The first (and last) time I ever set foot in the National Air and Space Museum, I was ten years old, and we had about an hour to explore. If you've ever been to A+S, you know how ridiculous this sounds. You can literally spend days in any one of the Smithsonians, A+S is no different. Back in 1983, I barely scratched the surface of its collection, but all the incredible machinery hanging overhead left such an impact on me. My dad bought me a pouch of astronaut ice cream from the gift shop, and we dashed-out, deflated we couldn't stay longer. Flash forward thirty years, and I was so eager to get back with the big kid. I had set aside an entire day for us to roam, a full seven hours to just lap it all up. We came early, we launched ourselves in full-throttle, and then we kind of fizzled-out mid-day. Turns out neither the kid, nor I, are terribly interested in machines that fly. Birds of prey, yes, rocket ships, no.
It's not that I didn't find anything interesting, I just found myself gravitating more towards the culture and design of flying, rather than all that technical stuff. And the kid liked everything else.
There were definitely some highlights for the 9yo - an exhibit on the science of flight, which pertained to a block of study he just did and enjoyed. Through that, he had also read about the Wright brothers, so seeing their exhibit also helped to bring everything full circle.
All in all, we probably clocked about four and half hours at A+S, before walking across the mall and finishing the last hour of our museum day at Smithsonian's American History. The absolute highlight of our Thursday though, was dinner at Teddy & the Bully Bar.
Where to begin!? The recently opened sister restaurant to the popular Lincoln (where we ate the following night), Teddy was a spot I thought would be fun for the kid after the president's appearances in this book and this mini series, which we've enjoyed together. We had also heard a funny story at The White House about Teddy and his installing of animal heads in one of the rooms, and how Mrs. Taft had them promptly removed upon her arrival. Having enjoyed these stories about the former president, we were feeling well prepped for our upcoming night out.
When we were walking towards the restaurant I ask the kid to guess what we might see at the new restaurant and he said, "There'll probably be animal heads on the walls." #proudmama
When you first arrive in the Bully bar, there is a textured wall that looks vaguely familiar. You can't quite figure it out so you walk over to get a closer look...
...and then you realize - it's a giant wall filled with mini Mount Rushmores!
As soon as we ordered (Buttermilk Bully Rings, Teddy Clam Chowder and Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin), we were served a basket of warm bread and biscuits with salted butter and BACON JAM. We just about lost ourselves right then and there. The menu was a hoot to read with all its nods to our heritage.
I have to give up total control when I hand over the ordering of dessert to the kid. He's never going to order anything that sounds go to me. He's just not much of a fan of dark desserts. This cheesecake wrapped in phyllo dough had all sorts of weird sounding stuff in it, like rosemary. But it was delicious and so fun to eat with the flaky outer crust.
Last but not least, I always have to check-out what's going on in the ladies room. Sometimes the greatest details are hidden behind bathroom doors.