Tuesday, October 10, 2017

On to DC

Our time in WashPA is done, the slides are in, the jacks are up and the wheels are rolling. Our first stop was in Maryland to see Keith and Michelle and do some DC touring. We then are heading to Hatteras Island for a week and then a quick trip to Florida where we have an appointment for annual service in Ocala. After that, we are going to Naples for a month. We will leave Opus there and fly to Punta Cana to celebrate our anniversary.
We knew we had to get to the Southeast side of DC to get to Keith and Michelle's place, so we figured leaving on Sunday would make it an easier drive. Wrong! As you can see, the traffic on the beltway was bumper to bumper. Slow downs and wrecks added over an hour to the trip but we made it without any real problems. 
We have been to DC many times going all the way back to our honeymoon in 1969. We often stopped for a day or two on our way to or from vacations and for many years we would go for three days over Thanksgiving. I was also their nearly twenty times on the 7th grade field trip. There is so much to see there that even with all those visits we have found it very easy to achieve our goal of seeing something new on every visit. 
The Washington Monument is always impressive towering over all other buildings in the city. It is still closed until the spring of 2019 for updates and repairs due to damage caused by the 2011 earthquake. I remember when you could walk to the top.
The US Capitol, Library of Congress and Smithsonian Castle overlooking the National Mall is impressive.
We got to see the new National Museum of African American History and Culture building but could not get in as it is so popular that timed free passes are required for admission. The design symbolizes the three tier crowns used in Yoruban art from West Africa. The ornamental bronze metal lattice honors the intricate iron work done by enslaved African Americans in the South. The building entrance is a welcoming porch. We will need to plan ahead for our next visit to explore the exhibits.  
The White House looking toward the National Mall. I was happy to see it was still turned right side up with all the chaos going on inside at this time. 
The World War II and Lincoln Memorial on the Reflecting Pool is beautiful. It is a wonder how they have fit so many monuments on the mall and it still is not overcrowded.
The DC War Memorial honors the 499 city residents who gave their lives in WWI. While it appears small compared to the other nearby monuments, it is large enough to serve as a bandstand for the entire Marine Corps Band.
The main reason for our visit was to add the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to our park service passport. We have seen many pictures of the memorial but like so many things in DC you have to be there to fully understand the symbolism. First the stone statue is the stone of hope that has been cut from the mountain of despair in the background that is the entrance to the memorial.   
Another bit of symbolism, the memorial, which is located on the Tidal Basin, is on a line between the memorials honoring Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, and Lincoln, the president who saved the Union and freed the slaves in the South. 
On the wall behind the statue are several famous quotes of King. This quote from 1963 really can be applied to today's political times.
The Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin.
Our second day we visited the Old Town area of Alexandria. It is a beautiful city with many old buildings dating back to the 1700's. Loved this cobblestone street.  
We had a great visit with Keith and Michelle and are happy to report she has been doing well with her illness. After her last doctor's visit in September her test results were very good and she does not have to return for another scan until January. Very good news.
We have moved on and are now on Hatteras Island for a week of sun and fun before sprinting to Florida later this week.


Jan Mains said...

You do better in traffic than we do. We stay clear of DC except when someone else is doing the driving.

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Catch some fish in Hatteras!