|Our campground is in College Park, Maryland, about 16 miles out of DC. What a wonderful week in Washington DC We went downtown on Sunday by bus to the subway station and then on in town. Decided it might be best to try when not so busy and get a feel for it. Wasn't bad at all. We bought a senior pass for $10 that gave us 3 days of subway rides. Bus to Metro station was 60 cents (senior) and then could get a transfer at the rail station to ride bus back. Campground had city bus that picked folks up all day, starting early in am and going to about 10 pm. Gave you plenty of time to get around. Went back in on Monday and Tuesday and used the tourmobile, which went to every where we wanted to go, well, almost. Then went back in on Friday to tour the Capitol and to Pentagon. We got a day pass for that day and transferred 3 times, had to ask a couple of times where we needed to go to catch the right train. Folks were very helpful so didn't feel bad asking. We weren't the only ones. LOL. I'm not sure what I like the best - it is hard to decide on just one thing. The Korean Memorial was something else. It's wall is marble and the faces (pictures) were sandblasted on. They used real pictures of people. Our guide on the bus said that one guy told a park employee that he thought he saw his picture and he was told they would try to find the original picture to see if it is him. That would be something else. They have 19 statues in front of the wall that are stainless steel and they reflect into the wall that makes it look like 38 "ghost walkers" which is related to the 38th parallel in Korea. Sort of spooky when you see it. We went back on a night tour and it really was something else. Didn't know it would be so impressive. The Vietnam Memorial really was somber. The wall starts from one direction that goes to the "v" and has the date 1975 at the bottom, for the year it ended. The wall that starts from there starts with the date 1959 and goes the other way, beginning of the war. Several personal memorials are scattered along the wall. A lady was there taking pictures and she said that each personal memorial was cataloged and stored. To think of how many this could be is unthinkable. They have each name there, imdicating those killed and those missing. If and when they are found alive or dead, they put the correct marker by the name. Something else. World War II memorial is really different. It is much larger, much more fancy (if you can call it that). Very comfortable feeling there. Not like Korea or Vietnam. We went to the Pentagon and saw the memorial there. Something else. They showed us where the plane hit and the markers are in front of that area. The memorials start out with the youngest person's birthday and went from there. The youngest was a girl that had just turned 3 and the next was 9 and then 11-12 and went up to 70. The children were on the plane that hit, 59 people. There was 125 in the Pentagon that died that day. The markers for those on the plane each had a red rose at the marker. I asked who placed them there, the officer there said they didn't know. He came on duty at 6 am and they were there. Said it happened very often. The memorial is open 24 hrs a day. Can't get close to the Pentagon, have lot of barriers around it. The markers that are facing the Pentagon are the ones that worked there, the ones facing away were on the plane. just can't imagine what it was like there. Arlington was another that I really wanted to see. We did a driving tour thru it, stopping at the Kennedy's graves and eternal flame, saw Robert Kennedy's headstone, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Saw the changing of the guard, they change every hour during the cooler time of year, during the summer, they change every half hour. Talk about a job. They take twenty one steps in front of the tomb, do the presentation of the gun, and it is so precise. The unform they wear is very formal and they are so much at attention. When they change guards, it is quite a ceremony. The sargent inspects the new guard's gun, his clothing, shoes before he can be presented. He marches half way to meet the other guard, not walking on the carpet area, the one being relieved then meets him half way and steps off the carpet and the new one takes his place. Very formal.
We got to tour the Capital Building. Went to D Fienstien's office and met up with a page that took us thru. Man the capital walls and ceiling are something to see. The walls have birds all along it and the ceiling is painted. Lots of chandliers too and tile floor. Would hate to clean either of them. Got to see some of the offices and went in to the House Rep. No one was there working so got to sit for 5 minutes and then leave. Sorry that they weren't there working. Guess they don't do a 5 day week. LOL Couldn't get to White House no matter how much we begged. You have to get your tickets 6 months to a year in advance. Harvey tried to talk them in to it but just no way. So if you think you might go, get tickets early.
We went to the Museum of Aviation and Space, which they say is the most popular museum. Was interesting and lots of people. But have to really interest in that to spend a whole lot of time. Went into the Natural History but didn't stay along time in there-we saw most of the in Chicago. The One for Industrial History is closed to refurbish and open end of next month they think. I would like to have seen that one. We did go to the Holocost Museum and wow! There was so many people there and you could hear a pin drop. Very moving. We were told about 2 hrs to do it, but could have been much longer if you read each posting. There were several areas they had movies and could listen to people who survived the ordeal. Really makes you stop and think. They had one exhibit that showed the shoes that were taken from the Jews, over 1000. Also showed some of the hair they had shaved off them. It was amazing at how much they found. Used it for many things, stuffing in mattresses, decorative items. Just think what people were sleeping on - not those in the camps.
So much to see and do. Try to remember everything but it all starts running together. And you just are in such awe that you can't remember it all.
When we went in on Friday, we transferred to Union Station which is something else. It has several theaters, 120 stores for shopping, a food court, and several high end resturants. Looks to fancy to be a subway station or at least what I would think of a subway station.
We're off and going again.