Today we all woke up and had a fun morning making pancakes before driving over to the nearby Metro station. A short ride into DC found us at the Smithsonian exit right onto the mall. It was a super nice day out! From there it was a short walk over to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. We booked it straight to the dino’s, and Zoe was enthralled. She named them all and pointed at all the bones; she was so excited to see more she nearly ran through the whole place so we backtracked a bit. She found the gems and minerals fairly interesting, but wanted more bones so we wandered back to the other prehistoric animals like giant sloths and mammoths and such. Nan and Grandpa Joe had fun learning all Zoe knew about dino’s, and then really had a blast in the Discovery Center. It was a great kid’s hands-on room with microscopes, animals, dress ups, and lots of themed learning sections. Zoe especially likes to use the microscopes to see butterflies, spy at everything with magnifying glasses, and explore the “whats inside” containers. Nan read her quite a few books after a bit of coloring and then we all decided it was time for lunch. The cafeteria was crowded with lots of kids on school trips, but that was likely our fault for eating right at noon. It cleared out pretty quickly by the time we were done. Zoe fell asleep on my lap, so we chilled out for a while until Grandpa Joe was so antsy to go see more he carried her around. We all explored the mammals section until she woke up; she loved all the cool stuffed animals and small kid sized exhibits. The museum was getting crowded so we took a break to walk around outside at the sculpture garden and put our feet in the big fountain. It was a nice reprieve from the cool museum to be out in the beautiful warm day. Next on the agenda was a highlight: the Dinosaur 3D IMAX! The beginning was a bit in-your-face so Zoe hid her eyes for a few minutes until the loud intro dinosaur-roaring-right-at-you section was over. Otherwise, she loved it and actually wore her 3D glasses for a bit which made her reach out and try to grab at dino footprints and stuff. When asked later, that was her favorite part of the museum. We spent the remainder of our time in the Bones exhibits…lots of animal bones, a neato human skeleton exhibit, and an archaeological dig of Jamestown proved interesting to all of us. Zoe’s interest in dino bones has extended to her curiosity about all bones, which animals have them, and where her own are. Seeing all kinds of different human bones was quite cool to her. Our final stop was the indoor butterfly garden. Nan took Zoe in and they really enjoyed all the butterflies flying around and landing on the flowers. It was cool. A packed Metro ride later we were in the car back to Andrews AFB and our home at the famcamp. We’ve had a relaxing evening cooking burgers and dogs, doing some marshmallows on the fire, and making ice cream. Now Nan is reading Zoe some bedtime stories about more dino’s!

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