Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Your Guide to Roper Mountain Science Center

With summer vacation upon us, we put together this guide to Roper Mountain Science Center, one of our favorite places in Greenville. It has everything you need to know about the various trails, gardens and other features, as well as the must-attend event info and other tips to help make your time at RMSC this summer memorable for the whole family!


What is RMSC?

In the early 1980’s the Greenville County School District saw a need for a science center that could provide hands-on science enrichment activities to the district’s 68,000 students. In cooperation with the community and with corporate support, the Roper Mountain Science Center Association was born, opening its doors in 1985. Since then its annual student attendance has grown from 4,600 to over 120,000, with 400-600 students visiting every day for learning labs to supplement their classroom education.

However, RMSC isn’t just for Greenville County School students. The facilities are open to the general public during Second Saturday activities, Friday Starry Nights, and Butterfly Adventure as part of admission. Also, during the school year and during daylight hours, families can visit the nature trails, outdoor play area and gardens at no charge.

Exploring the Ecology Lab in Harrison Hall of Natural Sciences

What’s at RMSC?

The 62-acre campus is accessible from Roper Mountain Road, just north of the I-385 exit. A one-way, mile-long driving loop takes you to the various buildings, with three main parking areas located throughout. The largest of those is located just to your right as you enter, and is used for most large events with shuttle buses providing transportation among the various areas.

Just next to the parking lot is the amphitheater, familiar to many local families from Roper Mountain Science Center Holiday Lights. While the holiday light display celebrated its 26th and final season last year, visitors will soon be making new memories on the site of the old amphitheater; construction will soon begin on a 24,000-square-foot facility that officials say will focus on environmental science. The two-story facility is expected to open by 2022.

The RMSC Marine Lab is home to more than a few animals
Next on the loop is Harrison Hall of Natural Sciences, home to the Fred W. Symmes Tropical Rainforest Conservatory, Nancy Hall Eskew Rainforest Lab, the Daniel Keating Norris Discovery Room, the Palentology & Earth Science Labs, the Computer Lab, an Ecology Lab and Marine Lab. The Harrison Hall is open to the public only during special events, however there are plenty of opportunities to explore the newly renovated building during Second Saturday events and the upcoming month-long Butterfly Adventure (see events section below for more on these fantastic opportunities).

Related articles: The Ecology Lab at RMSC

At the very heart of RMSC is the Giant Dome Theater and Hooper Planetarium. The state-of-the-art planetarium opened in 1989 and just underwent a $1 million renovation, featuring a new 360° full immersion dome, 4K projection, state-of-the-art lighting, dynamic 5.1 surround sound, interactive lobby exhibits and more. The facility is open to the public during the Friday Starry Nights program (see more below in events section) and on 2nd Saturdays.

Hooper Planetarium

Adjacent to the planetarium is the Symmes Hall of Science, also newly renovated, and home to STEM, Physical Science, Weather and Forensics programs, as well as 300-seat Hipp Auditorium. Symmes is open to the public during special events.

At the east end of the campus is Daniel Observatory. Home to a 23″ refractor telescope which is the 8th largest of its kind in the US, the Observatory is open each Friday evening from 7-10pm for public observation. The facility is also utilized for astronomy classes, special events, and organized activities by the Roper Mountain Astronomers.

Looking through the telescope in Daniel Observatory

The adjacent David H. Wilkins Conference Center houses facilities for meetings, events and classes for school and public programs. For more information on facility rental please call RMSC - 864.355.8925.

Outdoors at RMSC

Adjacent to the Harrison Hall is the Butterfly Garden, a joint project of the Roper Mountain Science Center, the roper Mountain Science Center Association, and the Greater Greenville Master Gardeners. The garden is open during daylight hours when the center’s main gate is open, and a pavilion overlooking the wildlife pond is a perfect spot for a picnic lunch.

From the butterfly garden it is a short walk to both of the RMSC treehouses. The one closest to the main loop road is ‘Anatomy of a TREE House’ and uses elements that resemble the trees that inspired it including exposed concrete "roots," a wraparound squirrel's nest with a real tree growing through it, and a slide. Overlooking the pond is ‘Treetop Clinic’ which focuses on environmental issues: the water cycle, the solar cycle & path of the sun, and the plant life as seen from the treehouse.

