Travel Schlepp in Washington, DC

 This time Debbie was off to Sacramento for an AC-DC concert.  Meanwhile, Karl just went to plain old DC--Washington, DC.  It stands for District of Columbia and is our nation's capitol.  The President lives there.  The Vice-president lives there.  And all the Senators, Representatives, and Justices work there.  Plus lots and lots of other people who help make and enforce the laws of our country. 

     Karl and Debbie and their colleague George work with the Department of Energy, which has a headquarters in Washington.  The Department of Energy is known by its initials as DOE and it deals with matters of energy like oil and electricity and nuclear power.  That's why it is also concerned with nuclear bombs. 

     So Karl, George, and I flew to Washington to show some people some computer software to help train people about nuclear weapons inspections.  If you remember, Debbie and Karl help the inspectors who try to keep Saddam from getting the Big, Bad Bomb.  But we did get a little time to walk around for an hour one afternoon.

This is the Capitol building where the Seanate and the House of Representatives meet to make our laws and guide our country. 
Looking the other way, you can see the Washington Monument.  There are also some of the famous cherry trees blooming in this picture. 
Here I am in front of the Smithsonian Museum.  Even though it looks warm and sunny, the wind was blowing.  The temperature was only 50 and I was glad to have my thick fur. 
At one end of the museum you can see the Wright Brother's original first-ever aeroplane.  It has two wings so they call it a biplane.  They flew this contraption at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.  Now almost 100 years later people have walked on the moon and are building a space station. 
An early inventor named Beloiz made an airplane with just one wing: a monoplane. 
Here I am looking at a World War I fighter.  Most were biplanes and they, along with the machine gun, completely changed the way wars were fought. 
Here's the most famous monoplane:  Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of Saint Louis, the first plane to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.  He flew alone for 36 hours to go from New York to Paris.  There wasn't even a front window because an extra gas tank was there. 

Now I fly across the Atlantic in 10 hours or so all the time on big, fast jets that carry hundreds of people. 

At the other end of the museum from the Wright Brother's plane is a Lunar Excursion Module or LEM.  They were built to take two astronauts down to the surface of the moon and bring them back.  This is a real one that was made for testing in space in 1968 but the first flights were so successful that they didn't have to use it. 
Here I am thinking about how fast things have changed, from an airplane that looks like a bicycle with wings and a motor to men-on-the-moon in less than a century!  Whew!  What adventures lie ahead?  Mars?  Jupiter?  The stars? 

Only if we don't hurt ourselves with big, bad bombs.