Sunday (day 3) was the most picturesque spring day in DC. It was like a day from the movies, and it could have only dreamed it if it hadn’t actually happened.
Gregg and I got up super early, well 6am ish, put on our walkin clothes and headed 23rd to the lincoln memorial. Although we were there just the day prior, the crowds made it a negative (or at least a less positive) experience than I was hoping for. So, the two of us walked 1.25miles and came to theLincoln Memorial as the sun crested over the east end of the mall. The Nike Women’s Marathon was going on that morning, and it passed behind the Lincoln Memorial, so there was a few more people there than would normally be… But it was quiet and reverent and everything I had hoped it would be.
We strolled along side the reflecting pool and then gazed back on the lincoln memorial from edges of the WWII memorial. This memorial was recently completed so it was new to Gregg too.
The Vietnam and the WWII memorials literally brought tears to my eyes. Touching the black walls of the Vietnam, feeling the names etched in stone… And watching the morning sunshine reflection shimmering the stars of the WWII memorial….
Were so contrast to The awe inspiring feelings I felt while in the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials.
Sunday morning we had tickets for a tour of the White House Gardens. Twice a year (2 days each) the south lawn is opened to tours. What a special opportunity to see the south portico, rose garden, Oval Office, vegetable garden, etc.
After a food truck lunch, sitting on the grassy lawn of the national mall, Sunday afternoon was capped off with visits to two smithsonians. Visiting the museum of Natural History, we got to see T-Rex bones, a gigantic squid! the Hope diamond and many more wonders. Then, we went to the Air and Space museum where we flew a full motion 360-degree simulator, saw the lunar module, a recovered cd from the Columbia shuttle, and many others.
By the end of the evening I was tired and my knee was aching a lot. We drank coffee (with baileys) on our hotel patio, reading and reminiscing on our trip.
Dinner was a local diner, close to the hotel and nothing super fancy.
Monday was travel day. but before the car picked us up at 1:45… We had more things to mark off of the to do list! Gregg went for an early morning run with a friend while I slept in. Then we headed south to Arlington National Cemetery. Seeing President John Kennedy’s grave and eternal flame! next to his brothers understated gravesite, at the top of the hill overlooking the city. I had such a profound appreciation for our nations history and all the sacrifices that make it what it is today.
It was a crisp, cool walk through the cemetery, through the cherry trees, rows upon rows of white tombstones. Honoring the memory of those brave men and women. We arrived at the Arlington Ampitheater…through the theater to the Tomb of the Unknown.
Words simply can not describe the feelings as we sat in silence for about 10 minutes as the single guard counted his 21 steps across, 21 second pause, turn, 21 second pause, 21 step to the other side.
then, with the ringing of the church bells, striking the top of the eleven o’clock hour it was time for the ceremonial changing of the guards. And then, we got to see the presentation of wreath and playing of taps. I am moved simply thinking on it right now.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and it was time to check out from the hotel. One last stop by Shake Shack for lunch and the it was time to head home.