A Fling With Our Nation's Capital

I've blogged about my first look at New England fall foliage here and here. But our first stop on the Trip to Beautiful was Takoma Park, Maryland, to visit my sweet brother Damon and his partner, Mark. Takoma Park is about 20 minutes from Washington D. C., so I figured it was high time to see the White House. We only had one full day in D. C., which is no time at all when you consider all there is to see. Here's what I saw.

First of all, this is the closest I could get to the President's house. The stupid guy who barged into the White House in September ruined it for all of us. There was a barricade behind the barricade. I had to hold my camera in the air to grab this shot (good thing I'm tall.)

And I hate to disillusion you, but here's the tall guy you're watching on TV.

It was a rainy, yucky day. But even so, the Executive Office Building (below), the Washington Monument and the Mall did not disappoint.

We ducked in to The Smithsonian (American History Museum) when it really started raining. Of course I loved Dorothy's shoes. Judy Garland reportedly switched between five pair during the filming of Oz, and this pair was used in dance sequences, as the felt on the bottom made it easier to glide. Another fascinating find was the First Lady inaugural dress exhibit. I could tell you who wore them all, but that would take the fun out of guessing. 

I've heard people say they wished Austin had a mass transit system like D. C.'s. I can see why. And while I've been to more elaborate, colorful Chinatowns, the gate in D. C. definitely wins the ornate entry prize. 

My husband was intent on seeing Arlington National Cemetery, as it was just about the only D. C. area attraction he hadn't visited. JFK and Jackie's graves were attended by the eternal flame. And RFK was my husband's hero, so it was cool that he got to visit his grave. The last two photos at the end of this sequence show the view of the Lincoln Memorial from Arlington National Cemetery. 

We were able to catch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. One of the military guard told me that the men seated in wheelchairs near the tomb were WW II veterans. Apparently various veteran's groups raise money to regularly send members to visit the monument. 

At my brother's recommendation, we finished off the day with a nighttime monuments tour. Unfortunately, the Capitol was undergoing renovations, hence the scaffolding. 

This is the World War II Memorial.

MLK Memorial. It is massive.

This is the closest I got to the Jefferson Memorial. Next time I will see it up close, along with the FDR Memorial.

The Lincoln Memorial was beautiful at night, as was the view of the Washington Monument.

We wrapped up the evening at the Vietnam and Iwo Jima Memorials.