Country folk in the nation's capital
|Dennis and me. If this were a video, you'd see|
us shivering and hear our teeth chattering!
I've been looking through some photos tonight of a trip we really enjoyed. In 2007, Dennis, Isaac, and I went to Washington D.C. during Isaac's Easter break from school. Via the internet, I found a reasonably-priced hotel located just a block from the Iwo Jima monument in Arlington National Cemetery and just across the river from many famous monuments and buildings.
|The Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery|
The Virginia Suites worked out great for us. Our studio apartment was spacious and clean. It had a small, completely furnished kitchen and dining area, so I brought a few easy-to-cook things with us, and we ate in the room at night. We enjoyed the generous continental breakfast that was served downstairs each morning, and then we walked a few blocks to the subway and rode a short distance to the Mall area. We carried snacks to eat at lunchtime. ("Poor folks have poor ways," my mother-in-law often said, in praise of frugality.)
And speaking of coats -- we wished we had brought heavier ones! The wind blew hard, and the temperatures were in the 40s most of the time we were there. We wore extra layers of clothing but we still shivered in the wind chill. The cherry trees were blooming, but the combination of the late freeze, the snow, and the gusty winds frazzled them a little. The tourists looked frazzled too, huddled inside their coats as the wind hurried them along. I'm sure we looked much the same.
When we planned the trip, we decided that our main objective was visiting the Smithsonian museums. We also decided that when we went into a museum, each of us would wander through it as curiosity and interests led, rather than trying to stay together. This worked well. We designated a meeting spot and time, and we kept in touch with our cell phones.
|Spirit of St. Louis, flown by Charles Lindbergh|
|The flight deck of the U.S.S. Enterprise model|
Sadly, the Museum of American History was closed for renovation, but they had set up a small exhibit of "100 Treasures of American History" in another museum. There, I saw a military uniform that belonged to George Washington, the lap desk on which Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, General Custer's fringed buckskin coat, the robots R2D2 and C3PO from Star Wars, Abraham Lincoln's stovepipe hat, Dorothy's ruby slippers, the gown and cape that Jacqueline Kennedy wore to the inaugural ball, and 93 other amazing items.
|The road sign from M.A.S.H.|
|The crowd around the Hope Diamond|
|Amazing slabs of topaz!|
|Modern materials, |
|A corner on Constitution Ave.|
Just four days, and so many things to see! We raced through the museums, and keeping our original goal in mind, we didn't visit many other sights of the city.
In that whirlwind trip, I learned that Washington D.C. is a beautiful city. (Please don't tell me about the slums -- every city has them.) I am talking about the heart of the city where my nation's government is centered. I'm proud of our Federal buildings and national monuments, our Capitol, the White House, the Smithsonian buildings, the National Cathedral, and Arlington Cemetery. I'd love to visit there again, and who knows? Maybe we will!
|View from Arlington Cemetery|