Our First Smithsonian

I am not a city girl. At all.

I hate the traffic and I get nervous in all the large crowds of people. It’s too fast paced and people don’t have time to care. I hate waiting in lines that take hours. Everything is packed full and you can’t take your time because there’s people waiting behind you (impatiently). The air is thick with the smell of sewage and trash and exhaust, and the sky is always hazy. Car horns are constantly blaring and accidents happen so frequently that you never know if it’s going to take you 15 minutes or an hour to get somewhere. Maybe it’s an east coast thing, but people don’t seem to like small talk. Just pay for your purchases and leave. No one says please or thank you or have a nice day.

We went to our first Smithsonian museum this past weekend, the National Museum of Natural History. I was intimidated about finding parking, but I found an app that allows you to put in where you’re going and you can find and book and pay for parking before you head out. I guess street parking is free on the weekends downtown, but good luck finding a spot. The traffic is minimal around here on the weekends, so we try to get out every weekend to explore. But we waited for school to start so there would be less tourists. We were surprised to find a line waiting to get in to the museum that stretched to the end of the block. A worker at the museum told us the wait would be an hour +, but directed us to the backdoor where the wait would be much less. It still took close to half an hour with the sun beating down on us, but was worth the wait.

I didn’t know that this museum is mostly taxidermies of various animals from all over the world. There is a mammal section, a history of humans section with lots of bones and skulls from humans and apes over hundreds of thousands of years, dinosaur bones, an amazing ocean section with a giant sculpture of a whale hanging from the ceiling, several cafes and gift shops, mummies, temporary exhibits and more. Not to mention it is all housed within this giant and architecturally amazing building with so many amazing details.

We walked 3 miles around the museum that day and I didn’t take too many photos, since there are so many people and it’s hard to get photos of exhibits without people in the way. But that’s okay, since it allowed me to focus on things instead of worrying about framing images. Here are some of the photos of the museum and the last few I took while walking to and from the car.

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