22 results found.
22 results found.
On September 17th, 2020, the memorial dedicated to Dwight D. Eisenhower was dedicated in Washington, DC. Located within a short walking distance of the Capitol Building in DC, the memorial is designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. Gehry is also the architect behind such well-known buildings as the Guggenheim Building in Spain, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. The memorial sits on a 4-acre park and includes two large pillars, several statues, and quotes from Eisenhower. Not only does it depict scenes from his Presidency, but it also pays important attention to his childhood and the importance of Abilene, Kansas, as well as paying homage to his military service. Several artists contributed to the memorial, including Nicholas Waite Benson who was the inscription artist. Benson has also inscribed the WWII, Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorials. The large stainless steel tapestry depicts the beaches of Normandy, which connect Eisenhower’s service and the peace he maintained during the President. The two large pillars on either side of the memorial are the height of the cliffs of Normandy that American soldiers had to climb that day.
I consider Eisenhower to be an interesting sort of President. While I wouldn’t consider him as unknown as say Rutherford B. Hayes or a Chester Arthur, but I WOULD consider him to be unassuming. What exactly did he do? The site location of the memorial as a whole was chosen carefully to connect parts of DC politics that are connected to Eisenhower. It is surrounded by the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Air and Space, Voice of America, and the Federal Aviation Administration. President Eisenhower was the first president to direct federal aid to education, signed legislation to the department that preceded the Dept of Health and Human Services, lead the charge in creating the Air Force, creating the Air Force Academy, and helped create the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The list goes on and on of the small of significant parts of history that Eisenhower had an impact on.
The impact of Eisenhower rings loudly today as we think about the quiet steps that Eisenhower took to impact positive change, presiding over eight years of peace and prosperity in the United States. He sent troops down south to help enforce desegregation, pushed for the desegregation of Washington DC, and completed the desegregation of the military that had begun before his election. He also signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957. And despite all the drama surrounding the design and creation of the memorial I love its simplicity and symbolism and hope that that shines through and inspires visitors to learn more about him.
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National Inventors Hall of Fame
With my parents in town we made our way to the Smithsonian American History Museum. They had never been, and we hadn’t checked it out in awhile. They have done some changes in their displays since we’ve been, and it was neat to see what they had changed up.
The Places of Invention and American Enterprise sections were new to me and had some really cool things. Within those exhibits you can trace Advertising across the decades – from radio to television ads and other things that trace American democracy and capitalism through the decades. There was a docent on hand who happened to be talking about the Altair 8800 and went into more detail about the period of history. That is what I love about the Smithsonians!
The First Ladies section has been a mainstay of the museum, and they have added the additions of Michelle Obama and Melania. Melania’s dress in person, from the inauguration, is hands down the most exquisite thing I’ve ever seen. Michelle’s which I was absolutely nuts for in photographs and on the tv screen, didn’t translate well in person. Fashion like that is always fascinating to me. Dresses on hangers can look terrible until you put it on. Hillary Clinton’s Inauguration dress is also a top favorite for me, and she looked gorgeous in it. Some of my daughter’s favorites included Jackie Kennedy’s pale yellow State Dinner dress and this beautiful one shoulder sequin dress worn by Nancy Reagan.
The Smithsonian also added a small jazz section where they housed instruments from famous jazz and regular musicians, like Poncho Sanchez and Willie Smith. Hang around for a meal and head to the Jazz Cafe, where you can enjoy a bite to eat while listening to jazz.
The Super Heroes collection showcases the evolution of super heroes through the decades, showcasing comic books and various memorabilia including Captain America’s Shield and Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman Costume. Of course you can also get your photo next to Val Kilmer’s Batmobile! This Exhibit runs through January 12, 2020.
In ‘American Stories’ you can see a part of Plymouth Rock, check out Apolo Ohno’s speed skates and Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves. Moving pieces of the exhibit include a living mask of Abraham Lincoln and the video camcorder that caught the first plane going into the Twin Towers. This exhibit will be rotating and will take the opportunity to share different pieces that represent our American history – from well known pieces to lesser known like ornate Firefighter hats from the 1700/1800s. I like this exhibit particularly because it contains a wide variety of artifacts from those with typical historical appeal to old toys and pieces from many time periods all in one space. Items that you might not typically see all in one place.
Another new exhibit that we didn’t have time to get to was called ‘American Democracy: A Leap of Faith. This exhibits shows us items that highlight the fight for democracy and the path to achieving it, including everyday citizen’s and their participation. It looks really neat and I can’t wait to get back to check it out.
As always, this is a hit for families, and my kids (especially the older two who are 13 and 11) really enjoyed it. It also really highlights a lot that Washington DC has to offer visitors in one place because of the variety of items displayed and significance of the items (with the crowing glory being the Star Spangled Banner).
I think living here we can sometimes take these museums for granted, maybe we visit once or when family comes into town. But the exhibits change frequently and you might miss something really cool. The free museums in our area are truly incredible, and while going into the city might be a frustrating prospect to some, its something that is so worth it in my opinion.
