Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 3, Washington D.C.

This was the campsite where we stayed.  Lovely place, but had a major tick problem (bug spray did the trick, however I did pull a super duper uber tiny deer tick off Mitch's foot).


I woke up at 5:51 am (impressive--that's 4:51 my normal time!). But we didn't get rolling until 8:15 am. The drive into D.C. took less than 30 min. We found a close/convenient parking garage, but it didn't open until 9 a.m. We planned on meeting up with a free walking tour. I practiced taking pictures of the impressive architecture. How do you *uniquely* photograph something that has already been photographed a million times before?

{Nathan Hale, who said, "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country," stands watch outside the Justice Building.}

{Such a trooper to come all this way!}

{The Washington Monument. I highly recommend the walking tours.}

{Another viewpoint of the Washington Monument}

While we were listening to the tour guide tell us about the monument, she said that there were still some tickets available for later in the evening to go up to the top of the monument. This was one thing that we had really wanted to do, but didn't think we would get to. We tried to reserve tickets ahead of time online, but they were all sold out, and otherwise you need to get in line by 7 am usually to get any remaining tickets for the day. Patrick & I immediately left the tour and ran for the ticket office while Mitch said, "Make it as late as possible!" The only tickets available were for 9 pm, which was pretty much perfect. Score!

{Me at the center of the universe. A picture taken for my friend and teacher, Russ Arndts.}

{Zeke and The White House...we didn't try to get any closer, we didn't have time.}


{The World War II Memorial and in the background, the Reflecting Pool and Lincoln Memorial}

{Kilroy Was Here...very cool story!}

{Coming from a family full of nurses, this memorial is always one of my favorites. It is next to the Vietnam Wall, which we did not go down to see since there was some special ceremony going on.}

{Our whole family on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in our pink shirts. This is where our walking tour ended. I also got asked twice to take other group pictures and was even asked if I am a photographer. :) I just pointed to my group and said, "I have to be!"}

We got lots of inquiries about our shirts. That was pretty cool. One passerby pumped a fist in the air and shouted, "LORD OF THE RINGS!!"


{Abraham Lincoln...they say that the statue is made to portray two different sides of Lincoln...they also say that Robert E. Lee's face is carved in the back of Lincoln's head, which faces towards his former home which is now Arlington National Cemetery}

{Tirzah conked out. Malachi and Josh each took turns falling asleep in a stroller, too.}

{The Jefferson Monument across the river. When we got to the point that we could see Jefferson standing straight up in the monument, I remembered what our tour guide had told us about it's placement. I turned and saw the White House perfectly centered.}

{Can you see the Secret Service men on top?}

It was sooooo hot. We were hoping to find some fast food at the end of our tour, but there was NOTHING close by. There were some street vendors near our next destination, the Holocaust Museum, however we had mistakenly left our cash in the van (boo!). So we had to walk very total (according to google) it was an extra 1.4 miles for us. Not so easy with hot and tired little legs joining us. It just about killed them! By the time we were done with that, they had very little energy left to bear the Holocaust Museum. I tried to absorb as much as I could, but honestly I was fried too. It was incredible, but it's impact on me was certainly minimized given the circumstances. If you have time to go, really allot yourself a good 2-3 hours to go through it, and don't go with little children, and don't go when you're so tired. Also, reserve tickets online ahead of time for a small fee ($1). :)

{No pictures were allowed taken inside. Patrick said that even though he knew much of the history that was there, it was neat to see it all put together. I still wish I had more time...}

Catching a breath...


{The National Archives. This building houses many important documents, but we had our sights set on seeing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. No pictures were allowed inside, and the decay of the documents is very evident.}


We were planning to leave the Archives and go to the Air and Space Museum, but that would require MORE walking. Away from our van. Away from our supper. So we decided to skip it. We had just enough time for a change in plans and headed over to the Arlington National Cemetery to see the last changing of the guard for the day. Well worth the drive (and additional walking).

Now that I am home and looking at google maps, I realized that on Saturday night we actually drove right past the massive Pentagon building. We had NO idea what it was (hard to recognize the pentagon shape from the side). It was MASSIVE and we were CLOSE and we had no idea what it was. Ha! Didn't even take a picture. :)

{Robert E. Lee's house, facing the Lincoln Memorial}

{I can't even begin to grasp what this means, but I try.}

The Changing of the Guard


So after the last guard change, the cemetery was officially closed, and we made our way {quickly} back to the van. We headed back across the river now to make our appointment to see the inside of the Washington Monument. On the way, Patrick & I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the van. Again. And Mitch suffered the harrowing job of trying to find a parking place (nearly impossible) relatively close.

{Resting at the base of the monument. What a very nice way to end our hard day!}

The elevator ride to the top of the monument took 70 seconds.  The last time Mitch went up here, there were lots of winds and the top was swaying some 15 feet.  Thankfully for us it was relatively motionless (though Mitch was a twinge disappointed--he compared it to a fun roller coaster ride).  We got there in time to see the sunset, which was spectacular for me.

{The White House}

{The Lincoln Memorial}

{The Jefferson Memorial}

{The Lincoln again...getting darker now}

{The Capitol...that makes all four sides of the monument!}

It was late, and we were spent, but we made one last stop to visit Jefferson up close.


It was so late that I have no idea what time we finally fell into bed. It was definitely after 10 pm. And after I enjoyed a nice, cool shower. I had blisters on my feet! I feel like we squeezed an amazing amount of stuff into one day in D.C. Yes, there is so much more to see, but we did fantastic given the circumstances. Retracing our steps with google maps, I estimate that we walked over 6 miles. I do not know the exact temperature for the day, but I have an idea it was over 90 degrees F. Hot!


  1. Im sure it was 90 or over. It has been in the 90's or over for the whole month of June here in VA. Glad to see yall had a great time in DC and in VA.
    God bless

  2. Love the pics... and the story. Speaking of stories... I sent you an email about the Washington Monument. LOL

    Waiting for Day 4 and more!