Last weekend Ryan and I went to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. We went after our Friday briefings (every Friday LDS career people come and give briefings on their jobs and what it's like to be LDS in DC). Although we didn't get to see all of the museum that afternoon we did meander through a section on Jazz in America (it featured Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn), a section on Black Washington DC from the 1920s - ? (which is a precursor to the upcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture), an exhibit with the Gunboat Philadelphia (a boat that was sunk in 1776 that they've brought back up), and my favorite - The Price of Freedom: Americans at War.
Ryan was thoroughly disappointed by the Jazz exhibit, which was only one small room. The photographs were interesting. There was one where during some civil rights riots the guy's studio was being burnt down and he just sat across the street and took pictures of it. I think I probably would have had a different approach and would've been trying to save whatever I could from the building. Hopefully he had really good insurance. The Gunboat was big but we could only look at it from one spot. It would've been cool to walk around it more and really get a picture of what it was like. But who knows maybe it wasn't even typical design since it got smoked during battle and sunk - maybe the engineers started making them better.
The Americans at war exhibit tracked every war that America has been involved in from the American revolution to the current situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was really interesting and very well done. There was a lot of cool facts and figures from the various wars. I really liked the section that was for Vietnam. There was a Huey helicopter and a bunch of newspaper clips (pictures/articles) that were framed on a wall in a timeline. It was really neat.
After we went through those couple of exhibits we decided to try out some of the ethnic food in dc. After listing a ton of possibilities, Ryan chose Moroccan. So we took the metro way out to some area we hadn't seen yet. The metro ride was fantastic because it was above ground in this area so we actually got to see where we were. I really liked it. Moroccan food was interesting. It was a good experience, however, I doubt that we'll go for the experience again. If you're ever in the mood for something new then try it out but I wouldn't suggest spending tons of money on it.
Saturday we went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. It was extremely powerful. There was an exhibit on the use of propaganda which was really interesting. The kind of indoctrination that occurred during that time is incredible. Then we went through the permanent exhibit. By the end I felt literally sick to my stomach. The museum makes you think about how good and bad people can be and how dangerous being in the middle can be at times. Ryan and I talked for a long time about it after - I'm glad that he was there with me.