Thursday, September 8, 2011

Trip to DC

Caleb and I traveled to Washington DC this past weekend before a friend's wedding in Delaware. I'll give you the play by play. 

At the beginning of the day. I snapped a pic here because I thought, "Oh, you can see the capitol." Little did I know we would get a lot closer to it than this by the end of the day.

Standard White House pic. Gotta have it. This was our first stop. 

Door pic for Mom. It says at the top, "Dedicated to Art." 

Snapped this one on the way to the Holocaust Museum. 

Vietnam Memorial with Washington Monument in background. 

Caleb and I were both really excited to see the Reflection Pool. I had seen it in a bunch of Bones episodes-- they sit on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and look out at the pool. Kind of lame that I wanted to see it so much because of a tv show, but what can I say? However, when we got to the Lincoln Memorial, this is what we saw. No pool. This may have been the biggest disappointment in the whole trip. 

I loved the Lincoln Memorial, even with its lack of pool. There's a small exhibit under it that was actually really good. It was very moving to see all the ways that the Lincoln Memorial has had significance to so many groups, esp. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit had about thirty tv screens playing different clips of performers or speeches or rallies that took place at the memorial. The place was leaking deep significance. I was glad that we stumbled upon the exhibit. They had a wall showing all the different countries that had made a postage stamp with Lincoln on it. Here's a man whose message continues to be used by different groups who continue to add layers of meaning. 

We also got to go to the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. This is the entrance. 

It was encouraging to see the numbers of black people who came to this memorial. I got really excited about it. The government finally decided to say, "Here is a piece of Washington/ the National Mall that is just for you and for your stories. Here is something honoring your history and legacy as a race." I think it's awesome. The people we saw were really into it, too. Of everything we saw in DC, this was the only memorial with a significant number of black people in attendance.  

On both sides of the entrance, different quotations from MLK Jr. are engraved in stone with the date and place that he said them. 

Here's an example. 

Jefferson Memorial across the water. This is the view of it from the MLK Jr. Memorial. 

Once we reached the Library of Congress, we were both really tired and looked like this. This is why: after we went to the Holocaust Museum, which was very intense and about two hours long, we tried to find some lunch. We searched for restaurants on our GPS and found a Potbelly with a couple other places close by and headed off in that direction, but when we got there, everything was closed. I get extremely grouchy when I haven't eaten for a while and my feet were killing me. There was a CVS and a Starbucks open. So we bought a bag of potato chips and ate almost the whole thing. Then got a frappucino while we planned our next move. That was, to go over to the Library of Congress and the Capitol before they closed and buy a hot dog on the way if we saw one. So, we walked more and finally found the metro station we were looking for. No hot dogs. We blitzed the Library of Congress, just one of the buildings, and then walked over to the capitol. 

The beautiful capitol. I had no idea it was this big. Unfortunately we were prevented from going in because of some security scare. Bummer. 

The backside of the capitol. Still pretty. 

After this, we wandered extremely tiredly back to our hotel. We got hot dogs on the way, but it was the worst hot dog I've ever had and there was mold on my bread. The metro station closest to us was closed on the weekends, so we had to walk even further to get to another one. I think we walked about 10 miles that day. I've never walked so much in my life, even in England. Definitely should have worn different shoes. 

One of the coolest things on the trip, I don't have any pictures of, and that was the National Archives. We went on Monday before our flight. It was kind of unnerving to go to the room, and see these faded pieces of parchment that our whole government is based on. I read lines on the different documents and thought to myself, "Oh, that's why it's that way." Because the founding documents said so. It made me realize how little I know about our government and why it is how it is. I was impressed that the government is still running on the principles/rules that were originally set forth for it. I loved reading the information in the exhibit and seeing how revolutionary it really was for them to try to unite the different states. I couldn't believe that they had written one of them in a period of only three months. That's how long it took them to design a government, and it's still working okay. These guys weren't professionals. What a cool time to have been alive. They had little idea of what they were creating, and they went for it anyway*. It was extremely educational and definitely worth seeing. 

*The information in this section is not strictly fact. Please don't base anything consequential on it. Go to the exhibit yourself or do some research. 

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