D.C. Day 4 – Museum of the Bible & National Gallery of Art

Our 4th and final day in D.C. started with an annoyingly late bus and then long shuttle and metro ride haha … but we finally made it to the Museum of the Bible. This one isn’t a free Smithsonian but I believe it’s worth the money. However, the sad news I have to report is that by Day 4 my brain couldn’t absorb any more information and my neck was killing me because of how long I had been looking up at ceilings combined with trying to do pull ups at the campground fitness area haha. So I was a mess and I really just couldn’t process anything. I think Brandon could have stayed in this museum all day. But I just couldn’t do it! For those with lower brain capacity it was still interesting to see the artifacts from Israel and Rome around the time of Jesus:

The museum really did seem interesting with so many various sections like the Bible’s impact on America… and the Bible’s impact on so many areas of life like fashion, art, humanitarian work. I think the museum did a good job explaining Thomas Jefferson’s views and didn’t sugar coat what a complex character he was and how very non-christian he was in many beliefs.

I really enjoyed seeing an original copy of a book that included Phyllis Wheatley’s poem – the girls and I really admire her! It was interesting to see how many of our first leaders were christians and had a very strong understanding of and love of the Bible. Too bad I really couldn’t process anything and mostly just wandered around with my mouth hanging open trying to absorb any small bits of information I could here and there haha.

On another level there was a section that was a re-creation of Galilee at the time of Jesus and we did enjoy that and trying to picture what daily life could have been like for Jesus and his disciples:

But THIS exhibit topped the cake for me and made it worth the money and the wandering:

Elisabeth Elliot and her daughter Val and son in law Walt have had such a HUGE impact on our lives and I loved seeing her honored. It was so great to see more artifacts from the Waodani and all Elisabeth’s work in getting down their language. I think I’ve read almost all of her books by now and she is definitely at the top of my list of authors who the Lord has used to transform my life. The girls were excited every time they saw a picture of Ms Val and Raymond liked the pictures of the MAF plane. Really as many times as I’ve heard the story, read the story, watched the story… it’s still so impactful every time. How the Lord has used Jim Elliot and Elisabeth Elliot AND Walt & Val is just amazing and we are so grateful for them!

Another tourist tip: skip the expensive food carts & trucks and just google & be willing to walk a block or 2 away from the mall and you’ll find regularly priced places like Subway! After our Subway break we were back to the National Gallery of Art. We did visit this earlier in the week and we loved it SOO much!!! It’s FREE and all 5 of us said it was one of the best parts of the trip. We were so surprised at how much we all enjoyed it. I feel like we could have spent days and days there.

I wonder if we are just not museum people anymore… or were we simply missing beauty / nature after all the city life ? Were we craving quiet ? Just needing to give our brains a break? I don’t know what it was… but we LOVED this gallery.

I sat and looked at this painting for probably 10 minutes with tears rolling down my eyes. I have no idea why haha It was just SO beautiful. Nature is God’s art and I am just AMAZED that He would create men that could paint His creation and make it look soooo real. I wish I could paint like this. So many of these landscapes looked like photography! Even Raymond who resisted coming into the gallery looked like an ole art connoisseur enjoying them all:

Aren’t they amazing!? Any that had teal in them definitely drew me in. I want to hang them in my house!

Ohhh and then the Monet’s!!! So wonderful to see them in person after learning about him from MomMom & our homeschool group over the years:

Evelyn loved seeing the Degas which hangs in her dance studio:

And the still lifes — they look like photos!!! And we loved seeing the painting by American Benjamin West (Colonel Guy Johnson and Karonghyontye) because we have liked him ever since reading Benjamin West & His Cat Grimalkin:

And 2 of the most famous paintings of Presidents. Funny to read about the painter Gilbert Stuart and what a shrewd businessman he was. He knew “he was going to make a fortune off of Washington alone”:

The museums and gallery all close at 5 (gasp) so we dragged our worn-out bodies outside and the girls tried to capture some art of their own. They were the photographers with my good camera this trip and loved it so much so they are hoping to take a class:

For a quick review of the campground:

Cherry Hill RV Park (20 miles north of DC) really was a great park and we loved the site (roomy, bushes in between, patio), the pools, hot tub and mini golf:

As mentioned we enjoyed our morning work outs at the fitness area (even if I hurt my neck). And even though we bought our own food to cook (so funny to think I cooked outside like this every day for 9 months!) – it was really convenient to get snacks, meals, and ice cream and just charge it to your site.

I’d mentioned it on an earlier post but basically to get into the city you can *usually* just take a metro bus right from the campground to college park metro station and the metro is soo quick and of course doesn’t have to deal with the road traffic. But the week we were here 4 metro stations were down so we had to take the metro bus to college park and then catch another shuttle to Fort Totten and THEN we would be at the metro. It doesn’t seem like it would be a huge deal… but depending on the day the road traffic was terrrrible and it was tiring.

The easiest day was when we paid the extra money to take a tour bus right from the campground to the National Mall.

Another tip for the campers that have a smaller RV or car with them. Just drive to Fort Totten and park there to catch the metro.

We enjoyed the experiences on the various transportation modes … but all 5 of us agreed we thank the Lord for where we live…we are not city people 🙂

So that’s it!!! We ended our last day in D.C. with lots of overtired giggles and a recap of all we learned… our fave things (Capitol Tour, going up the Washington Monument, Art Gallery) …. and our least fave things (too many bus and metro transfers… people who don’t step aside when crossing paths… and power hungry security guards trying to stress us out barking too many orders at once and way too loudly).

Here are 2 fun facts/ stories I didn’t include in earlier posts I have to share:

1. On the tip top of the Washington Monument in 1884 an aluminum tip called an apex was placed and on the East side it has inscribed, “Laus deo” Praise be to God in Latin.

2. Would you believe me if I told you the 10th President of the United States born in 1790 has a grandson and great grandson alive today? It’s true!!! The history of the United States can seem so long and it could be so many generations but it can also be only a few generations! President John Tyler, 10th President and also a fierce devotee of the Constitution, was born when Washington was president. His first wife died while he was in office and he remarried and had 7 children with his next wife. One of which (Lyon) was born when he was 63 years old. (Lyon became the President of the College of William & Mary where his father graduated from.) Lyon’s first wife also died and he remarried and had a son, Harrison Ruffin Tylor, born in 1928 when Lyon was 75. Harrison Ruffin Taylor, the grandson of President Tyler is still living today in Virginia. He was born into the poverty of the Great Depression and was homeschooled his whole life but was sent a check to fund his college education from FDR, a close friend to his father Lyon. He was able to go to William & Mary, graduate with a Chemistry degree, run a successful water treatment company, and buy Sherwood Forest Plantation where his grandfather President Tyler spent the last 20 years of his life. His son William now runs this as a historical landmark and tour site.

Isn’t that incredible?! America is FULL of so many great stories!

So that concludes our DC trip! 🙂 We enjoyed this time away so much and are so grateful for the getaway and for sweet friends taking such good care of Sarabi so we could make this happen! Are any of us now inspired to work for the government or go into politics!? Nope. But our appreciation for America and history has certainly increased. The girls are ready to start our study of American History this year!

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