Sunday, March 26

Celebrating Tradition: Cherry Blossom Festival

Yesterday my wife and I enjoyed the all-American tradition of the yearly kite festival. We drove down to Arlington, and took the metro to the mall. We got to walk around, watch kids running around and flying kites (and some adults acting like kids with their kites), and we watched some trick kite competition. It was an amazing site. If you missed it this year, make it a point to make it next year.

I thought I would share some fotos for everyone to see.

Of course, I had never been to the National Air & Space Museum, so we took the time to walk around the exibits. I was excited to see SpaceShipOne on display in the main entry hall. It was right there next to the Spirit of Saint Louis, and the X-1. The connection between the Spirit of Saint Louis and SpaceShipOne being the X-Prize competition, which motivated in part the whole SpaceShipOne project. I love this stuff!

I got to watch the award winning launch, and to see the ship in person was great. I'm one of those kids that wanted to be an astronaut, but gave up the dream for goals that where within my capacity. Maybe, just maybe, I still can make that dream a reality.

Then of course, there was the Wright Brother's 1903 Flyer. I enjoyed walking through the display, and reading up on the details of the historical brothers.
The Flyer, designed and built by the Wright brothers, was one step in a broad experimental program that began in 1899 with their first kite and concluded in 1905, when they built the first truly practical airplane. The basic problems of mechanical flight, lift, propulsion, and control were solved in the Wright design.
I studied this in school, of course, but the museum had interesting facts that added to my knowledge. Amazing what these two guys did.

Overall, I had an awesome weekend. My feet were tired from all the walking, but it was worth it. I'm looking forward to visiting their other location some time in the future. It's weekends like these that remind me just how great nation we live in.