Today was all about spying!
We went to the International Spy Museum just a couple blocks north of the National Archives (around 9th and F st).
Good museum dedicated to the art, and gadgets, of spying.
They take you through the history of espionage from the early days (roman times) right through to current day threats like Cyber Crime and those international terrorists and extremists.
They have lots of hands on exhibits, interactive (touchscreen) displays and artifacts or recreations of artifacts. They even have a full size replica of James Bond's Astin Martin (you know the one with rotating number plate and bullet proof shield). The car cycles through the features, awesome!
There's a good exhibit on cryptanalysis and the code breaking of WWII at Bletchly park.
It's perhaps a bit overwhelming for the kids. Too much info to take in. Ben had had enough by the time we got to the cold war, so we had to zip through that a little faster than I would have liked. It looked like a great exhibit, detailing tunnels that ran under the East Berlin and all about the selling of atomic secret to the USSR.
We stayed in the museum until about 1pm (we got there around opening time at 10am), but that wasn't the end of our spying activities for the day!
The spy museum has a "Spy in the City" game, where you get to go on a mission around DC looking for clues, retrieving microdot messages and collecting fingerprints of enemy operatives, in order to solve a mystery and deactivate an terror cells concealed device!
It's very well done! Great for the 9 year old sleuthes in your party. You are basically kitted out with a GPS enabled PDA-like device (your 'COBRA' unit) which 'receives' messages, documents and video instructions about the mission as you hunt for clues (usually on famous landmarks) around the NW DC area.
That's all I'm at liberty to disclose ;)
It was a fun few hours, despite the torrential rain that started about an hour into the game. The museum claims it's a 90 minute game, but it certainly took us longer. Also, I don't think we really needed three units (one each). I think I'd recommend just getting one (if you can get away with that). They did charge $14 per player!
We exited the Spy Museum's gift shop, crossed the road and entered Gordon Biersch. Dinner was a very nice Spinach Salad, with Salmon, accompanied by three glasses of 'Festbier', their current seasonal brew. Festbier is an unfiltered lager and very nice too.
As is customary on Sagar vacations, the day ended with a trip to the hotel swimming pool.