Thursday, August 27, 2015

Visiting the Nation’s Capitol, Washington D.C.

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Since we are close to Washington DC while here in the Shenandoah Valley we decided that we should revisit our nation's capitol. We visited DC several years ago and it was Sharon’s first visit to the capitol city but during our last visit the reflecting pool was drained. Also the Washington Monument was damaged and being repaired due to the unusual earthquake that hit the area back then. Therefore a return trip was in order for her to see these sights and few others  we missed last time.

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As we did last time we drove over to the Metro Station at Fairfax, Virginia but unlike that visit we came on a Friday after 10am so we were able to park in the metro parking garage for $4.85 for the day. Last time we came before 10 only to discover the lot was full and we had no quarters to park at any of the coin meters causing us to have to drive another 4 miles to the Falls Church Metro. We did come prepared with lots of quarters this time just in case the garage was full.

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The metro was on time and took less than 30 minutes to arrive in the heart of DC. We exited the train at Federal Triangle and walked toward the Washington Monument. We were immediately mesmerized by all the buildings with such stature surrounding us. We were happy to see that the reflecting pool was full of water and the Lincoln Memorial was glimmering in the water as a mirror image of its actual self.

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We walked the length of the rectangular pool to the Lincoln Memorial then looked back at the Washington Monument whose reflection also glimmered in the pool. It was great seeing all of this NOT under repair/renovation this time around. After we walked around the reflecting pool we were hungry and decided to walk over to Chinatown for lunch.  On our way to Chinatown Sharon saw a vintage Good Humor Truck with its driver decked out in the all white uniform.  As we stopped for a photo, he offered us free ice cream.  Wow!  That was lucky! We continued over to Chinatown Express which had been written up in the Washington Post. We enjoyed our meal but to be honest it wasn’t as good as we hoped. Our before lunch double caramel chocolate ice cream bar however was a big hit !

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After lunch we headed to our main event for the day as we planned to spend a good amount of time exploring the Smithsonian Museums. We only briefly enjoyed them on our previous visit to town. We spent a good hour or two in the Museum of Natural History. The dinosaur skeletons, the minerals, and (yes) the Hope Diamond were all highlights of the museum.

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After we left the Museum of Natural History we spent some time (less time) at the Museum of American History. We were trying to find the archives so we could see the Declaration of Independence but could never find it. We did come across the Francis Scott Key exhibit and were fortunate to see the flag that was his inspiration for our national anthem. We were amazed at how large that flag was…

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After leaving the American History Museum we were pretty tired so we began to head back to our Metro when we realized we were at the Smithsonian Metro. So we went down the stairs and caught the train there which saved us from walking an additional half mile to the Federal Triangle station. Man were we glad to sit down especially after we looked at our smart phones that informed us we walked nearly 9 miles this day…Whew!

Yes we had anther great day on the road of retirement…

10 comments:

  1. Living just 90 mins from DC for 25 years, we spend many, many days there visiting. It is a perfect city for bikes. Both of our kids learned to ride cities here with its slow traffic. You could have taken your bikes on the metro. Bikes sure make seeing the city easy since it is such a large place. I can just imagine how tired you were after nine miles and many hours of standing as you visited the museum. Bet you slept well:) Looks like a super day. I love the Natural History Museum and the gem section.

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    1. yes we did sleep vary well indeed...

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  2. We spent three solid days in DC and didn't see it all. It is a place every American should see! What a grand place. One day went in early and stayed till after dark. Beautiful place at night Also, we were there when we could still take tours of the White House. What a treat.

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  3. Thanks for the tour hopefully someday we will get to Tour Washington as well, would love to see it.
    Free Good Humor now thats a deal.

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  4. You never realize how far you walk, when you are seeing such interesting sights.

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  5. Your pictures are wonderful! It is true that one can spend days and days in D.C. and only scratch the surface. You clearly did your part with 9 miles. That's a mighty lot of steps. Glad the 90 degree heat wasn't there on the day you went.

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    1. we waited for a cool day with low humidity before we headed to town...

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  6. NARA - The Declaration of Independence - Our National Treasure
    www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/treasure/index.html

    Too bad you missed it. It IS impressive.

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    1. the beauty of it John is there is always next time and much more to see...

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    2. Absolutely. That's why we still go to London! Enjoy the next few weeks in the NE. A tub awaits Sharon here.

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