Field Trip: Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

LEM helmet reflection

Last weekend, we hit the road for a long weekend in Washington, D.C. Our main sightseeing goals? Aeronautics and Julia Child. Since there are two huge museums dedicated to flight and only one room dedicated to Julia, it was a little unbalanced, but I made up for it by spending an hour with my face pressed to the windows of her kitchen.

Julia Child's Kitchen

Julia Child’s actual kitchen, exactly as she left it in 2001, rebuilt inside the National Museum of American History. They even scanned and reprinted her linoleum floor. There’s a grey pole on the right side of the ceiling, used to hang the lights for the camera crew. There’s a painting of three cats in front of a field of asparagus hanging on the left cabinets. Below that, on the floor, you can see the mortar and pestle Paul gave to Julia. The counters are all built two inches higher than the standard, to accomodate for Julia’s 6’2″ height. This is a direct contrast to my life experience, since for many years I lived with my grandmother, who had her counters built 1-2″ lower than standard height.

And back to the aeronautics….

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

smithsonian ephemera

These pictures come from a display of ephemera, donated by WWII era pilots. My favorite? The card in the top left corner. It reads:

I’D LIKE TO MAKE A DATE WITH YOU

If the answer is YES just keep this card

and if it’s NO just hand it back.

The below photos are a mix of the National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall and the Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport.

Fabric Wings and Wood Struts

Pre-1920’s airplanes, made with wooden struts and fabric wings. On the left is the original 1903 Wright Brothers’ plane. Above that is a plane with an ad for Vin Fizz, “The Ideal Grape Drink.”

Planes and Markings

I loved seeing all the different fonts, markings and camouflage styles on the planes.

Modern Planes and Markings

Someday, I will paint a filing cabinet, dresser or closet door bright yellow and stencil “Abandon Ship Locker” onto it. It will happen.

Switches and Warnings

Switches and warning signs.

Apollo 13 Capsule

These photos all came from the pockmarked and burned heat shield of the Apollo 11 Command Module.

Space and Flight Wear

Top Left: Astronaut Sally Ride’s 1983 flight suit. Bottom right: 1960’s Flight attendant uniforms and a close up of the leggings designed by Emilio Pucci. You’ve come a long way…
Space Shuttle Discovery

The Space Shuttle Discovery.
Space Shuttle Discovery Close Ups

Close up of the paneling on Discovery. The rows of even stitching remind me of a giant quilt….I’m keeping this for future reference.

So that’s our trip in under 50 photos. Not pictured: the Spy Museum (no camera allowed!), the Lincoln and Washington Memorials, the Haunted Pub Crawl, and us mastering the DC Metro fares.

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