This year with everything being so crazy in our life we decided we needed to get away a little earlier than our anniversary. So we decided a “mothersbirthanniversaryjustbecause” trip was in order. I love planning these little getaways with Mr. Air Force. We decided a long time ago that these were types of trips were a crucial piece to our military life puzzle. So even if it’s to the Holiday Inn down the street, or my amazing friend here taking the kids to her house for the weekend, we try to spend some time alone together. It is incredibly important to carve out that time, no matter how you do it. We decided to do something a little fancier this year in lieu of gifts for the above mentioned holidays.
I had heard about the Boonsboro Inn from my romance writer friends and a couple of girlfriends who are Nora fans. I have read exactly two Nora books, all a part of the Inn series. However, you do not need to be a Nora fan to love this place. And it was the vintage, literature feel of this place that made me want to go. You have a choice of eight rooms to stay in (seven named rooms and one penthouse): Elizabeth and Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), Marguerite and Percy (The Scarlett Pimpernel), Nick and Nora (The Thin Man), Jane and Rochester (Jane Eyre), Titania and Oberon (Midsummer’s Night Dream), Eve and Roarke (In Death novels) and Westley and Buttercup (The Princess Bride). It is truly an Inn feeling, with a sprinkling of a Bed and Breakfast. The staff is sweet and lovely, it is relaxed, the food is amazing, and if you can get your hands on the homemade chocolate chip cookies and cranberry scones you will have lived a complete life! Breakfast in the dining room is amazing!!!!!!!!
The whole town is quiet and there’s not a lot to do right in the square. You can drive to some other cute small towns with antique stores and little shops. On the weekend we went to a neighboring town was having a strawberry festival. There are several local wineries that we never made it to, but will be on our list when we go again. Antietam is also really close, and that is a must see if you are in the area. We’ve been twice and I would go back again (you can find a post here).
The two main restaurants in the area (owned by Nora and/or her family) are the pizza place and Dan’s Tap House. The pizza I think is good, it’s not the greatest, but its fun place to go. If you do, check out the Warrior Pizza. It’s a local favorite and pretty darn good. Dan’s has some really good drinks from the bar, including Mule’s, which are my favorite. We ate dinner there once and then went back and sat outside and had drinks and dessert one night.
All in all Boonsboro is a nice place to go if you’re looking for some relaxation. It’s not busy and if you like to be busy and not drive anywhere this would not be the place to go. But if you are looking for a truly lovely, romantic and quaint place to be GO NOW!!! And if you are from the DC area, drive through Frederick and check out the Cuban food at Sabor de Cuba. You can thank me later.
Tucked away in a rather innocuous looking building in Alexandria you will find the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s sitting in the giant office buildings in the US Patent and Trademark Office, with no fancy signage or giant signs. In fact, we were unsure we were in the right place for a minute. But we were pleasantly surprised with a cool little museum with a big story inside!
This museum was a really cool place, and one that I wouldn’t normally have chosen to go to. But when you’re looking for something interesting and unique you sometimes stumble upon the best stuff. I would highly recommend this experience for children (although my five year old wasn’t that excited about it), especially children interested in this kind of thing. It would make an excellent homeschool field trip with a paper involved.
The weather is starting to cool down a little bit, but the humidity and bugs are still fighting us aren’t they? We just need to hold out a little bit longer for those to finally leave us, but the weekends as we approach October and Fall are perfect for outdoor adventures! One of my favorite places to take the kids is also one of my favorite free places to go!! The River Farm is located in Alexandria, Virginia and is only a hop, skip and a jump from Mount Vernon; and was once part of George Washington’s five original farm properties. It also just happens to be the headquarters for the American Horticulture Society.
There are so many cool things to see here, and I love trying to visit during the different seasons because it changes so much. While you visit you can see White House gates that were at the WH in 1820, a teaching garden, a children’s garden, a really cool meadow that my kids call a maze, and all sorts of fun little things. The beautiful Manor on the estates has a lower level open to the public, and sometimes features rotating displays from artists. The River Farm would also make a beautiful wedding venue. I’m imagining the pictures one could take and its so beautiful in my mind. The stunning views of the Potamac alone are just beautiful.
At the gift shop on-site you can peruse items from local makers, which is just another cool part of coming to visit this place. Homemade soaps, wooden bowls, stained glass and all sorts of gardening supplies for children are there. What I also love about the River Farm is that they want to preserve and encourage gardening for and to the next generation. I definitely consider it a dying art. It is something I remember my grandmother doing, and unlike her love of crochet, the gardening didn’t stick. But its on my list of things to get back into because I think it is a valuable thing for children.
Visiting the farm is free, and so is parking. However, we always leave a donation when we go to visit. I encourage you to check out this really neat, and I believe undervalued ‘Site to See’ in the DC/VA area.