Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Break and History Lessons

No blog post in 11 days?  I'm ashamed! 

We hit up Washington, D.C., for the kiddos' spring break.  Last year our very good friends, the Nelsons, moved there (boo!) so we made sure we booked a trip to see them again. Nine months with no Nelson love was torture!

What an incredible city. I seriously do think it's the very best city in the United States.  Now, granted, there are many I have never visited, liked NYC, New Orleans, etc, but I truly think there is no other domestic city that offers what D.C. has in terms of history.  It's just beautiful and spectacular and it's impossible to see everything unless you're there for at least two weeks!

I won't go into a bunch of details, but I will say that if you haven't visited, you really need to make plans to go there.  And plan ahead!  We contacted our congressman over 4 months ago for White House and Capitol tour tickets and were very lucky to get them for this week.  I wish we had realized we could have done a Pentagon tour as well but thought of it way too late. Luckily the Pentagon Memorial is open at any time, and it was definitely the most meaningful thing we did while in D.C. The thought that went into every detail of the memorial was just amazing. The Capitol tour we did was a private one and totally worth the two hours.  I learned so many interesting things and the pictures I got were incredible.  White House tour was okay, but was self-guided and we saw very little. Plus...no cameras allowed at all and phones had to be turned off until you left the building.  Boo to that.

Capitol Dome

The Pentagon Memorial is very symbolic in every single detail.
(If you look closely at the Pentagon, you can see the two different shades of stone from where it was repaired following the attack)

A few things I learned while in D.C.:

1. It's okay to honk at any time for pretty much any reason while you drive through the city. If you hesitate at all at any green light prepare for the wrath of the driver behind you.

2. Security guards at the Pentagon are anti-Democrat apparently (after stupidly forgetting I couldn't take pics of the actual building and getting caught doing so, a security guard said about us to the other guard, "Oh they're from Texas and Republican, so they're all right.")

3. Waiting in line for an hour to get the opportunity to go up inside the Monument is absolutely worth every minute, even when it's freezing out and you're underdressed.

The view from the Monument, complete w
ith a dyed green fountain for St. Patty's Day

4. It's very easy to overeat.

5. The White House tour kinda sucks, although the building itself is beautiful.

6. If you're not careful you'll end up on a bridge and in Virginia.

7. Jefferson Street is the best place to park. Hands down.

8. Speaking of parking, we have the best parking luck ever.

9. Running through Arlington Cemetery and National Mall is the best run route I've ever taken.  I plan to run the National Half Marathon next year.

It was easy to run 11 miles when I had this view.

10. Eastern Market - best way to spend a Saturday morning

11. I've never seen so many police cars in my life.

12. Every hour or so you can count on massive sirens, blocked intersections, and black SUVs racing down a street.

13. Wear waterproof mascara - you WILL cry at the memorials if you have a heart.

At the World War II Memorial. Breathtaking artwork.

Now...enjoy a few more of my favorite pics.  I took about 1700.

Our very first stop after we arrived. Featured on Man v. Food.

It's truly unreal how many names are on the Vietnam Veterans Wall

Good ol' Abe Lincoln

Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers

Arlington National Cemetery

To say the Space Shuttle is big is an understatement (this is at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport)

So when are YOU planning your trip?

1 comment:

  1. Very happy I found your site. Will note it and return for more info.

    cialis online