The kids and I went to Air and Space in Chantilly (the better one) the other day (MLK day----"Sleep, sleep tonight, and may your dreams be realized..."). I am so unspontaneous. My friend Catherine called me in the morning and asked if I wanted to make a field trip with her and her brother's family (our pastor) to this museum. I was sitting in my pj's looking at the ceiling, making my oldest son take a spelling test. Actually, he wanted to take it, but that is a different subject altogether. I kept rolling the prospect around in my head while I was talking to her. I thought for a bit she was talking about the Air and Space in DC. I did not want to do that again. I mean, it reminded me of the nasty public school multi-purpose room where you had to sit on the old, thin floor because they refused to pull out chairs. All I remember is it smelled like sweat and bad breath. Air and Space was worse. It smelled like all this plus people were everywhere. Looking at engines and old space suits. Some of it was a 70's nightmare. I hate looking at old clunky data areas (I can't think of what they are called) and the buttons are all big and colorful---reminds me of the buttons on Darth Vader. Tin foil satellites and middle aged men who smell like b.o. with a beard so long they have to practically wrap it over their shoulder so it won't get in the way of their gesturing hands as they explain to some stander-by how "fascinating it all is". ---Not without loads of technical terms. You know the kind of guy I mean too. They have over-sized tinted sunglasses, a dirty ball cap, and a flannel. I know I am being mean, but kick me. So, I was thinking this kind of stuff when I was on the phone in the morning donning my pj's. Once Catherine cleared up that they were NOT going to the Air and Space in DC, I lit up and said, "Well, I have never been to the one over here before..." Catherine is so patient with me as you will soon see. She said, "Do you want me to make the decision for you?" I love her. She knows me too well. I laughed so hard and said, "Yes, I think I will go but I will ask the kids first!" They were of course, on board and I got ready and off we went.
I will say that on first impression it was great. I mean, I hate all that stuff, but the place was made of metal (I believe it was a hanger) and it was clean, sleek, and smelled fine. I think I could have licked the floor of the place, it was so clean. When we were on top of the observation tower it smelled like alcohol. I think it was because some trusty worker went in there before onlookers and disinfected the railings! Bless them! It was overall a good time except when my four year old daughter cried for fifteen minutes because she was "bored" and "hated engines"! I felt the same way, believe me and maybe would have cried if it were acceptable for adults to do, but I had to keep up appearances and act like everything was so fascinating to the boys, who were surprisingly bored too until the Claire's came. Once the Claire's came it was like the world changed from dreary to amazingly beautiful because Catherine (whom my daughter had heard all about but never played with) was there. She and the Claire's daughter played with Catherine and held her hands and all was well. Planes suddenly turned into an adventure and joy filled the earth again. My oldest whined about his feet hurting and my youngest boy whined about how he did not like the planes. I tried my best to muster up some sort of fun thing about them. Eventually we ate and then they didn't complain anymore. Oh brother.
I know it sounds like I hated it there. I didn't hate it. I would not say that. It is just like when my husband asks me to watch football with him. I never watch it. I don't really know how. I sit there and look at the opposite wall or out the window. It is not that I hate football, I just have no idea how to find enjoyment in it unless someone comes alongside and tells me some fun things about it. It was good my pastor was there because he told me some snippets of things about the various planes and such that helped me to enjoy the experience more. When we went to A&P in DC it was nice because my husband knew about everything and he could tell me all sorts of stuff. Men are great for this. Maybe even the ones that smell like b.o. and wear dirty ball caps. I can't believe I said that.