Monumental Experiences

Last week at this time I was laying in a hotel bed feeling resting my tired legs and feet with no idea of how really tired, sore and blessed I would soon become. We spent three days touring Washington DC and crammed in as many things as we could. If I were in better shape and it hadn't been 90 degrees for two of those days, I'm sure we could have crammed in a lot more, but I'm very grateful for the things we did see. Here are just a few of the highlights:
The first night we went to the National Mall via the Metro (below) and saw the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial and Lincoln Monument (above).

On our last morning we went to Arlington Memorial and saw the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy's graves, as well as the grave of a friend of my Mothers, who died in the Vietnam war. I will blog about him tomorrow on Flashback Friday.
We loved the National Museum of the American Indian. Throughout the trip the dear daughter pictured below read every plaque we didn't drag her away from. She was anxious to learn. What a great trait! Here she is pictured with a canoe which was made within the last 5 years. There were a number of different canoes made by different tribes. Each canoe was beautifully crafted. This beautiful fiber piece (below) was available for sale in the gift shop and I now wish I had a better picture but it was behind the counter and I'm not always a very good photographer. I'm also sad that I couldn't see the price. I wish I had asked. Now that I'm home I'm wishing I had purchased the piece. Such a beautiful piece of hand work.
This amazing woman (below), who is a Mayan Indian from Guatemala, gave a demonstration on the fabric weaving the woman in her village do. She said she learned from her grandmother. She said that her shirt was an everyday piece, and that the men in the village weave the fabric for the women's skirts. She also demonstrated how the woman wrap their hair and carry baskets on their head to carry items from one place to another. The long piece she used to wrap her hair takes two months to weave. I loved meeting her! She also wove the fabric that is laying on table behind her. She also said that her loom has been passed down for many generations.
The girls and I visited the National Museum of American History and we were very sad that my dear husband wasn't able to join us because we know he would have loved it! We saw the flag that flew over Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Key to pen The Star Spangled Banner. We weren't allowed to take pictures of it because it is so frail.
There was also a wonderful exhibit about President Abraham Lincoln. Here is President Lincoln's top hat: The museum also had lots of contemporary history, including these wonderful Ruby Slippers worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz.
As well as this familiar face:
And there were a few things I found facinating that the girls passed by:
I remember my cousin having one of these in her home and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Hmm, I wonder whatever happened to it.
The girls and I went to zoo before the American History museum, and the escalator up to the surface from the Metro was one of the longest I have ever been on but apparently there is a longer one at the Pentagon.
I was very excited to see the Panda Bears. I felt bad for them as the temperature was 90 degrees on this day. An unusually hot spring day. The poor panda sat in the shade of the log and panted for a while before going back out to eat more. I understood exactly how he felt.
My oldest daughter always loves seeing the Elephants. There was a very large elephant exhibit under construction that will open in 2011 and she is thinking she will treat herself to another trip to DC for her college graduation.
Another highlight was when we were able to see the White House but sadly we did not see the President, his family or the new first dog. Later in the hotel we found out that
a small plane had strayed into the restricted airspace and we had just missed the evacuation by a few hours. We loved the Lincoln Memorial, especially since we saw it at night. The lighting on the statue of Lincoln is incredible at night, and we girls look pretty cute on the stairs of the monument too.
We looked at the Capitol from afar because we were just too tired to walk up to it. And when I say "we" I am using the word the way Queen would, which means that I was too tired.
See how beautiful the Lincoln Monument is at night?! Breathtaking.
This next photo needs a little explaining as it is now our family joke to eat at a Subway whenever we go on vacation. When we went to Oahu a few years back we went out to find a place to eat and after literally driving half way around the island and back we ended up at the Subway across the street from the hotel. Now if we are looking for a resturaunt and we see a Subway we just stop and eat fresh!
There were many beautiful stuffed animals as well as bones of animals at the National Museum of Natural History. The elephant in the front entry was a big hit with my oldest daughter. One of the twins liked this giant moose (elk?) and decided to pose, and her sisters decided to help her out.
There was also a beautiful exhibit of jewels and rocks, the star of which was The Hope Diamond. It is 45 and a bit carets. Amazing.
But with all these wonderful sights and memories, perhaps my favorite was this:
Ahhhhhh, my dogs are killing me.


Anneliese said…
Looks like you all had a wonderful time. It makes me want to go back there. I loved the Smithsonian and memorials and well the history that's all around you. I loved the picture of you and the girls on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The next time you're in DC you have an open invitation to stay with us! (I'm Jane's daughter in law) I linked over to your blog through hers...I remember her talking about you when you had your twins, around the time my twin girls were born.

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