We arrive at Union Station early on the first day and have time to wait before our tour begins so strolled down to see the capitol building. I was very surprised to see how isolated it was, even on a Sunday morning but liked this shot that I got.
Our tour bus arrives and we are on our way to see the sights!!
The first impression that I have is how HUGE all the buildings are! The Department of Agriculture Building (which includes the FDA) is literally three blocks long and two blocks wide--one building; I would get lost trying to go from one end of the building to the other.
Our tour of Arlington National Cemetery is a very moving and somber experience. We witnessed the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier; it takes place every hour on the hour, seven days a week, regardless of the weather.
We also experienced a "wreath-laying" ceremony to honor a fallen soldier. Watch the video that I have added to the end of this post. While at Arlington we viewed all the Kennedy's graves and toured the home of Robert E. Lee. I didn't realize he was related to the George Washington family by marriage.
It was fun to see inside an actual colonial home.
Our tour of the monuments in Washington included Jefferson Memorial,
the Lincoln Memorial,
and the Washington Monument.
It was disappointing to learn that the famous reflection pool from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument is being rebuilt because of a leak!
The war memorials were very touching.
My heart was breaking at the Vietnam Memorial.
The "wall" shown here extends a block long, then turns a corner and goes the other way. It consists of panels, all engraved with the name of a soldier lost in the war. Almost incomprehensible to see how many names are carved there; it really hit home.
Of course, there were the protestors in town, too.
The Smithsonian Institute was a must to visit. The Smithsonian consists of nineteen separate institues in Washington DC; ten of them are on "The National Mall" where all the federal buildings and monuments are. We spent two entire days and made it through most of three of the buildings. One could spend a week or more just trying to tour the Smithsonian. The Museum of American History contains social and political icons such as inventions, presidents, pop icons: Barbie, the Muppets, television history, etc.
The Museum of Natural History houses the "natural" elements--gems and minerals like the Hope Diamond
, and hundreds of dinosaurs
. The third one we visited was the museum of space and flight.
We had to make a special trip to another of Ike's "Man vs. Food" destinations: Ben's Chili Bowl.
Over $20.00 in cab fares to go off the tour path to eat a $6.00 bowl of chili served in a paper bowl!! I didn't think it tasted any better than the chili I make, but got to see pictures of Bill Cosby, Hillary Clinton, the Obamas, and of course Adam Richman from the food channel on the wall!!
Washington DC was an amazing place to visit; I hope to go back someday. I think it would be a beautiful place to visit in the spring with the cherry trees all around the tidal basin.
Didn't get very close to the White House, but lo and behold--Obama was at our camp ground! HA HA
Please think of all our soldiers that give their lives for us when you view this video I made at Arlington National Cemetery during the changing of the guards. God Bless them and their families.
Arlington National Cemetery
We are really excited to spend some time in Washington DC and see all we can of our nation's capitol in the few days that we have here. It was fun to run into people in the campground in DC that were with us on the New York tours!! One couple was from Provo, Utah, one from Olympia, WA and one from Wenatchee!! As we enter the city, I am surprised to see the housing--blocks and blocks of "row houses" where every one of them is connected; absolutely no back yards and no privacy, and the cost of their housing is very, very high! Our bus driver told us to notice the license plates for cars from Washington DC. There are more than 600,000 people in the city; they have one representative who does not get a vote in the legislation. All the license plates say, "Taxation Without Representation"!