What a week it has been with the parental visit.
To give a bit of history, my parents lived here 28 years ago, so they are familiar with the DC metro area and all that it has to offer. However, much has changed since they moved away 21 years ago and it made for a great excuse to play tourist and visit these places.
After finally thawing out Monday morning from the 24F (with a wind chill of 14F) weather, we hopped on the metro and went to the Smithsonian American History museum. That museum has been closed for the last year and a half for remodeling, and they re-opened about 3 weeks ago, so I was very curious to go, and so were they. The museum itself does look really nice and much more modern after the upgrade. However, I would wait at least another month or so before going right now. The exhibits look great and there's plenty of new stuff to see...if it is actually open. There are still sections of the American History museum that are not finished and open to the public yet. I'll probably go back after it is completely done to see just what it is I missed out on. While there we did see the newly refurbished Star Spangled Banner, along with Julia Child's kitchen. My mom says she could spend all day just looking at Julia's stuff, and my dad and I want to try making French Bread the way Julia says you should make it.
Next was the Air and Space museum, where we looked around at all of the planes and the space stuff as well. Interestingly I learned that in order to become an airline stewardess (yes I know they're flight attendants now, but work with me on context here) one requirement was to be a Registered Nurse (alternatively at least a year of college), which makes some sense, especially back when commercial flights first started. I also liked looking at the weather satellites since I am kind of a geek about checking their data out online, especially when a storm is coming. For some extra geekery, the NOAA facility next door to my agency is the one that collects all the raw satellite data and sends it on to the NOAA folks and computers to analyze.
After those museums, it was beginning to get a bit late and I had dinner plans with friends in Chinatown so we headed back to metro and made our way over to Gallery place. We stopped in over at Fado and my mom and I had an Irish Coffee to warm up since it was a chilly day once again. Then it was on our way to Chinatown Express for dinner, and my parents got to meet a few of the folks I regularly keep company with. Dinner was good, everyone enjoyed their food, my parents especially liked the fresh noodles. I knew they would like it though because they're the type of tourists that will do local food when they can, and when they visit San Francisco,they always have to go walking through their Chinatown, so a place like this is perfect for them. We eventually went our separate ways and I took my parents home since it was starting to get to be a bit late.
For the record, the general comment from my parents was that I keep good friends these days :-)