Related article: Treehouses at RMSC

On the opposite side of the pond from the butterfly garden is the Wildwood natural play area. A relatively new addition, children can play with natural materials such as stumps and sand, building, digging and creating to their heart’s content while parents comfortably watch from one of the benches. A big part of Wildwood is in the shade, and the little play house along with various slides, bridges, seesaws and even a canoe will keep the kids busy learning and exploring.

Beyond Wildwood and Harrison Hall of Natural Science are the arboretum and the Living History Farm & Schoolhouse. The farm is open to the public only during special events but is definitely worth a visit during one of the Second Saturdays; history comes to life with authentic log cabins, corn cribs, a barn, a blacksmith shop, a school and a former slave cabin. Gardens, fields, pasture, a farm pond, and farm animals typical of life in the Upstate in the early 1800′s complete the scene.

Winding through the RMSC forest are a 1-mile asphalt nature trail and multiple forest trails. The Nature Trail loops along the hardwood and pine forests of the science center grounds and features signs informing visitors about native plants and animals that might be found in our region. The BeWell fitness trail (which utilizes a portion of the Nature Trail) starts by the main parking lot, and has ten fitness stations that include different stretches and exercises along with instructions on properly completing them. There are several picnic areas along the way, and multiple loops on the east end, connecting the Living History Farm to the butterfly garden and Wildwood. You can find a map of the trails here.

On the Symmes/Daniels Observatory end of the Nature Trail you might notice another of RMSC’s new activities, the Low Ropes Course. Visiting groups can schedule sessions for team-building activities by contacting the Roper Mountain Science Center.

Another fun feature along the Nature Trail is the Stegasaurus near Harrison Hall. RMSC is hoping to add a dozen replicas of herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs to field stations along the trail, with panels giving details about the dinosaur and its habitat. Keep your eyes open for the 19-foot Tyrannosaurus rex! The Dinosaur Trail is expected to be open the summer of 2020.

Events at RMSC

Starting this Friday, June 1st, Butterfly Adventure is returning to RMSC for its third year! Visitors will be able to enter the living exhibit in the Fred W. Symmes Tropical Rainforest where hundreds of colorful butterflies will be flitting about until July 13 from Tuesday through Saturday. In addition to the up-close butterfly sncounter, visitors will be able to explore the Harrison Hall of Natural Sciences including the Marine Lab, and experience life in SC in the 1800s in the Living History Farm.

Another great way to experience RMSC is during one of the Second Saturday events. On these select Saturdays the Living History Farm, Harrison Hall, Hooper Planetarium, Daniel Observatory and Symmes Hall of Science are opened to the public for STEM and other programs with hands-on demonstrations and special exhibits. Upcoming 2018 Second Saturdays include Blueberry Festival on July 14, Star Wars on October 13 and the Fall Harvest Festival on November 10.

Related articles: Blueberry Festival at RMSC

On Friday nights (January through November) the Planetarium opens for Friday Starry Nights with 6pm and 7:30p Planetarium shows that include Carolina Skies (a live sky talk), the feature show, and the SpacePark 360 Virtual Rollercoaster.

During the months of July and August the Planetarium is also open select Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights for planetarium programs. There are shows suitable for all ages; for a schedule and more info check out the calendar here. If music is more your thing, check out one of the laser shows featuring music ranging from pop to country, from the Beatles to Pink Floyd. Laser Shows in the Planetarium will be taking place from July 17-28, see website for schedule.

RMSC also has summer Science Exploration camps, however all the programs for the 2018 season are currently full. The robotics, Lego, nature and other programs are in very high demand, often filling up during the first weeks of registration.

Patch programs and group programs are available for Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts ranging from a self-guided program to Webelos Activity Badge Workshops in Harrison Hall. See website for more information.

Admission Info

Fee info for the various RMSC programs can be found on their website, here. However possibly the most convenient option is to purchase an annual family membership. We have been RMSC members for years, enjoying free admission to Friday Starry Nights, Second Saturdays and Butterfly Adventure. Members also enjoy discount ticket prices for special events such as the laser shows, and early registration and discount to summer camps. Family memberships are $65 – see website for details.

