A Monumental Day

Trip Start Jul 27, 2012
Trip End Aug 12, 2012

Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Saturday, August 4, 2012

A really good breakfast in the morning at the Holiday Inn was enough to keep us filled up til later, however Rich wasn't exactly awake as his first right hand turn took us straight into oncoming traffic which had us in terror at first then we saw the funny side as rich got abuse from some American's driving the correct way. No sooner had this happened then the second mare of the day occurred and Rich took a right turn too soon which took us on a loop back round a few blocks. From that point forward until Washington DC it was all incident free.

The hotel in Washington I pre-booked in Richmond was a members only place that allowed non-members at the weekend, it was small but very good quality and only 2 blocks from the White House, we had to check our car in at a nearby multi-story car park where we experienced the slowest service by some old guy who spoke with a strange Mexican accent. After parking we checked into the hotel then headed straight out cameras in hand to see all the history in this great city. First stop was the White House, the crowds were not as big as expected and we could easily get some pictures in, however it wasn't until later that we realised today (4th Aug) is Barack Obama's 51st birthday and he was up in Camp David playing golf. Next stop was the Washington Monument which is over 160m tall, from here you can look West and see the Lincoln Memorial but before reaching this there is a really good World War II memorial opened in 2004 by George W Bush. It has a pool surrounded by all the states of USA plus all other countries involved and information about the major battles. The big reflecting lake, made famous in Forrest Gump, leading up to the Lincoln Memorial was unfortunately under reconstruction but once at the large building it was worth the walk with a giant statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting on the chair inside. 

After a well needed rest we headed back through a park and passing a lake where there was a Vietnam memorial. Our final stop in the baking sun was the Holocaust Museum which had information from the end of the World War II including a story from one of the children who survived and also a piece on the propaganda behind Hitler and his rise to power. Dave and Rich headed back to hotel, after a quick stop at Subways, while I took the long 1 hour round trip up to the Capitol building, it was worth the effort as it is featured in so many iconic films and TV series. The pictures on here do not do this building justice due to the size and detail of it. We chilled in the room as we were all pretty knackered after a very busy day, before we knew it it was past 9 and we were hungry. 

Before food though we wanted to the see the Washington Monument at night. It was really well lit up and you could also see the Capitol building from a distance with a dark red moon in the sky. Most restaurants had closed by the time we walked back into town so we grabbed an 18" Pizza to share so we could chill out in our room watching Inglorious Bastards which shows an interesting twist on how World War II was ended. I think we all agreed this had been the best day on our trip so far with so much to see but our legs were definitely feeling the effects.
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