Museums and Metallica in the nation's Capitol
Washington, Washington D.C.
Our next stop on our US tour was none other than the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. It's no exaggeration to say that Jess was dreading this part of the trip. She was justifiably concerned that, as the Washington visit devolved into a nerd-fest of one museum after another, she would succumb to a boredom-induced coma. She ended up being partially right on the first aspect and totally wrong on the latter. The D.C. visit was dominated by museums. But Jess loved every single one of them!
Our entire first day in D.C. was spent roaming through the Air and Space Museum, checking out artefacts from the famous Apollo missions, WWI and WWII aircrafts, and various commercial aeroplanes. It was only when we got chatting with our cab driver on the way back to our apartment that we realised there was another, much larger Air and Space Museum out near the airport. Our cabbie informed us that this museum housed the Discovery space shuttle (which completed 30 successful return voyages into space) and the Enola Gay (the bomber that re-landscaped parts of Japan by dropping the first atom bomb in WWII). So, as you might have guessed by now, day 2 of our D.C. visit was spent at that Air and Space museum.
As well as the Air and Space museums, I managed to get a tour of the Captiol building while Jess visited the Museum of Natural History. I eventually joined Jess at the Natural History museum and together we submitted photos of our faces to a computer that simulated what we would have looked like if we were Neanderthals. These pictures can be found here http://www.offexploring.com/gaz-jess-and-the-world-2014/albums/museums-and-metallica-in-the-nations-capitol/13315644 and here http://www.offexploring.com/gaz-jess-and-the-world-2014/albums/museums-and-metallica-in-the-nations-capitol/13315645 I've looked at my photo a thousand times and, I don't know about you, but I can't tell the bloody difference! I reckon that simulator was on the fritz…
We broke away from the museum theme for an evening to attend a free concert in the National Mall for Veteran's Day (or Remembrance Day for those of you playing back home in Aus). The concert was attended by a lazy 800,000 people and featured such headline acts as Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters (yawn), Zac Brown Band, Rhianna and Eminem (because nothing says "salute your veterans" like some two bit criminal who sings about glorifying rape and imaginary fights that he's never been in…but I digress).
Anybody who knows me well would know that Bruce Springsteen is a pretty big deal to me - as both a song writing influence and as simply one of the coolest 60-something year olds on the planet (Jess always jokes that I'm an old man trapped in young fella's body). I'm also quite the Metallica fan. So this was about as good a line-up as I could hope for. Jess was also excited as she was a Foo Fighters fan and really took a liking to the Zac Brown Band who followed up Dave Grohl's set. Then came the Boss.
Brucey was good but, without the E-street band behind him (he played solo acoustic), he just didn't have the same manic energy for which his live shows are known. Metallica on the hand…. Wow. They absolutely owned the night with a relentless set of their early thrash metal classics "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Master of Puppets" and "Enter Sandman". The servicemen and veterans in attendance went absolutely bananas while Metallica tore the crowd a new poophole. They came, the saw, they conquered and, to quote James Hetfield "finally got to play in front of their heroes". Night over. Rhianna and Eminem were up next but the crowd had checked out and were on their way home.
And we were on our way to our next stop: Nashville, TN