6/17/2010

Mini-Vacation

This is one view that, if I lived in the area, I don't think I'd ever get tired of seeing:

Yep, that's right!  Our mini vaca was to Washington D.C.!  It was pretty hazy when we were there, so I didn't get the clearest pictures of the views.  It was a great 2 1/2 days!  I went to some places I had been before:



 And saw some things for the first time:



We stayed near the Iwo Jima Memorial.  The last 2 times we went to D.C., somehow we had missed it.  Husband, YS, and I walked over Sunday evening, right at dusk.  It amazes me how much bigger everything really is!  And, what an amazing site to see when we looked over to  the District:
And, on our way over to the memorial, we saw a stealth bomber (lower collage:  lower  right corner).  It was amazing...it looked like a kite flying in the sky.

Monday YS & I hopped on the metro and met the rest of  Husband's family at Union Station.  (Husband had to work out of their DC office.)  We went by the Capitol, Botanical Gardens (upper right corner of lower collage), Air & Space Museum, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial (complete with the obligatory yelling for Jenny!), Vietnam Memorial, Korean Memorial, WWII Memorial, Smithsonian Art Museum, and, of course, the Washington Memorial was in view everywhere we went.  SIL & I thought we stayed way too long in the Air & Space  Museum,  but the guys were having a lot of fun.  They could've stayed in there all day; the girls were ready to get out of there!  Husband met us for dinner after work at BIL & SIL's house.  Then, we hopped back on the metro to go back and rest up for the next day.

Tuesday YS & I hopped back on the metro to meet everybody so we could go to Mt. Vernon.  We stayed there all morning. We saw a good-sized Tom Turkey (who made his presence known with his gobbles!), and, we saw an osprey in her nest:
At one point we saw her come  back to her nest with a fish for her babies.  No  picture, though. I figured it would take me too long to get the camera to the right setting, so we  just sat back and enjoyed the view.  We also saw a bald eagle. Nothing says freedom or USA better than seeing bald eagles & turkeys at the home of our first President!

After lunch, we went by the Pentagon to the Pentagon Memorial.  I have to be  perfectly honest with you: I didn't even know it existed, but my MIL recommended it.  I didn't take any pictures of it, because my SIL scared me to death...pictures of the Pentagon aren't allowed, but I  wasn't sure if it was  okay to take pictures of the memorial, so I didn't even get my camera out.  Go here to see a picture of it.  I was a little surprised that there wasn't a plaque explaining it, and I didn't see anything online  explaining it.  And, you need a little bit of an explanation.  Each of the little benches represents each person who was killed.  The name is inscribed on the bench, and they are organized youngest to oldest.  There is a plaque on the wall of each column of benches with the year each person was born.  If the person had relatives who also perished,  their names are inscribed in the reflecting pool under each bench.  The part of the bench that is off of the ground:  If it faces the Pentagon, they were on the plane; if it  faces away from the Pentagon, they were  in the building.  The reason for that is that it was the last view the person had before they died.  I had chills when my SIL was telling me about it...it was very surreal walking through the memorial.  The benches looked like the tail wing of an airplane  to me. I didn't see any mention of that, so I'm wondering if that's what the architects intended. 

Next up was Arlington.  We got to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers just as the Changing of the Guard was ending, but we did get to see the wreath laying ceremony.  Incredible. What a view with the tomb looking out toward DC, and then to hear Taps being played.  I might have had to wipe a tear or two from my eyes.
I don't know why, but I was amazed at the disrespect shown by groups of kids when we were there.  They were running, laughing, being very loud.  I thought my BIL was going to have a fit. you would think that the adults would have had a hold on it.  And, these weren't elementary school kids; they appeared to be middle to high school age.  When we were at the Eternal Flame, 2 girls came  up to the graves and were practically yelling.  I  shushed them;  one apologized.  I know, I'm such a witch, but I had  run out of my Black Cohosh!

We had dinner at an Eastern European restaurant near BIL & SIL's house.  Husband rode the metro out after work.  Dinner was quite an experience!  First, they didn't have a table for all 9 of  us to sit, so they ended up putting us in 2 booths.  25 minutes after we were seated, the waitress (who I think is one of the co-owners) came by to get our drink order.  SIL started to order her dinner, but was stopped and told to just tell her what she wanted to drink.  We were tired; we were  hungry...Nothing else needs to be said.  And, I was out of Black Cohosh.  So, no, we were not happy!  We got our food about an hour after that, and, I'll be the first to admit, it was excellent.

After dinner, Husband, YS, and I said our goodbyes to everybody and went back  to where we were staying.  Husband had a meeting Wed. so we had planned on leaving as soon as he was finished.  YS & I headed out to the National Cathedral Wed. morning.  YS was great as long as we were on the subway, but when we had to switch to a bus, it was a different story.  In typical 15-year old fashion, I heard, "Why are we even going to this?  I'd rather go to Aunt's house and play Wii Fit."   Uh....no.  Aunt had had 4 extra people in her house since Sat. night...she was ready for some peace &  quiet.  So, I went through the Cathedral quickly...by myself.  You know, it really isn't very fun to see something of that magnitude by yourself...and to be in a hurry knowing that there's somebody waiting for you.  But oh, was it magnificent!

