Thursday, 8 May 2014

Washington DC (Day 3)

Today we woke up to grey(ish) skies but it was pretty warm(ish). Once again, we caught the 7 am shuttle into Union Station and had a bit of breakfast and then hopped aboard the bus for another tour on the yellow loop for our second day touring.

This loop took us back up near Georgetown. From there we transferred onto the green loop which we had not done yesterday. This green route took us up by the Zoo, which is part of the Smithsonian Institute. There is NO charge to go in. We did not go in as we had left Gus at home and without him, we did not feel the need to enjoy the animals!

Washington has lots and LOTS of trees - very pretty!!

Not many people up top with us this morning on this green loop.
See how close you get to the trees?? Often you actually have to duck
your head so you don't get smacked by a flying branch!!
  
 

Washington's National Cathedral.....open to all religions.

Some of the neighbouring houses on the green loop....
 
One of the nicest things about this route is that you go by many of the Embassies and you get a real "sneak" peek at the Vice President's house (through a lot of trees, secret service and fences). Hey, I said it was a "peak", right?

Police detail by the VP's house.....
Doesn't look like much but there were these 3 guys, guys across the
street at the entrance. I think Mr. Joe Biden is a pretty important guy too!

Great big gate with ramps that go up and down into the pavement....
See the house (barely) on the left behind the trees. I told you it was a "peek"

This little grey house with the black shutters is the narrowest
house in Washington DC - 9.5 feet wide!!
 
Then it was a transfer back onto the yellow route again so we could skip on down to the river and get our river cruise aboard the Nightingale II. This was a great 1 hour out on the water. It is always very calming and interesting to see things from that point of view, looking back onto land.

 

 
 
 

 

Potomac River.....
 
After this we grabbed our lunch and got ourselves over to the National Mall area. This was a breathtaking spot to spend the afternoon. You'll see why.....
 
The Lincoln Memorial....

 

 
 
The words above Lincoln's head.....
 
 
 
...and from up on those grand steps is the Reflecting Pool
with the Washington Monument behind.

And you can just sit here all day....reflecting.

 
 
 
 
 

The Lincoln statue is inside the building where the
pillars are dark. See the many steps.....
 
Once we had spent quite a bit of time here, we walked over to the Vietnam War Memorial Wall. We both felt that this was a very important stop for us. It was the first war that either of us really remember. Also, we wanted to pay honour to my Uncle Alan Hunter who served as a Green Beret Marine and a doctor in this war. Such a tragic waste of lives and for what??
 
It is a very moving place to be....
 
 

 
 
A very beautiful monument, dedicated to the nurses... 
 
 
 

You can't help but to touch it, touch the names and think about
all those men and women.....

 
 
 
Everywhere there are mementos left behind with messages. Apparently, the National Park service collects all the non-perishable things each night and catalogues them. They are soon beginning work on a museum nearby to house the approximately 400,000 things left behind. I have a book at home entitled "Offerings at the Wall" and it tells some of the heart-moving stories of the things left behind by friends and family.
 
 

 
 
 
 
These were emotionally charged exhibits to visit. We walked over to the Korean War Memorial next. All these memorials are within a 5 to10 minute walk of the Reflecting Pool.
 
The interesting story about this dedication is that there are 19 soldiers, representing many facets of the Armed Services. There are also a number of different races represented. Beside the garden area where you see the life size soldiers there is a very highly reflective wall. When viewed properly it creates the illusion of 38 soldiers which represents the 38th parallel on which Korea was divided. It is a group of soldiers being led through a field.It was almost impossible to get a picture to depict this as there are so many people there but I did my best to at least try and show the display....
 
This back one is looking over his shoulder as if checking for the enemy...
On the far side you can see the reflective wall.

 

 

 

I felt these were very strong words,
"to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met"
 
Lastly was the very large memorial to World War II. It is placed right near the end of the Reflecting Pool and in the shadow of the Washington Monument. It was also a very beautiful tribute.
 
 

 

 

 

The Freedom Wall....

 

 
 
We just had enough time to head back over to try and get a nice picture of the White House again. We tried to get one from the north lawn but we were turned away by the police from the area as "something was going on". So, we went back to the south lawn. My expert navigator and chief researcher got us there in the nick of time to get a few quick pictures and then we had to high tail it for the bus back to the Union Station for the shuttle!! It was great because we walked at least 5 miles today and notice the weather.....GORGEOUS!!
 
 

 

 

No lie - this is on the front fence. It looks like a door bell!!
I am pretty sure that the last words under the button are "Push button"
I'm going back to push that button and see if Barack will answer....
 
This was a very surreal time for us. We were both really in awe of the fact that we were fortunate enough to have been able to come here and witness all the greatness of this wonderful nation. So rich in history, so diverse and yet, still learning to live with each other (like all of our nations).
 
We have adored our time in Washington DC. We thank the people here for making yet two more visitors welcome and thank everyone for their help along the way. We loved it. Unfortunately there are many, many things that we leave behind that we did not have time to do. So many of the museums that we didn't see. Maybe another day.
 
From the bottom of our hearts, "Thanks Washington DC!!"  
 
 
 
We leave here tomorrow and head for the New Jersey shore. We aren't even sure where we are going but you will know when we do!! See you over there....
 
Peace....
 
Thought for the Day: Freedom is Not Free (from the Korean War Memorial)

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Nancy! Awesome Post! My Dad served with the Navy during the Korean War so it was nice to see a memorial for that war too!

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    1. This memorial is so life-like. As always, it's so hard to pay proper homage in a picture form but Doug & I paid homage to this, the Vietnam and the WWII memorials in our hearts as much as we could. Between these displays and going to Arlington Cemetery it brings it home what an incredible waste war is.....

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