Trip Saga, Day 10

Today, Dad and Mim stayed home for the morning with Kierstin and Lincoln to catch up on some rest, while the rest of us walked to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, with Anna & Amanda, after Uncle Bob dropped us off (The place where they make money). We got there and stopped at the information cube outside the building, where the lady pointed us to the ticket cube. The tickets to the B.E.P. (Bureau of Engraving and Printing) are free, but can be hard to get due to demand. We were able to get tickets for just an hour in advance, and, to decide what to do with the extra time, we held a conferral on the sidewalk. After looking at the map, we decided to go to the US Department of Agriculture and see if it was open to the public. However, on the way we saw that the National Forestry Service was open. We had discussed it before, but their website said they were closed. We went in and asked the Park Ranger there if we could visit. He said we could, so we walked in. We were greeted by a pretend office, and sitting in a chair to greet us was a large “Smokey Bear”. The bear looked up, and said in a deep voice, “Hmmm? Oh! Oooohhh, it’s you there!” Then he looked around, and, lifting his arm to point at us, declared, “Remember, only you can prevent forest fires!” And then looked back at the letter in his hand. It was very funny! The next room was decorated to look like a forest and was very convincing. In the corner was a TV playing all the Smokey Bear commercials ever created, some of which are very funny. In the other room you stepped into a forest cabin. It was such an amazing place! They have all sorts of free Smokey Bear trinkets, and we walked out the door with magnets, stickers, and bookmarks galore. We came back to the cube in time to meet our tour, and we went into the building. After watching an informational video to get us acquainted with the overall money making process, we were led into the factory. The guide showed us all the machines, and explained how the design of money is always changing to make it more difficult to counterfeit. The machines are very high-tech, and they make huge sheets of money, which are then cut, stacked, and inspected. There was one man behind the glass, working on the machines, that held up a piece of paper that read “I love my job!” and then started fanning himself with one of the large sheets of money! In the gift shop they had all sorts of things, all decorated with the shredded pieces of money that had mistakes in their printing. Nathan bought a keychain, and we walked out of the Bureau. By then, time to get lunch. We had heard about a good food court at the Department of Agriculture, so we walked the short distance to the building. It was very delicious, and after we were full, we went to pick up food from the Farmers Market for our picnic. The plan is to eat while watching the Iwo Jima marching band, and bayonet precision work. I think it will be a lot of fun. When we got to the Market, Mom decided to get several sandwiches and cupcakes, and asked Anna and I to pick out a fruit. We walked through the tables, and finally decided to get two brimful containers of large blackberries. We secured them inside the Walmart bag, and raced back to where Mom was waiting. We now had everything we needed, so we walked to the metro station a few blocks away. Just as we got down the escalator, we realized that we were missing the sandwiches! Mom had left them on the counter in all the excitement! Anna and I raced down the streets, as fast as we could regarding traffic laws, until, winded, we were back to the market. We slowed our pace as we walked through the door, grabbed the bag, and ran back out. We went back even faster then before, ran down the escalator, and were back, (I think), in less than five minutes. We boarded the Metro, only slightly late, and made it in time for the show. It was really amazing, and the picnic was delicious. I love Washington DC!