WOW! That about sums up the trip in whole. What an awesome time sight seeing, learning more about our nation's history, and rekindling friendships.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
So, Stacey and I left Wednesday April 11 from Oakland. Our flight was supposed to leave at 6:15am (yes, we were there by 5am!), flying straight to WDC. But after some computer problems at the airport and everyone on the flight was on the plane we left close to 7:30am.
After landing, getting our luggage (thank God!), and greeting Melissa and Macie, we drove to our home for 5 days in Oakton.
The countryside was beautiful, homes were gorgeous. We dropped our bags off, grabbed our sweaters and headed to Georgetown. What a great shopping area. We walked around a bit, went down to the Potomac River, walked around some more and had some dinner. Macie really LOVES her pizza! Actually, so did I, mine not hers.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
After getting a great night's sleep, and trying to adjust to east coast time, we headed off to Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. We were blessed with sunshine and only mild sprinkles. The property and house was beautiful, the back porch overlooks the Potomac. After a quick lunch we headed back out, walked through the museum where we learned more about the life of George Washington.
FYI: There is a National Treasure 2 in the process of being filmed. One of the scenes is being filmed at Mount Vernon, just not while we were there, but the set was still up!
After Mount Vernon, Macie took a nap in the car while we drove into Washington DC to pick up Mark from George Washington University. From there we went to the Lincoln Monument and looked across the reflection pond to the Washington Monument.
Then we quickly ran down to the Korean Memorial.
Mark played with Macie while Melissa, Stacey, and I ran from Monument to Memorial. We then went home and had yummy Thai food for dinner.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Mark was very gracious today and volunteered to watch Macie for half the day so Melissa, Stacey and I could go on a tour of the Capitol without a stroller in tow. So with an early start, we caught the bus at 8am and took the Metro into the City for our 9:15am tour. The tour was amazing!
Standing in the very center of Washington DC and the Capitol building.
First Supreme Court room.
One of California's two statues in the Capitol, Father Junipero Sierra (and our tour guide, Congressman Dennis Cardoza's intern Tom from Stockton).
After the tour, standing in Cardoza's office with Tom.
Let me tell you one thing about Washington DC, it's not easy to get around the city because of the funky streets. There are 4 quadrants in the city and each quadrants have letter and number streets. So there are numerous 22nd Streets. Odd, and confusing, I know! Melissa and I even had to pull a map out, once or twice... But look at the Capitol!
After the Capitol tour we made our way to the Air and Space Smithsonian. Currently, a small portion of the exhibits from the American History Smithsonian are on display at the A&S Museum due to renovations. Of course there was a line to see the exhibits though.
From the A&S Museum we headed to pick up Macie from Mark at GWU and then catch a shuttle to the Kennedy Center. The Kennedy Center was pretty neat. About 150 countries each gave a gift to the Center while it was being build, anywhere from art on the walls to crystal chandlers. Macie got to take advantage of the long hallway to run some energy off, as well as charm the passer-byers.
After the Kennedy Center we head back (on shuttle) to GWU to pick up Mark for dinner. We walked to this really cute little mall that had a great Italian restaurant, Bertucci. The food was excellent. And Macie got her pizza.
After dinner, Mark went back to working on his paper while the rest of us took a hike down to the WWII Memorial and Washington Monument.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Saturday Stacey and I ventured out on our own. We took the Metro all by ourselves to Arlington Cemetery. We saw the Eternal Flame by JFK's grave sight, the Changing of the Guards guarding the tomb of the unknown soldiers, and the Arlington House.
After Arlington, we made our way into the City via the Metro to the Natural History Smithsonian. After having a quick bite to eat we ran through the fossils, and made it to the "Oh shiny" room where the Hope Diamond Lives. We then made our way to an Orchid Exhibit. Mind you, we quickly made our way through this museum because we thought they closed at 5:30, but for some reason they weren't closing until 7:30... which we found out on our way out.
Big head and little arms...
When we were done at the Natural History Smithsonian, we decided we had time to make it down the the Jefferson Monument. It was quite a hike from where we were, but we forged ahead. After our hike, we made our way back to the Metro station where we made our way home to dinner.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Our last day of busy touring, and the one day that it really rained. We were going to take the Metro into the City, but ended up driving in to avoid having to be outside too much. So Melissa dropped Stacey and I at the Vietnam Memorial, she waited in the car with Macie while we quickly ran through it.
She then dropped us off outside of the White House Visitor Center. We walked through that then ran across the street to the White House.
After the White House, we drove down to the Holocaust Museum. The Holocaust Museum was unbelievable. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the permanent exhibit. Words cannot describe what they show in the 3 floors of information and documentation. When we were done at the museum, we drove home to rest, pack, hang out and have dinner. Macie even wanted to help in decided what to have, which was of course pizza.
Monday, April 16, 2007
This was our departure day. We packed our stuff up and headed to the airport at about 10:30am. Stacey and I flew from Dulles Airport to Denver where we had a 3 plus hour layover. We walked around the terminal a few times, had dinner, and almost decided to take advantage of free tickets from our over booked flight. But we came home on our scheduled flight and made it back into California around 7:45pm or so.
The trip was fast a furious but definitely a great time. I recommend everyone go to Washington DC at least once in their life.