Who Are These People?

My photo

We're homeless again!  Janice and I made the decision that there will be no better time than now to spend some time touring our beautiful country.  So we sold the house, put some stuff in storage, and off we go!

Where Are We Now?

Currently at Dam Neck Naval Base, Virginia Beach, VA.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Washington DC Highlights

No matter your political affiliations or thoughts on the current state of our government, a trip to the Nation's Capitol should be on your list.  This is a town of free museums, monuments, and parks that will keep you thoroughly entertained no matter how long you can stay.  Our stay was 10 days and I truly feel we barely scratched the surface, so another visit may be on the calendar in the future.  All told I visited six art galleries, the Sculpture Garden, two Air Museums, Arlington National Cemetery (fascinating story how this became a cemetery!) Mount Vernon, and I don't know how many monuments/statues/government buildings.  Make sure you wear good shoes!

If you do visit the public transportation system is relatively cheap, safe, and easy to use so park your car.  Believe me, you'll have much more fun because the traffic here competes for some of the worst I've seen, and I've driven our motorhome through I-5 LA rush hour, Portland, Seattle, and other busy places.  Also take a guided tour of some sort before venturing on your own; there is simply too much to see and you have to prioritize.  We took the night tour of 14 monuments and our guide was full of information we never would have discovered on our own.

The art museums and galleries are amazing, but don't forget some of the off the wall stuff.  I really enjoyed the National Archives (full of national treasures and displays) and the Post Office Museum was also pretty cool (and it's next door to the recently renovated Union Station).  There is even a Spy Museum which I didn't have time to see. 

My favorite place so far is the Library of Congress building; it's absolutely beautiful and full of treasures.  For you Cowboy's fans out there, here's something pretty cool.  Jerry Jones donated one million dollars to help restore the Jefferson collection that was lost to fire in 1851 (nearly two thirds of the collection were lost).  Historians are searching the world buying exact copies of each book.

You'll notice there are no pictures of the Vietnam Memorial.  I didn't realize this until I came home and went through the images and I can't believe I didn't take any.  It's a very emotional place to visit and one of the members of our tour group pointed out his brother's name on the wall.  I don't remember the exact details, but he was lost in the early 60's and his remains weren't found and identified for 20+ years.  

In addition to our time in D.C. we visited the Naval Academny in Annapolis MD and had a nice lunch, then ventured to Fort McHenry in Baltimore MD.

In addition to our founding documents the National Archives
has several rooms of great displays worth a look

Stairway in the Library of Congress leading to the
overlook into the Library research room.  This is a beautiful
building; if you go make time for the one-hour free guided tour
You could spend an entire day studying the carvings on the staircases.
Each of the children has meaning and represents a trade, science, or
something important in the world.
Looking down into the actual Library of Congress

The Capitol is beautiful.  While there a Congressman was on
the grounds holding a question/answer session with the press
and public; pretty cool to see it first hand.

The FDR monument is huge and walks you through his life and time.

Food line at the FDR Monument.  In the background is an
elderly couple representing the beginning of
Social Security
The Martin Luther King Memorial is a short walk
from the FDR Memorial.  In addition to the statue
there is a wall with many of his famous quotes 

Marine Memorial
The Korean War Memorial is near the Vietnam Memorial and this one
was emotional for a lot of people.  It has statues of soldiers in a field and at night
it was very eerie and gave a feel for how they may have felt while on patrol.
Another view of the Korean War Memorial.  Faces are etched
in the granite wall and our guide said all of the faces on the wall
and the statues are of actual Veterans.
Vietnam Women's Memorial

World War II Memorial.  This picture shows the Pacific Tower;
on the other side is a tower for the Atlantic campaign.  In addition to
the towers there are 56 pillars (48 states, Alaska and Hawaii territories,
Phillipines, Somoma, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands,
and the District of Columbia

Washington Monument from the WWII Memorial.  If you look in
the opposite direction the Lincoln Memorial is centered

Guess which museum this was?

I wasn't able to go in the Supreme Court building because it was
too late in the day.  Maybe next time

Ben Franklin statue in front of the Trump Hotel.  I wonder what
he would think of the current political climate?

The President wasn't in town when we visited but there was
an active protest going while we were there.  I guess there
always is.