May 2014

The wonderful DC!
I am almost ashamed to admit that this was my first visit to the most beautiful capital in the world.  As always, Stephan had a meeting and I tagged along. We spent an afternoon visiting the monuments and a Sunday at Mount Vernon and Alexandria.  The rest of the week was mine, mine alone, to visit the museums each and every  day, walk and walk and walk, to my heart's content.

I'll start with the picture of a monument that had intrigued and fascinated me all through my life.  It was a very emotional visit and a long walk to reach it :  Marine Corps War Memorial, aka the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima. [for more click here]

On our first day Stephan and I, we walked from our hotel and visited all the monuments.  Each one is very special and important in its own way but the World War II memorial and the Washington Monument were my favorites.  We took tons of pictures and enjoyed a beautiful spring day in our nation's capital.

After we left the hotel, which was a block away from the Mall, before anything else, we saw the Capitol building at a distance. Beautiful and impressive [sans the people occupying it].  We passed many government buildings each dedicated to one politician or another but the one that we both found pretty amusing was the grandeur of the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] building.  An agency with almost no power to do anything.....


As you walk towards the mall the first thing you see is the Washington Monument.  Unfortunately it had just opened up to visitors and all the tickets were sold.  The only way to try was to get in line at 7:00 a.m.    Hmmm... not for me.

Here is the Washington Monument


We continued down the National Mall towards the Potomac and got to the World War II Memorial.  Commissioned by Bill Clinton, it is right before the Reflecting Pool.  It is a recent addition to the monuments, thanks to the efforts of many, including Tom Hanks.

Below : A view of the National Mall from the Washington Monument towards the Lincoln Memorial with the Reflecting Pool and the WWII Memorial in the middle.

The Memorial is split into two sides, representing the Atlantic and Pacific theaters and it is a detailed history of that horrible era.  



Walking further we reached the Vietnam War Memorial


 A statue celebrating the women who served in the Vietnam War - A Legacy of Healing and Hope [above].
the  Vietnam Memorial [below]

Still fresh in so many people's memories one cannot walk through it without a gulp in one's throat.

We then we reached the Lincoln Memorial.
Thank you Mr. Lincoln for keeping the Union together.


The best view of the Washington Monument is from the Lincoln Memorial - in late afternoon!
Hence the name of the pool and my favorite picture of the trip.

We then visited the other monuments and here is a hodge podge.
Korean War & World War I.


By the end of WWI Stephan had to have dinner so we left the rest for our next trip.
The next day we rented a car from Union Station and drove to Mount Vernon.

Union Station

Mount Vernon

The Vegetable and Flower Garden


View from the house



Last but not least, we had a tour of the slave quarters.  Our guide gave us the much sanitized story that probably was on his syllabus.
He did however, deviate from the script, and gave us a few more realistic and yet terribly disturbing anecdotes.
There is no way anyone in the 21st century can leave these rooms without tears welling up.

The Mount Vernon Inn was closed to public for a Bar mitzvah and we were forced to have lunch in a cafeteria with millions of  school children.
It will not be an exaggeration to say Stephan was not a happy camper...

On our way back we made a quick stop at Alexandria.  We walked around, did a little shopping and returned to DC.

Driving back to DC

The rest under Smithsonian Museums & White House & Arlington