Along with a RMSC membership you’ll also get the benefit of admission to more than 300 different science centers and museums through the ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centers) Passport Program. They include nearby favorites such as EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia and the Spartanburg Science Center, as well as North Carolina’s Greensboro Science Center, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill, the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, and the Western North Carolina Nature Center in Asheville.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hiking the Blue Wall Preserve

On a cool spring morning we headed north to the Blue Wall Preserve, a 575-acre property managed by The Nature Conservancy along the Blue Wall in northeast Greenville County. The parcel was acquired in 1997, and is part of a mosaic of protected areas that cover close to 22,000 acres within the Blue Ridge Escarpment of the Southern Appalachians.

Twin Lake West

The Blue Wall Preserve trail serves as a section of the Palmetto Trail, what will be South Carolina’s longest pedestrian and bicycle trail when finished. However, by utilizing a short connector trail that loops around the western of the Twin Lakes, visitors can hike into the heart of the Blue Wall Preserve and get a taste of the Blue Wall Passage of the Palmetto Trail in just over three miles.

The parking area and trailhead for the Blue Wall Preserve are on Pennell Rd. west of Landrum, across Bailey Ridge from Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve. The Preserve is named for the views, with Hogback Mountain and the surrounding peaks rising up over Twin Lakes forming a breathtaking backdrop to what is a comparatively easy hike. The Cherokee called the Blue Ridge Mountains the “Blue Wall,” but the Palmetto Trail doesn’t start aggressively climbing in elevation until a point past the loop trail, allowing for a pleasant family hike in the mountains without the difficult climbs of many other trails in the area.

The lollipop loop as we hiked it is a little over 3 miles long, basically an in-and-out with a loop around Twin Lake west. The majority of the trail is an old roadbed, easy hiking with the distraction of spring wildflowers and many different species of birds singing from the treetops. The Preserve was designated an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society, and the variety of habitats along the trail lend themselves to the presence of a wide range of interesting birds all year long.

Mountain laurel already blooming!

The view from the first of the two lakes is memorable, the Blue Ridge Mountains reflected in the calm blue waters, and several spots suitable for rest and reflection. Continuing west you’ll reach the split in the trail at the western of the two lakes; the Palmetto trail continues to your left while the connector cuts north of the lake to your right.

Hogback Mountain and Twin Lake East

This section of trail is the reason why we mostly hike here in the spring; already the poison ivy was stretching its oily branches across the trail, and I have no wish to test the abilities of the boys to stay focused on the task of avoidance. However hiking the connector is a must – just a short distance north is a small storybook waterfall.

On the day of our visit we saw multiple salamanders in the waters at the base of the falls, and the cool mist and gentle sounds coming off the cascade proved to be a perfect backdrop for a snack before continuing on. The hike in is worth it just for this experience alone…

Continuing around the western of the Twin Lakes we passed the marshy area, and then rejoined the Palmetto Trail on the opposite side. This hike could easily be extended and the intensity increased by headed further west, climbing to Vaughn’s Gap through the Landrum watershed. However we turned north to hug the shore of the lake and reach the point where the trail had split, then east to return the way we came.

Fantastic ferns!

The top reasons I would give for hiking the Blue Wall Preserve are the waterfall, the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains over Twin Lakes, the wildflowers and the birds. However, the hike is well-suited to hiking with kids, and provides the solitude I often crave heading into the tail end of spring. The drive up approaches an hour, but the scenery is gorgeous; you’ll pass Lake Lanier, and can always hike the Palmetto Trail in the other direction on West Lakeshore Drive all the way to the North Carolina border. Our route from Greenville also takes us close to Campbell’s Covered Bridge and Southern Hills Lavender; there are many possible itineraries for a daytrip. However you fit in a trip to the Blue Wall Preserve into your plans, you’ll find a mountain respite in the foothills of South Carolina – and you’ll be back for more before you know it.

