Our first full day in DC we spent primarily at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum out by Dulles Airport. I think this it the holy shrine of Stanfill-Man-Nerd-dom as evidenced by the clearly thrilled look on these guys' faces as they hop into a little Cessna and learn to take off together: I will say, I found myself blown away by this museum -- it was totally awesome, even for a girl who knows nothing about planes. We arrived just in time to take the "highlights" tour, which we thought would be nice to start us off. We were warned that it might be a little long, maybe even an hour and a half. Well, we thought, we've got all day why not. Our tour guide took us around and told us the best stories about the planes there -- like this shiny little bit of bling that used to shuttle Hollywood starlets back and forth across the USA. Jed picked out a plane for everyone, and I chose this one. Gosh, it's just so pretty! Though an excellent storyteller, our tour guide we found to be a bit... long winded? After more than two hours of planes and stories, the kids were soooo burned out and we were all starving. We still weren't a third of the way through the hangar! But we decided to hop out of the tour and go catch some lunch. So we did miss the tour for the space shuttle, but we came back and walked around the space exploration exhibit a bit later that day: After a relaxing lunch consisting mainly of fries, which was our primary food source for the week (Really? Only McDonalds?), we headed back downstairs because we still really wanted to hear about the crown jewel of the exhibit - the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. Michael went by the tour desk and asked the man there if he would give us just that part of the tour, which he willingly agreed. He walked us over, and then just as he got into the details, who walked up before us but.... our original tour group. Um, awkward. "You stealing my folks?" asked our old tour guide as we squirmed. It was like meeting your boyfriend while out on a date with another man. Seriously? It was THREE HOURS since that tour started and the man was still going strong?! Unbelievable! Our new tour guide graciously handed us back over to our old tour guide and we finally got the scoop on this gorgeous machine: This is hands down one of the most beautiful pieces of engineering I have ever beheld. The photo doesn't even begin to convey how a) HUGE it is, and b) elegant it is. Really, it is amazing. Every person who walks in that hangar falls in love at first sight. Made the whole trip worth it. Then later we went up into the observation tower. The kids couldn't take their eyes off the view. We were there on a perfect day, the sky was crystal clear and you could see all the way to the horizon.