Two Days in Our Nation’s Capital

IMG_1590This year my national conference is in Washington, D.C.  I was very excited because I had never been to D.C. before!  I made the tough decision to leave Mac and Jeremy at home, but I did bring along some tour companions (my mom and Jo).  We arrived on Thursday in time to enjoy a great dinner, our nightly “vacation ice cream treat,” and have since had a whirlwind couple of days!!

Yesterday (Friday), we started out for a hop on/hop off bus tour of the city.  We were headed for one but were coerced by our bellman to use a different one, and I think we got a much better deal for our money!  We were on an open-top bus for a tour of even more of the city than the other tour offered.  We walked to the bus stop (about 8 blocks from our hotel) near the White House.  We got a great tour of the area around DuPont Circle, then to the National Cathedral, Georgetown and Embassy Row, and also Arlington National Cemetery, where we got out to walk around and view the burial site of JFK and saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.  Amazing.  After that we “hopped off” at the Smithsonian stop and found some lunch at a cafe in the castle building.  And then we checked out the Museum of Natural History, which wasn’t something that interested us too much.  So we decided to “hop on” further on in the tour and ride back to our White House stop.  We then walked to where you can actually SEE the White House closer up (Pennsylvania Ave. is closed to vehicles since 1995 or so).  We saw some tents set up on the lawn, which we later found out were for a cookout the Obama’s were hosting for their staff.  We decided to head back to the hotel – it was almost dinner time and we were petering out… we ordered pizza and then watched a big storm roll through!  It was way bigger than we thought – lots of trees down around our tours today.  We topped off the night with some ice cream, of course.  Our legs and feet were pretty tired, and we all required a shower.  Other than that and a bunch of bug bites on my legs, we were no worse for wear.

Today we started out for the Museum of American History.  We were not sure how much time we’d want to spend there since none of us really knew more than that it had the ruby slippers, First Lady gowns, and a flag…  We ended up keeping ourselves occupied for almost seven hours, including lunch.  It was great!  I could go on and on describing it, but I just don’t have the time right now.  Then we re-traced our steps from yesterday and hopped back on our bus tour (we had paid for two days) to finish that, ending at Union Station where we had reservations for a Twilight Tour of the monuments.  We had some dinner at Union Station, grabbed some ice cream, and got on our bus for the evening tour.  The tour stopped at the Jefferson, FDR, Lincoln, Korean, Vietnam and World War II Memorials.  We also got great views of the White House and of course the Washington Monument.  I’ve been combining our pictures and posting mine, as well as others Mom and Jo have taken to fill in the gaps, on Flickr.  Check them out – there are too many to post here! Then we took the Metro and a short walk back to our hotel – now after phone calls and showers it’s late!  Good night!!

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