Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Segway Guided Tour of Downtown DC, International Spy Museum featuring a James Bond Car, Newseum, Mount Vernon George Washington’s Estate, The Madison Hotel, Bobby Parker Guitar Blues Legend at Madams Organ.
NEXT STOP WASHINGTON D.C.
00:00-00:05 JON: Hi, I’m Jon Olson and welcome to Next Stop, from the city with the ultimate american experience.
00:06-00:19 Next Stop Washington D.C. title rolls
00:20-00:30 Welcome to Next Stop from our nations capitol, Washington D.C. the ultimate american experience. On this episode of Next Stop, we will experience monuments, museums, local music and so much more. The fun starts now!
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00:34-00:39 JON: One of my favorite things about hosting Next Stop is that I get to try new things. Today, we are going to tour D.C. on Segways.
00:43-01:32 JEFFREY: Alright guys, welcome to Bike and Roll, if you guys just gather around we are going to go over a few things about the segway, my name is Jeffrey, I will be your guide this afternoon.Once you get on its a fairly intuitive machine, but there is a small adjustment period, you just want to step on one foot, and then the other and it will balance like that. ANother important thing to notice when you are getting on the segway is where your feet are. If your feet are too forward, your segway is going to automatically go forward, if your feet are too backwards the segway is going to automatically go back. You want to just step up upon the platform here? Yeah.
JEFFREY: Oops, there you go. You good?
JEFFREY: Alright, then so come back. Oops, you turn it. Alright Kelsey, this direction here, good.
01:38-02:40 JEFFREY: Alright, everyone is feeling good? Let’s go! So this is the navy memorial here, we have 4 different fountains, representing 4 of the different oceans. The memorial itself, there is one statue over there that is called the Lone Sailor that represents anyone who has ever served, is serving, or will serve in the United States Navy. I can tell you guys a little bit about the Canadian Embassy if you want. It was opened in 1988, it is a very fancy building, a very expensive building, you have got 12 columns around here, around the whisper room which is the echo chamber that we’ll go up to in a minute, and if you make loud noises…
JON: Stress buster! Echo! Woo!
JEFFREY: You can hear it echo throughout the chamber.
02:46-03:48 JEFFREY: So this is the United States Capitol Building, some people think it is the White House, they are wrong. So, originally, it was a much smaller building, you can see the lighter colored marble here represents the original building. The statue on top is called Freedom, it is facing east, as it goes people say so the sun will never set on the face of Freedom. So this is the Smithsonian Castle, the castle now functions as a visitors center, you can go in and get information about the different museums, where to go, to plan your trip.
JON: What is your favorite aspect of about D.C.?
JEFFREY: One of the things I like about D.C. is that it is a planned city, it is laid out in a grid.
JON: This is a beautiful city, it is planned very well, and what a great way to see it. Copenhagen might be the city of bikes, but Washington D.C. is the city of segways.
STEPHEN: This is our 10th year in business, and we mostly did bike tours and bike rentals, and when I started I had 50 bikes and now we have 700.
STEPHEN: And so now I have 10 segways, and we’ll see how many I have in 10 years.
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03:55-04:08 JON: Ranked 7th on the list of America’s favorite architecture, the Lincoln Memorial honors our 16th US President, Abraham Lincoln. It has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther Kings 1963 speech, I Have a Dream. The memorial is administered by the U.S. Parks Service, and it open 24 hours a day for your enjoyment.
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04:13-04:46 JON: We are at the Presidents Gallery by Madame Tussauds in Washington DC, the only location where you can get face to face with all 44 US Presidents. Before we meet the presidents, Henry, lets meet this lady, Madame Tussauds.
HENRY: Madame Tussaud was born in Strausberg, Germany in 1761. She got her start making wax figures for the first royalists death masks, that’s how there is 14 attractions all around the world.
JON: So what is different about the Washington DC location?
HENRY: The Washington DC location is more interactive, has 44 presidents, only place you can meet them.
JON: And learn a lot about the history.
HENRY: A lot about the history.
JON: LEt’s go meet the presidents.
HENRY: Let’s go meet them.
04:51-06:46 JON: So obviously I know who this guy is.
HENRY: The father of our nation, George Washington.
JON: He was the only president unanimously elected by the electoral college.
HENRY: I bet you didn’t know after he was elected, he only had one tooth left.
JON: I did not know that.
HENRY: Yep. He refused to wear dentures, he actually wore false teeth, false teeth that were made out of hippopotamus, human and elk teeth.
