What do you do in DC? You WALK!

10 May

Day 8, Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This day was a total wash, seeing as how, other than a trip to IHOP (I didn’t feel like making our regular smoothies for breakfast) and a stop at Target for some items, we spent the whole day in the hotel room. Last week in Virginia it was often cold and windy and I had to battle my son to wear his coat (which he insisted he didn’t need on some days, even though it was quite cool) and along with the rainy experience from Tuesday, it finally caught up with him and he had a bad cold. I had heard it coming for a few days, but after the day in the rain and him waking up sounding horrible, we decided to stay in the hotel room despite our desire to head out and explore the city in better weather.

We spent the day resting and he received a healthy dose of juice, tea, soup, and some medicine to help out his cold.

Day 9, Thursday, May 9, 2013

After Wednesday’s not-so-fun hotel seclusion, we really wanted to be out and about, and we were both relieved when my son woke up feeling and sounding much better. I knew from the weather reports that it was going to be a glorious day, weatherwise and I had time to make up due to missing the day previously and not being able to do anything. Also, there was the fact I had pre-purchased tickets for a show at Ford’s theater on Thursday and I really didn’t want to have to forfeit on the tickets. So, we ate breakfast, got dressed, and decided to make the most of our day!

Ford’s Theater is an interesting place to visit. They have a museum inside you’re allowed to see that’s part of your ticket, and I also paid to see a performance they had going on there called, “One Destiny,” a skit that featured two men who portrayed several men (including Mr. Ford) who were at the theater on that infamous night and what they saw, heard, and their feelings about the events of that evening and the aftermath. I also just realized, regretfully, that our tickets included a visit to the house across the street that they took Lincoln to, where he eventually died, but we didn’t go in because I assumed separate tickets were required. If we have time, I think we’ll head back there and explain how I goofed and see if they let us in.

By the time we finished this experience it was close to lunch time so we decide to head to a place for lunch. On the way there, since I knew we were close we swung by to see one side of the White House (I think it would be The North Side) as well as a statue of Lafayette that was nearby. After lunch we made our way towards the monuments. We were able to swing by the other side of the White House and then down towards the Washington Monument, which sadly is having some work done due to an earthquake a couple of years ago, and is currently not allowing visitors to go to the top. From there we visited the World War II Memorial, and then traveled along the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial.

All of these things are amazing to see. It was a gorgeous day with gorgeous weather. At one point we just sat on the grass in front of the Washington Monument and stared up at it, enjoying the weather, the view, and the thrill of it all. The World War II Memorial is beautifully done, and there are so many little details that make it what it is. And Lincoln Memorial…. I just love that place. I took many, many photographs, and just being there has a feeling of awe and sense of wonder all its own. We sat on the steps there, too, just enjoying the thrill of being there and the architecture, and the day in general.

Our day wasn’t done, however. We walked back to see the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial, walked back past the Washington Monument, and then headed on over to the National Archives to check out the wonderful documents that are the foundation of the ideas our country was built on. Sadly enough, these and other documents in the building are extremely faded, and one can barely read the well-known words that are scrawled on the pages. John Hancock should be proud to know that even after all these years, and amongst the many faded signatures, his signature is still quite recognizable. It’s sad what time does to documents. The lights are dim in the room these documents are in, and no photography was allowed, but we were there, and we got to actually see them, and I think that’s an important thing one is able to say they have done.

Overall, because of the location of our visits this day, and lack of Metro access to those locations, it was a day of walking. Having mapped our route out using an online tool, we estimated our trip (when I mapped it I realized later I missed a spot or two) to be between about 7 and 8 miles we walked on this particular day. Our feet were not pleased with us at the end of the day, but we were happy we were able to cover so much in such a short period of time, and still enjoy it all thoroughly, the way it should be done.

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