have lost my kids more than once.. so reading that made me a little teary.. and it made me laugh that you were kissing the jamacian woman.. I so totally get that awful feeling and the huge relief! so glad you found her..

LOVE your skirt!!!!!!! love love love it!

what an awesome day and to do it all without another adult... good for you.. the boat would have made me nervous without another adult.. but sounds like a great time!

Traci said...

What a fun day with just mom and the girls Proud you did it on your own! Makes you feel good inside. Thanks for the fun post of the new museum too!

Kim Sue said...

you are an amazing woman! What great fun. We are just thinking about going to D.C. can't wait to pick your brain.

mimi said...

It looks like a Fantastic Day, Kristi. I read about this new museum and wondered when you might go and see it. Way to do it at no cost!! The girls looked like they loved the mommy daughter day too. You are a trooper.

The 5 Bickies said...

A great day to be a Mom and what a GREAT MOM you are! Those adventurous and spontaneous days ar the BEST! Thanks for sharing all of your fun photos.

Lindsay said...

What a fabulous day, minus the losing AK part (that is such a terrifying feeling).

Your pictures are absolutely wonderful!

Nikki said...

You are SUPER MOM in so many ways. I've done the screaming my child's name in the grocery store... I can only imagine in that museum! So glad the day turned out great in the end! (Gotta get my kids to DC one of these years!)

Jill said...

It's so cool that you went to the big opening for the Newseum! I was listening to NPR last week and they were broadcasting from there. You were brave to go it alone with the girls, especially with Annie Kate getting lost! That's so scary. The thought of you kissing the face of a big Jamaican woman is too funny though.

I'm super impressed that you braved the paddle boats with the girls! You get serious "great mom" points for today!!!

Tasha said...

Oh my! What a day! I lost Evie yesterday, but she was in the basement the whole time we were knocking on the neighbor's doors. I can't imagine being out in public and feeling that panic. That museum looks awesome, that is a steep price tag! You ROCK for taking them on the paddle boats sans husband!

Missy said...

That is a great day!
I used to love the newseum when we lived in DC before and was so sad when it closed. I remember thinking that 2008 seemed like soooo far away. I am so glad to hear it is open again. We will have to go!
What a fabulous mommy/daughter adventure you ladies had. I am impressed. I don't think I am brave enough to try taking my 3 girls to the city by myself!

lelly said...

it was so uplifting just reading this post about your solo day! what great memories for you and the girls.

your skirt looks adorable. i swear, i am going to declare the month of may "skirts only" month, so i remember to pull mine out of the closet!

elshmobelsh said...

I LOVE IT!! We saw the paddle boats there and decided that was a definite must the next time we go back!!! I'm so impressed you did it in a skirt! You go girl!

The monkey bunch said...

I really wanted to go when I heard the price and then heard it was free the first day, but we had soccer practice and Dad is the coach and then the big space derby and then a date planned. I was bummed I didn't get to see it, though! It sounds great.

Kristi said...

wow! great report! fun museum. I had tears in my eyes when you talked of your daughter missing. so scary. such relief that you found her. fun stuff. thanks for sharing

deidra said...

I love the Cherry blossom festival. Just seeing the banner got me choked up a bit! My husband has performed on that stage 3 times (two when I've been in his life). The first time ever was one of those "ah-ha!" moments when I realized we had a future together.

We'll have to check out the Newseum while we're back interning/working in DC this summer!

Price Cream Parlor said...

I love that you teach your littles by example - how important and fun education can be! They have some great memories - and some fantastic photos to boot!
I can totally understand your shear panic when you lost your AK! That is a sick, sick feeling. So wonderful that it turned out the way that it did! I love that you didn't just give up after that - being emotionally exhausted - but continued making memories and brought laughter to the end of the day!
Yahoo for being a fantastic MOM!!!!!

stephanie said...

You dont know me, but I linked to your blog through someone else's but now I can't even remember who's blog it was. I love your blog. I read it all the time, and it has helped me be more grateful for the country we live in. I really need to take a trip to DC and see all these fun places.

Marie said...

I would have been completly panicked to have lost a child in a busy museum. We have roll played and talked about it, but my kids are still so young I am not sure they wouldn't just wander around trying to find me. Serious parenting fear. I am so glad everything worked out for you and Annie Kate. Relieved beyond words.

Adam said...

that is so awesome! I need to upgrade my camera, my bberry is really only good if your going to start a cell phone blog. which bytheway, me and my friend are posting a lot of stuff, you would enjoy it for sure

ok now im totally stoked to come out to dc...

Rainier? DC? hmmm can't decide....HELp!

Chelsea said...

I want to go! You are so brave to take all your kids by yourself. I always feel a little crazy when I am on my own, but when all is said and done I never regret the experience. Very cool.

Laurie said...

I think I would LOVE that museum. It's been way too long since I've been to DC. Time to take a trip!!

Chris said...

I am always amazed how much you get done. You are always touring, I wish we did more. One of my girs went to the Newseum on a field trip. They had a blast. Looks like we might all need a trip there. The cherry blossoms are beautiful.

Creole Wisdom said...

Oh wow oh wow! I would DIE to go to that museum. I'm thinking of going into broadcasting so that would be so MUCH Fun!

Laurie said...

What an amazing day with the girls! (Glad everything worked out.) Those are wonderful days to be a mom.

Amanda L. said...

How did I not read this before? You must have done this the day we drove down.

What an emotional day! Good for you for shouting for Annie Kate. I would've done the same thing. I was laughing and crying through this whole post!

Good job on the paddle boats. Add that to our list for next time! I love those days when you have a great day with your kids by feel so empowered. Great photos of the day too.