S: Road Trip to Washington D.C. 2010
FC: Road Trip to Washington D.C 2010
2: Monticello | The first stop on our trip was Monticello- the home of Thomas Jefferson-in Virginia. We took a tour of the beautiful home then walked around the magnificent grounds of the estate. Opposite page: Jefferson's garden--the same crops are grown that were grown when Jefferson was alive. Joinery fireplace--part of the remains of "Mulberry Row" where the slaves and indentured workers lived and worked. Jefferson's tombstone and the gate to the family cemetery
4: Mt. Vernon | 1.)Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington, is a beautiful estate. 2.) The back of the house has a beautiful view of the Potomac River. 3.) Washington himself planted the massive burr oak tree on the edge of the property. 4.) Although Washington preferred natural fences (like hedges), this stone fence went along the back to keep the sheep from grazing in the yard.
5: 1.) Statues of the Washington family greet you as you enter the orientation center at Mr. Vernon. 2.) The original burial vault of Mt. Vernon. which overlooks the Potomac. In his will, Washington declared that he wanted to be buried at his beloved Mt. Vernon. But he also left instructions for a new brick burial vault to be built to replace the original. 3.) Washington's horse-drawn coach. 4.) His body, and those of his family members, were moved here upon its completion in 1831.
6: We spent an evening walking in Old Town, Alexandria, VA. We walked along the cobblestone streets, grabbed a bite to eat, and made our way down to the pier as well.
7: Arlington National Cemetery | One of the most sobering sites on our trip was Arlington National Cemetery. 1.) The eternal flame at John F. Kennedy's grave site. 2.) Robert E Lee's home--Arlington House. After the Civil War, his estate became the national cemetery. 3.) The view of the Lincoln Memorial and Washington D.C. from Arlington House.
8: Memorial Amphitheater
9: We were privileged to observe the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The exactness and precision of the tomb sentinels was mesmerizing. The guard walks south for 21 steps across the black mat, makes a crisp 90 degree turn where he pauses and faces east for 21 seconds. With a sharp 90-degree turn, he faces north for 21 seconds, then precisely changes the rifle to his other shoulder. Facing north, he then makes his way back down the mat with another 21 steps where he begins the process again. The sentinel's rifle is always on the shoulder that is closest to the audience, signifying that he will stand between the tomb and danger. Each guard serves a one-half to one hour shift before the guard is changed. The elite soldiers keep watch over the tomb 24-hours a day, 365-days a year.
12: Theodore Roosevelt Memorial | The Roosevelt Memorial is a 91-acre island and nature preserve on the Potomac River. You can only get to the island by walking across the Roosevelt Bridge. It started raining just as we arrived, but we didn't let that stop us. We pulled out the umbrellas and went for a walk.
13: The Pentagon | Marine Corps Memorial Iwo Jima | As we approached the Marine Corps Memorial, we were surprised at how massive it is; each Marine stands 32 feet tall! The location and date of every major Marine Corp engagement since 1775 is inscribed around the base.
14: Boy Scout Memorial | Washington National Cathedral
15: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center | William T. Sherman Monument | Department of Treasury
16: The White House
17: The Smithsonian | National Museum of American History
18: We only spent a few hours at the Museum of American History. One of the displays we visited was the First Ladies' Dresses.
20: Ford's Theater & Peterson House | Right: Ford's Theater looks much the same as it did in the 1860's. Far right: The box where President and Mrs. Lincoln were sitting at Ford's Theater when John Wilkes Booth snuck in and shot President Lincoln. Below far right: President Lincoln was rushed across the street to the Peterson House where he died later that night. Right: The bed where Abraham Lincoln died.
21: This little squirrel caused more trouble than he realized. On our first day in DC, Elaiine kept trying to catch it in spite of Mark telling her to leave it alone. Not wanting to deal with disobedience and attitude for the rest of the trip, Mark gathered the kids together and introduced the "Burden Bag"--our backpack of snacks, water and other necessities. Any child who failed to obey, who aggravated one of the other children, or who had a bad attitude got to carry the Burden Bag for an indefinite amount of time. They all had their turn, but it didn't take long for their attitudes and actions to shape up. | Elisabeth--not too happy about having to carry the Burden Bag. | Grant brought his frisbee with him. So whenever there was a park area, he would pull out the frisbee and the kids would throw it around for a bit.
22: The Old Post Office | The Old Post Office was originally built in the 1890''s. We took the elevator to the top of the tower where the 10 massive "Bells of Congress" (a bicentennial gift from England) are housed.
23: Views of Washington D.C. from the windows on the four sides of the top of the clock tower of the Old Post Office.
24: Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski--a Polish Revolutionary War hero and calvaryman | We found this "map of DC" as we were walking along.
25: National Archives Building
26: Once the kids learned that Washington DC had a "China Town," we had to eat there. It is only a couple of blocks long, but it was definitely fun to see. We found the "Wok and Roll" restaurant that served Japanese food, like gyoza similar to Grandma Yoko's and sushi. | Chinatown
27: The Metro! | We learned our way around the Metro stations and various lines of the Metro System. From our apartment, we would walk 2 blocks to the Metro station where we could get on the Green Line and head down toward the National Mall. Then, depending on where we were headed that day, we could get on the Blue Line or the Orange Line.
28: Smithsonian Castle
31: National Air and Space Museum
32: Ulysses S. Grant Memorial | Grant with Grant... | The Grant Memorial stands just west of the Capitol building facing the Washington Monument at the other end of the National Mall. In addition to the center statue of Grant on his horse, Cincinnati, there is a Union Artillery statue on one side and a Union Calvary statue on the other. While walking to the monument, we watched this mother duck with her ducklings waddling along and then hop into the water and swim away.
