Washington D.C. was absolutely beautiful. From the lawn of the White House to the grounds of Arlington Cemetery, plus cloudy skies and a nice breeze, made our visit to our nation’s capital, in a word, pleasant. Oh, but there is so much to do! We stayed in D.C. June 5th-12th (eight days) and still were not able to do all that we wished.
Our walk up to the fence of the White House was hard to enjoy as my siblings and I were fearing for our lives while Mom and Dad pointed out the snipers on the distant roof. We managed to smile for pictures but kept glancing over at the security guard hoping he wasn’t looking at us through his shades. After a few minutes of watching numerous other tourists stick their hands through the fence, and then walk away in one piece, we began to feel a bit more comfortable.
From the White House, we walked to the Washington Monument which sits on a small hill so from it’s base you can see the Capitol, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. What a historic view! You may have noticed, from the collage above, that the Washington Monument seems to be two different shades of white. Well, that’s because it is. During its construction, the builders ran out of money so the project was put at a standstill. When more funds were finally raised, designers had lost the information on what brick they were originally using so they guessed. Obviously, their conclusion was not accurate. XD
Down the hill and past the reflecting pool we went until we reached the Lincoln Memorial. To tell you the truth, I thought the 19-foot tall statue of Abraham Lincoln would be bigger. That’s what TV will do for you! The view of the Washington Monument from this memorial was stunning. As we continued on, each member of my family was able to stand where Martin Luther King Jr. stood when he gave his “I have a dream” speech. So cool!
You think a trip to a cemetery would be a quick visit. Nope! Well, at least not Arlington Cemetery. We spent seven hours there but, there were over 45,000 graves to see ranging from the Kennedy graves to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. On top of those we were blessed to also see India’s Prime Minister (who came to lay a wreath on the tomb), the changing of the guard, and the changing of the wreath.
The rest of our week in D.C. was spent touring three of the many Smithsonian Museums in the area. In the Air & Space Museum, we saw one of Amelia Earhart’s planes and the Wright brothers original 1903 flyer. During our visit to the American History Museum we experienced Julia Childs’ kitchen, saw the Star-Spangled Banner that inspired our national anthem, one of Judy Garland’s pairs of Ruby Red Slippers for her role as Dorthy in The Wizard of Oz, the video recorder that captured the only known footage of the first plane hitting the North Tower on 9/11, gowns worn by our nation’s first ladies, the hat Abraham Lincoln wore when he was assassinated, and much, much more. The Natural History Museum contained many interesting displays but one of the most popular would be the legendary Hope Dimond. My family and I had previously watched a documentary on it so it was really cool to get to see it in real life.
Our last day in D.C. ended up being our longest day. We began the day finishing touring the American History and the Natural History Museums. We made one last visit to the Washington Monument (where we spent serval hours walking around; I had to get creative and find new ways I could take pictures of the “upside down pencil”. I didn’t get very far 🙂 ) before heading off to the Jefferson Memorial. The statue under the large dome was bigger than I imagined, unlike the statue of Abraham Lincoln.
After the sun set, we ate a water-melon on a lawn near the Lincoln Memorial. Dad forget to bring his knife from the van so we had to use Haydn’s little orange one. Hayden cut a few notches into the rind and then he and Dad managed to pull it apart after many failed attempts where Mom, Ansa, and I risked getting elbowed in the face.
Once we were back in our van, after visiting and re-visiting the majority of the memorials in that area, the clock had struck midnight. It was around 1:30 AM by the time we got back to the hotel. We walked over 14,000 steps (5 miles) that day. Our feet were REALLY sore, but D.C. was definitely worth it.
Next stop: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
To view more photos capturing this stop, click here. Once in Flickr, click the arrow on your right to view the next picture. Thanks!