My schedule at work is a bit different this summer. One of the great things about my current employer is that they allow me to be very flexible with my work week. As long as I somehow work my 30 hours, they aren’t particularly concerned with how I do it. So, I’ve arranged to have Mondays off over the summer, working longer days on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. So, I happened to have a Friday through Monday off of work a few weeks ago. Nate got the same days, and we decided on a whim to go to DC with the kids for a mini vacation. One day of driving, two days of site-seeing, and then the drive home.
It had been four years since we were in DC, so the older kids had hazy memories of it, and Aaron didn’t remember it at all, being just three the last time we were there. We stayed (in an economical fashion) on the outskirts of DC and took the metro in. And then we walked, and rode the hop-on hop-off bus, and walked some more, and ate, and went to museums. It was hot, but not overwhelmingly so. Here is some of what we saw:
The Washington Monument
This is one of the few views of the Washington Monument that doesn’t include a giant construction crane. I searched long and hard for a good shot of the monument.
The Lincoln Memorial from the Potomac side.
I think the Lincoln Memorial is one of my favorites. The structure itself is nice and very classical looking, but there’s something about the sculpture of Lincoln himself that is very calming. Even with the incredible bustle of people and voices magnified by all those hard surfaces, when you’re standing there, you almost feel like you are somehow connected to that piece of stone. I don’t know how the sculptor did it, but wow.
We ended up taking a river cruise down the Potomac, and got to see the monuments from the other side, which was fun, and a nice way to rest our feet for awhile. Here are Nate and Jake enjoying the cruise:
Is that a monument behind you or are you just happy to see me?
We had never been to the FDR memorial before. It’s actually quite large, with many different sections commemorating his different terms as president. Here is Aaron with his likeness. Apparently, there was quite an uproar with the memorial was designed because they didn’t show FDR in his wheelchair, so the statue was redesigned, seating him in the wheelchair that he designed himself:
Aaron begged to climb up in his lap, but I wouldn’t let him!
Here is Lydia cutting to the front of the bread line:
Bad Lydia! No cutting!
We had also never seen the Dr. King memorial – it’s new since we were last there. It’s quite impressive, with a massive Martin Luther King, Jr. sculpted within a giant chunk of white granite. You walk through a huge rock with a fissure through the middle, and then there he is.
The beauty of the hop-on hop-off bus is that it went a lot of places that we wouldn’t have ventured if we were limited to our feet. We decided to go to Arlington Cemetery. I’ve only seen it in the movies and on television. It always looks so quiet and peaceful. Apparently they aim their cameras away from the mobs of tourists. And there were a lot of them (us!). But, if you look past the tourists, you can see how beautiful it is:
The Eternal Flame, which I can’t say without turning it into a Bangles song.
One more shot – I took this from the bus, and I LOVE the picture. This is the Old Post Office, with Benjamin Franklin, the original postmaster general, standing guard outside:
A bit more to come next time…