Washington DC

I was in DC for a sales conference and the wife & kids tagged along. As we walked by the Washington Monument, I thought about this picture. I asked my kids if they remembered being here, their memory was hazy. I then asked them about the Lincoln Memorial. They said no. Then I asked if they remembered me taking them to a giant memorial with tons of steps and I told them at the top there was going to be a huge statue of me sitting on a couch, but when they got to the top, it was Abraham Lincoln instead? YES, they remembered that!

In between meetings, I managed to take the kids to the Ford Theater where Lincoln was assassinated, continues to be one of my favorite historical places. The park ranger gave a great presentation on the events that took place, scared the kids a little bit, but I am sure the experience will stick.

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On Sunday, I dragged the gang to the Air & Space museum. This is one of the places I remember seeing as a child, what a place to spark your imagination. I was especially interested as I had just finished reading, The Right Stuff, about the test pilots who flew rocket planes and became our country’s first astronauts. I was like a little kid taking pictures of the X-15:

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People do a lot of crazy things, but I cannot imagine a crazier thing than flying the X-15. The X-15 took off like a typical airplane and landed like a typical airplane, but it was a rocket. This airplane set all kinds of records and established the boundaries of speed & altitude of flying, here are a couple records worth noting (keep in mind that achieved an altitude of greater than 50 miles was considered reaching space and you received astronaut wings):

Highest flight in X-15 was set by Joseph Walker in 1963, 67 miles up (over 350,000 feet up)

A speed of 3,831 MPH was reached in 1962, keep in mind, the jet from Top Gun (F-14) flies at 1,544 MPH.

These planes & pilots were just insane.

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This is the real Wright Brothers plane, pretty amazing to see the difference a 60 years can make.

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Stayed at a nice hotel, Winston enjoyed the reading light. When he gets a book, he typically reads the entire thing in a single night. This is what happened on Friday night.

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