JON: You’re kidding?
HENRY: No, I’m serious.
JON: Henry, these are so lifelike, the size is accurate, the attributes are accurate, how are they made?
HENRY: Well, evidently there were no sittings, because all of them are deceased, so they used watercolors, watercolors and sketches to make their figures, there were no video’s, anything.
JON: How long does it take to make one of these things?
HENRY: About 6 months.
JON: So I saw the special on HBO on John Adams, he was a feisty guy. What else can you tell us about him?
HENRY: Well he was the first president to live in the White House, I bet you didn’t know that.
JON: I did not know that. There is something else about these two, they both died on the exact same day.
HENRY: The same day, sounds like a conspiracy to me, but I’m not going to say anything.
JON: What are the odds of that?Ah, one of my favorite presidents.
HENRY: Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln. Here we go, Abraham Lincoln, the first president to be assassinated while in office.
JON: So you have other figures that weren’t presidents?
HENRY: We have a lot of other figures, such as Rosa Parks. Oh.
JON: I’m not going anywhere, Rosa didn’t.
HENRY: Me either.
JON: I’m not afraid of the police. From civil rights to a lunar landing.
HENRY: Lunar landing. Buzz Aldren and Neil Armstrong.
JON: Look mom, I’m on the moon! To present day, Michelle and Barack Obama.
HENRY: Michelle and Barack, the head game.
JON: What a fun job you have.
HENRY: Fun job, you get to meet a lot of great people, including yourself.
JON: Likewise, great to meet you Henry, you too Barack, Michele.
HENRY: Hey, that’s my woman!
06:47- 07:09 JON: Now let’s learn a few fun facts about some of the other presidents.Like did you know that President Reagan began his career as a radio sports announcer in Davenport, Iowa? President Ford received offers to play for the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions? President Eisenhower was the first president to have his inauguration broadcast on television. My fellow americans, I want to thank Henry again for a wonderful tour, now it is time to party with some celebrities!
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07:21- 07:26 JON: Coming up on Next stop, we visit two world class museums in our nations capitol.
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07:32-07:43 JON: Washington DC has a wide variety of wonderful museums Today we are visiting Newseum, featuring over 5 centuries of news and the international spy museum, celebrating the wonderful world of international espionage.
07:50-08:39 CARRIE: We are one of the only museums, I would venture to say the only museum in the world, who changes an exhibit daily. These are our front pages, they are daily front pages, they are from all 50 states and a selection of countries around the world, they change every day.
JON: What are the highlights that we should definitely check out?
CARRIE: Well you are going to definitely want to check out the Pulitzer Prize photography exhibit. The gallery there features photographs from all the Pulitzers winners, as well as some of the cameras used by the photographers, and it is a great place where you can really dig in and learn about not just see the photo itself, which is amazing and resonate enough obviously having won a Pulitzer, but you can dig in and get the story behind the photograph, get the journalists, the photo journalists view and understand what was going on, how they were experiencing things.
08:48-09:26 JON: What else should we see?
CARRIE: So, you want to see the Berlin wall. We have 8 pieces of the original Berlin wall on exhibit here in Washington.
JON: I don’t think anyone alive today in our generation will ever forget the horrible tragedy of 911.
CARRIE: Absolutely not, and we have a special gallery here dedicated to 911 and understanding in particular how and why journalists did what they did on that day, but it also includes some amazing objects, the most iconic of which is surely the communications tower, the antenna from the top of the tower.
09:40-10:06 JON: So from a little bit of sadness to joy, I see lots of kids in the interactive section.
CARRIE: Absolutely, we have this great interactive newsroom where you can see what it is like to be a tv reporter, try and read the teleprompter, try and make your cue.
JON: Hello, I’m Jon Olson. One of the highlights of a trip to Washington DC would be seeing the president of course. But, few people will ever get that close. But don’t worry, the latest big screen exhibit at the museum brings you as close as the presidents photographer.
10:13-11:15 JON: The international spy museum has the largest collection of spy artifacts of any museum in the world, and it just so happens, we have an actual former spy taking us on tour today. Let’s go back a bit, what got you into the world of spy and espionage?
PETER: Well, I went into that world at the height of the cold war. When the cold war was getting underway, and I was approached by the agency and we were very concerned about the Soviet Union, communism, all that business. This was the 50’s we’re talking about, the late 50’s.
