As you might guess from the helpful and informative title of this post, today was a day of firsts for me. Shall I tell you about it in chronological order? I think I shall.
Today was the first day my family has spent in Washington DC since arriving here. The previous days we've been at the estates of now-deceased presidents (see previous posts for clarification), but today my family went into the DC, onto the Mall.
That brings me to the second first of today. Until today, I had never rode on a train before, but we took the Metro Subway into the city rather than driving. The Metro was interesting. In my immediate area, there was a young man with a kind face wearing a shirt with the Joker on it; a heavier-set, middle-aged woman with dyed hair applying makeup while her short hair stayed in gigantic curlers; a male nurse; and two young want-to-be fashionistas.
The next first was traveling on public transit without my parents. My family split up once we got into the city, with Mother of Mine leaving for the National Archives, Father of Mine traveling to an office on business, and Brother of Mine coming with me to the International Spy Museum. It was disorienting to walk through large, loud, underground tunnels full of people and moving trains. But also very fun.
That brings me to - I think the fourth first: First nontraditional museum. In the past, my family has gone to Natural History museums, art museums, history museums, and other similarly traditional museums. But today, Brother of Mine and I went to the Spy Museum, which is exactly what it sounds like. But rather than being a tourist trap with a couple of Cold War relics sitting around in a noisy room, it was full of information. Yes, I did get to crawl through a duct, and yes, they did assign me a spy alias at the beginning of my visit.
The museum left me, especially the later exhibits, with a greater understanding of just what goes into providing for a nation's security. The museum spoke with James Woolsey, the former director of the CIA, and many other extremely qualified sources about spycraft and information-gathering. It was a very sobering tour, and I would completely recommend it to anyone, provided they don't have a problem looking at pocket garrotes, lipstick pistols, ring revolvers, and a lot of sharp and pointy objects designed to wound or kill. A 5/5 in my book. Absolutely fascinating.
The next first was first time attending a music festival. Brother of Mine and I took the metro to the Smithsonian, and stepped out into their Folklife festival. If you're from the Northwest, you're probably thinking that this was a grunge fest full of aspiring musicians and crafty craftsman. Wrong.
The Smithsonian's Folklife Festival was focused on three themes; The country of Columbia; the second was the Peace Corps; and the last was Rhythm and Blues. Brother of Mine and I ended up in the Soulsville Pavilion, where we got an auditory treat.
We got to hear the Stax Music Academy perform, and let me tell you - they were incredible. Most of the problems associated with live performances were there, but even through the feedback and the mic giving out in the middle of a rendition of Superstitious, you could tell that these kids were GOOD!
So that was my day. It feels as if I've just had more experiences than possible in 12 hours, but I have. Hmm. Time is playing with my head again. Yet strangely, I don't mind.