Monday, October 24, 2011

D.C. Trip Day 3

After a few non-walking related activities on Saturday we were pretty ambitious about how much we could walk Sunday... plus we (and when I say we I mean Jim) were a little more familiar with the Metro.
Our first stop was Arlington National Cemetery

Painting in the visitors center.
JFK's memorial... it may have been the most quiet that group of teenagers that was wondering around near us was the entire day....
The view from here back toward the city was beautiful.
Arlington National Cemetery was the home of Robert E. Lee and was taken over by the Union after he turned down the job of commanding the Union troops and led the Confederate troops instead. The first soldiers were actually buried there with the intention of offending Robert E. Lee and were buried around his garden.
RFK's burial site.
View from Lee's front porch. It may have looked a little different back then... not sure but maybe.
Next we wondered around until we found the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers where we watched the changing of the guard.
We also got to watch two wreath laying ceremonies... including one done by Boy Scouts from Charleston, SC. The most touching part to me was hearing that same soldier who had given the command of silence and respect during the ceremonies give the Boy Scouts direction, a totally different tone.
Then however the Italian Minister of Defense had a wreath laying ceremony.... in which he 1) Did not understand the meaning of the phrase "Please put both hands on the wreath (at least 6 times) 2) Did not salute or cover his heart during the playing of taps. AND his military personnel there to watch the ceremony not so nicely pushed the adorable Boy Scouts out of their front row standing place before their wreath was even removed. Boo to those Italians.

Over the archway there was an inscription that says,
"We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain."

We took the Metro back up near the mall where we ate lunch and then went to the Air & Space Museum (Smithsonian). It was the most child friendly museum that we went to that weekend with lots of interactive displays and even one whole display that was geared toward children exploring (we may have played in there for a little while).
Medals all won by one man in WWII.

We then made our way toward the National Archives in hopes that the line would be much shorter (and that they wouldn't take away my water bottle). We did not get pictures of the outside and they were not allowed on the inside. We got to see the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
 Here I should mention that by this point we had been through just about as many gift shops as we had sites we had seen and I had yet to find a souvenir that I wanted. Jim had already acquired several small items and was concerned that I was going to go home with nothing and be disappointed. But I reassured him that when I found what I wanted I would be sure and maybe rather than several small items I would find one large souvenir.
We also walked past the Naval Memorial
The Verizon Center, the Fallen Police Officer Memorial,
the National Portrait Gallery,
 and the Spy Museum in our quest to find... can you guess?
A Fire Station. Jim happens to work with several people who used to work in and around the D.C. area who gave us a lot of hints on planning our trip. We (again I mean Jim) talked to one of the Firemen who worked here for quite some time and left with a D.C. Fire t-shirt.

After that we decided to ride just a little further to see Union Station so I could check one more item off my "To See" list.... once there we decided to take advantage of this stop and get dinner instead of stopping at Chipotle on the way back to our hotel again.

We also got to see the Postal Museum just across the way while at Union Station. Again by the time we got to the Metro stop in Rosslyn our poor feet resisted the little uphill walk toward the hotel.
With only one day and A LOT of important sites left to see Monday would be busy.

1 comment:

  1. I'm on pins and needles waiting to see if you got a souvenir...did ya?