Saturday, September 25, 2010

DC : Day One

We were more than excited to get out and moving Sunday morning! We walked down to the metro rail station and went down this crazy long escalator to get to the train. This picture doesn't even do it justice, it was SO steep!
Even though I've never seen Star wars, I totally think the Metro rail tunnel looks like it could be a setting for a Star Wars Movie. I was so excited to try out the Metro Rail!
We rode the Metro Rail out to Arlington National Cemetery.
I was amazed at how vast Arlington was, there were acres upon acres of headstones.
We walked up this hill, and our first stop was to see JFK's Eternal Flame.
These signs were posted near most grave sites, I was amazed at how respectful people were. They actually paid attention to the signs!
There were little street signs directing you to the more popular grave sites and it was quite a walk! I didn't expect it to be super close together, but I was pretty tuckered out by the time I got to the end of our time at Arlington, and I hadn't even seen any part of DC yet.
I read in our travel book that there are over 350,000 white headstones like this at Arlington, talk about seeing the weight of our countries history.
We made our way to the tomb of the unknown soldiers. We sat and watched this guy walk back and forth in guard of the tomb. Then the clock struck 11 and we got to see the changing of the guard.
After watching the guard change, we stopped by this fountain and had a rest to figure out where President William Taft's memorial is.
On our way back down the hill, we noticed most of the Jewish headstones had rocks on top of them. It's a nod to the old Jewish tradition of a pile of rocks signifying one's burial site. Most of the Jewish headstones had multiple rocks on top of them.
At long last, we found President Taft!
And then, made our way back to the Metro rail station.
We got off at Woodrow Wilson Plaza, and walked toward the National Mall.
We ran into the National Museum of American History!
I was super excited to go to the NMAH, as I know that's where Dorothy's ruby slippers are!
We started the museum out by seeing some of the First Ladies' gowns.
It was really dark in the exhibit, I didn't get very decent pictures, but here's Michelle Obama's Inauguration gown!
Then we headed into the presidential area!
That's Lincoln's stove pipe hat, Yep, the hat he was assassinated in.
and Below... That's the "Teddy" (Roosevelt) Bear!
Here's where they housed the flag that inspired the "Star Spangled Banner" that we have as our national anthem today. There was crazy security everywhere in that exhibit, they did not want photos taken at all!This was probably my favorite part of the NMAH. It was full of artifacts from every war that America has been a part of.Some of the older wars were not as interesting to me as the WWII artifacts were.I got really excited when I saw this WWII Coat (above). My Grandpa Adolph had this coat, and it hung in our closet at home for years. It made me smile.After the WWII artifacts, we walked into the Vietnam area.
There was a part of the Berlin Wall, and around the corner ... this.It was startling to walk around the corner to see the twisted metal that was the twin towers. The sight of them made my heart skip a beat.
It was such a great exhibit, after a morning of very deep thoughts and feelings about war, we decided to lighten up a bit, and head over to the Pop Culture portion of the NMAH.
Where I saw this guy, my long lost friend. Kermit the Frog!
And the RUBY SLIPPERS!!!!! This was totally my Holy Grail! And this was Eric's ... It's C-3PO!
After the NMAH we walked over to the Washington Memorial!
Which can be seen from pretty much anywhere in DC, which is pretty cool.
Then we headed to the WWII memorial.
And to the Lincoln Memorial.
And the reflecting pool, which is right in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
It was pretty cool to see the actual scale of the National Mall. It's a lot longer and a lot bigger than I ever imagined.
So amazing to be standing in front of Honest Abe himself!
And then we walked over to the Vietnam Memorial.
Hundreds, and thousands of names.
There was a vet there talking about his time in Vietnam, it was touching to hear his stories while we were standing looking at all the names.
Then we walked over to the White House.
And I thought this might be the door bell, but with all the security around, we decided not to push it and see what it did.
We had walked and walked all day long, and decided that we needed to go back to the hotel and rest, so we walked back to Helix, and ended up eating out at Birch and Barley's right around the corner from our hotel.
We had a feast of Chicken & Waffles, Buffalo Chicken Flat bread and we shared some fries.
Then, we ordered dessert which was probably the best dessert of the trip. It was a homemade Hostess cupcake, Oatmeal Cream Pie, Mint Ice cream, Poppy seed doughnut, and Snickers bar.
We rolled back to the hotel and iced our feet from our trek around DC.
It was a successful first day, we were exhausted and turned in for the night.

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