As a forward, this post just contains information about our little family adventure- if you are looking for more information specific to Museum of The Bible, visit these posts: A First Look; Tips For Families; Video: A Kids’ Perspective.
With that, here’s a little inside scoop and behind the scenes peek at our trip…
Last summer our family took a trip that included a day in Washington D.C. Although originally we intended to spend several days touring the city, it ended up getting chopped down to a day. You can read more about that here and here. My take-away from the whole experience went something like: “never again.” And yet…
I really should learn to never say never!
When our family got invited to attend Media Day for Museum of The Bible prior to its grand opening, I knew instantly we’d do just about anything to get there. I just didn’t realize how complicated “anything” could get! Ideally, we would have used the opportunity to re-do our D.C. visit- slow it down, see some of the sights we missed, and really enjoy the city for a couple days.
But when I looked at our calendar, Media Day fell during one of the worst possible weeks for our whole family (although, if I’m being honest, they all seem pretty crazy these days!) Between some unavoidable commitments, we had exactly 42 hours we could be away from home. And that counted travel time and 2 nights of sleep!
Determined to make it work, we just went for it. And that included Brent working in the car while I drove. Keeping the kids perfectly quiet while Brent led an hour-long conference call made for an interesting drive- but I am thankful we figured out how to make it work!
Also, since I was driving he managed to find us another winning YELP restaurant for our dinner. Actually, to call it a restaurant might be overstating what the place actually was. Miller described it best when he said “it’s really interesting to eat in the kitchen.” This strikes me as funny for two reasons. First, interesting was the nicest possible way to describe the eating accommodations. There weren’t really any tables per se, just a place to sit IN THE KITCHEN. And secondly, technically Miller eats in our kitchen every night…so I’m not sure why this was so novel. But, I’m not complaining because check out the food-
As we pulled into D.C. ready to collapse at the hotel, Mary Grace brought it to our attention that she expected our trip to include a visit to the White House. Though we didn’t plan this stop, we always love our children to be proactive in our travel decisions. So despite not being dressed for the cold evening, and being completely exhausted- we embraced Mary Grace’s idea.
After what felt like a very short stay at our hotel, we headed over to Media Day at Museum of The Bible. Here’s a few fun behind the scenes facts from our day:
- Only Kids: Mary Grace and Miller were pretty much the only kids in the building. CRAZY! Obviously, most journalists and broadcasting crews don’t bring their kids to work every day. So, for much of the day, my kiddos had the run of the place. This was both good and bad. Good, because they got to do everything without waiting. Bad, because they were something of a spectacle. Everyone wanted to talk to us and find out about our family. The attention was a little nerve wracking at times because we definitely felt like we were under a microscope (ex. when a child yelled, it was pretty obvious to all!)
- Interviews: Because we had the only kids in the building- the other members of the media latched on. We were asked to do several interviews, and photo shoots with the kids. The most entertaining (for us) was CBS. They shot quite a bit of footage of the kids playing in the children’s area and then attempted an interview. Mary Grace chatted away- answering all of their questions in depth and always finding a way to point her answer to Jesus. And Miller sat like a bump on a log giving the camera guy the stink eye. I highly doubt any of the footage will ever be usable- but we were certainly entertained watching them work!
- Work In Progress: Speaking of work, we visited the Museum a mere 2 days before the official Grand Opening and it was most definitely still under construction. The main area where we noticed a lot to be done was near the main staircase. They were frantically piecing together the floor on every level. We were extremely impressed with the amount of detail that went into the whole building. It’s truly architecturally amazing! I have no doubt they were able to get the final touches completed before opening day.
- Curators: We were also able to witness several artifacts being prepped for display. Many areas had curators working extremely carefully to place the treasures in cases. Naturally, I instructed my kids to stay incredibly far back from the delicate work (I mean, it would be just my luck for my child to sneeze unexpectedly on a ridiculously valuable, irreplaceable artifact!) But the curators were so kind. They invited us closer and explained everything they were doing to prepare the Bible pages for display.
Overall we had the best experience and we were certainly spoiled! I absolutely can’t wait to go back to Museum of The Bible. (But, of course it will be so different having to share the place with others!) Never the less, I can’t say enough great things about the place and I highly recommend everyone add it to your travel bucket list!
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