Saturday, October 11, 2008


We decided to do a little power-touring ahead of the reunion tomorrow evening...

We began the day at 5:30AM. At 7:30AM we were at the White House for our tour. It was wonderful being inside the White House. However, I must tell you... we found the tour a bit underwhelming... Okay, a lot underwhelming! You first walk a long hallway where lots of photos are on display - nothing we haven't seen touring the Reagan and Nixon libraries.

After the photo tour you walk through the blue room, red room, dining room and a couple of other rooms, all located in the East wing, which is about as far away as they can get you from anything really interesting or recognizable. Then, they spit you out a door without so much as a thanks for coming (and putting up with our security that only allows you to bring a picture ID so if you want to do anything else you'll need to go back to the hotel to grab your purse, camera and anything else required to enjoy the rest of your day) or so much as a farewell. The tour is self-guided and the people standing guard over the rooms don't respond to questions; so again, a bit underwhelming for the tremendous effort it takes to get on a tour.

Nevertheless, I am glad we took the tour (check that off the bucket-list!) and we are grateful to the fine people at Virginia Foxx's office who made it possible.

From the White House we hailed a cab back to the hotel to pick up the truck and head over to Mount Vernon. Nothing underwhelming there! Here... Have a look for yourself:

The model at the Mount Vernon visitor's Center

The real deal... It's stunning!

What looks like stone blocks is actually wood siding made to look like stone

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day or more agreeable weather!

The back yard view of the Potomac from Mt. Vernon!Inside the front bedroom...
One of two Dining rooms, this being the smaller of the two

The music room

The bedroom where the Washington's daughter
was born and later raised her own children

The room where dry goods, vegetables and meats were stored

The kitchen

Read this first paragraph...

The wash house
The old Vault - This is where George and Martha and
twenty-one family members were originally buried

Click to enlarge and read why they are no longer there...

The new Vault - Behind that black grate is where family members are
buried. In the sarcophagi are the remains of George and Lady Washington

Our great General, George Washington lies here!

The Greenhouse - George Washington loved to Farm and garden

There is excavation going on at Mt. Vernon today!


Love, love, love...

The Lady Washington gift shop behind the greenhouse...

George Washington bust in the Gallery back at the visitor's Center

At 1PM we began our Capitol tour!

Both the White House tour and the Capitol tour
were arranged for us by Representative Foxx's office

It's something to See...

Ceiling of the Capitol rotunda

Dwight D. Eisenhower

So many gorgeous paintings and statues!

More paintings

Early American history carved in stone... From the
landing of the first settlers to the Wright brothers!

The detail in this is unbelievable!

About the Magna Carta at the Capitol

The presentation case is something else...

Another great Painting!

And, yet another great ceiling and chandelier

The low-point of our tour...

There are two statues for every state at the Capitol

Liberty is stationed on top of the Capitol and she faces East

Our tour concluded in the chamber where House votes are cast and where
the President delivers the State of the Union address. No cameras
were allowed, although the CSPAN cameras were mounted everywhere!

No access to the Capitol steps because...

After the Capitol we walked over to the American Botanic Society

Now that's a planthouse!

I enjoyed the Orchid display the most!

Look at this Color!

Something interesting to discover at every turn!

As we left the Botanic Society we stumbled onto a rally!

Americans For Prosperity. A group of conservatives
against the Bail-out and everything else they support!

The Main-stream media would have us believe that the
election decided and that Mr. Obama wins by a landslide...

Perhaps... But that's not what you see on the streets here today!

With Liberty and Justice for all!

From the rally we visited Arlington National Cemetary
Where Valor Rests
We paused to watch someone make their final journey...

Tomb of the Unknown soldier

Changing of the Guard

21 solom steps each way...

Mast of the USS Maine at Arlington

Where President John F. Kennedy rests

Mrs. Kennedy-Onassis
The two infant children they lost, a son (Patrick)
and an unnamed daughter are also buried here

Custis-Lee Mansion - Also called Arlington
House, which overlooks the Kennedy grave site

Overlooking Washington, DC

This is the grave site of Audie Murphy
It is the most requested gravesite at Arlington because
Mr. Murphy is the most decorated American soldier in
history. He died in a small, private plane crash in 1971

Old Ironside

After our walking-tour of Arlington, we found Trader Joe's in Falls Church!

The cooler I brought came in handy because I
loaded up on these frozen herbs I love so much!

After Trader Joe's we went to the Pentagon
to view the September 11th Memorial...

184 illuminated benches arranged according to each victim's age

Ages from three to seventy-one...
Each bench is engraved with the victim's name
and there is a pool of water under each of them

The memorial was dedicated just a month ago today, September 11, 2008

After the Pentagon we visited the Vietnam Memorial

Each day thousands remember the 55,000+
lost. I believe it is what we owe them as Americans...

In the summer the granite remains warm long after
sundown. For me, there is something comforting about that...

Tonight's view of the Washington monument from the Lincoln Memorial

Oh, Mr. Lincoln!

Your greatness is preserved here forever...

It always moves me to stand here in his shadow...

We visited Yorktown high school earlier today and learned they
were playing Herndon in their homecoming game... Of course, we had
to go! The class of 1978 reunion was announced at half-time and since
quite a few of the classmates were attending, a mini-reunion happened!
They have a Beautiful field!

One of their star players was taken off the field and to the Hospital
with a broken leg... Yorktown lost their Homecoming game tonight!

Okay, that's all for today... I cannot think of a thing we missed!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Readers who comment ROCK!