Today was our first full day of the Big Adventure (though the road trip “Victory Lap” doesn’t actually begin until Friday). We had a leisurely morning and then drove to Quantico, Virginia to visit the Marine Corps Museum. It was a bit of a drive for a family about to embark on a long, long, LONG driving trip, but it was worth it.
I took this picture of Allison and Dana in front of the museum.
We took a couple photos and went right upstairs to the Devil Dog Diner (pretty much a mess hall) and had lunch. Then we made our way through the exhibits. Allison was afraid of the dark parts and the noisy parts and was a bit of a pain. But she did have fun in the two kid-friendly areas where she got to visit a ship’s deck, dress up, and read a book.
I really wanted to get an artistic profound picture of the footprints exhibit, but Allison would not cooperate, and this is what I ended up with. When I looked over my photos this evening, though, I decided I really like this.
One of the exhibits we really liked was about the President’s Own, a Marine Corps Orchestra. There was a huge video display and you press a button to select which song you want them to play. Then the video curtain draws back, the conductor introduces the song and then you get the whole orchestra playing for you. A lot of John Philip Sousa. Allie liked dancing to the music.
Dana particularly enjoyed the exhibits that went the extra mile in making it an immersive experience. For instance, in the Korean War gallery there is a room that represents “Frozen Chosin.” The room is actually chilly, and you feel as though you are a Marine waiting for daybreak in the Tok Tong Pass.
I liked the exhibit where you walk through a camp tent supposedly in the Philippines. You hear the sound of night insects and a video screen behind the far wall of the tent looks just like fire lit shadows.
We had a great time at the museum, though if Allison had been in a more cooperative mood I would have liked to spend more time reading all of the information or using the audio guide. Maybe when she’s older.
When we got back to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Dana’s mom and step-dad (henceforth known as MeMaw and PePaw) had arrived from Austin, TX. We haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving 2012, so it was great to catch up over dinner at The Ruddy Duck in nearby Dowell, MD.
Tomorrow is Dana’s retirement ceremony, capping off twenty years of service to our country. I’m gonna cry.