Thursday, July 23, 2015

Day 22 - Visiting Friends in DC, Air & Space and the National Building Museum

Today was my final full day here in the DC area while participating in the Mount Vernon Life Guard Fellowship and I made plans to visit a few old friends who live here in DC. 

Marty and I at his "office" at Air and Space on the Mall

I got into DC early and met Marty Kelsey at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Marty taught in the Liberty School District for years and we have attended many technology conferences together. He took an incredible job offer to work at the Air and Space in their education department this past fall.  He is one of the hosts of a great show named STEM in 30, which can be viewed online. I have been following his blog and his Facebook account as he describes what is truly his dream job. He was able to have me meet him at the museum earlier than the public opening.  As he showed me some his favorite artifacts it was hard to believe that this is where he works on a daily basis.  It was awesome to see his office and hear some stories of cool things happening in the museum. I am so happy for him and can't wait to see the amazing things he will be doing in this position.

Next I met up with a couple of old friends from Cable Impacts (formerly Cable in the Classroom). I have known Kat Stewart and Frank Gallagher for almost 10 years and we have worked on a variety of projects over the years with video, online election games and digital citizenship.  Frank and Kat took me to lunch at Charlie Palmer Steak. We had a great lunch (pictures included below since it all looked so good) and laughed a lot over lunch.  I always enjoy catching up when we have a chance.

Frank, Kat and I at lunch

After lunch I walked just a couple of blocks to one of my favorite buildings in DC - the National Building Museum. It is an incredible building dating back to 1887.  It was the home of veterans pension offices for the early part of its career but it has an enormous courtyard in the center.  Today it has a variety of displays and exhibits on architecture. It has hosted some very interesting events in the past - currently it is an event called "The Beach". The museum has boxed off a portion of their large courtyard and added nearly a million clear plastic ball - essentially a huge ball pit. You can buy a ticket to enter but at $16 and a line waiting to enter I opted just to take a couple of pictures from above. I also think it has the most amazing gift shop of any museum in the world.  It has awesome gifts relating to not only architecture but also design.  Several publications have also named it one of the best gift shops.

The Beach at the National Building Museum

When I returned to Mount Vernon it was time for one more dinner at the Mount Vernon Inn. The Mount Vernon Inn is the onsite restaurant here at Mount Vernon and the food is fantastic. After enjoying the meal with another Life Guard Teacher Fellow here at the house, Marcia Motter from Nevada, I began to pack for the return home.  The biggest challenge would be fitting all the books and items that I have accumulated over the past three weeks here at Mount Vernon.  In the morning I will be able to enjoy the sunrise from General Washington's piazza.

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