JON: A lot of the stuff you actually used.
PETER: We are right here in disguise, I’ve used disguise. we’re here near bugging equipment, I’ve used that sort of thing, not necessarily everything here, but certainly the elements of espionage that are depicted here I have been involved with, yes.
JON: So we think of spies,I mean everybody is intrigued with the life of the spy, you have James Bond, you think of it as the Bond experience. How much of it is like Bond?
PETER: My easy answer is all of it, but of course that is not quite true.
11:24-12:31 JON: I like this one, because I loved Maxwell Smart, he had a phone.
PETER: That was actually a very early cell phone, wasn’t it?
JON: Obviously this is out of service, this isn’t one of the newer technologies. How long does an artifact have to be out of service before it can come to the museum. Obviously we don’t want to see all the latest, greatest stuff here.
PETER: We use our own judgment in what we’re putting out here. Everything you are seeing in here has been described in the literature and the photographs.
JON: So Peter I love this one particularly because you actually wore a jacket like this.
PETER: That’s true.
JON: What was that like?
PETER: This is called the buttonhole camera, ok? Because the lens is in the buttonhole. In other words, if we could open and close the lens, you would see it like a little eye down there.
JON: So this exhibit is really for the birds.
PETER: That is one way of putting it. But, this is one of my favorite exhibits. One of these guys got a camera hanging off of him, and what that camera has is an automatic shutter release, so when the pigeon flies, the shutter release starts taking pictures.
JON: Thank you for having us, this has been a lot of fun, a pleasure to meet you.
PETER: A pleasure.
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12:40-12:45 JON: Coming up, a Washington DC landmark, and the home of our nations first president.
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12:51-15:15 JON: No trip to the Washington DC area would be complete without a visit to one of the most famous homes in America, George Washington’s Mount Vernon.
REBECCA: George Washington inherited the house from his half brother Laurence, and really, this became his living biography. He added onto the house over the course of the 47 years he lived here. This was his home, this was his land, he once wrote ‘There is no state in the United America that is as pleasantly situated as this’ and we are inclined to agree. When you look at the beautiful view of the Potomac river that he enjoyed, and the care that he took in manicuring the lawns and really creating a statement, but also being true to his roots, he was a Virginia farmer, and that is what he thought of himself first and foremost, as a farmer.
JON: Let’s go check out his fields.
REBECCA: That sounds great, lets see what he is growing today.
JON: So what do you do with this thing?
REBECCA: This is his 16 sided treading barn, it was a very revolutionary concept for the time. He recognized that he was growing wheat, and he needed a way to separate the wheat from the shaft in an efficient way, he also had horses that needed exercise, so they determined that if you ran the horses along the barn, you could make their, their hooves would knock the wheat off the shaft.
JON: So these are the slaves quarters?
REBECCA: These are the slave quarters for the household slaves, so the ones who were working in the kitchen, in the house, assisting the family. Others were living closer to the fields. In all there were about 400 slaves that lived here during Washington’s time. Now when he died, he did include in his will the freeing of his slaves, however several of the slaves that were living here on the property were Mrs. Washington’s slaves and came down through her family.
JON: Now this is so romantic.
REBECCA: Yes, it is indeed. Final resting place of George and Martha Washington, side by side. He is right here on the right, she is there on the left.
JON: She outlived him by 3 years, now a lot of his family members are buried on property here.
REBECCA: There are 30 people from the Washington family that are buried here in all, yes.
JON: It is so peaceful out here, there is so much land, yet we’re so close to DC. How do you get here from DC?
REBECCA: It’s actually quite easy to get here, we’re 16 miles down the George Washington memorial parkway, so from the Lincoln Memorial to Mount Vernon is about 16 miles. You can do what you did, arrive by boat, which is a wonderful way and certainly a way that many of Washington’s guests would have.
JON: I would choose the Spirit of Mount Vernon anytime.
REBECCA: It’s a great way to go, you sit back and relax and enjoy the water, enjoy the beautiful Potomac, great scenery, have a nice tour, head back, back to Washington DC.
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15:21-15:44 JON: Did you know from President George Washington’s administration all the way through FDR’s, inaugurations were held on March 4th with few exceptions. This was changed by the 20th amendment to the US Constitution to January 20th to avoid the post election Lame Duck period. I mean think about it, seems like a long time now from November til January until the president takes office, imagine adding a couple extra months. What’s the incumbent president to do? If you didn’t know this before, now you do.