A late spring trillium

For a map of the Blue Wall Passage of the Palmetto Trail, visit the Palmetto Conservation website here.
For the bird and plant species found on the Preserve, visit The Nature Conservancy website here.
Finally, for a photographic trip on the trail, check out this website.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Washington DC on foot, part 2

It had been a long day of walking on Day 1: The National Mall from the Capitol to the Potomac River, however the boys were still excited about our second day in Washington DC, which would feature a little less walking and a little more exploring...

Day 2: Ford's Theater, the Old Post Office Tower and the International Spy Museum

With the Washington Monument closed until 2019, there are few options to get a bird’s-eye view of the National Mall, so a visit to the Old Post Office Clock Tower was an easy decision. While the Old Post Office is currently used as the Trump International Hotel, the tower is still operated by National Park Service. However, to enter visitors must circle around to the back and enter through the doors next to the Starbucks. 

Admission is free, and the tower observation deck is open Thursday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas). Dating back to 1899, it was used as the city’s main post office until 1914. Nearly torn down once in the 1920s and a second time in the 1970s, Trump redeveloped the property into a luxury hotel in 2016. The Old Post Office Clock Tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places in April 1973.

In September of 1941 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt told (his friend) Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter "If any memorial is erected to me, I know exactly what I should like it to be. I would like it to consist of a block about the size of this (referring to his desk) and placed in the center of that green plot in front of the Archives Building. I don't care what it is made of... but I want it plain without any ornamentation, with the simple carving, 'In Memory of _____.'" I would say they fulfilled his wishes exactly, if not for the enormous Memorial on the Tidal Basin... 

We admired the simple stone and the facade of the National Archives, and then crossed Pennsylvania Avenue. A main artery of DC, Pennsylvania Avenue is a National Historic Site and a unit of National Mall & Memorial Parks. This unique site preserves locations related to the creation of the Federal City, Presidential Inaugurations and other historically significant events.

Across the street from the FDR Stone and the National Archives is the US Navy Memorial and Plaza. Daily interpretive programs at 10am and 2pm meet at the Navy Memorial, an opportunity to learn more about Pennsylvania Avenue and its many impressive memorials. If you can't catch a program, explore on your own. Stanly Bleifield's famous statue, The Lone Sailor overlooks the Granite Sea, a map depicting the world's oceans, using an azimuthal projection centered on Washington, DC. Surrounding the Granite Sea are two fountain pools honoring the personnel of the American Navy and the other navies of the world, and 26 bronze high reliefs commemorating events, personnel, and communities of the various sea services.

Continuing north. On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln at the box seat at Ford’s Theater. Timed-entry tickets let you see the site, although the theater still holds performances so call ahead/arrive early to guarantee you can get in. The basement museum has Booth’s pistol on display, but we crossed the street to the visitor center that also has displays and interactive exhibits. Adjacent is the Peterson House, where President Lincoln spent his final hours before passing away at 7:22am the following morning; the house was closed to tours on our visit, but the visitor center provided insight into the timeline of events, the aftermath, and the fateful event itself.

Ford’s Theater was the second opportunity for the boys to complete a Jr. Ranger booklet in DC, and I recommend a stop even if not able to secure tickets for the theater tour. After the previous day's mileage the boys were happy to find that our next destination was just around the corner... 

All books about President Lincoln!

If you are a James Bond movie fan you’ll be interested in visiting the International Spy Museum. All sorts of undercover tools of the trade are on display. Although advertised as being a ‘kid favorite,’ my sources suggested it might be a bit heavy on signs with dense text and lighter on the fun displays my kids were looking for. As a happy middle ground we skipped the $23/adult entrance fee and hit the gift shop instead, allowing the boys to browse all the coolest gear and gadgets without the lengthy reading required in the museum. Whether our visit inspired Lauris to choose a spy theme for his eight birthday is a mystery, but I know that reverse-mirrored glasses and secret codes have been the norm around our house since.

On our way east we stopped in at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. That morning we had heard a portion of a ceremony in passing, as fallen LE officers from the previous year were being honored - we didn't want to intrude and watched from a distance. This time in passing we had the Memorial to ourselves, and after a reflective stroll through the shaded walks we turned once more towards our hotel.

