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S: Washington DC 2011

BC: The End

FC: Washington DC

1: Washington DC 2011

2: Planning our trip started in February when Kathy returned from Florida and LasVegas. We had been talking about a vacation alone for a while but Ed was ready to pick the location. We had talked about Hawaii for years but after talking about it more, we decided that we could take a couple trips within the mainland US for the cost of going to Hawaii. Neither of us had been to DC before but always wanted to go so it won out over SanDiego. When Mom married Glenn last year we also gained a sister who lived in DC and had expressed interest in showing us around if we ever had the opportunity to get out there. DC Here We Come! We had lots of help with planning our trip out. Keith and Melissa Pups offered us their Friends and Family discount for any Sheraton Hotel. Mary Myerson bought us a National Geographic guide book that was great. Scott Krienbring went through the book and marked all his favorite spots. Father Mike gave us a page and a half of restaurants and other sites not to miss.

3: Mary picked us up at the Airport and got us safely to our hotel. From there we started our whirlwind of museums and tours. The weather was iffy much of the time. Lots of rain but there were a few peaks of sunshine. Umbrellas were a staple and luckily not outlawed anywhere but the White House. Security was tight everywhere, as you would expect but everyone was polite and efficient. We had a lot planned for our time: The White House, The Pentagon, The Capital and The Library of Congress were all formal tours. Thank God for Molly in Rep Sensenbrenner's office and to LCpl Trevor Manley at the Pentagon for helping us plan all the tours. We only had minor panic when one day before leaving I realized our Pentagon tour was the same time as the White House. I knew we'd never get the White House rescheduled and so Trevor helped us out... and then had to reschedule again because he put us on a tour that was dedicated for the 9/11 Memorial. In the end it all worked out. We hit many of the Smithsonian Museums and enjoyed dining at several local establishments. We found a cute local chain bakery that became our staple for breakfast every day. By then end, we were really good at walking and navigating the subways. The 7 day pass was definitely the way to go. Having my new Android phone was also great. Maps and the internet were just a touch away. I think one of the reasons the Ed and I got along so well was that we could always figure out where we were going! Our only "moment" came when when I accidentally poked Ed in the face with my unbrella but that is pretty good for spending 9 non-stop days in each others company. All in all, a great vacation.

7: Monument s

8: It's hard to appreciate the scale of the Lincoln Memorial until you see it in person.

9: L i n c o l n

10: The etching on the wall at the Korean Wall Memorial was eerie

11: K o r e a - V i e t n a m | In addition to the wall, The Vietnam memorial includes these life size statues. Very moving.

12: The White House security was super tight. You could not bring in a purse or camera. | The view of the White House from the roof top bar of our hotel. Our bartender was from Wisconsin! | My personal biggest disappointment of the trip. How would Forrest Gump run through this?

13: Actually , that was ok because the rooms were certainly not as impressive as I thought. | Ed was a real trooper with all my photo taking. He even staged this one for me on my birthday.

14: The Pentagon was cool except for my paranoia. I had forgotten our 2nd form of ID and panicked for two days about if we were going to get in. In the end, they accepted a credit card, Really? Then when we started the tour, we had to turn off cell phones. I had no idea how to turn off my new smart phone so I silenced it and prayed the entire time that no one would call me. Again, no pictures allowed inside

15: The | The view of the Pentagon from Arlington. Otherwise, you were not allowed to take pictures of the building. The MLK memorial opened the weekend we were in DC Protective barriers were everywhere...some were prettier than others.

16: These were all items that were found in the rubble at the multiple sites of 9/11. The M&Ms may make you smile but when you look at the items that TSA is still confiscating from airline passengers today, you have to wonder "what have we learned?" Really, who brings a grenade onto a plane?

17: American History and 9/11 | We visited DC the week before teh 10th anniversary of 9/11. Thre was a special exhibit that we waited 2 hours to see. Well worth it.

18: Arlington National Cemetary | You can't begin to fathom the scale of Arlington until you are there. This is one small area.

19: Special Memorials for National Tragedies | The view from Arlington | One of Ed's heroes

20: The architectural details in DC were amazing.

22: Air and Space Museum | Boeing-Stearman N2S-5 Kaydet. The plane Ed's dad trained in. | Ed in front of the Shuttle | What idiot would roll,tumble or drop a missile?

23: OOOOOOooooo! Aaahhhhhh! Ohhhhhhhh!!! | It rained when we visited both sites of the Air and Space Museum. Day 1 on the Mall we could handle but day two's trek would have been challenging even in good weather. In order to get there we had to take the subway and then a bus to Dulles Airport. There we picked up another bus to the actual museum. Each way took 2+ hours mostly in the pouring rain. But Ed said this was his favorite part of our whole vacation so it was worth it. | The MASH Helicopter

24: Other Fun Stuff: The National Postal Museum was really interesting. I would call it the best unexpected find. Ed is pointing to the Milwaukee bin in the mail car. Row 2: Bottles glued together is art. Really? Roach Coaches were everywhere but at least they had Diet Dr Pepper! How many steps did I walk on my 48th birthday. Row 3: It's good to have friends. We didn't pay anywhere near this amount! Never thought the Westin would have a sense of humor! There has to be at least one cheesy souvenirs shop!

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  • By: Kathy H.
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