14 days until summer. 14 days until summer. 14 days until SUUUUUUMMMMMMER! 🙂
I’m just a tad excited.
DISCLAIMER: This is going to be a doozy. Super long. But there will be photos to look at. So hopefully you won’t feel like I’m pulling teeth. 🙂
Yes, I went to Washington DC. It was PHENOMENAL. I loved every moment of it. Let’s do a quick recap, shall we? 🙂
Tuesday, April 19th: We landed at the Baltimore Airport where I sang EVERY SINGLE LYRIC of “Good Morning Baltimore.” Sure, my family tried to disown me, But it had to be done. From there, we took a shuttle over to a really shady train station… Like seriously, this is a place that would be in a horror movie… if we were there at night, I would be FLIPPING OUT. But it was like noon, so it was just creepy.
We took a train to Union Station, which is the train hub right in DC. when you come out of Union Station, the Capitol is directly in front of you. it was great.
Our Hotel was only a few blocks from union station, so we could walk. 🙂 Our hotel was only a few blocks from the Capitol, as well as just a few blocks from The subway (there was one in Union station AND one a few blocks in the opposite direction called Judiciary Square.)
After dropping our luggage off in our room, we headed out to the subway to go to the Smithsonian Zoo. The escalator scaling from the subway up to the street where the zoo was was the TALLEST ONE I’ve EVER SEEN. It made me jittery to go up… I kept feeling like I was about to fall and tumble to my death. Luckily, I’m safe. 🙂
Unfortunately, I am spoiled with the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium which is rated #1 in the nation, so this National Zoo seemed to pale in comparison. but there were a few sights here that we DEFINITELY don’t have at our zoo:
Lions (okay, we have lions, but there were like 6 cubs here as well as 2 lionesses and the male lion and they were SO playful.. and you could see them really well. At the Columbus Zoo, the facility isn’t set up to where patrons can see them very well. But these were fun to watch! We stood there for a good 20 minutes.)
PANDA! CHEEEECK off the bucket list. 🙂
After the zoo, we headed back to the hotel (and down the dreaded escalator.) We got back at 7:30ish and I was like “umm okay why are we back so early?” Normally on vacation, we don’t get back until 11:00… But I ended up falling asleep around 8:30 and was ZONKED. So I guess it’s good that we went back early. 🙂
Wednesday: we woke up around 6:45 and got ready and headed out to take on the National Mall. We had heard that you have to get tickets to go to some of the attractions. Most places begin handing out tickets around 8. When we came up on the subway station, The next 2 photos were what I saw in each direction:
We had already scheduled a visit in advance for a tour of the Capitol on Friday morning, so we headed toward the Washington Monument. Little did we know, it was the busiest week of the year. EVERYONE was there. But we still decided to get in line:
We had heard from sources that The Holocaust Museum didn’t start handing out tickets until 10 (it was about 8 at this point) so I sent Andrew down the street to go stand in line there. Unfortunately, I didn’t get tickets for the Washington Monument, But Andrew DID get tickets for the Holocaust Museum! They were good for a certain time and then you could also come anytime after that. Our tickets were for 11:45, so we decided to go see some Memorials while we were waiting. First Stop: Jefferson Memorial.
This was Andrew’s Favorite, I think. TJ is his favorite president, and there just so happened to be a band playing there from a HS in Indiana, so that was right up his alley.
Next stop: FDR Memorial.
I think FDR was my favorite president, but Andrew thinks that’s stupid.. But then again, when have I ever cared what he thinks? This memorial was set up in a puzzle sort of walkway. It was neat. There are more photos on my FB from it, but this is FDR and his pooch, Fala.
Next stop: Lincoln Memorial
I was kind of waiting for him to stand up and walk around.. Like in Night at the Museum 2. Actually, we compared a lot of things in our vacation to Night at the Museum and National Treasure. 🙂
Also– this was a ripoff– the reflecting pool was drained for renovation .. needless to say, not a whole lot of reflecting was taking place. 🙂
Next stop: Vietnam Wall
This man, Larry S Kennedy, was the boyfriend of our friend Cheryl. She told us his name was there, and it was kind of cool to have someone to look for on the wall.
Next Stop: WWII Memorial
Next Stop *drumroll please* HOLOCAUST MUSEUM!!!
