More Washington D. C. Sightseeing......Part II.
Well, to continue on with the highlights of our trip, after the Washington Monument, we walked over to the White House to gawk through the fence, like many other tourists. I think 1974 was the last time I stood outside that fence! My son had not seen the White House on his last trip to D.C. So, there we stood, snapping a few pictures in between others doing the same! We did note the kitchen garden to the left side of the lawn and what appears to be a climbing wall (!) near the fountain out front. I'll refrain from giving an opinion on that.
Now that it was mid-day, we decided to take in a museum or two. The line at the Archives was still very long, so we proceeded to go to the Smithsonian's Museum of Nature History. There was much to see, of interest, at this museum! The ground floor currently has an exhibit on the Deep Ocean. It was fascinating. There were also evolutionary exhibits of human skulls, etc. And the second floor held a gem exhibit. It was so crowded on the second floor, that we didn't stay for long. We looked at the Hope Diamond and some meteorites from space. Being a jewelry artist, I wish it had not been so crowded, so I could have taken in some of the gems! You must remember, that in DC, many of the large attractions are free and that does lend to crowds! We decided to leave, get something to drink, and head back to the scuplture garden to rest before meeting the rest of our group for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, just down the street from Ford's Theatre. Again, the sculpture garden had to be our favorite spot.
After a tasty, but expensive and very loud dinner at Hard Rock, our group of nine stayed together to tour the monuments. We walked to the mall and past the Washington Monument, since we had seen it and the rest of the group was going on Wednesday, we walked past the drained reflecting pool (it does look terrible) to the Lincoln Memorial. Lovely. Although, the sight back down the mall to the Washington Monument is not. From the Lincoln, we went to seen the Vietnam War Memorial. This is a very somber walk. You can look up a person's name in the provided books to see where if they are listed on the wall and then find their name in the labelled section.
From the Vietnam Memorial we looked at several smaller memorials, one for women in combat and went on to the World War II Memorial. This is a gorgeous, large memorial. Although there weren't any honor flights there at the time of day we visited, you could imagine the vets, most with their wheel chairs and walkers, gathered around the state they fought with. The fountains in the middle are lovely. The Washington Monument almost glowed in the background. Next, we went to the Korean War Memorial. This memorial was spooky to me! The men are life like and the wall behind them has wonderful pictures depicting life and roles in that war. At one end of the Korean War Memorial, the saying Freedom is not Free is carved in stone. How sad and true, as we continue to fight today for our freedoms.
If I recall, the FDR Memorial was next. Now, it was beginning to be dusk. I have to say that I thought I would like this memorial the least, and think I ended up liking it the best! It is set up in four sections, one for each of his terms of presidency. Many of his iconic sayings are carved in stone. Water, rushing or flowing over rocks, silently conveys the turbulence of the times. Most effective, was the statues of life size people, standing in line outside a door.....waiting. For food, for a job, for shelter. You use your imagination and be respectful, just don't stand in line with them, for they are in the Great Depression.
We, then, had to make a detour due to some construction fence and made our way around the accessible part of the tidal basin to the Jefferson Memorial. Great photographic opportunities await as you gaze across the tidal basin to the memorials. It was early evening, now and getting dark. Jefferson awaited us, in his domed memorial. His statue, like the man himself, is larger than life. Jefferson was a complex and I feel, somewhat paradoxical individual. I am fascinated by his life, not as a politician, but as a fellow gardener and friend of John Adams. Their life long friendship, sometimes adversarial relationship, is well documented in the letters they wrote to each other. I have two books containing these letters. It is fascinating that these two men who helped shape our country in so many ways, died within hours of each other on the same day and year. July Fourth!
Well, that completed a 14 hour day of sightseeing in our capital city. It was a long but fulfilling day. The city was very clean and friendly. Of course, since this was only day two of our trip, there is more to come. But, I will leave the post at this point today. I will try and get some more pictures up, so stop back and see those, too! I always appreciate the comments!
And if you are looking for a nice July 4th sale. I am offering 20% off everything in my etsy shop through July 5th, by entering the coupon code JULY20 at checkout. Please stop by and save;
Thanks for stopping by!