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Spotsylvania, VA and Wash., D.C. II

Back in Spotsylvania in the Wilderness Resort again to try and finish up touring the Smithsonian. I saw all the memorials, etc. last time but had no time to see the Smithsonian museums. I wasn’t all that crazy about staying at the Wilderness Resort last time due to issues with a neighbor and a poor site. This time, I got a much better site in a different section down by the lake. It was level, well defined, good utilities in the RIGHT places, and nicer neighbors around me. I had to stop at the local Walmart on the way to kill some time before check-in time but I needed to get groceries anyway.

I was somewhat shocked when a guard at the gate recognized me and asked how the trip up North was. He was the one I called numerous times last time on the bad neighbor. A big problem with membership parks is members and full-timers that live in them tend to be a bit snooty and see you as an invader. Many also think they can act like they do at home with no consideration that RV walls are very thin and let all noises in (or out). This time there was also a neighbor problem though it was not as in my face this time. One of the owners in the next glen allows her grandkids to come to the park and use her RV without her there which is against the rules but apparently not enforced. They party loudly long into the night. Guards are called on them constantly but management does absolutely nothing to stop it. Some of the nearby site owners no longer use their sites but are stuck paying for them. They don’t want to come here to be tortured by the jerks. It’s a sad situation that will only be resolved in a court.

I called US Tours again. I had used them last time to tour all the memorials and they did a wonderful job. For $18 they will drop you off the second time around at the Smithsonian for the day and pick you up whenever you call. Considering the cost of gas and parking as well as the incredibly difficult traffic to drive in, it is worth every penny to go back in this way. Unfortunately, the museum I have now tried twice to see, the American History Museum, is still not open, still renovating. I settled for the Air and Space Museum. Don’t get me wrong, it is a wonderful place, It is just that I have worked at NASA so it is not exactly new to me. I did have a very good time though. I got to see the real Apollo 11 capsule, the real Spirit of St. Louis, the real Wright Brothers plane, the prototype of Voyager, a balloon capsule that went around the world, Skylab, a mockup of the inside of the space shuttle, John Glenn’s spacesuit. I touched a moon rock and a meteor. I saw my first IMAX show about flight. Through the wonders of Simulation, I went on a spacewalk around the new space lab and I rode a cosmic roller coaster around the planets. At the end of the day, it was sure nice to have someone else drive home and I enjoyed going in with a larger group this time.

I guess I will have to go back a third time next spring to catch the American History Museum too before I start heading back west.

See lots more pics here.

My previous posts on Spotsylvania and Washington, DC.

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