I am not going to review or regale anyone with any history tidbits. I am MORE than sure all our American friends can and will be able to correct me at every turn. Instead, I will simply show my pictures and therefore try and impart some of the wonderment and joy we felt at our first of two days in this great, great historic and powerful city.
Firstly though, we want to thank Cherry Hill RV Park and Big Bus B for making our day seamless and well ordered. Cherry Hill RV Park does an information session at 4 pm each day (in season) on the tours available through the bus companies or information on how to get the city metro (including the subway). For us what worked best was a two day pass for Big Bus B tours. This allows us two days, instead of one, to do all 4 loops. It cost $57 each instead of $36 each for the one day pass. Since we only had 2 days and we weren't taking in any other events we felt that for us, it was money well spent. As an added bonus, you get free admission to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Secrets & Scandals Walking Tour, Crime & Punishment Museum, War Memorial Walking Tour and the Potomac River Cruise. We are planning on using the river cruise on Thursday.
So, we had to be ready to go, at our bus stop, here on the site at 7 am. Yes, we can and did do it!! It was about a 40 minute ride into downtown Washington, right into Union Station. The iconic railway station. Talk about a busy, hectic place!!!!
Put on your comfy shoes....oh, and keep a watch on the skies. Take note of how they looked when we started at 8:30 am and what they looked like later in the afternoon....just sayin'.
Front of Union Station. It is really MUCH bigger than it appears.
Most of the action is out in the back of the building and down below.....
This is the type of tour bus that you can sit up top or down below, inside.
At 8:30 am when it left, we were the only ones on board!!
We started off with the yellow tour.....
Like I said, I won't try and remember all the buildings.....
Ford Theatre where President Abraham Lincoln gave his speech and was shot.
The alley where John Wilkes Boothe ran after shooting President Lincoln...
The rooming house across from the Ford Theatre where they carried President Lincoln.
He died the next morning at 7:22 am in the back bedroom. His wife couldn't bear to
spend much time with her wounded husband so it is said she sat in the front
parlour area a lot of the time...
Voted the ugliest building in Washington, the FBI Building. Even
they want to move out of it....
Did you know that all the traffic lights on Pennsylvania Avenue can
be removed for parade purposes and celebrations?
After some of the downtown core parts, the bus heads up to Georgetown, really just a part of Washington. Super cool area with even cooler houses!!
Bet you never thought you would be at the corner of
Connecticut and California, huh?
I know, gorgeous, right? Real people live in these, go figure!!
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal in Georgetown
Part of the old lock system still working on the canal....
Hey, that's just like my frog on my arm!!!
How'd he get over there??
Many times during the day we heard sirens. Here a number of
Secret Service type vehicle were roaring up and down Constitution Avenue....
The White House. I was quite pleased with this picture. I think
I will email it to Michelle, Malia, Sasha & Barack. They
may not have one quiet as good as this!!
It was getting a tad chilly by now (anyone notice how the skies had changed colour??? We finished the yellow route and all the buses come back to Union Station so we headed inside for a cup of coffee some granola bars I had packed and to warm up a bit (that's your clue....)
The Washington Monument. It is just under going some
repair work. It was damaged in an earthquake in August 2012 (I think).
It reopens on May 12th - doesn't that just figure!!
Brief glimpse of the WWII Memorial. We will see more of it tomorrow.
Get out the rain capes because......
Ahhh, maybe you HAVE noticed the weather change?
Sideways glimpse of the Lincoln Memorial....again, more of it tomorrow!
Then you head over the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the famous Arlington Cemetery. It is just over the Potomac River, behind the Lincoln Memorial that you see above....
Arlington Cemetery really could and should be a post unto it's self. Such a sombre place to visit. I could have included many, many more pictures. It is hill after rolling hill of headstones, mostly all the same as below. It is a place where military personnel have earned the right to be put at rest. Many of them were buried here, after a long time service to the USA and completion of their natural lives but, sadly, many were buried here all too soon having died in service to their country. It is a very moving place to be.
This large area is dedicated to John F. Kennedy, with excerpts of his
The view from the Kennedy family gravesite. It also includes
two of their children, lost in infancy.....
Jackie Kennedy lit the eternal flame after JFK's death.
JFK's on the left and Jackie's marker is the right.
At the back of this area is the Tomb of the Unknown(s) Soldiers.
They are guarded 24 hours a day....
There was a ceremony just finishing up when we arrived.
Tomb of the Unknown(s) Soldiers.
Guards were there, just not in this picture....
The entire time we were at Arlington, it absolutely poured. We were soaked by the time the bus got there and there was only room up on top. Oh well, we just put a rain cape on the seat and hunkered down. Luckily just after the bus got going, the rain began to let up. The next site to see was the Pentagon. This was a bit disappointing. We are not sure if they forgot to tell us about it but nothing was said and we never even went into the parking lot.
Pentagon. It is pretty huge.....
Wow, the skies sort of cleared up....one more of the Washington Monument.
This monument is on loan from New York City. After 9-11, the firefighters used it as a temporary communication post for information. Pictures and many post-it-notes were on it.
It will be returned to NYC as soon as they are able to place it once again.....
Future little spies coming out of the Spy Museum...kidding!!
We were very excited to see the Canadian Embassy. As very proud Canadians we were also thrilled to learn that Canada is the only embassy on Constitution Avenue. This is representative of the close ties that the United States feels it has with Canada. Pretty cool, eh?
I used this picture because you can "barely" see the US Capitol Building
on the right side. I am proud we are so close to it!!
Pretty good picture of the US Capitol!!
So with that we will leave you all for the evening. Hope your feet aren't too tired and your clothes begin to dry out soon. Maybe tomorrow I will bring an umbrella, just in case!!
See you bright and early tomorrow!!
Thought for the Day: The most painful good-byes are the ones that are never said and never explained....Dedicated to Arlington Cemetery and all those brave men & women who lie within it.