Last Day on the East Coast

National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy CenterThis morning we woke up to find that we were the only ones in the Dunn house. We weren’t surprised, though – we had been prewarned that Katy and her mom would probably go to the beach to pick up her youngest sister Erin, while Maura had to go babysit their niece and Katy’s dad had to go to work. So, we got ourselves all ready and then tried to figure out how to entertain ourselves for the day.

We decided it would be a good idea to eat a big breakfast so we wouldn’t have to worry about lunch, then plan on having an early dinner at the airport. But how to keep ourselves busy during the day was more of a challenge. The weather was (of course) hot and sticky, and we didn’t want to do too much outdoor activity and get all yucky before getting on the plane. The previous week, we contemplated the idea of going to the new annex of the Air & Space Museum out by Dulles, but killed the idea because they were charging $12 for parking. But it seemed like a good choice for today.

So we went to the Silver Diner in Rockville for breakfast. The food was good and not too expensive, and it was very good people-watching. When we got there, we were seated right away. It turned out we got there at the right time – when we left, there was a line out the door.

Then we drove to Dulles Airport… basically inadvertently, because we thought that’s how to get to the museum, but it turned out we were supposed to take the Toll Road instead. But it turned out to be a good thing that we went to the airport and turned around, because then we didn’t have to pay the toll. There’s a good tip for any of you who might be interested in visiting the Air & Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Enola Gay at Udvar-HazyThe new annex of the Air & Space Museum out by Dulles is a former airplane hangar that now displays the bulk of the museum’s collection of planes. It was very cool. Some highlights were the Blackbird, the world’s fastest jet plane (went from LA to Washington in 1 hour, 4 minutes 20 seconds), the Enola Gay, the Concorde, and the space shuttle Enterprise. They also had a lot of fascinating old computers and other controller equipment, including the UNIVAC. We had a good time and it turned out to be a good choice. It was also the perfect amount of time – we were pretty much ready to leave right about the time we needed to head to the car rental return.

Returning the rental car was relatively hassle free, and then we took the shuttle back to the airport. Thankfully, there was no line for JetBlue and it took us no time to check in. (The line for Lufthansa’s flight to Frankfurt was another story… there was a line all the way down the front of the airport.) We hiked all the way to the B Terminal and hung out for a while. Airports aren’t too bad when they’re quiet. We had dinner at the Sam Adams Brewhouse in Dulles Airport and it wasn’t too bad.

The trip was relatively uneventful, other than the fact that we sat at the gate in Dulles for 30 minutes past the original ETD, because some of the baggage scanners at the airport broke and a lot of the luggage got to the plane late. But we ended up back in San Diego not too much later than the originally scheduled arrival time.

It’s great to be home! We’re looking forward to sleeping in our own bed tonight.

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