Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Trippin' 2 - Washington DC

Rick had a business trip to Washington DC
at the end of April, so I tagged along.
We left a couple of days early so we could see some sights together.
We arrived late Friday night and grabbed some dinner then
early Saturday morning we left for the 2 hour drive to
Gettysburg National Military Park.

We started at the visitors center and viewed the museum then ate lunch.
We purchased the book/CD 'Gettysburg Field Guide' by TravelBrains
 and started our exploration.  The book has a map with 15 sites to see while you listen to the information on the CD.
We loved Gettysburg!

While in Gettysburg we found a place called "Barlow Knoll".
A battle took place here led by Brig. General Francis Barlow.
We are checking to see if there is any relation. Interesting.

My favorite soldier in the civil war was Colonel Joshua Chamberlain.
This is a monument dedicated to him and his brave men.
Their actions literally helped win the civil war.
He was an amazing man and a heroic leader. 
 Google him to find out more.
Speaking at the dedication of the Monument to the 20th Maine 
twenty years after the war he wrote:

"In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear, but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field to ponder and dream; And lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls."

So inspiring. That was exactly how we felt there.

The next day we went to the Smithsonian. 
We started at Ricks favorite, the Air and Space Museum.

Always fasinating.
Before we left for DC we contacted our congressman's office and we were
able to be invited on a personalized US Capitol tour
 by one of his staff members.
It was really cool because we were able to bypass all of the long lines.

  When the Capitol tour was over we took the underground tunnel to the Library of Congress.  This
has to be one of the most beautiful buildings
 I have ever seen.
Stunning architecture.  Beautiful paintings and carvings.
 Very symbolic.
We found that most of the historic buildings in Washington DC have
lots of symbolism. 
 (read Dan Brown's 'The Lost Symbol')

On Tuesday through the same congressman's office I was invited to tour
the White House.  Rick was not able to come because of meetings.
Unfortunately I have no pictures because you're not able to
bring anything on the tour. 
No purses or cameras or even lip or hand lotion.
I had to go through 3 checkpoints where
 they checked my ID and crossed my
name off of their lists.  While there I looked out a window and happened
to see President Obama boarding his helicopter.  It was pretty cool.
Give respect where it is due, he is our President.
 After the White House tour I walked to the Ford Theater
and went to the museum and then a short 2 man play they
put on about the assasination of President Lincoln.
From there I walked over
 to the National Gallery of Art.
Could spend days there.

Wednesday I went to the US Botanic Garden...
It was the most peaceful place.  Everyone spoke in hushed tones.
It felt 'reverent' there.  Beautiful displays
 of plants, flowers, trees and shrubs.
What wonderful creations!
Then over to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Very sobering. 
On Thursday before we left to the airport we stopped by the
 Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 
There is a wonderful visitors center there with a huge emphasis on families.

Thanks for joining me on this travelog posting.
Washington DC is an amazing place with so much history. It's
hard to convey all the sites it has to offer.  But one thing is for sure...
I'm grateful I'm an American!