Saturday, April 29, 2006

Washington DC Trip - Days 6 & 7 - Back in DC

Day 6 - Monday, 24 April

We got up in the morning. Hotel Harrington did not provide a breakfast, so we walked east for four blocks to McDonalds.

After breakfast we hiked over to the Washington Monument. It is huge, over 500 feet tall. We weren't sure exactly when we'd be able to go to the Monument, so we hadn't arranged to get tickets ahead of time. If you ever go to DC, you need to arrange weeks in advance. The ticket office told me that the tickets the office had for that day were gone. If I wanted to try for tomorrow I'd need to show up about 6:30 AM, wait till 8:30 AM when the office opened, and I'd probably get tickets. Each day the office gets about 900 tickets, the rest are available online.

We walked down the Mall to the World War II memorial. It was very impressive, in a dramatic way. Next we walked along the reflecting pool to the Korean Memorial. From there we hiked over to the Lincoln Memorial. There is a great view of the Capital from the top of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Next we walked along the Vietnam Memorial. I was surprised by the power of the list of names on a black wall. I was strongly moved, almost to the point of tears. The World War II Memorial presents more of a sense of power and grandeur. The Vietnam Memorial is at a more personal level, making the sacrifices more real.

It was now about lunch time. We wandered a bit looking for a place to eat. We got directions to a Food Court near the Reagan building. Like almost so many buildings in DC, we had to go through a security check. The food was OK.

After lunch we went over to the Virtual Tour of the White House. Our daughters were so exhausted that we sat down and watched a movie for the next forty minutes. All total this day I think we walked about five miles. It wasn't real hot, about 80 degrees, but they were dragging by the end of the day.

About three in the afternoon we walked over to the Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR. In doing some research on her ancestors my wife connected with a woman who works at DAR. Janine was able to read a journal of a woman who married the cousin of one of Janine's ancestors. Our daughters and I played with toys from the last couple hundred years.

Afterwards we went to the home of the lady who worked at DAR. We had a nice dinner and learned a bit of what it was like to raise children in DC.

Then we took the Metro back to our hotel, and crashed for the night.


Day 7 - Monday, 25 April

We got up early in the morning, well early for us, since we were still on West Coast Time. We packed up and checked out of the hotel.

One of the highlights of the trip was a tour of The White House. The man we had meet on Wednesday, who works in the White House, called us back on Monday and offered to help us get a tour of The White House. We meet him at 9:30 AM at the same sandwich place, and then walked over to The White House. I had misunderstood, I had thought he would just connect us up with a tour, but he personally took us through the normal tour. We were very grateful. We got to see some of the rooms in the East Wing. There was security everywhere. There was one sad note, we weren't allowed to take our camera through, and so we didn't have any pictures of us in The White House.

Afterwards we took the Metro over to Union Station. We did a little souvenir shopping and got a light snack. Then we got a car from Alamo. We drove over to our hotel, picked up our bags and headed off to Williamsburg. Our daughters watched a DVD on the way.

We arrived at about 3:00 PM. After checking in, we drove over to Colonial Williamsburg and walked around a bit. Then after things started closing down we went out for dinner.

Back at our hotel we watched some TV and then went to bed.

2 comments:

Christina in GA said...

Isn't it a long way to walk? I'm surprised you walked from the Monument to Lincoln - it was too far for me. We had to do DC split up :)

Glad you got to see the White House. We only got to go into the Capitol and we had to request 6 months in advance. We were turned down for the White House tour.

Janine Cate said...

I found the processes of requesting tours confusing. Our friends who requested a tour of the White House through our senator got it, as well as some special monuments tour I've never heard about. We did get the Capital Tour, but weren't approved for the White House tour request by our senator. And the senator's office never mentioned the special monuments tour to us either.

I know that each senator has a limited numbers of tours they can give each month. They like to keep some back incase a VIP calls.

We did have someone from the CIA check out our Whyhomeschool blog. We could tell because of the ISP info on sitemeter. It happened after our tour request. It may have just been a coincidence.