33: The Thomas Jefferson building of the Library of Congress is one of the most ornate buildings in Washington, DC. The murals and sculptures throughout are amazing. The staircase in the Great Hall is lined with various cherubim and then four children of different nationalities--American Indian, African, Asian, and Caucasian--symbolizing America being open to all people.
34: The half-circle murals on the second floor of the Library of Congress depict the history of government.
35: Standing in the Great Hall. Elaine ran to the top of the stairs to take this picture of us.
36: Supreme Court Building
37: Above: Supreme Court Chambers Left: John Marshall, first Supreme Court Justice
38: Washington Monument | Washington Monument reflected in the Reflecting Pond as seen from the Lincoln Memorial
39: The Lincoln Memorial as seen from the Washington Monument
40: The War Memorials are all very sobering--paying tribute to those who have given their lives to maintain our freedom. The World War II Memorial is a beautiful circular fountain that is surrounded by 50 pillars--one from each state. | World War II Memorial
41: Korean War Memorial | The Korean War Memorial was very sobering with its nineteen stainless steel soldiers in full combat gear frozen in time amongst strips of granite and juniper bushes. The soldiers are reflected upon a black granite wall making it appear that there are 38 soldiers---representing the 38th parallel. The granite wall contains 2500 photographic images representing the land, sea, and air support troops. | Wreath of flowers from South Korea is always on display as a token of their gratitude.
42: Vietnam Memorial | The 246-foot-long walls of the Vietnam Memorial display the names of over 58,000 soldiers who were either killed in action or are missing in action from the Vietnam Conflict. From afar, "The Three Soldiers" look on leaving the impression that they are giving tribute to those who have fallen.
43: A strong and powerful tribute to an incredibly strong man and president | Resting against one of the pillars.....the Lincoln Memorial was the last sight on a very full day of walking and sightseeing. It had been a great day, but we were all tired and hungry and pretty far from our apartment and any restaurants. | Lincoln Memorial
44: We were able to have a Congressional tour of the Capitol Building. As we walked through one of the underground tunnels, we ran into Rep. John Shimkus. | U.S. Capitol Building
45: The Apotheosis of Washington | The painting at the top of the Capitol depicts Washington, flanked by Liberty and Victory and 13 maidens which represent the 13 original colonies. The six figures around the perimeter represent: War, Agriculture, Mechanics, Commerce, Marine, Science.
46: Each individual state has donated two statues to the National Hall. The collection has outgrown the hall; so the collection of 100 statues can be found throughout the Capitol Building. | National Statuary Hall
47: Our favorite president...Ronald Reagan's statue was donated by the state of California. The pedestal of the statue contains concrete pieces of the Berlin Wall.
48: More statues and artwork around the Capitol Building... | Liberty and the Eagle are located in the Old House Chamber
49: Three of the eight historical paintings that line the walls of the lower rotunda in the Capitol.
50: On the first floor below the Rotunda is the Capitol Crypt. The Crypt was originally to be the entrance to Washington's tomb. which would be below the crypt. However his will required that he remain at Mt. Vernon. Instead, a marble compass was set into the floor marking where the four quadrants of the District of Columbia meet. The crypt also houses 13 of the National Statuaries from the original thirteen states. | Capitol Crypt
51: Old Supreme Court Chanber--first floor of the Capitol | Old Senate Chamber on the second floor of the Capitol | Old House Chamber has not been restored, but instead houses many of the statues of the National Statuary Hall. There are placards on the floor to show where various Representatives sat while in office.
52: Since Elisabeth and Grant had taken Shakespeare classes, they were very interested in seeing the Shakespeare Library.
53: Jefferson Memorial
54: Because of limited tour-times and spots, we couldn't get tickets for a tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, but we decided to stop in anyway. While we were looking around at some of the displays in the lobby, a tour guide invited us to join their tour. It was really neat watching them print $20 bills and to learn about how money is made.
55: This was our home away from home while we were in D.C. It provided the perfect place for us to spend our time when we weren't out seeing all the sights.
58: Great Adventure | After we left D.C., we headed to New Jersey where we spent a day at Six Flags Great Adventure. It was super hot, but we had a great time. They have some incredible roller coasters!! Top, clockwise: El Toro, Nitro, Kingda Ka, Superman, Batman, and Bizarro.
59: The Old Central Railroad of New Jersey is the ferry departure point for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. | Ellis Island
61: It was neat to visit Ellis Island and see how so many immigrants came to America. The museum had some great interactive displays on immigration in the United States. Next we took the ferry over to the Statue, Lady Liberty is truly magnificent to see. We weren't able to to go to the top of the statue, but we were able to go to the top of the pedestal. That was amazing.
62: Independence Hall | After spending the morning seeing the Statue of Liberty, we drove to Philadelphia to Independence National Park. Independence Hall (above, right) is one of the most important buildings in our nation's history. George Washington was named Commander of the Continental Army, the Declaration of Independence was signed here, the Articles of Confederation were adopted, and the U.S. Constitution was drafted in this building. Old City Hall (left) was the home of the U.S.Supreme Court from 1791-1800.
63: Liberty Bell | "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof Lev. XXV X By Order of the ASSEMBLY of the Province of PENSYLVANIA [sic] for the State House in Philada"
64: Congress met here from 1790-1800 when Philadelphia was the capitol of the United States. The House of Representatives Chamber was on the first floor and the Senate Chamber was on the second floor.
65: House Chamber | Senate Chamber
66: We couldn't leave Philly without trying an authentic Philly Cheese Steak...so we asked around and were told that Jim's Steaks were the best. It was delicious!!!!