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15:48-17:50 JON: Many famous people have stayed here from the Dalai Lama, to Frank Sinatra, to heads of state, this week it houses Next Stop. The Madison Hotel, Jim, Thanks for having us.
JIM: Hey, thanks for being had.
JON: So who was President madison, and who was Dolly, let’s start there.
JIM: President Madison played a very important role in colonial politics. He was actually the co authors of the federalist papers, and of course Dolly Madison played a real pivotal role in entertaining head of state from all over the world at that time.
JON: So President Kennedy was here for the opening of this hotel.
JIM: That is right, that is correct.
JON: A lot of famous people have stayed here.
JOM: When it was open by JFK in 1963 there wasn’t really a hotel in Washington that had all the amenities, and service, and ambience, that the Madison had.
JON: You walk in the lobby and you feel it. It’s a big lobby, it is expansive, a lot of different things going on here, you have one restaurant on one side, one on the other, it’s a cool property.
JIM: So when you walk into the Madison, you clearly get the feeling that wow, I am in Washington, alright? Whether it is some of the design features that we have here, from the artwork that you see on the walls, there is a real sense of place, and real sense of time when yu come in.
JON: And you rooms are nice, very spacious, ergonomically designed, but one of your suites was actually listed as one of the top 100 suites in a luxury magazine I noticed.
JIM: That’s right, we again, are fortunate to have 3 Presidential suites, but very unique, and again, very Washington.
JON: One of my favorite aspects about the Madison is your people, your staff. The minute we walked in they knew who we were, and every time we walked through the door they greeted us, almost by name every time, it was really impressive.
JIM: As fancy as the stage is, if the acting isn’t good, it isn’t good. Some people, they want to have, they want to be greeted every single time they come in alright? Others don’t, so we have to really be careful in how we read our guest, to give them what they want, not what we think they want, what they truly want.
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17:56-18:01 JON: Up next, Blues legend Bobby Parker, at Madam’s Organ.
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18:09-18:51 JON: Southern hospitality is alive and well in the Adams Morgan district of DC and Madam’s Organ.
BILL: It is just a goofy play on the neighborhood you know, Adams Morgan, Madam’s Organ. I’m not exactly a rocket scientist here.
JON: I love it, you’ve had it for 20 years, you guys are celebrating your 20 anniversary this year.
BILL: Twenty years next month, and in fact, the guy you have playing was the first band I hired 20 years ago, Bobby Parker.
JON: Let’s talk about Bobby Parker, this guy is a legend around here.
BILL: Bobby, he is not just a legend here, literally I have Steve Winwood and Tom Petty call me, bring him out to meet them at a show. he is the only guys the Beatles admit to stealing from, Led Zepplin, note for note, Moby Dick. I mean over the years he has played, started in 57, you know this guy has been playing non stop.
19:07-19:44 BILL: You know, Washington’s a town that you know,not much is real. There is so much acrimony politically, etc, but I will tell that when they come in here, democrats, republicans, ambassadors, you know we have had heads of states in here. There are no arguments about politics, the music unites everybody.
JON: I can tell that.
BILL: It just, it is the kind of place you know, as I said, Washington is a town that not much is real, this place is real.
JON: When I pulled up tonight and saw the sign ‘Sorry We Are Open’
BILL: The front says it all!
JON: I knew, it does say it all! You guys are all about humor, good times, good music, good food, just bringing people together.
20:32-21:13 JON: What happened with the Beatles?
BOBBY: McCartney was a good friend of mine, he still is.
JON: He stole your riff, man!
BOBBY: Yeah I know, but you said it!
JON: what song?
BOBBY: I feel fine.
JON: What is the best memory for you?
BOBBY: The Apollo days, with all the original artists. Little Anthony, The Imperials, Frankie Avalon.
JON: So how do you keep it going? I mean here we are, I am not going to tell your age, we discussed it, but you are still bringing it, your first hit was before I was born, how do you keep relevant, how do you keep the energy?
BOBBY: I love the music man, and people make me happy out there! Let me hear you say yeah!
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21:27-21:51 JON: Thanks for joining us on Next Stop, from our nations capitol, Washington DC. We had some wonderful experiences, met some great people and we learned a lot. We hope you did too. Thanks to this episodes sponsors, Destination DC, and the Madison Hotel, Washington DC. As always, a warm thank you to our good friends and title sponsors, Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card. Next Stop, where will we take you next? Make good memories everybody!
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