One of my favorite things to be? A tourist in DC (#62). I love that city. Could not live there, but love spending time there. The museums, the monuments, the opportunities for people watching, the hot dogs, the atmosphere, the metro ride. I love it all. I don't even mind the crowds. And I'll take any chance to head into the city that I can get. So when Doug and Candace made a last minute decision to come up here for the weekend we decided to head into DC Saturday because Candace has been wanting to go forever. WE HAD A BLAST!
Let me tell you one thing I did not particularly think of? The drive from Winchester to the metro. It's a little longer than driving from Ashburn to the metro, but it really wasn't all bad! We got on at the very end so we had more chances of getting a seat for the long ride. Metro rides are perfect for people watching. 14 stops? Lots of chances for people watching. Nothing super exciting on this trip, but it's still fun.
We started out inside the Smithsonian Castle. I've actually never been in there before. Never really thought about it. It's really just an info center, but it was kind of neat. We didn't spend a lot of time in there. It was more of a place to make a plan so Candace could see a lot of DC that day.
We started out at the Air and Space Museum. Shocker. It's one of Steve's favorites. I had no doubt we'd walk into that museum during our trip. The boys had a great time wandering around and pushing buttons and pretty much touching anything they could. Like children. Candace and I had fun watching them revert to childhood. It was cute really.
We got to the simulation ride and Steve SO wanted to go on that. He started talking about this simulator before we even entered the museum. The line wasn't all that long, and it is only $7. No big deal. But Candace and I did not want to go on the ride or stand in the line so we could watch them go on the ride. Doug wasn't really in favor of standing the line. So Steve was disappointed yet again. And then he went on and freaking on about how I'm so mean and never let him go on that ride. He makes me laugh ;) After Steve's big let down, we continued on through the museum. I like the exhibits at the Air and Space. They aren't super large which makes it easier to get through pretty much all of them in a couple hours, but there is SO much in there that it isn't like you're racing through because there isn't anything to see.
After we finished at the Air and Space we cut across the mall. Stopping for some photo-ops in front of the Capitol and of the Washington Monument. (#3 - good picture)
After some photo time we headed to the National Gallery of Art. I haven't been in there in forever. It is such a gorgeous museum. Not just the art on display, but the architecture of the building is beautiful. We wandered around the admiring the paintings and sculptures on display. It's like a maze in there. A maze of paintings and sculptures. The rooms interconnect and eventually bring you back to where you started from, which is good because we were not actually paying attention to where we were going.
After our tour of the National Gallery of Art, we stopped for lunch. Dirty dogs. My favorite. We walked up to the vendor, and I saw egg roll. I've seen them on the menu's before but never really thought about it. This day, I totally saw myself eating a hot dog and an egg roll. Steve started speaking while I was making my decisions in my head and he comes out with "I'm getting a hot dog and an egg roll." I started laughing. And then had to reassure him I wasn't laughing at him, but at the fact that we were thinking alike. Two peas in a pod. It was the biggest egg roll I've ever seen. But it was good!
After our little lunch break, we continued on. Contemplated the National Archives, but the line to get in helped make our decision easy. So we headed towards the monuments. We started with the World War II Memorial. That one is really a gorgeous monument. Each state is represented. There is a gorgeous fountain/pool in the middle. Lots of people sit and put their feet in the pool, I don't, but that has a lot to do with the fact that there are a lot of people sticking their nasty hot feet into that water.
From there we walked down the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Monument. We walked along the water until the wind kicked up and sent the dirt in our faces. Candace and I hightailed it to the sidewalk, but the boys stayed with the dirt. We hiked it up the steps. ALL OF THEM. To the top to check out Abe. It was really crowded up there. It was probably the biggest crowd we'd seen all day.
After that we decided it was probably time to head home. We walked down by way of the Koren Memorial. This one is a really cool memorial. The glass wall with faces, the soldiers in the grass, the water element, the Freedom is not free wall. It's a really well done memorial.
Finally, we made it back to the Mall towards the metro stop. It was definitely nice to see that metro stop. To know that very soon we would hopefully be sitting down. We lucked out and got some seats and we settled in for our 14 stop ride. It was really nice to be sitting down and not standing on our poor feet some more!
Overall, the day, was awesome! Another fantastic tourist day in DC!!