This is one view that, if I lived in the area, I don't think I'd ever get tired of seeing:
And saw some things for the first time:
We stayed near the Iwo Jima Memorial. The last 2 times we went to D.C., somehow we had missed it. Husband, YS, and I walked over Sunday evening, right at dusk. It amazes me how much bigger everything really is! And, what an amazing site to see when we looked over to the District:
Monday YS & I hopped on the metro and met the rest of Husband's family at Union Station. (Husband had to work out of their DC office.) We went by the Capitol, Botanical Gardens (upper right corner of lower collage), Air & Space Museum, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial (complete with the obligatory yelling for Jenny!), Vietnam Memorial, Korean Memorial, WWII Memorial, Smithsonian Art Museum, and, of course, the Washington Memorial was in view everywhere we went. SIL & I thought we stayed way too long in the Air & Space Museum, but the guys were having a lot of fun. They could've stayed in there all day; the girls were ready to get out of there! Husband met us for dinner after work at BIL & SIL's house. Then, we hopped back on the metro to go back and rest up for the next day.
Tuesday YS & I hopped back on the metro to meet everybody so we could go to Mt. Vernon. We stayed there all morning. We saw a good-sized Tom Turkey (who made his presence known with his gobbles!), and, we saw an osprey in her nest:
After lunch, we went by the Pentagon to the Pentagon Memorial. I have to be perfectly honest with you: I didn't even know it existed, but my MIL recommended it. I didn't take any pictures of it, because my SIL scared me to death...pictures of the Pentagon aren't allowed, but I wasn't sure if it was okay to take pictures of the memorial, so I didn't even get my camera out. Go here to see a picture of it. I was a little surprised that there wasn't a plaque explaining it, and I didn't see anything online explaining it. And, you need a little bit of an explanation. Each of the little benches represents each person who was killed. The name is inscribed on the bench, and they are organized youngest to oldest. There is a plaque on the wall of each column of benches with the year each person was born. If the person had relatives who also perished, their names are inscribed in the reflecting pool under each bench. The part of the bench that is off of the ground: If it faces the Pentagon, they were on the plane; if it faces away from the Pentagon, they were in the building. The reason for that is that it was the last view the person had before they died. I had chills when my SIL was telling me about it...it was very surreal walking through the memorial. The benches looked like the tail wing of an airplane to me. I didn't see any mention of that, so I'm wondering if that's what the architects intended.
Next up was Arlington. We got to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers just as the Changing of the Guard was ending, but we did get to see the wreath laying ceremony. Incredible. What a view with the tomb looking out toward DC, and then to hear Taps being played. I might have had to wipe a tear or two from my eyes.
We had dinner at an Eastern European restaurant near BIL & SIL's house. Husband rode the metro out after work. Dinner was quite an experience! First, they didn't have a table for all 9 of us to sit, so they ended up putting us in 2 booths. 25 minutes after we were seated, the waitress (who I think is one of the co-owners) came by to get our drink order. SIL started to order her dinner, but was stopped and told to just tell her what she wanted to drink. We were tired; we were hungry...Nothing else needs to be said. And, I was out of Black Cohosh. So, no, we were not happy! We got our food about an hour after that, and, I'll be the first to admit, it was excellent.
After dinner, Husband, YS, and I said our goodbyes to everybody and went back to where we were staying. Husband had a meeting Wed. so we had planned on leaving as soon as he was finished. YS & I headed out to the National Cathedral Wed. morning. YS was great as long as we were on the subway, but when we had to switch to a bus, it was a different story. In typical 15-year old fashion, I heard, "Why are we even going to this? I'd rather go to Aunt's house and play Wii Fit." Uh....no. Aunt had had 4 extra people in her house since Sat. night...she was ready for some peace & quiet. So, I went through the Cathedral quickly...by myself. You know, it really isn't very fun to see something of that magnitude by yourself...and to be in a hurry knowing that there's somebody waiting for you. But oh, was it magnificent!
So, that's the wrap-up of the mini-vacation. On the schedule for the next visit to DC: A tour of the Capitol and an actual tour of the Cathedral.
If anyone doesn't know about Black Cohosh: It's wonderful! It's an all natural herb that the Indians used during childbirth. Now it's used to minimize menopause symptoms. My gyno in SC (who was Indian but grew up in Montgomery, Al.) recommended it. It works so well that Husband wants to get a black cohosh lick installed in our house! Definitely helps with the moodiness.
Thanks for stopping by so I could share the vaca with you!