My parents arrived in DC this past Friday. We have had a wonderful time touring the city and seeing old sites that my parents experienced 40 years ago when they lived near DC.
On Saturday our first stop was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The highlight of visiting this museum was watching my Dad look at the plane in which his father flew in WWII. My dad never had the chance to meet his father because he was tragically killed in the line of duty a few months before my father's birth. Seeing this very rare plane (I believe there are only 3 or 4 left in the world), for a moment, brought him closer to his father. It was a wonderful thing to see, and I am so happy that we were able to give my dad this experience.
The museum was pretty amazing. They had the NASA Enterprise space shuttle in the space section. I have been to the Kennedy Space center in Florida, but this was the first time I actually got to see a shuttle up close. I can't believe how enormous it is. You see footage of it strapped to the rocket boosters and it doesn't appear to be much bigger than an airplane, that is just not so.
Here are some more planes...
We left the museum and headed out towards Quantico. We were excited to find a Chick-Fil-A along the way. Yummy!! I thought I was going to have to wait for our Thanksgiving trip to Charlotte to indulge in some sweet tea. I guess we went just "south" enough.
Forty years ago my parents lived on the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia while my father completed his Marine Officer Training. My brother, Scott was born there and I have heard references to Quantico my whole life. I was excited to finally see the place. We did a quick drive thru the base and spent the rest of the afternoon at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. We all learned what it means to be a Marine, how cool and tough the Marines are and much of the history of the Corps (all the way back to the late 1700's). Poor Jimmy, it had to be tough for an Army guy. My dad was on cloud 9 the whole day. I am sure it will go down as one of his most favorite days ever!
We spent Sunday wandering the Mall and checking out more DC sites. Here are some more photo highlights:
On Monday morning we received the sad news that my grandmother (mom's mother) passed away from a sudden heart attack Sunday night. Although we are very saddened by her death we are so happy that she is finally at peace and that she didn't suffer. She was 94 years old. Grandma raised four children and thoroughly enjoyed her 14 grandchildren (I am the baby of the group), 30+ great-grandchildren (I have lost count) and at least two great-great-grandchildren. She lived a full life and I am comforted to know she has been reunited with my grandfather and all her loved-ones who have passed on before her.
I was able to get a ticket on the same flight as my parents, so we will all be heading home to Portland today. Thank you for all the well-wishes I have we received. I can feel all your hugs.