It was raining Monday morning, so our plan to save the indoors stuff to the last day had worked out well. We rode down to Gallery Place, had a fast breakfast and coffee at Dunkin Donuts, and then walked over the the International Spy Museum. I’d been there several years ago, and knew Matt would enjoy it.
I like the museum for proving that all the insane spy stories you’ve heard are realistic. They have a million examples of mini guns, suicide devices, hidden messages, and bombs. It’s laid out in such a way that a person like me with a short attention span can stay entertained the whole time, and the entire lower level is dedicated to James Bond (and how realistic his devices are). We’re planning to visit the Mob Museum in Vegas soon, and part of my interest in it is the fact that it’s run by the same company that built the Spy Museum.
After a couple of hours there, it was time for lunch. I’d heard that the Mitsitam Cafe in the National Museum of the American Indian was excellent, so we headed that direction. Even taking the Metro part of the way, it was a long walk.
I was surprised to walk into a cafeteria-style restaurant, but then we started looking at the menus and realized it was, in fact, excellent. There wasn’t a ton of vegetarian food there, but I did fine. The food represented all manner of native populations in the Americas, and it was uniformly delicious. The place is really expensive, especially for a Smithsonian cafeteria, but it was worth it.
I wished we had more time to see the museum, but we really wanted to get to the American History museum before leaving DC. We walked over there, and upon entering saw signs all over indicating that one entire side of the building was closed for renovation. At least that gave us something to focus on, because there was no way we could see everything!
I love the transportation sections, especially about railroads and cars. Matt likes the ships. Bally likes hanging out with the vegetables.
There was also a featured section with some of the favorites from their collection. Kermit the Frog was there!
We also noticed that the Smithsonian has Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine in their collection. I owned that tape. Sigh.
We made the most of our little time there, and then rushed to the Metro by the National Archives when it was time to go. (Google Transit directions are THE BEST. Seriously.) We rode back to the hotel, passing through National Airport as we had every day there, and managed to catch the shuttle just as it picked up another passenger. We asked the driver if he would swing back through after dropping the guy off at the other hotel, and he said he would. We got our bags from the front desk, the shuttle returned, and we were quickly back at the Metro station to head to the airport.
Thanks to the shuttle ride, we were early enough to the airport to be able to get dinner before leaving. We checked menus at a few places, and everything except for TGI Fridays was a seafood place. Fridays it was! (In their defense, their airport locations have several decent vegetarian options – that was not the case years ago – and incredibly friendly staff. So I can’t disparage TGI Fridays too much.) We got drinks and split a couple appetizers while watching planes on the tarmac.
We sped through security once again thanks to PreCheck, and boarded our flight shortly after. We had a brief layover in Detroit, where we sat watching the NBA playoffs on one of their gigantic TVs.
Back at MSP, we headed directly to the remote parking shuttle, which was sitting there waiting. Thanks to carry-on luggage and our efficient driver, we were home from the airport within 45 minutes of landing. How often does that happen?