Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Touring DC

Odometer 30911
Trip meter 0 miles

Our Nation's Capitol !

For Joan and me this has been a trip of firsts; first time over two weeks together in a motorhome (now going on 6 months), first time on the Gulf Coast, first time in Florida and the Florida Keys, and now to have Joan share the excitement of seeing the history and grandeur of Washington DC with me. Awesome!

We set-up in Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park, Maryland which is about an hour out of downtown DC.  This park is geared towards RVers who are here to see the Captiol, and they have really made it easy for us.  We can catch the #83 bus right at the front gate of the park, change to the Metro Rail at the College Park Metro link, and ride the subway to wherever we'd like to go in downtown.

 Once downtown DC all the stations are underground and well labeled and easy to navigate from point to point.  If you stop to look at your subway map, chances are someone is going to ask if you need any help.  We were a little befuddled when it came to adding more credits to our fare cards, but right away we had someone patient enough to show us the procedure.
 The main subway stations are all two level and provide a way to transfer to a train going 90 degrees from your present train.

We got off the Metro at the Archives building and started our walking tour at the sculpture gardens which border the Capitol Mall
 Heading up Madison Avenue to the east took us up to the Capitol building which anchors the east end of a 250+ acre green park called the National Mall.

We paused in front of a reflecting pond, with the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial in the immediate background, to take this photo of us.  Intrepid explorers -eh?

 The Capitol area is undergoing a lot of construction this Spring.  The steps to the Capitol building were closed due to all the scaffolding on them, the Washington Monument is over 3/4 scaffolded, and the east bldg. of the National Gallery of Art is still under construction on the NE corner of the Mall.
This is the building I was referring to, that will be the new East Wing of the National Gallery of Art.

Our Idea was to do most of our walking tour today as the weather is perfect, high seventies with sunny skies.  By the time we got 1/2 way around the Mall, it was 11:30 and we were looking for a place to eat.  I had read about the restaurant in the Museum of Natural History so we headed indoors to check it out.
 Just our luck, there were 5 to7 school buses that had just disgorged their contents into the building.  The screaming children made a deafening racket in the hard marble walled confines, and overwhelmed the dining area.  Un-daunted, we ate quickly and escaped to the outside again to continue our walking tour.

Since the Monument was under renovation all we were allowed to do was walk around the perimenter of the construction fences.  Awesome scaffolding job though- even has an elevator which you can see at the right hand top.

After skirting the monument, we came to the Word War II Memorial- which was under renovation.  This is doublely agrivating, because last time I visited DC in 2004, it was weeks from being finished, so I missed it then too.
 Normally the reflecting pool in the center would be full and fountains would be spraying all around the perimenter.
From here we visited the Vietnam Memorial.  The wall always evokes a heavy feeling in my heart, but the piece I like the best is this bronze by Frederick Hart

From the Vietnam Memorial  we scooted across 23rd to the Lincoln Memorial, which anchors the west end of the Capitol Mall.

 I've seen this memorial about 4 times in my life and it never ceases to impress me.  Seeing it here again some  46 years after first seeing it as a teenager, I am still moved by its grandeur and significance.

I am especially happy that I got to share this experience with the love of my life.  We stood in awe of the sculpture and the setting.  

We were pretty much walked out by this time, we saved just enough energy  to walk to Foggy Bottom to catch the Metro back to our home.  What we were wondering as we hiked up the hill on 23rd street past the State Department and into The George Washington University, is why,  if it is on a hill- is it called Foggy Bottom- it should be Foggy Hill!

Best thing ever is to be able to get on a subway  and let someone else do the driving.  Whisking us at nearly 75 mph under the chaos above.  We arrived back at the RV by 4:30 PM and kicked off our tired shoes.  
Home Sweet Home!

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff  and Joan

No comments:

Post a Comment