One final memorial I would like to mention is the Victims of Communism Memorial. The Memorial is in honor of the more than 100 million men, women and children that were struck down by 20th century totalitarian regimes, and features a 10ft bronze replica of the Goddess of Democracy erected by students during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.The design and statue are the work of sculptor Thomas Marsh, and the inscription reads "To the more than 100 million victims of communism and to those who love liberty" and "To the freedom and independence of all captive nations and peoples." Located at the intersection of Massachusetts and New Jersey Avenues and G St. NW within view of the US Capitol, the memorial was dedicated by President George W. Bush on the 20th anniversary of President Reagan's "tear down this wall" speech in front of the Berlin Wall with these words:

     ...(Victims) include innocent Ukrainians starved to death in Stalin's Great Famine; or Russians killed in Stalin's purges; Lithuanians and Latvians and Estonians loaded onto cattle cars and deported to Arctic death camps of Soviet Communism. They include Chinese killed in the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution; Cambodians slain in Pol Pot's Killing Fields; East Germans shot attempting to scale the Berlin Wall in order to make it to freedom; Poles massacred in the Katyn Forest; and Ethiopians slaughtered in the "Red Terror"; Miskito Indians murdered by Nicaragua's Sandinista dictatorship; and Cuban balseros who drowned escaping tyranny... We'll never know the names of all who perished, but at this sacred place, communism's unknown victims will be consecrated to history and remembered forever. We dedicate this memorial because we have an obligation to those who died, to acknowledge their lives and honor their memory."


There were three resources that I found invaluable for planning such a condensed trip, as well as getting the kids enthused about viewing ‘a bunch of monuments.’ The first is “Washington: The Nation’s Capital” brochure by the National park Service, featuring a large map of all the Park Service and public sites in addition to the location of information kiosks and restrooms. To get a copy contact the Park Service, or download a copy online.

Everyone knows it isn’t pleasant to carry around a heavy, cumbersome guidebook, and so I was relieved to find the Lonely Planet Make My Day: Washington, DC guidebook. A flip-and-match format allows you to get the meat of each attraction in a quick look, the fold-out map in the back is a complete city map with bikeshare & public transportation as well as street index, and a pocket in the back can store stamps, receipts or other important papers as you hike your way across the city.

Finally, the kids got into another Lonely Planet book, Washington, DC City Trails: Secrets, Stories and Other Cool Stuff. Reading about the National Mall beforehand allowed them to identify the monuments and memorials on our wanderings; did you know that the north wall of the Lincoln Memorial originally misspelled the word ‘future’ euture, and although it was fixed the mistake is still visible?

The last time we were in DC the boys were too small for much of a tour - see my previous Washington DC post here. Therefore, our goal was to pack as much as possible into our short time in the city, to get an overall perspective on DC and prepare for more in-depth exploration of museums and other sites on a future visit. A walking tour of the National Mall is an ideal way to see the city, and if you plan your route ahead you can see it all on foot, even with children; just be prepared with comfortable walking shoes, plenty of fluids, sunscreen, and patience to stop and rest as needed. We made it home from DC tired, but satisfied we had made good use of our time there, and we’ve already gotten the start of a list for our next visit: Theodore Roosevelt Island, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, the National Zoo…

Friday, May 18, 2018

Washington DC on foot, part 1

Washington DC. One of the rare big cities that you can explore for days, with kids in tow, without a car… Which is good, because the cost/headaches of parking are certainly discouraging, and public transportation isn’t an option in some cases. We found ourselves trailing Roberts recently to a conference in the Capital, and set out to see what we could see during our long weekend there.

Day 1: National Mall from the Capitol to the Potomac

It is only about 2.5 miles from one end to the other, but add on getting there, the various meanders, and a couple of side trips, and I estimate we walked at least 6 miles. From the hotel we headed to the US Capitol building, admired the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial and Capitol Reflecting Pool then headed west.

