November 27, 2009

Tourists in Washington DC - lots of photos

This past weekend (right before Thanksgiving) we took a trip up to Washington D.C. for a short visit. I have never been there so it was an exciting mini-vacation. Thanks to priceline, we were able to get a great hotel at a great price and in the perfect location in Arlington.The first day was mostly spent driving, but once we arrived our first visit was to the Arlington National Cemetery. What a wonderful experience! So much respect and gratitude for those that have died for our country and freedoms. It was really an amazing experience to be here and see it all first hand. I felt so proud! We were able to see the Kennedy grave site with the continual fire burning, and the tomb of the unknowns, which is always guarded. After that we made a dinner stop at the Burger Joint. I had read a review about this place, and thought it might be worth a try. It was okay, pretty tasty. But it was really messy! I hate messy food. The burger was so tall that it was really difficult to eat. Plus, we got one burger and onion rings (shocker, I know) and water to share and it came to $20. That is a lot in my mind to pay for a hamburger and onion rings. Plus the onion rings were $5 and we figured we get a nice sized basket. Wrong, we got 6! Yes, only 6 onion rings. One of which was the heart of the onion so we really couldn't eat that. So basically $1 per onion ring. The atmosphere of the restaurant was pretty neat. The only downside is that it was super loud. The music was so loud I couldn't hear Dustin speak and we were at the same table. Overall, it was tasty, but I wouldn't recommend it based on the price and what you get for what you pay. And maybe the fact that it was so messy. Next we tried to go to the Washington National Cathedral, but it was closed. We took a few pictures and then decided to try and come back the next day. Sadly that didn't happen (ran out of time) but it was an amazing building and we will definitely visit it on our next trip. We then headed to the LDS Temple to spend some time. What an amazing building! I've never been to this temple before and it was quite a sight to see. Seven stories tall! It was dark by this time so we got to see it all lit up, which was amazing. The next day, we headed to the Mall to see all the sites. Best part- free! Amazing stuff to see and all free! We first visited the Jefferson Memorial. What amazing architecture! These building are truly amazing. And so respectful. My favorite part was the DC by Foot tour that we took. If you are headed to DC and are going to the Mall, definitely take this tour. The guide was very informative and so funny. He knew so many things that you just don't know when it visit is on your own. This is Tim, our tour guide.We were able to see the Washington Monument, which might have been my favorite considering all the photos I took of it. Seriously. I'm not kidding. See.

Early morning - taken from across the way at the Jefferson Memorial. Love the refection in the water.
Mid-day, the sun hiding behind it.
3pm - beautiful blue skies. Beautiful monument. Evening - with the beautiful fall colors.
One with me and the monument in the background. The reflection pool was empty for cleaning which is kinda neat because we got to walk through it. How many people can say that?
Night time - beautiful sun setting in the background.
On the tour, we also saw The National World War II Memorial. Again, so respectful. I loved the wall with all the stars. Apparently each star represents 100 people who died. I think there was something like 480+ ( I can't remember the exact number).
Next, a stop at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which was designed by a 21 year old girl. I loved the polished stone which was neat that you could see yourself reflected in all the names. Very symbolic. It was interesting that the order of the names is not alphabetical but rather in the order that they died. The last stop of the tour was the Lincoln Memorial. I've always wanted to see this. Again, the tour guide had lots of neat insights that I would have missed had we not taken it. Like the engraving of "I Have a Dream" at the top of the steps. People just walked right past it not knowing that it was even there. During the day, we also were able to witness a motorcade (most likely the President, or some other really important person, but the police wouldn't say who). It held up traffic for a good twenty minutes and these guys meant business. As we were waiting for the motorcade to pass, I tried taking a few photos. But the brutal sun wasn't so helpful. Don't we look just so excited to be staring directly into the sun?
The end of the day, we were blessed with a beautiful sunset.
The next day,, we went to the Dept. of Treasury to see how they make money. Now, this might just be me, but if I was to go to DC for the first time and had a limited amount of time to see things, this would be the one place I'd skip. We got there at 8:30 waited it line until 10:30 for our tour to start. The tour lasted approximately 15 minutes, and that was it. You didn't get to see much, and the line was way too long. I'd rather have visited the museums. Just my personal opinion. We were short on time, and it was raining, so we mostly stayed indoors. We visited the Natural History Museum and were able to see the Hope Diamond. So stunning! And they had taken it out of the necklace setting so you could see the diamond in all its faultless glory. This museum was probably my favorite and kinda sad since we didn't get to go through the whole thing. Maybe next time.If you are at the mall, and need somewhere to eat, I'd highly recommend the Museum of American Indian. Authentic food and oh so tasty. So tasty, that I ate it all before I could take a picture.

We also saw the Declaration of Independence. I was really amazed at how faded the original one was. You could barley read it. They did have a replica which was much more clearer. Other documents for viewing in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom were the Magna Carta, Constitution of the US, and Bill of Rights.
The original.The copy.
Dustin's favorite building... The Library of Congress. I must admit, I was surprised at this building. It is gorgeous inside. Absolutely stunning! We spent a good amount of time here just looking at books and the building. Then our trip was over (sniff**sniff). It was a quick trip but so worth it. We had so much fun and definitely were overdue for a mini-vacation. We loved it and are already talking about what we'd like to do and see the next time.

Since I took way too many photos, you can see more of them on my flickr page if you'd like.

4 comments:

  1. Wow what a trip, great photos Cami! I can't believe everywhere you guys go I swear you get burger and onion rings...

    I loved the hope diamond-never heard of it before. I'm jealous you got to see Abraham and the deceleration of independence.

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  2. Your photos are beautiful
    you two are soooo cute
    the post is awesome (although I'm tired just reading it!)
    I want to go
    I'm staying in that same hotel - it's gorgeous!

    Kristin

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  3. Those pictures are gorgeous!! I've only been to Washington DC once, when I was in elementary school. Its a shame since I am an east coaster. Your pics make me want to go back soon and take Pi.

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  4. Great Pictures you guys!
    Virginia is home for us, and it was so much fun to see it through your eyes...Wade and I got married in Washington DC... I want to say more, but for now, I'll agree with you: Is an amazing building!
    Looks like you are having so much fun!
    Keep the pictures coming! :)

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