Saturday, April 10, 2010

Washington Re-Cap

Well, we are back to reality and have caught up on all of the things we missed while we were gone. Our time in DC was great (not restful by any means)! We took over 500 pictures on our cameras. I'm still trying to sift through our photos and get them posted on Snapfish.

Here are the highlights:
-Arrived at our hotel about midnight Thursday. They didn't have a room for us, so they put us in the hospitality suite on a pull out sofa bed. Needless to say, we got that night for free and a complimentary night if we ever want to go back. I found out yesterday that the hotel had some flooding in some of the rooms.

-Friday we had breakfast at Union Station then headed over to the Capitol Bldg, toured the inside, hit the Library of Congress (its BEAUTIFUL), then swung by the Supreme Court Bldg before hitting the National Mall. We saw all of the memorials and monuments (more on that below)

-Saturday we jumped on the subway and went out to Arlington National Cemetery and on to Mt. Vernon (Washington's home). Arlington was amazing. I can't even begin to describe the gratitude that came over me for the sacrifices made by those buried there. Of course, they are just a fraction of the total number of men and women who have died for our freedom. I was so blessed to be reminded of our history and the sacrifices that it has taken for us to have what we have.

-Sunday we had brunch with some old friends of mine before heading to the International Spy Museum. That may be the best museum I've been to, SO interesting! Sunday evening/night we took two "hop on/hop off" double decker bus tours. We just rode around looking at all the sights and taking it all in.

-Monday we met Joe's Aunt Molly in Bethesda for lunch. When we got back into DC, we hit up the National Archives building and saw the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. They even had the Manga Carta (I had to REALLY think hard to remember learning about the Magna Carta) from the 1200s. The bulk of Monday was spent at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Joe liked the exhibits on inventions and electricity. My personal favorites were Julia Child's kitchen and Judy Garland's Ruby Red Slippers.

-Tuesday we got up, packed our bags, and headed to the airport. We were NOT ready to come home. The longer we were in DC, the more I found that I wanted to do. But, truthfully, I missed my dog and was tired of the crowds. We chose the busiest weekend of the year to be in DC. It was Cherry Blossom Festival, Easter Weekend, and Spring Break all wrapped into one. As you can imagine, we spent a lot of time in lines waiting. Oh! We encountered countless horrible children...HORRIBLE!

I definitely want to go back, there is still so much to see!

There were a few things that really concerned and challenged me in DC, so now, my soap box:

My MIL has accused me a few times of being an army brat. Maybe because I'm an army brat, somethings we saw bothered me, or maybe its just because I believe in reverence and respect...While we were on the National Mall on Friday, we went over to the WWII Memorial. Inside the Memorial is a pool/fountain. Its a beautiful Memorial. When we got to the middle, there were kids and adults wading and "swimming" in the pool. I about came unglued. I was so disappointed in the apparent lack of understanding that we were not at the public pool or beach, but at a Memorial designed to recognize and honor those who served and died for us. We encountered similar disrespectful and ignorant attitudes at Arlington as well. People were hollering and yelling throughout the cemetery, cell phones went off during the Changing of the Guard/Wreath Laying Ceremonies, etc...I couldn't believe it. Parents were as guilty as their children. I'm pretty sure my Dad would have busted my butt if I behaved that way in a place like that. I'm so thankful that my parents instilled in me a strong sense of gratitude, respect, and admiration for those who have served for our country. I'm pretty scared that people are not instilling those values in their children. I can't begin to think about what will happen when we get so far removed that we can't appreciate and honor the sacrifices made in our past and present.

Ok, off my soap box...

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