While we weren’t exploring any of the museums on this particular visit, we did have our National Parks passports with, and the boys wanted to work on a Junior Ranger program. The easiest way to jump right into it is to contact the National Mall and Memorial Parks ahead of time to request a booklet; that way you won’t be walking from visitor center to bookstore to info station searching for the brochure. If this isn’t an option, your best bet is heading to one of the 5 ranger stations (see map mentioned in resources listed at the end of part 2 for locations). Stamping your passport can also be a challenge; while some monuments/memorials have info stations & bookstores that have the stamp, others do not. Some kiosks were closed, others didn’t have certain stamps. Tip: keep a list of which monuments etc. you visited and then make a stop at the Washington Monument Lodge – they have ALL the stamps.

The Mall is lined with national attractions: the Smithsonian Museums of American History, Natural History and National Air & Space Museum, among others. We haven’t visited any of them as of yet (although we did make it to the much larger Udvar-Hazy Center, which I definitely recommend as the more expansive sister museum of the National Air & Space Museum), with the idea that the boys will be better able to appreciate them when they are a little older. However we admired each grand building as we passed, discussing what was housed there and generating ideas for future trips.

From the 555 ft. tall Washington Monument (which remains closed for repairs) we turned north towards the White House. To request a WH tour, visitors must contact their state reps at least 3 months before travel. Even then it isn’t guaranteed you’ll get a ticket; we’ve tried three times, unsuccessfully. However depending on who is accompanying you, it might be worth walking up to Pennsylvania Avenue to get your photograph of the iconic building, before going over to the White House Visitor Center on the east side.

The visitor center is open from 7:30am until 4pm daily (except January 1, Thanksgiving, and December 25), and admission is free. Visitors can explore an interactive touchscreen tour of the White House, view over 90 artifacts from the White House collection and a 15 minute film, and shop at the White House Historical Association retail store. Tip: Leave the pocket knives, food and water bottles at home to make it through security, or split your party in two – one group takes all the backpacks and walks over to take in the view of the White House from the north lawn while the other explores the Visitor Center. We made sure to stop at the Boy Scout Memorial just across the street from the visitor center, near the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion. You'll also encounter the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail which traces the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake.

Disappointed to see the Boy Scout Memorial in disrepair

After the obligatory selfies with the White House we circled the Ellipse and headed to the World War II Memorial. The day had heated up some (90°+ already!) and we stuck to the shaded trails while exploring the Constitution Gardens, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the DC War Memorial to completely circle the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Tip: this portion of the Mall is open 24 hours/day, so if you want to beat the heat schedule your visit for late in the evening and enjoy the atmosphere without the crowds.

The boys were starting to slow their gait, so we crossed the street and lingered in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial bookstore, enjoying the AC and browsing the titles acquiring ideas for books we would like to read. Once they had perked up we entered the MLK Jr. Memorial, studying the quotes engraved in the memorial and enjoying the view over the Tidal Basin. This is the National Mall’s first memorial dedicated to an African American, and to a nonpresident. Behind the Stone of Hope (MLK’s image) are two blocks that represent the Mountain of Despair; the piece was carved by sculptor Lei Yixin.

Continuing around the edge of the water (which just a month ago had been awash in cherry blossoms) we soon arrived at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Up until now we were more familiar with FDR’s cousin Teddy: from our visit to the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site in NYC, his work in the field of conservation, and from reading books such as A Splendid Savage. This made it more interesting to tour the five outdoor “rooms” with their statues, quotes, water features and plantings, and I feel as if I learned a great deal. Overall the feel of the Memorial was more of a secluded corner of some extravagant botanical gardens, unusual for one of the more expansive memorials in the area.

At this point we called it quits, however we returned to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on Day 3 of our Washington DC stay. Only another ½ mile further, the circular, open-air domed structure is my favorite architecturally of the National Mall Memorials. Located opposite from the MLK Jr. Memorial on the Tidal Basin, it is a popular spot while the cherry blossoms are blooming, but not as crowded on a warm Sunday morning. While touring the cool interior my thoughts drifted to our visit to Jefferson’s Monticello a few years ago, parallels drawn between the domes and columns of the two structures…

To be continued...

(Part 2 of Washington DC on foot: Ford's Theater, the Old Post Office Tower and the International Spy Museum)

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