Natural History Museum, Washington DC – Practice Traveling in Your Own Backyard

So in the last post about TRAVELING IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD, we talked about the importance of making the most of where we are at and how traveling locally gets you (me) ready to travel to places like Europe next summer.  Well this is the first of many of my adventures in DC/Silver Spring MD.

Here I am in front of the Washington Monument in DC.  As you can see…. this is crazy stuff!

Silver Spring is right on the edge of Washington DC and really the same Metropolitan area.  A short metro ride quickly brings me to the heart of DC within minutes.  Having only been to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in the past, I knew I had a lot of work to do!

Today’s stop:

The Natural History Museum!!!!

Now I love museums of all kinds and this museum was crazy interesting!  Did you know there used to be a giant 48 foot snake that roamed (TERRORIZED) the earth called Titanoboa?  Well the people at the Natural History museum did!  This thing could eat crocodiles with ease!  CROCODILES!  It freaked me out just seeing how big this thing is and snakes don’t even bother me that much!

Speaking of things that bother me and freak me out a bit… under water!  Freaky stuff.  Like I don’t mind snorkeling, but I don’t like things that are way bigger than me (giant whales and sharks) or big deep open water.  Let’s face crazy dark deep open water is probably the scariest thing on the planet!  The only upside is the lack of spiders (currently ranking number two on the “things that freak me out” list).

This is how bad it is… I used to not go to the bathroom at my dentist office because the wall was painted underwater with fish and whales and sharks and stuff.  How am I supposed to pee with a barracuda staring at me???  On top of that, when my family goes to Sea World in California, I slide along the back wall during the Manatee exhibit!  And no, Manatees don’t harm humans in any way… they’re just big and weird and separated from me by what I can only assume is the thinest of glass (better safe than falling victim of spontaneous Manatee attack).

But I digress…

Walking around the Natural History Museum, I made it a point to avoid this area:

(Needless to say, I also didn’t see anything in IMAX!  Why did they have to put in the Ocean Hall???)

But it seems like anywhere I turned, I would run into another entrance to Ocean Hall.

I thought I’d never escape, but finally I found myself above it and was able to take a picture of this horrific part of the museum.

Just look at the way the whale is about to swoop in and eat all those unsuspecting people!  So sad…

Anyway, the museum was great!  They had an exhibit of the National Geographic’s best photos of the year and some of them were downright amazing!  I even saw one that boosted my desire to go to Europe tenfold!  Check it out:

It is a picture of Dolomites national park in Italy.  And this photo doesn’t do justice to the detail and quality of the original.  Absolutely gorgeous.  Nat-Geo does such a phenomenal job with these every year!

Obviously, I was unable to take a picture of everything, but here are some more of my favorite pics:

The hope diamond was on display and I had to elbow my way up front to try and snap a picture… the crowd around the diamond was huge and didn’t die down.  Everyone wanted the chance to see this magnificent rock!

This elephant is a mainstay in the mall and I wanted a picture that shows the size accurately…  as you can see from the people and the doors, this thing is massive!  Here it is from the front:

I was able to get similar photos of his long lost cousin:

You can observe the archaeologists actually working on fossils here:

And I thought it looked like this guy was doing Karate:

Overall it was a great experience and I can’t wait to share my adventures in the other museums with you!

Alright so two questions:

1. Have you ever been to the Smithsonian’s? and if so, which is your favorite?

2. Do you have any crazy and irrational fears like mine underwater?

5 Responses to “Natural History Museum, Washington DC – Practice Traveling in Your Own Backyard”
  1. meanwhilein3 says:

    Thanks for taking me there, I have to admit you are right about the ocean, it can be pretty creepy!

  2. tauromaja says:

    Crazy irrational fears? Like of bullets? I did a 10 k swim over an Underwater Museum which consisted of about 300 life-size statues all anchored about 9 yards below on the ocean floor. I can tell you that it was a bit creepy to see them there because it made me think of Harry Potter and the Inferi. I just kept thinking one was going to swim up and grab me by the ankle.

    I don’t think I have ever swum that fast in my life.

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