|Pizzeria Uno in Union Station in 1990, or perhaps 2013. Who knows?|
Finally, we wasted enough time in the bathroom that we could board the Duck Boat. Luckily for us, Sister was able to join us for the tour. Yay! I do like some adult companionship. Our driver and tour guide was pretty knowledgeable, and quizzed us on our American history knowledge, the results of which were a little depressing. For example, no one was able to tell him in which year the War of 1812 began. It's 1812, in case you were wondering. The first part of the trip we drove around some of the monuments and heard about the history of a few notable buildings. I thought it was all interesting, but I think the kids were less enthused. I had high hopes, though, for the part of the tour when the Duck Boat leaves the land and goes into the Potomac. Surely, they'll like that!
|Or, maybe not.|
The Monument sustained damage in the great 2011 Virginia earthquake and the entire building has been rigged up in this unusual way so that the panels of scaffolding can be illuminated at night. It looks so cool that everyone seems to be hoping that it will take a long time to repair.
After the Duck tour, the kids and I headed to Shake Shack for lunch. It is right next to the Spy Museum and has a kid-friendly menu, so it seemed like a good choice. After my disappointing veggie burger at BGR, I decided to forget about the vegetarian option at Shake Shack (a fried portobello mushroom filled with muenster and cheddar cheese didn't sound sound like a healthier option, anyway) and got a cheese burger. It was delicious. I forced everyone to get frozen custard for dessert (it's called Shake Shack, after all) and while I liked mine, the kids were not as pleased with the texture. More for me! In the good news/bad news department, my friend, Elizabeth told me that Shake Shack is coming to Atlanta! This could be dangerous, so thank goodness it will be all the way over in Buckhead where it's less likely to do damage to my cholesterol levels.
Apropos of nothing, the Spy Museum and Shake Shack are right near Chinatown in DC. Even though I literally saw no one who looked remotely Asian in the area, all of the store signs are in Chinese (not that I'd recognize Chinese, but I'm assuming). Which results in stuff like this:
Which makes me wonder if this is a literal translation or a figurative (ahem) translation?
Back to Shake Shack. The low light of the Shake Shack experience was seeing a rather heavyset man plunk down his tray on the table, slide himself into his seat, roll up his sleeve, inject himself with a hypodermic needle full of insulin, and devour his two burger and fries lunch. It was like watching the show, I Didn't Know I was Pregnant, simultaneously disturbing and fascinating. Of course, it didn't stop us from camping out at Shake Shack for over an hour while we waited for our Spy Museum reservation time to roll around.
We loved the Spy Museum. We absolutely lucked out because it was not busy at all. I take from the fact that you have to make a reservation that it is usually jammed. I do not think it would have been nearly as fun had it been crowded. When you arrive, you are instructed to chose a secret identity and memorize facts about your identity. Here was mine:
If I ever get famous, I'm going to check into hotels under the name Carol Liu. The museum was very interactive, which was great for the kids. I'd say that the Baby was a touch young, but she still enjoyed aspects of the exhibits. Her favorite part of the museum was crawling through an air vent. My favorite part of the museum was the exhibit about the brave, majestic pigeons who risked their lives to spy for the American government:
|Cher Ami, heroic WWII pigeon. via|
We also all enjoyed the special exhibit on James Bond films, even though I'm not sure I've actually watched a James Bond film. That's now on my bucket list because I really should see a James Bond film. Any recommendations for a good one? My only regret from the Spy Museum is that we didn't visit the gift shop where they sell this shirt:
|Good policy. Available here.|