One of the other things that we did was go to the International Spy Museum. It cost us $18 per ticket. But if you can manage to get your ass up and to the museum before 8, you can get the ticket for $8. That just was not going to happen in my lifetime. Triple J lives like thirty minutes from DC, at least. Even longer by train.
So the spy museum told us all about spies, from the ancient times to now. Most of it centered on WWII. There were some spy equipment. A few cameras and hidden guns and whatnot from history and equipment to look at microdots. They even had a ventilation shaft that you could crawl through, but you know, that crap isn’t padded and my knees are not what they used to be. Plus, a thousand other little snotty children have crawled through those tunnels as well. So make sure to wash your hands before you touch your face after crawling through there.
A cute thing they do at the beginning of the museum is have you memorize your legend (i.e. your secret ID.) There were several to choose from including one for children. A while later, at a computer station, you’re asked who you are, how old, where you’re going and why. They then give you another set of info to remember and you do the same thing at the end of the museum. I found it relatively easy since it was multiple guess and an easy one at that. I was going to Russia to meet Oksana. And the options that I had to like Natasha and Sergei. Had it been a bunch of names that started with O, I might have had more trouble.
The most interesting thing I found was about Mata Hari. Apparantly, she wasn’t the master spy. She was originally an exotic dancer, who, due to her waning beauty, became a mistress to many powerful men. When the war came around, one side asked her to spy on the other, which she agreed to. Then the other side asked her to do the same. She agreed to that as well. But neither side gained any useful information about the other. She just took the money. But according to Wikipedia, which is true in all things, it seems that she wasn’t a spy at all. She was simply a scapegoat.
Overall, I enjoyed the spy museum, but it isn’t something that I think you have to see. If you’re only in DC for a few days, skip this one.
Oh, also, since we had time after the spy museum (we were there for 6 hours or so), we went across the street to the portrait gallery museum. We weren’t hungry yet, and it was as good as any to spend some time.
Totally skippable. It’s all portraits and photos of famous people. One of which was LL Cool J. He had this 12 foot portrait of himself on a throne-like chair that he had painted. He loaned it to the museum. Guess he was tired of looking at himself all day.