How could you not want to live in those houses? Especially since they're across the street from the Library of Congress and the Folger Shakespeare Library! Throw in a Cafe Rio on the other side, and my own little 1-block Eden would be complete!
The interior botanical gardens were closed by the time I got back to the Smithsonian area, but their outdoor gardens were still open. I wandered around them for a while, then found a quiet bench in the shade and pulled out my Kindle. to alternate reading and eavesdropping on the conversations of the other tourists passing by.
|Where I read|
|An Alice-in-Wonderlandian Fountain|
On Tuesday I went to the National Postal Museum. The thought of an entire museum dedicated to the Postal Service entertained me, and I wanted to see just what they did to make it "Interactive!" as their advertisements promised.
The interior of the building, which they share with the Bureau of Labor, is cool looking:
and, true to Smithsonian form, when you first enter the museum you are greeted by various vehicles:
They had an old-fashioned train car where you could try your hand at sorting mail:
Old-Timey video viewers:
A stage-coach you could hop into for a photo-op with some creepy cream-colored plastic people:
A Post-Office version of the Oregon Trail you could play on a touch-table:
And a passage where you could "trace the route the mail carriers of the Old West took!" complete with painted snow and hatchet-marked trees:
Aside from the "history of the mail" exhibits, the other exhibits focused on how awesome the postal system is. For example, they have displays of the Unabomber's handcuffs and an extortionist letter from a 1920's gangster which illustrate how postal workers help fight terrorism. Or, there's the way that the postal system supports the First Amendment:
by delivering newspapers:
About 1/3 of the museum is dedicated to stamps. There is a room that goes through the ABCs of stamp collecting:
And another room that houses hundreds of examples of domestic and international stamps in shelves that you can pull out to explore:
My favorite part of the museum, though, was the part that summed up the true post office experience:
When I went to buy stamps, the post office was closed for lunch.