I managed to cross a few items off my 30 Before 30 list in August and September; that’s the good news. The bad news is that I forgot to take pictures of some of them — d’oh! But still, it feels pretty good to cross them off:
- #3: Explore a part of LA I’ve never been to before
- #4: Explore a part of Dallas I’ve never been to before
- #6: Visit a city I’ve never been to before (Philadelphia)
- #7: Read 30 books
- #10: Have a wine tasting night
- #13: Have a Turning 30 dinner party with friends
- #14: Host a Virtual Vacation Week (turned out to be a night, but whatever)
- #26: Try yoga
Seeing this list, one thing is very clear: I have a bad habit of forgetting to take my camera with me or to take it out of my bag. I gotta work on that.
I did, however, remember to have my camera out for #1: Visit a museum I’ve never been to before. There were several we hit up in D.C., but my favorite has to be the newer Air and Space Museum out by Dulles Airport.
Seriously, if you get a chance to visit the Udvar-Hazy Center (the official name), go. Even if you’re not really into airplanes, it’s a really incredible museum filled with a ton of historical pieces, including (but not limited to) a SR-71A Blackbird stealth fighter, a full-size space shuttle, a Concorde, and a whole plethora of space artifacts and airplanes from various time periods.
My dad has been wanting to go to this museum since we knew it was opening, and so did I. So, to be honest with you, a good majority of my photos from this day were of me walking behind my dad and snapping a photo of whatever he seemed mildly interested in. Doing that gave me photos for pretty much 80% of the museum (there were a couple of hot air balloon baskets and Korean War era planes I missed), but hey, I had extra memory cards for just this reason.
Here are just a handful of my favorite photos:
I’m not going to lie – I think this tiny little wooden airplane is flat-out adorable. A description which I’m sure would please the manly men who built her and the male docents in the museum. I just managed to avoid squealing out “Oh, how cuuuuute!” But only just.
I should mention this space shuttle was not one that actually went up to space. It was a mock-up for test pilots to test the landing gear. They didn’t believe it could reenter the atmosphere and land on its own, so NASA built them one to try it out and to prove it could. Still! Space shuttle! It was wildly impressive and quite massive. We were on a tour, we turned a corner, and bam! Space shuttle. Like a fun little surprise.
Another fun tidbit: This airplane is called the “Airphibian” and is a mix between a car and a plane. So, it’s a car that flies or a plane that you can drive. The cockpit part detaches, as shown, so once you’ve landed, you simply pop off the wings and drive off into the sunset.
Overall, I was blown away by the Udvar-Hazy Center. I’m not sure what I expected as far as displays go, but I loved how everything was set up. Planes were hung up in the air as well as on the ground, and there were several catwalks you could walk up on to put the hanging planes at eye-level (my fear of heights only allowed me to go on the lowest one before I ran towards solid ground – that’s where the photo directly above was taken). There was also an IMAX theater and a tower you could go up to and see the airplanes at Dulles taking off (I skipped this, too, but I hear my nephew loved it).
So, if you can’t tell, I’d mark this museum as a must-see if you’re ever in D.C. Give yourself a full day so you can take a tour, eat, see the tower, watch a movie, and take lots and lots of photos.
If you’re curious, all photos in this post were taken by me, then processed using Photoshop actions from Florabella Collection (specifically Retro Vintage, Vintage Summer I & II, Cosmopolitan, and Vintage Wine).