When Katie was in town, we did everything touristy one can imagine, including going to most of the Smithsonian Institute Museums. The most popular of all the museums is the National Air and Space museum on the Mall, which is the most-visited museum in the world with anywhere from 9 million to 10 million visitors annually. It's open every day except Dec. 25.
The museum is so worth the crowds, which weren't too bad on the day we visited. First, there's a new exhibit, America by Air, which explores the evolution of commercial air travel in America. There's also the interactive display, How Thing Fly, which is a must-see if you're visiting with children because it features a series of interactive displays. Another favorite is Space Race, which chronicles how America and the former Soviet Union battled to get to the moon first during the Cold War.
But our favorite by far was the Treasures of the American History Museum. The museum itself is under construction until 2008, but the best of the collection is on display in a tiny hall on the second floor. There you can see Kermit the Frog, Dorothy's ruby red slippers, Mr. Roger's cardigan, the puffy shirt from Seinfeld, the hat Abraham Lincoln wore when he was assassinated and Julia Child's hand-written recipes. It's a fabulous display.
But, to the food. One of the most popular items in the vast and impressive Smithsonian Store is the astronaut food, which they say was served abroad space shuttles. It's dehydrated ice cream in either Neapolitan or ice cream sandwiched in between two cookies. They also have strawberries, but I feel like astronauts were more likely to eat something more substantive.
At any rate, we tried the Neapolitan and I think it was $4. It only has 130 calories for this block and wasn't very filling, unsurprisingly. It reminded me of an after-dinner meltaway mint. It became a little more creamy as it melted in your mouth and did taste like ice cream. My favorite was the strawberry portion and my sister liked the strawberry the best. It was a tasty treat, but I wish I could have tried something more meal-like.