Thursday, October 6, 2011

We went to see the President but only got to see his White House…

10-05-2011 Washington DC 030

When the weather here in the Shenandoah Valley finally got warmer and the rain subsided it was time for us to make a road trip to our nation’s capital Washington DC. Sharon had never been to DC before so it was time for me to take her to see all the sights. As for me I had lived in DC way, way back in the late 60’s so I too was anxious to see how much it had changed.

10-05-2011 Washington DC 014               10-05-2011 Washington DC 016

Our plan was to drive the hour and fifteen minutes over to the Fairfax\Vienna Metro Station and catch the tram to DC. We left the Shenandoah Valley near 8:30 and got to the Metro by 9:45… so all was going well until we tried to park in the garage. Both parking garages were full as we drove around for about 15 minutes trying to secure a spot… Yikes!!! Next we tried to find a metered spot and when we finally did we didn’t have enough quarters to pay for the time we needed. Arghhhh!!! So we walked to the Metro Station to get change and there was no where we could get change… #$$@$^&…

10-05-2011 Washington DC 015

We asked one of the Metro employees what we should do and he said if it were him he drive four miles further to the West Fall Church Metro Station. Now that appealed to me since that is where I lived way, way, back in the late 60’s. Four miles down the road we pulled in only to find another full parking garage but the overflow parking lot had a few spots. Hooray!!! We paid the $4.50 to park, walked to the Metro, paid $6.05 round trip, then boarded the Metro and finally got to DC at the Foggy Bottom Metro Station just after 10:30. We had a lot of ground to cover after this late start.

10-05-2011 Washington DC 038I had plotted a 9 mile walk around all the hot spots of DC so we would be mostly just looking and not doing much dawdling. First stop was the Lincoln Memorial and the first disappointment we had was that the reflecting pond was completely dug up and being rebuilt. We walked to the Korean Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, MLK Memorial, and Holocaust Memorial. We saw the Smithsonian Museum, Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Memorial, the Capital Building and the White House. It was a bit disappointing seeing all the cranes and fences surrounding various buildings and monuments but then we remembered that there was a lot of damage caused by the recent quake here.

After 5 hours of walking and touring we were pretty tired puppies so we made our way back over to the Metro Station and caught the next Tram out of town. Then after returning to our car we got to experience a little of the DC rush hour since we didn’t leave till 4:30 pm. But despite our trials and tribulations and minor disappointments our visit to DC was all well worth it…

10-05-2011 Washington DC 044        10-05-2011 Washington DC 006

Sharon commented that DC memorials and buildings were much bigger than she ever imagined. As for me, I couldn’t believe how much DC had grown since I had lived out in the sticks known as Falls Church, VA which in the late 60’s was a good 10 minute drive from DC.

Today we will leave the Shenandoah Valley and go to Norfolk, VA for a few days where we will stay at our friend’s house while our motorhome gets the oil changed and fluids checked. Hope she gets a good checkup…


  1. I got up about an hour ago. After reading about your day, I think I need to go lay down again! WOW! Maybe you'll have time to go back one day to enter a building or two? :)

    Great photo of Sharon and the White House.

    Safe travels.

  2. When we went to D.C. way back in 03, we avoided that whole issue by staying at Cherry Hill RV park (or whatever way they describe themselves).
    It was a crowded park, but there was a pool and the bus came right into the park entrance. Made it really convenient to then get to the metro and go into D.C. (that was about all that park had going for it too, btw)
    There was still more to see when we left at the end of a week. Not sure just when we'll get back that way, if ever again. Enjoy it while you can.

  3. A 9 mile walking tour, like Laurie, I am exhausted thinking about it and I love to walk. I haven't ever been to DC either it will be awhile yet before I make it there, we just don't travel that fast. The good thing is by the time I do make it there maybe all the construction will be done. :)

  4. WOW a real whirlwind tour for sure. I hadn't heard that there was a lot of damage from the Earthquake more than 90 miles away. I think DC is just always being "repaired" or it seemed that way to me when I lived in Charlottesville and went there fairly often. I could spend all day just in one of the Smithsonian Buildings or the Library of Congress.

  5. Not surprised that the Vienna Matro parking was full when you arrived. As the first station on the line for those living west, it's very popular. Only the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument were damaged in the quake ... so those cranes you saw ... well they seem to a permanent fixture related to the ongoing maintenance and upkeep around here. You had a beautiful day for your 9-mile stroll. Enjoy Norfolk.

  6. Thanks for sharing this great trip with us. Really enjoyed reading it.

  7. You have the best travel/RV blog on the net! I REALLY enjoy reading it and following your adventures.

    Todd n Texas

  8. Paul and I did Washington DC last year. He had never been there. We spent one week and could have spent another. So much to see and do and mostly all FREE...what a great country we live in.

  9. Sorry for your slow start to the day but it sounds like you had a good day and got to see lots. We enjoyed our visit there three years ago. We split it up into two days, there is just so much to see and most of it is free! We love FREE!!!

    Kevin and Ruth