S: Walker Family Vacation Washington DC June 2010
FC: Our Family Trip to Washington D.C. 2010
1: On June 10, 2010 our family boarded an airplane that would take us to Washington DC. We were going to meet Grammie and Grandpa Walker for our vacation. Mom was really excited because she served her mission in Richmond, VA and was finally able to go back there. It was also a great way to introduce the upcoming holiday, Independence Day. We are so thankful to be living in the United States of America and enjoy the freedoms that we do.
3: We first visited Berkeley Plantation. It was the site of the first official Thanksgiving. It was the birthplace of Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and President William Henry Harrison.
4: Our next visit was to Jamestown. The indian village was really cool. We got to go inside their huts, watch fire made from rubbing wood together, and learn to make rope from grass and weeds.
5: The ships at Jamestown are re-creations of the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery that brought the first settlers to Jamestown in 1607. Looking at how small the ships were, it would have been hard to live in such a confined place, even just for a little while.
6: James Fort | At Jamestown the fort was built to keep enemies out. They were afraid of the Spanish as well as some indians.
7: The buildings were cool to see, but the best parts were preaching in the church, carrying water buckets, and dressing up in armor.
8: Chris had to show off his chicken catching skills when we found a few roaming chickens outside the fort.
9: Seeing Jamestown was fun. We learned a lot about the first settlers here in America and the hard times they went through. Mom also enjoyed seeing a familiar site from her mission.
10: Colonial Williamsburg was next on our list. It's a great place to learn the early history of our nation. This building was the first "capitol" in America. It was here that a lot of meetings took place to discuss the desire to be a free country. | Colonial Williamsburg
11: Governor's Palace | The Governor's Palace was one of mom's favorite buildings in Williamsburg. The rooms and gardens were immaculate. We even went through the garden maze in back.
12: Far left: Williamsburg City Gaol (jail). We were surprised to see what they had to use as a toilet was a box with stairs in their cell. Left: Eden used a quill pen from a real feather to write her name. She did a good job. Below left: Dining at Kings Arms Tavern. The men used to gather here to discuss our country's future.
14: On Sunday, June 13, we went to church at the Jamestown Ward. Mom wanted to visit with some people she knew from her mission. She was able to see a couple of families in that ward that she knew, but was hoping that going to a branch on the other side of the James River would get more results. We were all excited to ride a ferry for the first time. It was funny how all the seagulls followed us across. Most of the roads on the way to the Wakefield Branch were surrounded by very tall trees.
15: When we arrived at the address we were looking for, mom was surprised and excited to see that they had purchased a building to meet in. She was so excited by that and all the people she saw that she forgot to take pictures of her favorite part of the trip. We went in the church and sat through another sacrament meeting. Afterwards half of the branch came over to talk to mom. Most of the people that she knew on her mission were still there. The one she was most excited to see was someone who told her of a letter he had kept for eleven years that was from her and helped him decide to get baptized. She had so much fun talking to these friends she made on her mission. Dad did a great job of keeping us entertained while mom was busy with stuff that wasn't as exciting to us.
16: For the rest of the trip we stayed in Alexandria at Grammie and Grandpa's time share. It was on the main street called King Street. Just down the road was a Masonic Temple and lots of shops. In the evenings, we had fun swimming in the pool.
17: The time share was right next to a MetroRail station. We rode the MetroRail to all the sites we wanted to see in Washington D.C. It was nice not to have to drive in the traffic and be able to go wherever we needed to.
18: The first place we visited in Washington DC was the Museum of American History. There were many displays that helped us learn about the struggles of our nation.
19: George Washington
20: At this museum, there were many accomplishments by the American People to see. This doll house was huge and very detailed. The ruby slippers and Kermit the Frog were actually used in the movies. Mom and Dad really liked the carvings in the string instruments made by Amati, Stradivari, and others.
21: Our favorite part of the museum was the kid's play areas. We made kaleidescope pictures, played with a doll house, built block towers, made a marble run from kitchen utensils, looked at sound waves we created with our voices, and lots of other things.
22: Top: One of the buildings that make up the Federal Triangle. Left: Museum of the American Indian. Right: U.S. Supreme Court Building Bottom: Library of Congress Mom thought the architecture in Washington DC was really cool.
23: Museum of Natural History | The next museum had dinosaur skeletons, animals, beautiful rocks, and the Hope Diamond. Dad was impressed by humongous squid hanging from the ceiling.
24: Smithsonian Castle
25: Mount Vernon
26: It was really interesting to see Mount Vernon. George Washington didn't spend very much time there because of all he did for his country, but he did manage to expand his house from six rooms to twenty-one.
27: George Washington liked to experiment with plants. The greenhouse was one of the places he spent his time. The gardens were beautiful. | Mount Vernon Gardens
28: Mount Vernon | The grounds at Mount Vernon were huge. There was a lot of walking to see everything. There were small structures everywhere for washing clothes, making food, and other things. Hunter's favorite activity during this vacation was throwing rocks in water everywhere he could.
29: Mom's favorite part of Mount Vernon was the Tomb of Washington. She couldn't help remembering that he visited Wilford Woodruff about making sure his temple work got done. George Washington is now a member of the church. So cool!
