With an extra hour to kill before the car was due back, we pulled off the freeway on Monday to go find the Marine Corps Memorial by Arlington Cemetery, more popularly known as the Iwo Jima Memorial.
I had never visited this site before. I found the inscription around the base, listing all the military actions in which Marines have fought, to be particularly compelling as it listed two long-open conflicts: Afghanistan and Iraq.
Monday brought torrential rain for a while. Parts of D.C. flooded, including a Metro stop. I postponed the start of the day by an hour. The official report is 3.1″ of rain today.
When the storm front blew through, though, the temperature had moderated and the humidity was down, thanks be to God.
I rented a car on Monday, and Aaron and I drove out to Chantilly, Virginia to view the exhibits at the Udvar-Hazy Center, part of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum.
Walking in, one is confronted by the space shuttle Discovery off in the distance. Over to the left is an Air France Concorde jet. And the Enola Gay is not far away. Nor are space capsules from the Mercury and Gemini era, the actually Apollo 11 quarantine Gulfstream, German aircraft from both world wars, Japanese fuselages from World War II, a Constellation, a beautiful 1940s Lufthansa tri-prop, a Clipper Flying Cloud, a prototype Boeing 707, and scores if not hundreds more planes, jets, helicopters, and air-going oddities and novelties.
I was in heaven.
For Pan Am, one of the first pressurized transcontinental airplanes, the Clipper Flying Cloud.
The Clipper Flying Cloud. Such a beautiful machine!
The Concorde, so long that I could not get it all in one photo.
German aircraft from World War II.
THE Enola Gay.
THE Enola Gay.
I spent a long time with the space shuttle Discovery: