S: Washington DC 2011
FC: Washington D.C. 2011
1: This book is dedicated to our Dad in honor of his 70th birthday. We are honored that we were able to spend this time with you! Love, Erin, Amy & Paige 2011
2: Tuesday, August 2nd Our adventure begins with a trip to Madison, Wisconsin to catch a flight to Chicago. At this point Dad has no idea where we are going and is enjoying the suspense. The flight from Madison to Chicago was on time and uneventful. The plan is to meet Erin in Chicago. | BUT.....that's where the plan goes awry. Erin's flight out of Minneapolis is delayed by 2 hours getting her into Chicago with barely enough time to join us. Upon landing, Amy's last words to Erin are, "Run like the wind!" Another delay sets Erin back even further but she gives it her all and sprints through the airport only to watch them close the door. Uggh! Erin must now sit in Chicago as Dad and Amy head for Allentown, Pennsylvania. Another uneventful flight for Dad and Amy with an early landing. They were happy to be greeted by Paige, Erik, Dane and Mara.
3: Dad and Amy headed to Paige's house where they were greeted by Rich with dinner hot and ready! Dinner conversation included Carl's enthusiastic education of stoplights which quickly made the time fly by until it was time to head back to the airport to fetch Erin. Dad couldn't go to bed until all three daughters were there so we found him sleeping on the couch at 12:30a.m. when we returned again from the airport. We all made our way to bed with an early departure soon to come.
4: Wednesday, August 3 After a good night's sleep, we hit the road at 8:30 a.m. Dad was still unaware of our final destination but with the gift of a few books he figured it out. Four hours later we were in ...... Washington D.C. We checked into our apartment, got some groceries, bought our train pass and headed downtown for our first scheduled activity! | A few of the shadier characters of the neighborhood almost put Amy in cardiac arrest.
5: Learning to handle a Segway is a little intimidating at first but gets comfortable pretty quick. Amy had a few issues getting sucked into the gutter (imagine that!) and almost laid her growling Segway down before our guide came to her rescue. We quickly reassigned Dad to take care of Amy instead of Amy taking watch over Dad. | Segway Tour of DC | It's not the years in your life but the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln
6: We zoomed around D.C. for 2 hours on these amazing self-balancing modes of transportation taking in all of the major sites and getting a general lay of the land. | Washington Monument | A view of the Mall from the Capitol. | The Capitol
7: More pictures of the Capitol and other buildings in DC.
8: We got recommendations to eat at The Old Ebbitt Grill. It is a famous D.C. restaurant very near the White House and frequented by politicians. They are known for their oysters, but we declined this option for our dinner. | Dad and Erin got baked cod dinner that was not the most flavorful while Paige enjoyed a burger and Amy tried a veggie pizza which was all of our favorites! | The atmosphere was old and charming with lots of carved dark wood. There was a huge waiting line, and we were lucky to find a tight spot at the bar to get in and out within our timeline.
9: Off to our next activity which was a Monuments by Moonlight tour. We were to congregate at the Old Post Office which we were told also had a great observation deck. The views were incredible and we marveled at quaint rooftop gardens as well as the beautiful D.C. skyline.
10: Our tour departed in the rain. We'd dealt with sprinkles on and off all day, but now it was deciding to be more diligent in its downpour. Aside from difficult viewing from rain covered windows and way too frigid air-conditioning, this event was one of, if not THE, favorite of our activities. We made several stops and were allowed to view the Capitol... | The White House... | And the World War 2 Memorial.
11: "OUR NATION HONORS HER SONS AND DAUGHTERS WHO ANSWERED THE CALL TO DEFEND A COUNTRY THEY NEVER KNEW AND PEOPLE THEY NEVER MET" | Korean Memorial...
12: Lincoln Memorial...
13: Vietnam Memorial... and Iwo Jima Memorial.
14: We also drove by the Jefferson Memorial and the Martin Luther Memorial site as well as part of Arlington National Cemetery. What impacted us most was the unbelievable beauty of the World War 2 Memorial at night with all of its lights and fountains, the eeriness of the Korean Memorial with the life-size men in rain gear posed in the bleak dark and rainy setting, and the sheer magnitude of the Lincoln Memorial. Each monument was so unique and wonderful in its own right. Seeing them at night was a real treat and we wondered if they would have been so powerful during the daylight.
