Monday, June 27, 2011

Fifth Day in Washington, D.C.

Yesterday we headed out with the intention of finishing the Natural History Museum but as we got off the Metro and were about a block away we noticed there was a street completely blocked off.  Then I saw a sign that said it was a BBQ Competition.  We quickly took a little detour and headed that way.  This was one of the bigger competitions with big name barbecue teams.  I found out today that Pork Barrel BBQ was the Grand Champion.

As winner of the only barbecue championship in Washington, DC sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the team receives an automatic invitation to two of the top prestigious contests on the professional barbecue competition circuit – the American Royal World Series of Barbecue Invitational Contest in Kansas City, Missouri and the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

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Now, that’s one big grill!!  They can grill 2,800 brats an hour on that thing!

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Myron Mixon, of Jack’s Old South and the winning-est bbq’er in the nation being interviewed by TV station

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My favorite was Famous Dave’s.  I’ve had their ribs in their restaurants before and wasn’t impressed but these were the best ribs I’ve ever had.  Maybe it’s because they were freshly cooked and not sitting under a warmer.

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Rod, of course, had to have his usual turkey leg

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With all those barbecues and smokers I swear the temperature had to be 20 degrees warmer than the other part of the city and after having had more than enough of the crowd we left to finish up the museum.

We walked into the museum and were again overwhelmed by the crowds.  We haven’t experienced this since we got here.  It must be because it’s the weekend.

We were being pushed and shoved trying to get into the room where the 45.52 carat Hope Diamond is displayed and we couldn’t even see the display cases in the Gems and Minerals gallery.

The really nice thing about the Hope Diamond is that it’s on a rotating display and stops for a few seconds so you can take a picture (if you can get close enough).

The Hope Diamond got its name from, Henry Thomas Hope. Long before the fabled bad luck associated with its owners, the Hope Diamond had a history. It was discovered centuries ago in southern region of India, where it was believed to have a great mystical powers that surrounded this unusual size and unique color, a deep indigo blue. The Hope supposedly adorned the statue of a Hindu idol.

After Harry Winston purchased it he donated it to the Smithsonian in 1958.  To commemorate the 50th anniversary he had his jewelry designers come up with a new setting and this was the winner selected by the American people.  It will be displayed for a limited time and then returned to its historic setting.

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When were in the Postal Museum we saw the package that the diamond was mailed in for a measly $145.29 and the diamond at that time was valued at one million dollars!

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Not wanting to fight the crowds anymore and knowing that we can come back another day we headed outside and sat on a bench just “people watching” until we heard from Pennye.  They were right next door at the American History Museum so we headed over there to meet up with them and go see some of the memorials.

I finally got a picture of Pennye and her family.  Pennye, Dave, Hugh and Austin

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First we went to the World War II Memorial.  The memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S. during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort from home.  The fountain in the middle is surrounded by 56 pillars that are inscribed with the names of the then 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the Alaska Territory and Territory of Hawaii, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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My “resident” State

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From there we headed to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  But, on the way we passed by the Vietnam Nurses Memorial

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Entrance to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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There was a Park Service volunteer who was explaining things about the wall and mentioned 3 names.  Those names ended up being his buddies that he was with when they were killed.  You could really hear the sadness in his voice.

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People leave things at the wall all the time as respect to people they knew or just for respect

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From there we headed out looking for a place to eat.  We came up to a Thai place called Thai Place.  LOL  Best food we’ve had since being in Washington, D.C.!!  Rod had some curry thing, I had dumplings and chicken satay.  Everybody said how good their food was too!

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Today we’re staying put to rest our aching feet.  Tomorrow we’re heading out again to try and finish up the Natural History Museum.  We’ll probably take in the Air & Space museum as well.

3 comments:

squawmama said...

What a gret post and the photos were fabulous... We were very sad when we visited the Vietnam Wall since we knew so many of our friends who went there and was killed or came back but not the same. I had a POW bracelet back then and I found my soldiers name on it! I will never forget him!
The hope diamond was awesome... There is so much we didn't see since we were there only a day so I am anxious to go next spring!Thanks for all the great info & I'm glad you're having fun!!!
Travel safe
Donna

Hembree said...

You guys are so doing this right...taking the time to see the history of our nation....good going!!!

JB said...

Hey thanks for the great tour, so far we are enjoying riding along with you and are looking forward to the next few days.

Are there benches at the exits of all the museums for you to wait for Rod on?