I'm halfway done with my trip to D.C. I am SO GLAD that I have had the opportunity to come here. You probably know that I am in to history, you know that I'm in to America and its founding, so I'm having an amazing trip. So far, this is what I have done:
- Library of Congress - The Great Hall is beautiful. The architecture is Neo-classical, I believe, and the inscriptions on the walls about learning, books, and God are wonderful. A Gutenberg Bible was there, amongst many other very cool things.
- Good Stuff Eatery - Local, greasy burger and fry joint. Yummy!
- We saw the Supreme Court building, as well as the Capital Building. We actually tried to go into the Capital, but water bottles are not allowed, and as we had nice, non-disposable ones, we left.
- The National Archives - Amazing!! I got to see the Magna Carta (started to tear up), the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. The Declaration is so faded, one can hardly see any of the writing, but it was still awesome to see that original document. I was really touched by a man who was behind us in line that I overheard explaining the value of some of those documents - invaluable.
- National Museum of Art - This is my favorite museum that I visited. It had a French painters exhibit, where I saw many pieces of art in person that I have seen pictures of - Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt, David, etc.
- Museum of Natural History and Museum of American History - Hope Diamond, Dorothy's ruby slippers, Kermit, etc.
- Chinatown - We just went to dinner there. The part I saw wasn't very impressive.
- We dealt with a couple of hiccups - I guess after seeing so much the day before we had to make a payment for it in the form of broken water heater and car.
- Arlington National Cemetery - I really like cemeteries, and I wish we had more time for this special one. We only had time to walk to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where we watched the changing of the guard. Then we had to book it back to the metro. The rows of graves are impressive. I was also glad for the reverence given by the spectators during the changing of the guard, which kind of took awhile. It was a very formal, deliberate event.
- Holocaust Museum - One picks up an I.D. card before starting the tour. The card contains the story of one actual person who lived during the Holocaust. You turn the page at specific times during the three floors of the tour. I didn't get too involved during the first floor of the tour, but it got to me during the second, and I certainly shed some tears, which seem to be coming back now. I didn't even read everything or look at or watch everything I could have. It's just awful to think about what happened. And it's not like it doesn't happen today - there's definitely still genocide today. The last floor has stories about many people who helped hide people during the Holocaust, and that was wonderful to learn about. There were many people who helped, which is heartening.
- The National Portrait Gallery - Very cool! It has portrait paintings of important people in American history (and not-so-important, as well. The biggest painting we saw was of LL Cool J - what??).
- Dinner at Clyde's, which is in or near Chinatown (although it wasn't Chinese food) - Yummy!
- Washington Monument - Too bad we didn't think ahead about getting tickets to go to the top. It was still awesome to see!
- World War II Memorial - I don't know if I was aware of this memorial. It is really beautiful with pillars (each has the name of a different state on it) bordering a pool of water with fountains in it.
- Lincoln Memorial - I kept thinking about Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Mr. Smith is very reverent about seeing Lincoln. I wish the people there would have been quiet - I think that would have made the experience even better, but the memorial is very impressive. It was very important for me to see it, and I'm so glad I did.
- Church, End of World Cup (yea Spain!), dinner, and Just Dance. I don't think I have heard of Just Dance before. It's a Wii dance game - I might have to look into purchasing that sometime.
Now you know more than you wanted to, and just think, there's more to come . . .