The tall boy ditched the gaggle of girls (i.e. us) as soon as we hit Union Station for our big city adventure last week. He was a man with a mission, and he headed straight to the Library of Congress.
He is old enough now to get a Library of Congress card, which grants him reading room privileges and access to most of the Library's resources. This is really just the coolest thing ever, as far as he is concerned -- and I have to say I agree with him. He can now go sit in the shockingly lovely main Reading Room and studiously peruse books brought to him by gracious and knowledgeable librarians. It's geek heaven, I'm telling you.
tangent: The Library of Congress main Reading Room was one of the stars of the second National Treasure movie.
another tangent: So you have to have a reason for requesting privileges at the Library of Congress, and "because it would be the coolest thing ever" is not considered to be a good enough excuse. When I asked the boy what reason he gave when he requested his card, he didn't miss a beat when he responded, "I'm studying the root causes of World War I, with an emphasis on the Wilsonian response to European aggression." Didn't practice that in front of the mirror too much, did he?
From the Library of Congress the tall boy walked down Capitol Hill and on to the National Mall, so he could go to his absolute favorite museum ever: the National Air and Space Museum . . .
. . . where he saw this painting, which was created by a real live Apollo astronaut, which is really just so cool, don't you think? The tall boy sure did. He waxed all eloquent about how Alan Bean uses his astronaut stuff as he paints his pieces -- for example, you can see texture created by boot prints on this painting, and those actual boots walked on the actual moon! For real!
"Reading Room": Library of Congress gift shop
"First Men: Neil Armstrong": Alan Bean, 2007/National Air and Space Museum
"The Sacrament of the Last Supper": Salvador Dali, 1955/National Gallery of Art