The Awesome Grand Tour (Kevin's Title)
Trip Start Mar 22, 2013
9Trip End Mar 30, 2013
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We met our guide, Vivian Portner and our driver Ibrihm (I think). And we headed out to tour Washington, DC. I'm going to try to list all of the sites we visited, viewed and drove by today, but I will undoubtedly miss a few...as they say, too many to mention!!! I should first mention the weather. It was very cold, snowy and rainy....other than that, it was beautiful. Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play????
We started off viewing, as Forrest Gump said, "our nation's capitol." The Capitol building is very impressive, and you can tell why they call it Capitol Hill...it is literally on a hill. Picture opportunity. The House was in session today, but the Senate was not
Out front of the Capitol was a large statue of an Illinois native, Ulysses S. Grant. He is supposedly saluting toward the other end of the Washington Mall, which has the Lincoln Memorial.
We walked a lot. As the mailman would say, "through rain or snow or dark of night, nothing could keep us from our appointed rounds." But we sure thought about it!!! Cold it was. We are here during the Cherry Blossom Festival...however, no cherry blossoms...too cold and snowy. Probably next week when we are gone.
As we drove around town, Vivian pointed all of the various governmental office buildings; the FBI, the Department of Justice, the State Department, Executive Office Building, the US Postal Service, etc, etc, etc.
We drove all along the two-mile long, Washington Mall. At the East end is the Capitol Building, in the middle the Washington Monument (being restored due to a recent earthquake), in the West end the Lincoln Memorial, to the South is the Jefferson Memorial and the north the White House
We got out at the Jefferson Memorial. That was probably my favorite stop of the morning. It is a beautiful memorial, but above that, I admire Jefferson so much...author of the Declaration of Independence, scholar, farmer, inventor...just a truly great man.
Then we headed to the Roosevelt Memorial. Got rained on hardest during that visit. But a beautiful memorial, which included a statue of Eleanor. Very well done.
We walked to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Kevin was too cold and waited for us in the van. Very good memorial, but as most memorials are, somewhat controversial due to a quote attributed to him on the side of the statue, which was not an exact quote...some say it makes him sound egotistical. I say, you can't have a memorial without some kind of controversy. A fitting tribute to the man.
Next, time for a quick lunch at Quizno's.
Next, we headed to the WWII Memorial. Extremely well done. And it's actually on the Capitol Mall, but it doesn't detract from any other sites. A very fitting tribute to people like my Dad who fought in the war.
Next, the Vietnam veteran's Memorial and the Korean Memorial
Korea was interesting...they soldiers were in gray and positioned as if they were taking a hill. Almost eerie, but very well done.
Next it was on to Arlington National Cemetery. After going through the Visitors Center, we headed up the hill to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. The ceremony was very stirring. This was definitely Kevin's favorite part of the tour.
As we headed to see the JFK Memorial, we saw the grave site of Joe Louis, the boxer. We were informed that there were 30 funerals per day because of all of the WWII and Vietnam soldiers passing away. We saw the Kennedy grave...in my opinion his assassination was the greatest tragedy of my generation. So many things would have been different had he lived. RFK's and Teddy's graves are near his, as Jackie and her infant children who died
On our way back to the van, we saw something few people get to see. We saw two caissons (one with white horses, and one with black) making their way back to their stables after funerals. A sad site indeed.
We drove by Ford's Theater where Lincoln was shot, and after a drive-by of the Smithsonian (where we plan to spend tomorrow), we headed back to our hotel. It was long, cold, wet day, but an excellent one!
We had dinner at a DC specialty, Ben's Chili Bowl. Obama has eaten there. Had a sign up...it said, "Two people eat free here...Bill Cosby and the Obama Family. Nobody else!" Had to laugh.
Back to the hotel, and Laura took off for Trenton again. She'll rejoin us on Thursday for more DC fun! Back to the hotel for a warm bed!
See you soon my friends!
P.S. Got a note from a friend that reminded me that my trips can be trumped. Henry Lee is in Hong Kong! Hong Kong trumps DC anytime in my book!!!