I’m on vacation for most of the month of July. My brother Mark and his daughter Shannon joined me for a trip to the east coast and Canada. My sister Fay will meet us in middle of the trip and make the rest of the journey with us.

Mark, Shannon, and I took a red-eye flight from Oakland CA to Washington DC on the night of the Fourth of July. The flight, which was smooth and comfortable, arrived at Dulles Airport near Washington on schedule at 7 AM on Thursday, July 5. We rented a car, a 2012 Toyota Camry, at Dulles and made the short drive to Washington DC.

The Holiday Inn in Washington DC allowed us check in to one of our two rooms early, at 9 AM. We dropped our bags into that room and headed to the National Mall for a few hours while waiting for our second hotel room to become available.

Our next stop was the National Air and Space Museum. That’s only a block away. Mark and I visited the National Air and Space Museum during previous trips to Washington, but this was Shannon’s first visit and we’re all looking forward to it.

We spent about 90 minutes browsing through the exhibits on the first floor of the museum. We grew tired quickly, after having taken a red-eye flight to Washington that arrived earlier on this same morning, so we postponed our browsing of the second floor of the museum until the weekend. The museum is only one block away from our hotel, so it will be easy to head back to the museum to check out the second floor.