15: We took the subway home after a very long day, but our excitement kept us awake until after midnight when we finally forced ourselves to bed in preparation for another big day tomorrow.
16: Thursday, August 4 Thursday morning started early as we had a White House tour at 9:00a.m. We stood in line and then proceeded through three points of security. It was a self-guided tour of the east wing and east side of the White House. We all thought the rooms were beautiful. The draperies were amazing and the fresh floral bouquets were stunningly gorgeous! The highlight of the tour was the surprise visit from Bo, the First Dog! A very cute and WELL BEHAVED pup. He never reacted to Amy's shrill cry of delight! The family was home at the time, Barack was working and Michelle and the girls were upstairs.
18: After leaving the White House, Erin headed back to the apartment to gather cameras and the belongings that we were not allowed to bring with us on the tour. Meanwhile Dad, Paige, and Amy went to the Air and Space Museum. Here we saw the Wright Brother's first airplane and one of Amelia Erhart's planes. | After seeing a small portion of this museum we met Erin again and headed for lunch at the Native American Smithsonian Museum.
19: Our afternoon was spent touring the National Holocaust Museum.
20: We returned to Pennsylvania Avenue to take a few more pictures of the White House and the Blair House. We walked around to get a better view of the back of the White House and found it all taped off and guarded. We couldn't get a straight answer from the security guards as to what was going on, but our super sleuth detective skills went to work and figured out it was Barack's birthday party on the lawn. With the use of our video camera's zoom we tried our best to get a view. | Two people have taken turns occupying this site for over 30 years. Their message is simple, "Stop the Nuclear Madness."
21: Back view of the White House along with the Presidential Christmas Tree. | Ate dinner at a chic restaurant in Chinatown called Zaytinya. We enjoyed a variety of Mediterranean style tapas.
22: Friday, August 5th We began our morning with a visit to the National Museum of American History where we seemed to focus on famous clothing. Can you pick out Dorothy's ruby slipper, Apolo Ohno's skates, Abraham Lincoln's and Michael Jackson's hats, Farah's swimsuit, Catwoman's suit and Michelle Obama's gown? We were most amazed by the giant 30'x42' flag sewn by Mary Pickersgill, her daughter, and two cousins. This flag inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem.
23: We had lunch at Good Stuff Eatery where Obama has been known to frequent since cheeseburgers are one of his favorite foods. | Then off to the Capitol for our tour after stopping for a quick photo op. of Dad at IA Congressman David Loebsack's office. | A replica of Lady Liberty the statue that adorns the Capitol's dome. | One foot in the center of the city!
24: The inside of the Capitol is beautiful and filled with numerous paintings and sculptures. | The old Supreme Court chamber | Our tour also included a visit to the House of Representatives.
25: Then a quick stop at Union Station to buy some souvenirs. | We ended our day with a delicious Italian dinner at Paper Moon in quaint Georgetown. | After our tour of the Capitol we spent a little time in the Museum of Natural History checking out some of the key attractions.
26: Saturday, August 6th Last day in D.C. and, while our bodies are tired, we're not ready to give up on a few important sites that we have missed. We pack up all of our belongings, load the van and head out before 10a.m. with the plan of checking out the FDR Monument. We were happily surprised to find a free parking lot conveniently located (which D.C. translates to a moderate walking distance) between the Jefferson Memorial and FDR Memorial. So, of course, we decided to visit both.
27: We marveled at the importance of these messages even in our world today. It is safe to say that the words of our founding forefathers has made us more patriotic than we had felt before our journey began. Jefferson's words are powerful yet today! | Jefferson's words: "I'm not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change in circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."
28: FDR Memorial
30: One last stop at Arlington National Cemetery where we took a tram ride to the major spots of interest. | The Eternal Flame | The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
31: The Changing of the Guard
32: We headed back to Paige's house Saturday evening exhausted but so glad we had made this trip. We spent some time with Paige's kids on Sunday and then headed to the airport in the afternoon. As soon as we arrived we were informed that our flight was canceled. After quite some time we were re-routed out of a different airport the next morning. So...we headed back to Paige's house again. Dinner and a movie and then a trip to Paige's friend Melanie's house as Melanie volunteered to get us to Newark Airport bright and early. The next morning came very soon with a 4:00 am wake up call followed by a 6:00 am flight. We all made it home safe and sound!
33: Hope you enjoyed your visit, Gary. Stop back anytime to see me again! Yes You Can!