Oh yes, Day 4 – After rising and shining before anything else had risen and shown, we were off to DC. Despite the rain, it was an enjoyable trip, says the non-driver. Did you know alien spacecraft will pull you over in Virginia?
Anyway, we made excellent progress, so much so that we were able to squeeze in a bookstore stop and decided to bump Arlington from Friday to Monday. And for those of you ever planning on going to Arlington before you cross over to DC, don’t do it without a Garmin (or GPS of your choice, if you must). I never thought about being that close to the Pentagon, and that many times (in point two miles, then exit left, then exit right, then in point four miles, exit right, then left, then left, then right . . . . . )
Wow. Words don’t even begin to explain Arlington. I can tell you that there are 624,000 thousand buried there, with over 290,000 grave markers (spouses and children can be buried there, but stacked in the same gravesite, hence one marker for multiple burials). But really, you just had to be there.
Kudos to Cynical, we made our way to the Inn. The Intown Uptown Inn, to be exact. Tired from our travels, dinner that night was Chinese delivered in.
Day 5 – How do I tell you about Day 5? If it’s in DC, we saw it. Everything. We had two day passes for a hop-on, hop-off trolley, and it was worth every penny that day (the next day it would let us down, but that’s another story).
I think my favorite thing I saw that day was the FDR Memorial. Scattered among the stones and fountains are several of his famous quotations, which I found to be uplifting and inspiring. It made me want to learn more about him.
Another of my favorite things that day was the World War II Memorial. My grandfather, great uncle, and two great aunts all served during the war, and all came home, whole of body, but not entirely unscathed. It’s a beautiful, touching memorial.
Day 6 -When a tour of the White House was not to be, my senator’s office offered a tour of the Capitol, and tour it we did. We even got passes to the Senate Gallery, which was in session, but sadly they did not reconvene while we were there. We did get to see Evan Bayh “suggest the absence of a quorum” to Kay Hagan (there were zero senators present, we think they were napping after a long lunch), so that at the very least was cool.
We grabbed a quick bite to eat, then took the subterranean tunnel from the Capitol to the Library of Congress. Oh my. This was the big surprise of the trip. We expected somewhat plain and reserved architecture there. We were mistaken.
This is the part where the trolley let us down. All over DC, tons of school and charter buses, picking people up, dropping people off. And there is only one spot near the Capitol where it is legal for a bus to drop people off. So, as you can imagine, it was congested. Apparently, our trolley driver thought it wasn’t worth battling, and we helplessly watched him drive off. Our choices were to wait for the next one (30 min, after we had just waited 25 min), or hoof it.
Hoof it, we did, right to the National Archives. There, we got to see the original documents that help create this nation.
Day 7 – Was museum day. We went to the Museum of American History and the Holocaust Museum (no picture there – not allowed inside, and too sad otherwise).
We also went to the Old Post Office, and went up in the tower to get an amazing view of the city.
Day 8 – We knew we would be heading out, but we wanted a bit more time to see Ford’s Theatre and do some last minute souveniring. A ranger gave a presentation on the events that fateful day that Lincoln was shot. We also toured the house that they took Lincoln to after being shot, where he would later die.
Though we could have easily spent another month exploring, there is this darned thing called work that we all have to thank our lucky stars we still have, and we were on our way back home. We stopped just on inside the border of KY, to continue our journey the next day.
Day 9 – Homecoming. We arrived back at Ragged and Cynical’s, unloaded the trip buggy and loaded our car, gave our dear friends hugs, the kitties scritches, and made our way to our own home and kitties. All were in the same state as when we left, thanks to the efforts of Rudy and Brando.
That is a way, way shortened account of the trip. I don’t think the magnitude of what we saw has even sunk in at this point.
But we’ve got the pictures to prove it.