Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sunday Slobber: My DC Trip Recap

Hey guys,


Anyway, carry on!!!

Wow, I'm blogging twice in one week. Shocking, huh? I know you think what pupster Duke is doing is all I've been doing this summer, but I promise it's has been EPICALLY complicated, lol.

While I blogged over at GotYA about my ALA experience( here is the LINK if you wanna check it out), I wanted to do a little recap of my DC trip. I'd never been to our nation's capital before, so I left two days before the conference started to do a little sight seeing.

First stop was the Smithsonian--can't believe how huge and how many of them there are. Once I figured to head over to the Museum of American History(no offense, I wasn't much on the Natural History--although seeing the Hope Diamond was way cool! As a history nerd, I really wanted to see the First Ladies dresses. And as an even bigger Kennedy fan, I was stoked to see Jackie Kennedy's innaugural gown.

And here's Michelle Obama's

Also in the museum of American History are the Ruby Red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz. I played Auntie Em in an elementary school version back in the day! LOL



And then as a big fan of the Carol Burnette Show, I loved that they had the gown she wore in the Gone with the Wind parody sketch with the "curtain" dress

After the Smithsonian, I headed over to the National Archives where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution are housed. And don't let the movie National Treasure fool you. They keep the room very dim to protect the documents, and the average wait time to see them is forty-five minutes. The actual Declaration is hard to read in parts because the writing has faded over time. Very cool to see it up close and personal.

While walking around I saw the Hoover FBI building and the Bobby Kennedy Justice Building. Then I took a Trolley tour of the city, and I got to see the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Jefferson Memorial, Capital, Union Station, White House South lawn, etc . On Thursday afternoon, I had also planned to see Ford's Theater where Lincoln was shot, but I found out after the fact you had to get your tickets a day in advance, so I only got to see the outside of the building. BUMMER! I packed a lot into Thursday from 12:00 on, so I headed back to the hotel with burning feet and took it easy for the rest of the evening, lol.

On Friday morning, I headed out with a group tour to George Washington's home, Mt. Vernon. The former plantation grounds are immense and very beautiful. The Washington's loved to entertain, and they almost always had guests at their house. We even saw the bedroom where George died. I also met a lot of great people on the tour, which was also very nice.

The back porch looks out over the river, and it's BEAUTIFUL!!!

Next up on the tour was Christ Church where both George Washington and Robert E Lee attended.

Then we headed over to Arlington National Cemetery to watch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns, which is really amazing, humbling, emotional, etc to watch.

Then we stopped at the Kennedy graves. As I said before, I've always been a big fan as well as reader of history on the Kennedy family--their service to America, their courage and faith under extreme circumstances--so I was especially thankful to get to see where John and Jackie were buried along with Bobby and Teddy. Their graves are on the hillside below the Custus Lee mansion, which is also very beautiful.

I deeply admire Bobby Kennedy for his work on the Civil Rights Movement, the less fortunate, and wanting to get us out of Vietnam. It was very surreal to stand before his grave, especially after just teaching about him in May.

After Arlington, we stopped at the WWII Navy monument, which is also known as the Iwa Jima memorial. My grandfather served in the Navy during WWII, so this was especially poignant for me.

Our last stop was at the Vietnam, Korean, and Lincoln Memorials. The Vietnam Memorial is especially important to me since my dad served in Vietnam and passed away in 1997 from Agent Orange Related cancer from his service. He visited the wall in the 80's, and I have pictures of him standing before it and the statue of soliders. As a child, I saw the Moving Wall several times at the Vietnam Veteran campouts we would go to over Memorial Day. But seeing the actual one was very important.

The Presidents I admire most are Lincoln, Roosevelt, and JFK. So, the Lincoln Memorial was on my list of places I HAD to see for many reasons. The first being it was about the man I greatly admired and felt a great affinity with. Lincoln struggled for most of his life with depression over the loss of family members, especially his mother, but his depression was the kind that fueled his greatness. I certainly feel a connection with him on that matter. Secondly, my great-grandfather, a master stone carver, actually worked on the Lincoln monument back in the 20's. So, visiting there was an appreciation of his work as well. Finally, another man I great admire, Martin Luther King Jr, gave his famous I Have a Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It was amazing to think of how much history has been there.

It is such an imposing sight when you step inside to see Lincoln. And of course, his gaze is still watching over Washington DC, just like the Jefferson Memorial has Jefferson keeping an eye on the Capital.

A view from the bottom of the monument.

View from the steps...much of what MLK would've seen as he delivered his speech.

Once again, by 7pm, I was exhausted! I was supposed to go on a DC by Dark tour Friday night, but I knew if I wanted to have any energy for walking around the exhibit hall at ALA, I had better rest up. So I headed back to the hotel for Chinese food and Moonstruck on tv. Couldn't ask for more.

Saturday at the Washington Convention Center for ALA with Rebecca, Miranda, and Sumayyah was AWESOME!!! Then I left on a 11am flight on Sunday. So, it was a pretty whirlwind trip, but I'm so glad I went, and I got to see as much as I did.


Nicole MacDonald said...

looks lie a full on trip!

Raven said...

I love Washington D.C.

So much history, so many wonderful things to see.

I'm so glad you had a great time!

Anonymous said...

I hope to go someday. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing it with us! It sounds like such an amazing trip, and a beautiful place. I'd love to visit one of these days.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

What a great trip! Someday we're going on a vacation like this. Someday...

Angie said...

Ah, I loved DC. Especially wandering around all those museums. You have some great picts here.

BTW - I sent you a PM on AW. If I'm bothering you, I apologize. Just wanted to make sure you had seen it.

Karla Calalang said...

I'm so jealous of your trip! It sounds amazing!

Also, I have a blog award for you that I completely forgot to tell you about! So sorry it took so long to tell you!