So, that's the wrap-up of the mini-vacation.  On the schedule for the next visit to DC:  A tour of the Capitol and an actual tour of the Cathedral.

If anyone doesn't know about Black Cohosh:  It's wonderful!  It's an all natural herb that the Indians used during childbirth. Now it's used to minimize menopause symptoms.  My gyno in SC (who was Indian but grew up in Montgomery, Al.) recommended it.  It works so well that Husband wants to get a black cohosh lick installed in our house!  Definitely helps with the moodiness.

Thanks for stopping by so I could share the vaca with you!

12 comments:

  1. First of all-I am in complete agreement on the Air and Space museum : ) We went into DC a lot when we lived in Annapolis. If we were ever just looking for something to do hubs always suggested that. What is it with men and the Air and Space museum???

    Sounds like a wonderful trip and you certainly squeezed a lot in. Are your legs tired? That's alot of walking. My favorite thing is the monuments in the evening...each one is special in its own way. And sometimes kids just need to be dragged along-they might grumble but they generally remember it later.

    I'm glad you said something to the kids. I don't think they necessarily mean to be disrespectful but they do have signs around Arlington reminding you to shush. My dad is buried in an area that overlooks the side of the Pentagon where the plane hit. Arlington is so much beauty and sadness all in one place.

    Love seeing the stealth-very cool. One year we were in front of the White House and Regan's helicopter landed right there on the grass. This was back in the day when you could get right up on the lawn. All your pics make me want to take a trip to DC!

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  2. Wow! You sure did a lot. We're planning a trip to Richmond then to DC on Saturday. We're looking at tickets to the Nationals game right now so I'm not sure if we'll get much sightseeing done. It sounds like you need a whole week!

    Glad you had a good time.

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  3. This trip looks wonderful. I want to visit here ONE day too.

    I might just need a Black Cohosh lick in my house too. :0

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  4. LOL at the husband wanting to install a lick of black cohosh. Hilarious. I've been to DC twice, and I still have so much more to see!

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  5. What a wonderful review of your trip! Thank you for sharing with us!

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  6. Great to hear you visited the Pentagon Memorial. Just so you know, the benches at the Pentagon Memorial are not meant to represent anything (e.g. airplane wings) - they are slender and cantilevered to project over the small pool of water. The shape of the stainless steel is optimal for structural purposes and it happens to be elegant at the same time. You can learn more about the Pentagon Memorial at www.pentagonmemorial.com or on the architect's website, www.kbas-studio.com.

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  7. I hav never been there, so thanks for the photos :) I've been to Washington state quite a few times (It's just over the border from here) but never to washington city on the other side of your country :)

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  8. Anonymous: Thanks for the comment. I tried to find a link to the architect's website, but didn't see one on the Pentagon's page. I will check it out!

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  9. I loved reading about this. It's been many years since I've been to DC. I was in awe the entire time we were there. Surrounded by all that history is very humbling I found. I was there pre-9/11 so of course I've not seen the pentagon memorial. When we visited the Vietnam Memorial I was overwhelmed with sorrow for the two young men I had gone to highschool with who lost their lives there...I can't imagine living in an area so rich with the history. Amazing.
    Now, we need to talk about Black cohash. Does it work for relieving Hot Flashes?

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  10. I'm SO glad you got to go to the National Cathedral -- you should have emailed before and I would have gone with you and we could have let YS stay at the pizza place nearby!

    Hopefully that was a taste enough for you to want to revisit.

    Did YS know that there's a Darth Vader carving on the Cathedral? THAT would have kept him busy trying to find it!

    Glad you had such a great trip and as for speaking to disrespectful kids, GO FOR IT! I do the same thing. I have gotten to the point now that I look for the adult who accompanies them and ask the adult to intervene...

    Glad you're back!

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  11. Wow! You all sure made the most of your mini-vacay! Loved the pictures and I'm with you, in that I would have said something to the girls, too. (I'm a former librarian *smile*)
    We've been to D.C. before but would love to go back and see those things that we missed before and see the monuments at night and so much more!
    Thanks so much for sharing, Mary!

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  12. Ok...I know that jealousy is a sin, but I must admit that I am green!!!!!

    I visited D.C. when I was a teenager. My step-dad paid for one of those day-long tours, which I enjoyed immensely. We were able to see the full changing-of-the-guard ceremony at Arlington. Nobody spoke. Of course, that was in the 80's, when kids were actually taught to be respectful.

    I think I would said, "Shhh" quietly. Grrr.

    Oh man, and to see the Pentagon's memorial. Sigh...

    We did go back to D.C. for a soccer tournament, but we did not do much sight-seeing. We did make it to the Battle of Bull Run site, where I saw a statue of Stonewall Jackson...one of my heroes.

    Sigh...

    Sorry...I'm in history envy here. Don't mind me.

    LOL

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