- Taking my two year old daughter to Sesame Place and having her ask me to go on this ride. She wasn't frightened until it reached the peek and then plummeted... Then rose again, then dropped again... Over and over. I felt so awful hearing her scream. "I don' like it! I don' like it!" But when it was over, she tried to save face by shouted "Yaaay!" My husband said "Yay? Was that cool?", to which she responded "Yeaaah!" "Do you want to go on it again?" She paused and quietly said "No."
- Seeing the Jim Henson exhibit. They had more samples of hand written notes, storyboards, sketches, paintings, prints and ideas left undeveloped than actual puppets. They did have the original Snowths and a later reproduction of the original Mahna Mahna guy. They had a lot on his early years as a maker of charming little commercials, such as Wilkins and Wontkins, which almost invariable involve explosions. Apparently they were pretty innovative in terms of exploring the entertainment value of a well done advertisement. Once they realized that the short, snazzy format of commercials appealed greatly to kids, this led to the basic structure of Sesame Street. Which, of course, parents later complained about saying that it caused their kids to acquire Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
- The exhibit also included a lot of little film clips of interviews, sketches, bits of his short movies and one of them included clips of his kids' shows and my daughter made a delightful spectacle of herself at that one. When the good old fashioned Sesame Street theme song came on (not the newer version which hurts my brain), she promptly abandoned her seat and danced. The Muppet Show came on, and once again she leapt up and danced, shouting out "KERMIT! FOZZIE! GONZO!" When Fraggle Rock came on, however, she went all out. She clapped at the appropriate times ("Dance your cares away *clap clap* etc.) and I heard a parent turn to her spouse and say "Boy, she likes her Fraggle Rock." Her own kid hadn't even heard of Fraggle Rock. While that won't get me parenting awards, I felt pleased.
- Getting a 4 star room for $80 a night thanks to Hotwire.
- The free museums. Museums rock. Free ones rock even more so when you've got a toddler and you don't know if she'll last too long and the prospect of paying for entry is daunting.
- Seeing the Washington Monument, WWII memorial, Korean War memorial, Lincoln Monument, Vietnam War memorial, Albert Einstein monument, White House, and other fantastic structures. I may not know much about architecture, but I can appreciate it.
- Seeing my two year hold up her index and little finger and saying "Sign of the debil" All thanks to daddy, of course. You're explaining that one to daycare, darling.
- Trying tripe stew. Unidentifiable bits of cow in a mild curry? Perfect. I also enjoyed She-crab soup, but was disappointed that "scrapple" wasn't available at some place we stopped off at on our way home. It appeals to my sense of "waste not, want not". I also agree with Anthony Bourdain that often food that is born out of necessity can often prove to be quite delightful and robust.
- One thing I didn't find funny, but must mention, was some poor lady who was on a Segway tour of DC. She started to falter as the whole group turned in front of the White House and she seemed unable to do so, so her husband reached out, presumably to help her turn, but instead succeeded in completely unbalancing her. She fell and her helmet cracked against the floor with such force I was amazed to see she hadn't lost consciousness. Had she not been wearing the helmet, I'm fairly confident it would have looked like a stunt from a Gallagher show. I felt bad for the poor lady. I'm hoping the only thing really damaged was the promotion of Segway tours.
Anyway, I must catch up on my TV shows now, so if you'll excuse me, I'm predicting Mark will be the next guy booted off of So You Think You Can Dance. Yes, we watch that show. I have no shame.