Due to the nature of this museum, and to respect those effected by the Holocaust and their families, photography isn’t permitted. But what I can tell you: it was.. “sobering” as my mother says. Ha. At the beginning you are given a booklet and it’s an identification card. You BECOME someone who was effected by the Holocaust. You are taken in an elevator to the top floor and you read the first page there. Before you go down the steps to the next floor, you read each subsequent page.It takes you through the journey of the Holocaust. My name was Vita. I was from Russia and I got married young and had 2 daughters… one of my daughters made it out, but the rest of us were never heard from again. I cried. I just couldn’t believe something like this really happened. So much hatred. So much deceit. Makes me appreciate what Jesus did for us. 🙂
Then, we went to Chipotle and ate and then crashed at the hotel. Mom and I went to the pool and sauna, and dad and Andrew hung out in the room.
Dad and I got up even earlier to try to get tickets. He went to the Washington Memorial again and I went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. No luck at either place. Mom and Andrew met up with us and we headed over to the White House! 🙂
There was SO MUCH SECURITY there. It was nuts!
Next stop: American History Museum! This was another favorite! A lot of things from Pop Culture were in here, including:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
There was a “First Ladies” exhibit which held the inauguration gowns of most of the First Ladies. It was also a favorite of mine. Some that really impressed me:
Martha Washington’s Gown (isn’t that insane?)
Michelle Obama’s Gown (so elegant)
Other Features of the Museum:
Ruby Slippers! (Another check off the bucket list! 🙂 )
Original Muppets (please look at the Original Kermit on the left. He looks WEIRD!)
Mask from The Lion King on Broadway! 🙂
Phyllis Diller’s Wig, Gloves, and Hats
Cat Woman’s Suit. 🙂
Archie Bunker’s Chair
Dumbo the Flying Elephant! 🙂
After the American History Museum, We went over to the National Archives. This houses the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights. Naturally, photography isn’t allowed there either, so no luck… but I did get a sweet souvenir from there:
A book ALL ABOUT ANNIE OAKLEY! 🙂 I was happy haha. I’m so strange: I go to DC, home of the most wonderful Artifacts of all time, and I get a book about a girl from the sticks in Ohio. haha. Go figure.
Next, Andrew and Dad went around to the other side of the Archives and looked up history and genealogy of our family! it was cool! In the meantime, mom and I explored the other part of DC we hadn’t seen yet..we went to a local farmer’s market and then headed toward the place we were eating that night: the Hard Rock Cafe! None of us had ever been there before.. it was like a museum in itself! It was like 2 buildings down from Ford’s Theater (where Lincoln was shot) but we didn’t get tickets for it, so that was a no-go.
Stained Glass Windows at Hard Rock:Jimi Hendrickx, Elvis on his Throne, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Then we went back to our hotel and slept.
We had a tour of the Capitol on Friday at 9:40, so we got to wake up a bit later that day. The Capitol was a 5-minute walk from our hotel.
It was awesome.. there was the Crypt where GW was supposed to be buried after it was built, but his body didn’t get moved, so it’s an empty crypt haha. And there are statues from a politician from every state, which was cool, even though the one from Ohio SUCKED haha. We also got to go in the room where the House of Representatives meets. But again, photography wasn’t allowed. After that we ate in the cafeteria there and then split ways: Dad went to the Museum of Natural History while Mom, Andrew, and I went to Arlington National Cemetery.
It was phenomenal. We got to see the changing of the guards, JFK’s burial site, and it was breathtaking to think that each headstone marks the body of at least one person who was either killed in battle or was a family member of a soldier. It was.. breath-taking.
Then we met up with Dad and went to the Air and Space Museum. At this point my feet were unbearably killing me (I have flat feet, so each night I would be in pain) so I just went straight upstairs when we got there and sat on a bench and people-watched while everyone else looked at exhibits.I really enjoyed myself… until a woman sat down beside me with the iPad2 AND the smart cover on it… identical to the one I want! But that’s a different story.
That night, we just went back to the Hotel and ordered a pizza and watched some TV and rested.
The next Morning (Saturday,) Mom, Dad, and Andrew headed over to the Postal Museum, but I just stayed at the hotel because we were scheduled to get on a shuttle to go to the airport at 11:15.
So there’s the end of our Trip! It was fun! 🙂 I have more to update, which I will do in a few days, so be ready! 🙂 It won’t be about DC.. it will entail life SINCE DC. 🙂