We flew into Baltimore on a red eye then took a six a.m. train from the airport there to Union Station, in Washington D.C. I got off the train and looked behind me into the greatest moving mass of human life I have ever seen. The platform of the train was about 15 feet wide, and the entire platform was shoulder to shoulder people, all moving in the same direction. We were all woozy from lack of sleep, and I was sure that if I lost sight of my own people, I would never see them again. I would be swept up into that crowd of humanity and carried off into the great unknown. Fortunately, I did not lose my people. We went with the flow, since there was nothing else we could do, and somehow made our way in to the station and found breakfast and a metro ticket. Us country hicks had no idea how to buy a metro card or how to get on the metro or even which direction we needed to go. People are kind every where you go though, and through the kindness of strangers, we actually managed to make it to downtown Arlington VA, where we were staying. They had donuts and bananas in the lobby, and a comfy couch, which we promptly passed out on while we waited for our hotel room to be ready.
After we got settled into our room and took a power snooze, we hit the metro again for Arlington National Cemetery. Took a tour bus ( much recommended- that place is HUGE) and saw all the sights. JFK, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with the changing of the guards and a wreath laying ceremony, a view of the Pentagon, amazing views of DC, Robert E. Lee's home, a civil war memorial, and probably a lot of other stuff that I am already forgetting about. Then we walked from the entrance to Arlington Cemetery, across the bridge to the Lincoln Memorial, then down along the Vietnam Memorial, past the WWII Memorial all the way to the Washington Monument. Then we kept on going to the Smithsonian metro stop. If you have been to Washington DC, you will understand how insanely far that is. What can I say? We were sleep deprived, and none of it looked that far away. We learned very quickly that just because a famous monument looks like it is just right there, it really isn't. In reality, it is miles and miles and MILES away.
When our feet were on the verge of falling off, we took on the metro again, and miraculously made it back to Pentagon City where we ate barbecue at the mall before dragging our tired bodies to bed.
Friday April 1. We took on the Supreme Court building, found Union Station again where we ate lunch, then had a tour of the Capitol Building. So much to see, you could spend a week there and not see it all. So much art and achitecture and history. I have to go back someday. We may have toured the air and space museum this day as well, which was also chock full of things to see and not enough time to see them all.
|that right there is the Supreme court|
Saturday April 2, Got up early to make it to Ford's Theate in hopes of getting into a tour. After a short wait in the rain, we made it in. There is a fantastic museum there with all kinds of cool artifacts. I could have spent the day there, but then you get to go up to the theatre and see a two man play about the night of Lincoln's assasination. They have his box seats set up the way they were that night. Being there was a check off the old bucket list for sure. There was a long line to get in to see the house across the street where he actually died, but we passed on waiting in the rain for that. Then we walked down to the south side of the White House only to find out it was all roped off. So then we headed to the National Archives and got in to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They are huge. They are also very faded, which is sad. Someday you won't be able to read them at all any more. Could have spent all day in there as well (are you sensing a theme?) but we had to beat it down the road to meet up with Alisa and the gang. How weird is it that we would just happen to be in DC on the VERY SAME DAY? We had lunch, then we went to the American History museum, then back to the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. More walking walking walking, but being with Alisa and her peeps made it fun. They are such a great group.
After we parted ways with them, we went back to the front of the White House, met a charming squirrel in Lafayette Park, and got up close and personal with about a million other people who were there taking pictures. I was very bummed that we did not get a tour of the White House. Another reason to go back again someday.
Sunday April 3- stayed in our hotel room and watched conference- NOT. Faked y'all out, right? Sunday we went to the National Gallery of Art, which may have been my favorite. Then we went to the Jefferson Memorial, took in what was left of the cherry blossoms, (which, by the way, are ONLY around the Jefferson Memorial) walked down the way and saw Martin Luther King and FDR Memorials.
Monday April 4- Mount Vernon. Took the metro to the end of the line then hopped on a bus that took us out to Mt. Vernon. Those DC folks have transportation down pat, I tell ya. It was all so easy.
Mt. Vernon is simply stunning. The views, the history, the gardens, the museums and displays- THE VIEWS. I could have spent the day just sitting on the back porch, taking in the view of the river.
|George's view from his back porch|
|George and Martha|
|planted by George Washington himself|
Tuesday April 5- on our way out of town, we killed a few hours at the Postal Museum, which was actually really cool. This museum is right next to Union Station AND they have free lockers for all you stuff, so it is a fun spot to wait for your train out of town. We saw the anthrax letter from 2001. I never thought much about how important the postal service was back in the day when it was the only way to get info around.
|my crush, Ben Franklin|