Washington, DC Getaway – Part 2

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Our second and final day with Granny Duck had us all taking a morning tour of Artechouse’s exhibit, “Spirit of Autumn”.  Yet, this was not to happen at our scheduled 10am tour time. Instead, we were treated with the arrival of several firefighters. Apparently, someone’s car in the building’s garage caught on fire. This led to an all out evacuation of the building. So, no morning tour for us. The fire was eventually put out and people allowed back in. But, the exhibit officials needed time to air out the smoke smell. Therefore, we were given the option of a refund or re-booking. We opted for an afternoon re-booking, especially since Granny Duck was catching the train back to Virginia later that afternoon.

In order to pass the time, my lil’ road dog and I visited the International Spy Museum. I was able to acquire a Groupon at the last minute, which made it that much more cost effective. Granny Duck wasn’t interested, so she sat out in the lobby window, made a few business calls, and worked on her iPad. Once you enter the exhibit, you are able to gain access to the world’s largest collection of international espionage artifacts. Guests are able to adopt a cover, break codes, identify disguised spies, and become the subjects of covert surveillance throughout their visit. Through the various interactive exhibits with state-of-the-art audiovisual effects, film and hands-on components, the International Spy Museum traces the evolution of espionage through the people who practice the profession and provides a context for guests to interpret the role intelligence plays in current events. The Museum’s permanent exhibition showcases the ingenuity and imagination of real-life spies and spymasters. We were also treated to their special exhibit, “Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of James Bond Villains”. This allowed us to meet 007’s villains, uncover their evil schemes, and explore their exotic lairs and weapons in this showcase. He loved every minute of it! It was a great experience and time killer.

Finally, it was time for us to return to Artechouse for our tour. It was well worth all the trouble. This exhibit is awe inspiring, unlike any art gallery any of us have ever experienced. It’s a multi-sensory experience that encourages children and adults to engage and collaboratively transform the exhibit space into a fall digital playground. We all got to color a paper leaf, then watch our creations transform into digital objects by seeing them come to life on an over 270 degree wall projection. Our leaves magically traveled around the gallery screens, giving life to a forest floor in “Through the Leaves” and in “Autumn Dance”. Their motion and gestures filled the gallery floor with swirling gushes of fall colors.

Our time with Granny Duck was coming to an end. Therefore, we escorted her back to Washington’s Union Station so she could head home. It was truly a lovely, but short, visit.

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