DC is cool. With my brother, his wife and our three nieces in tow, we took the Metro from Bethesda into the city, switched trains only once and emerged just a few blocks from the Smithsonian. While visiting The Air & Space Museum (see video) we saw an impressive collection of drones, an aircraft carrier exhibit, a recreation of the Apollo-Soyuz test project and even went on a flight simulator ride (Cosmic Coaster! Yeah!)  We were in awe of the sheer magnitude of the museum. With two massive floors of exhibits, it’s likely to warrant another trip.

We stayed until the museum closed, gathering in the front lobby to discuss the possibility of walking to a restaurant. Our plans were fouled, however, by an enormous downpour which began precisely at 5:30 PM just as museum staff began herding visitors towards the doors.  With admirably callous aplomb, the Museum staff literally pushed our tentative group out into the torrential downpour that awaited. It was as if we were standing on the crest of some terrible wave and were forced to dive in!  My little nieces and I made a chain, frantically grasping hands as we stepped out into the huge, driving dollops, shocked mostly by the fact the with very little warning, we had been cast out into the rain.

And so began the screaming.

We regrouped beneath the shelter of a tiny kiosk across the street and decided to start walking back to the Metro, rain and all. We even decided to enjoy it a bit, stomping in puddles and wandering through a deserted sculpture garden on the way. It seemed appropriate, seeing that we weren’t going to get any drier by complaining!

After arriving home, each of us in one piece (albeit soggy and chilled) we went out for a nice dinner.  The girls’ spirits were amazingly buoyant throughout the whole experience, even to the point of laughing as we wrung water out of our shirts by the bucket-loads as we waited for the train.

Lesson learned? If you’re going to get caught in a downpour, be sure to do it with kids who know how to turn it into fun. Oh, and maybe throw an umbrella in that day bag.  Just in case ...