We were finally off. Oh wait, there was yet another glitch in San Francisco. We had been rescheduled to fly out the following night! Were we to spend our 47th Anniversary in an airport sleeping on the floor? With enough whining and asserting our needs, we were finally on a red-eye to Dulles Airport. So a few hours later, with a bit of sleep here and there we were finally standing at the baggage claim area of the Dulles Airport.
You probably already guessed it--no luggage! (A day and a half later it was delivered to our airandb.)
But we were excited to finally have arrived in our grand and beautiful country's capitol.
Prior to our trip we contacted our Congressman Peter De Fazio's office, to arrange tours of some of the great buildings on the Washington Mall. Unfortunately we did not get tickets to the White House. The next best thing was getting a photograph at the White House Visitor Center.
One week is clearly not enough time to see everything on the Washington Mall, let alone any other part of the city, but we made the best of our time. Our first must see was the National Gallery of Art.
Every day was a new experience from the Smithsonian Museums to the Capitol and Library of Congress.
|Museum of Natural History|
|National Air and Space Museum|
|The Library of Congress is stunning!|
|Trompe l'oeil in the U. S. Capitol|
|Statues of Frances E. Willard, an educator and reformer and Rosa Parks|
|The Supreme Court Building|
On one of the coldest days -- bleak, with spitting snow, we visited the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The mood of the day was enhanced by the weather. Mike was able to find his cousin's name on the Wall with the help of a knowledgeable Park Ranger. So many men of our age-group are listed on that memorial.
It is a challenge to get tickets to the new African American Museum, but we finally scored 2 tickets by Mike getting online at the crack of dawn and landing a ticket in the website's opening first 10 seconds. If you wait one minute, the tickets are gone. This museum is truly amazing and moving. We went in thinking we knew quite a bit of the history of slavery, but came out overwhelmed by the experience of walking through the museum.
|The plans for the stowage of 292 slave on a ship|
The take away of this trip for me was a feeling of encouragement about the strength of our Federal Governmental System. Our Founding Fathers wove together a government with three branches of power, ensuring that there are healthy checks and balances. No one branch can break the country. We have survived a heck of a lot!