Thursday, April 2, 2009

One Nation, Under God

Feeling patriotic? Well, if not, hopefully you will after our Bloggy Spring Break Trip to our Nation's Capital Washington D.C.

This is another weekend getaway trip that I planned for us. This one was back about 7 or 8 years ago. We arrived on a Thursday night, toured all day Friday, all day Saturday and just a wee bit Sunday morning before heading back. There is tons of walking involved (unless you take an all-inclusive bus tour) so we did not take our children who were all under eight years old at the time. There is definitely way more to do than we crammed in, in one tiny weekend. The main thing to do is pick the main events you want to do and then fill in with the smaller ones that are close by or convenient.

Because there is so much to do in our Nation's capital, I am basically going to give you a few of my personal tips and the rest will be a pictoral adventure.


When selecting your hotel, pick one that has both a free shuttle to and from the airport as well as one to a nearby Metro station. I highly suggest this as it is so much cheaper and faster than taxi cabs or buses. You will then be able to take the Metro with ease to get to all of the events and attractions you would like.


Visit the Theater where Lincoln Was shot, as well as the Peterson home across the street (where he died) very first thing in the morning as these two homes have no air conditioning. In extreme weather conditions these attractions will be closed.

Tip #3:

Visit air conditioned museums (Such as the J. Edgar Hoover/FBI building) during the hottest part of the day, usually between 12-2pm, to avoid heat exhaustion.

Tip #4:

Save the monuments for dusk or early evening. You will avoid the larger crowds and plus, it's pretty to see them lit up at night. It's not a sight you usually get to see in photos.


The Ford Theater - Where Lincoln was shot.

The bed in the Peterson House where Lincoln was carried and later died.

We wanted to take a picture of the White House but there was some Press Conference or something going on and they were starting to get ready for it. There were tons of people and tons of black cars pulling up all over it. If I remember correctly, it was something to do with stem cell research. I don't know... like I said it was 7 or 8 years ago. Anyway, I couldn't get a good shot of the White House. Here's a shot of the guard shack though...

And if you have a good lens and stick it through the gates, you can get a good side view of various VIP's coming in and out (though I admit, I don't know who this is...)
The National Space Museum...

The Smithsonian Castle has the most beautiful grounds, even if you get their too late for the tour (doh!)...
You cannot go to D.C. without visiting Memorial Park... and like I said, try going at night. Oh and if you have family whose names are on the wall, take paper and pencil to rub over their names on the wall.

Jefferson Memorial...

The Lincoln Memorial...

The Washington Monument was closed for renovations when we were there, so we couldn't go inside up to the top. I had been there before when I was 14. Nonetheless, seeing the outside was just as grand.

Sunday Morning, before heading off to the airport, we went over to the Arlington Cemetery. I think it is the perfect time to go. It is peaceful and quiet and reflective. You must go visit the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and you must witness the changing of the guards. It gets me every time.

Breathtaking, isn't it?


Vickie said...

You take such beautiful pictures.

The changing of the guard gets to me as well.

I am suprised that The Ford Theatre isn't air condition. I thought I was still a functioning theater.

I would love to go to D.C. If only Publishers Clearinghouse would give me my money:)

EmmaP said...

oh vickie, i think you are right. i think the theater is air conditioned. but i know the peterson home across the street for sure is not. see 0- it's been so long now my memory isnt great. But - since they are close together, you'll want to do them at the same time. So - better off to do them both first thing in the morning.

also - it is my ex who is the photographer... 1 thing he is super-talented at. one thing i am not that good at... ugh. so now that i am single and have a digital camera that does not cost over $1000 my pics will NOT be so good - hehehe.

glad you enjoyed the pics. I have a whole ablums-worth. but i thought i'd just give you the few awesome ones.

purplehaze said...

Emma you are lucky to have traveled so much! I would love to go there someday I heard it is pretty awesome.

Ashley said...

I went when I was in 5th grade and didn't appreciate it as much as I should have. I went again with work a couple of years ago and just had a few hours to tour. I did the quickest tour you've ever seen just b/c I wanted to see as much as possible. Now I really want to go back when I have more time to enjoy everything. Of course, no one really has time to do everything in D.C. There is so much to do!!

Glad you had a great trip and good advice! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

The National Mall is beautiful. I also find Arlington National Cemetary Makes for such pleasant and moving visit.

RhondaLue said...

Completely breathtaking!

Check you out you travelin' lady!! My husband and I really want to go here as a family. my teens would LOVE. IT.

Megan said...

Great pics! I need to travel more. I want to see all these places.