Our 2003 Road Trip, Part 7 of 7: This Americana Life

children's television!

Oscar the Grouch! Mr. Rogers! Howdy Doody! The Flintstones! Rocky and Bullwinkle! Bugs Bunny! Face it, true believer — this museum’s got ’em all!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: our fifth annual road trip became our first family road trip as we jettisoned our convention plans and took my son to scenic Washington DC to learn history and significance and architecture and so forth. We took a handful of photos using ye olde 35mm film when we weren’t busy corralling and entertaining the boy.

After three straight days and several aggregate miles of walking our nation’s capital and one amusement park of questionable safety, we three were wrecked. If you use a DC map to retrace the itinerary of our Tuesday and Thursday excursions, it would look like one of those old Family Circus cartoons where Billy has to walk from the front gate to the front door, and his dotted trail shows you the twenty-seven stops he made along the way first. At the end of it all, our feet were just about in need of sole transplants, and the sunburn around my neck and shoulders was blistering. Anne was slightly better off but carrying her own battle damage. My son, the most resilient of us three, was just pretty tired.

After the subway dropped us off at the Smithsonian station for the last time, we wanted to brave just one more stop that sounded right up our alley: the National Museum of American History. Just one more museum. That’s all we asked.

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