30: Hershey, PA
31: At Hershey's Chocolate World we rode a ride that taught us how chocolate is made and how Hershey started. Afterwards we shopped and made gears filled with kisses. Hunter added some twirly dance moves along with shaking up his gear full of kisses.
32: Gettysburg was really interesting. We earned the rank of Junior Ranger by learning about the Battle here and the Civil War. | Gettysburg
33: At the visitors center we took pictures with a statue of Abraham Lincoln. There was a movie about the Battle at Gettysburg. The Cyclorama was really cool. It was a painting on the walls of a round room depicting scenes from the Battle. We drove around part of the field. Mom was amazed by the amount of memorials there were. Dad was anxious to take pictures of everything. Pictures here include: Little Round Top hill, the High Water Mark where Pickett's Charge happened, Pennsylvania Memorial, and Soldiers' National Cemetery and Monument where President Lincoln gave the famous Gettysburg Address.
34: It took a little while to get back to Alexandria. When we drove through Washington DC it was getting dark, so we got a cool picture of the Washington Monument.
35: One of the places Mom and Dad really wanted to go was the DC Temple. Dad's last time there was when he was baptized for his Grandpa. Mom wanted to go there on her mission, but it was outside the boundaries. They had a great time going to the temple with Grammie and Grandpa. | LDS Temple
36: We wanted to tour the White House while in DC, but there were too many things going on to allow tourists. | So instead, we were offered a private tour of the United States Capitol. We started by traveling underground on a monorail car. | United States Capitol
37: Inside the Capitol was awesome. It was intricately decorated and elegant. Mom especially liked the detailed tile floor.
38: The most impressive part of the Capitol was the Rotunda. It was huge. There were paintings and sculptures all over. The ceiling was painted with historical scenes. It was awesome.
39: In one of the rooms we were shown where John Quincy Adams used to sit and listen to conversations from across the room because the floor had awesome acoustics. The city of Washington DC was designed with the Capitol at it's center. Everyone had to touch the center plaque for good luck.
40: National Archives
41: The National Archives had a long line to get inside, so we went first thing in the morning. We waited long enough for the kids to get restless and start playing games on the grass. Seeing the Charters of Freedom was one of the highlights of our trip. It was wonderful that the Founding Fathers were so inspired to establish this great nation.
42: Feeding the ducks | Walking around the National Mall, we saw a lot of ducks. We had lots of fun feeding them. They would follow us in hopes of getting more food.
43: Chasing geese | One of Hunter's favorite activities was chasing a big flock of geese. It was so funny to watch him run tirelessly after the geese.
44: Every time Hunter was allowed to roam free of the stroller, he bolted fast. This time he caught sight of a squirrel to make friends with. The squirrel didn't like the idea.
45: On the way to the White House, we saw lightning bugs. Dad taught us how to catch them; he used to do it all the time when he was a kid. It was scary at first, because we'd never seen them before, but we ended up having a lot of fun!
46: On the way back to the MetroRail one night we walked to the White House. We didn't see inside, but at least we did see it. | Mom thought it looked a lot smaller than she had imagined it to be. Maybe there are parts of it that are hidden behind the trees.
47: There were many vendors around the National Mall. This time we stopped for some much needed ice cream. Many of the days were very hot and it was nice to spend most of our time indoors.
48: The National Air and Space Museum was cool to see. We saw the USS Enterprise model used in the movie. It was really interesting to see all the different designs of aircrafts that gradually progressed to actually taking flight. We saw the vest that Gene Kranz wore during the unlucky but lucky flight of Apollo 13. Eden's favorite thing to see was Amelia Earhart's airplane.
49: While roaming the streets of Alexandria we came across a man who played water glasses. It was amazing. He played many songs and added cool harmonies. He played Happy Birthday while we sang to Jeffrey.
50: The Lincoln Memorial is one of the most prominent memorials. It was beautiful how it overlooked the reflective pool and Washington Monument. Throughout this trip visiting places like this inspired mom to purchase books about our nations history. Abraham Lincoln had a great impact on the history of our country.
51: Lincoln Memorial
52: The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial listed all the names of people who died in the war. We were amazed by how many there were.
53: The Korean War Memorial was equally awe inspiring. The phrase "Freedom is not Free" invoked feelings of gratitude for those who gave their lives for our freedom.
54: The World War II Memorial listed all our nations states to show that all of us sacrifice for our freedoms. The fountain in the middle was beautiful.
55: However, we did get many wonderful pictures of this symbol of our country. | We were hoping to see the Washington Monument up close or go inside, but we were only able to see it from a distance.
56: National Zoo
57: After visiting so many historical sites, we were anxious to do something relaxing and fun. Our last stop before going home was the National Zoo. Even though there were many exhibits closed, we enjoyed it. We got to see naked mole rats and feeding time for the octopus. He was hungry and ate a lot.
58: Our trip to Washington DC was educational, inspiring, and fun. It was wonderful to spend time with our family. There were many experiences that were once-in-a-lifetime. We were thankful to go visit our nation's capitol and learn more about how we gained our freedoms. Everybody had a favorite part of our vacation. Dad's was that he was able to spend time with his family. Mom's favorite part was seeing her mission field again. Eden's was going to Hershey, PA. And Hunter's favorite part was being released from the stroller to chase geese or throw rocks. It was well worth the time, money, and effort we put into our trip. Thank you to dad for making it possible to enjoy this blessing. We love you.