Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone
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Thomas' Blog

Thomas McKenzie's Blog.

Top Ten Thoughts about Washington D.C.

I recently returned from Washington DC. It was a 100% family-of-four, grade-school friendly, tourist extravaganza. We spent five nights in a hotel on Pennsylvania ave, about a kilometer from the White House. We spent all day every day in the Mall area, eating ice cream and pretzels from street vendors and seeing as much as we could.

Our car stayed parked in the hotel garage the entire time, so we used our feet, the subway, the bus, and an occasional taxi to get around. We hit most of the major sites: the White House, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, the National Archives, the Mall, the monuments and memorials, and several Smithsonians as well as Dupont Circle and Chinatown. It was a great trip.

I have some deep theological/ecclesiological thoughts, which I intend to share once I have composed them. However, for now, let me give you my Top Ten list of D.C. questions/impressions.

10) Why is anyone interested in looking at stuffed, dead animals when they could see living ones at the zoo, for free? (Natural History Museum vs. Smithsonian Zoo)

9) I have now been inches away from Abraham Lincoln's hat, the Wright Brother's airplane, and the Declaration of Independence. Unreal.

8) The Air and Space museum features marvels of modern technology, including a Space Shuttle. So why don't they have self-flushing commodes in the Men's Room?

7) The best things about the American Indian museum were the building's architecture and the introductory "film." "Film" is in quotes because it was about the coolest immersive media presentation I've ever seen.

6) Someone needs to do to China Town what Rudy did to Times Square. That place is gross.

5) Why is a little bust of George Washington $20 at the Smithsonian, but only $12 at Mt. Vernon?

4) The Apotheosis of Washington, the painting of George Washington ascending into heaven in order to become a god (found on the inner top of the Capitol dome), is just about the most disturbing thing this Christian witnessed.

3) Why aren't there more people on the Mall at night? It's the area at its most beautiful.

2) The Supreme Court is arguably the most powerful branch of government. However, no one lines up to get into the building, the gift shop is tiny, and security was more lax there than at any museum. While the Capitol tour features a beautiful but overproduced film shown in a large theater, the dated Supreme Court "film" sits behind a curtain and is shown on a 32 inch tube television to a dozen empty folding chairs. It might have been a VHS tape; no joke.

1) Why don't more people tour the White House? I stood under the famous portrait of JFK pictured above, and then a couple of hours later saw a photo of Obama standing in exactly the same place. Being in there is like entering history in the making. You have got to see the White House.

All in all, the best part was spending time with my lovely family. So, take the wife and kids and hit the road!

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