Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Vacation Day 2 ~ Washington DC

Yes!  We made it to Washington DC.  I was thrilled and my family felt the same way.  A lot of things will be crossed off of the bucket list with this vacation.  We woke up after a great night of rest and ate breakfast at the hotel.  Todd did a wonderful job finding a nice hotel.  I really liked it.  The staff was so nice and helpful and the free breakfast was not bad either.  There was only one slight problem; it was not the best side of town.  People, okay men, would sit on the curb of parking lots and streets with lunch boxes or coolers.  Just sitting and talking away.  I am not sure if they were sitting waiting for someone to come by and say, hey do you want to work or what. We also found out sometime that day at a gas station near by, someones person was stolen from her car.

The boys were thrilled, especially Ethan, we were going to ride the metro rail, something they could scratch off their bucket list.  The station was only 5 minutes from the hotel.   We jumped on to the blue line and rode it towards the Smithsonian stop which was the National Mall.  Once we stepped up and out of the station we knew then, we had arrived. We looked towards our right and in the far far distance was the Nation's Capital.  To our left we could see the Washington Monument and directly behind us were the beginning of the many Smithsonian Museums.  We decided to turn left towards the Washington Monument and continue down the National Mall until we reached the Lincoln Memorial and then turn around and head back.  I had to take a picture of everyone before we started our journey.
The Washington Monument was fenced off where we could not go directly up to it, nor could we ride to the top due to the earthquake Washington DC had.  The structure had some damage and in 2014 they will decide if they will repair it or not.  All flags were at half mass due to the shooting in Colorado.
Look closely, it looks like there are bungee cords holding it together.
Do you see it?
After the Washington Monument we came to the WWII Memorial.  It is a fairly new memorial (opened to the public in 2004) and I must say out of all the monuments and memorials we saw this was my favorite.  I am going to dedicate one post (click here) for this memorial because I have so many pictures that I want to include, however here are just a couple.
The time of our visit they had people working on restoration already.  They had to go through and repaint all the inscribed letters.

Next to the WWII Memorial is the Reflection Pool.
Yep, renovations were being made so the pool was drained. I guess the renovations began in 2009 (Who knew? I did not!) and it is expected to take any where between 18 months and 2 years.  Hopefully some day when we come back to Washington DC to see more historical sights that we missed I will have a better photo of the Reflection Pool, however this day no water.  Jenny could not run through the water and meet up with Forest if they were there this day.  I read that they were shooting for a re-opening date of August 2012, however by what I saw it will not happen.

Next we went to the Vietnam Memorial.

It was very quiet; people who were talking were talking with low voice, except for my boys.  I do not think they totally understood what all the names on the wall meant.  Once they were told, I could see the sadness in their eyes.

After lunch we visited the Lincoln Memorial.  I was anxious to see this one, since I went to Lincoln High School.  I am kind of fond of Mr. Lincoln from school pride.  I am going to have another post just of the Lincoln Memorial as well (click here) since I have a few pictures of things inside and outside, however here is one of them.  We spent several minutes inside the memorial.

After the Lincoln Memorial we went to the Korean War Memorial.  I really like this one and felt it was better than the Vietnam one.
I loved how the men looked like they were actually walking through the fields.
I loved how they had photos etched into the wall.
I also loved the little sitting area under the canopy of trees.  We sat a little while here too.  The squirrels at the National Mall are very people friendly.  One came within inches of Ethan while we were watching this squirrel a large rat came up from a grate around the trees.  I was done then and wanted to get the Sam out of there.  I hate mice and rats, so off we went back towards the Washington Monument.  Once we arrived there we chose to go see the outside of the White House.  One must sign up with your congressman prior (3-6 months prior) in order to get tickets to go inside, by the time I contacted our congressman they were filled due to the peak season so outside is the best we could do.

After the white house we headed to the United States Holocaust Museum, one that Todd, my Mom, and I really wanted to see.  Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take any pictures here.  We all were given a little passport of someone who lived during the World War II and was affected in some way.  Ethan wanted to trade his because he felt it hit too close to him.  He had a boy who died inside a concentration camp.  The boy was 15 the exact same age he was.  Actually, I think he was able to relate more by the boy being the same age. Inside there was a room filled with nothing but shoes.  This room I think was the most sobering room.  All the shoes of the poor people who were brought to the camps were piled inside this room.  In this room you could even smell the dirt still.  It was such a sad room.  The entire museum was sad, very important to have but sad.  I can not understand how some people today state the concentration camps never really happened.  I was very happy we were able to fit this museum visit with our first trip to Washington DC.  Once we left this museum, we all were very hungry and tired from walking so much.  We decided it was time to go back to our home away from home.  We walked a total of little more than 6 miles this day and this did not count all the walking we did in the museums or monuments. It was nice to relax in the hotel that night.

2012 Vacation Day 1 ~ The Drive 
2012 Vacation Day 2 ~ Washington D.C.
2012 Vacation Day 2 ~ WWII Memorial
2012 Vacation Day 2 ~ The Lincoln Memorial
2012 Vacation Day 3 ~ Washington D.C. 
2012 Vacation Day 3 ~ The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum 
2012 Vacation Day 4 ~ Washington D.C.
2012 Vacation Day 5 ~ Delaware
2012 Vacation Day 6 ~ Pennsylvania
2012 Vacation Day 7 ~ Cleveland, Ohio 


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