Wednesday, June 10, 2009
First day in D.C.
We went to Washington D.C. a day earlier than originally planned in order for us to ride one of the trolleys all around town, enabling us to get our surroundings for future days of exploration. Friday morning we were up early and left the Wolf's shortly after breakfast ready for a fun first day of seeing the nation's capital.
Since we opted to stay with friends outside the city, we planned to rely heavily on D.C.'s public transportation. We drove to the last station on the orange line, parked the van, and made our way to the train. The kids were all excited about riding a train and peppered us with all sorts of questions. We arrived at the Smithsonian stop, got out and walked up to the heart of Washington D.C. The first question we answered was, "Are we in Washington D.C.?"
Looking at our map trying to decide where best to go get on a tour bus and what we wanted to do, David commented that, this isn't far away pointing to the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. He suggested that we skip the tour bus and simply walk around all the monuments for the day. Okay, off we went. First stop, the Washington Monument.
We were told that the tickets are free but are required for going up to the viewing floor, and that the tickets are gone right away. As we walked closer I suggested we at least look to see if there might be tickets available for sometime that day. We were in luck, there were three times that afternoon we were able to choose from. We picked one, received our tickets, took a quick picture:
and then walked toward the WWII Memorial.
It was quite neat.
We found the wreath with Minnesota.
And then we began walking to the Lincoln Memorial. Either side of the reflecting pool are tree lined paths. It was quite pretty and provided nice shade for the walk.
There were all sorts of school groups, and band and choirs performing on the steps in front.
We walked by them all and up the steps to see Mr. Lincoln sitting in his chair.
One of the neat things for the kids was seeing where we had already been as we walked down the steps.
The kids were getting hungry and thirsty but we convinced them to see two more monuments first. Of course that meant more walking, and some complaining was heard. Off to the Korean Memorial first:
Then walk back to the other side of Lincoln's Memorial to see the Vietnam Memorial.
By this time we were all hot, tired, and hungry. We found a hotdog stand and ate lunch, resting our legs and feet on the park benches. It felt good to sit down, and drink water. We were refreshed a bit and were ready (well sort of) for more walking and sight seeing the rest of the afternoon.