Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer Vacation 2016. D.C.

Day 1  Walk from Hotel to White House

The walk is less than a mile but we walked across the back of the White House on H St. around to 17th Street and then to view the front of the White House.  Along the way we saw the Treasury Building, Lafayette Park, Blair House, and the Corcoran Museum (saw, not toured).

Then we walked around the Elipse (lawn) and saw the Washington Monument.  We get to tour the Monument on day 5.   From there we walked back toward the White House to the White House Visitor's Center.  Nice stop.  It was very cool inside and has good exhibits.

Next we walked to Chop't for a very tasty salad.   We hopped on the Metro from Metro Central to McPherson Square.   From there we walked back to our hotel via Peet's Coffee.   After a bit of a rest we walked a block to Tortilla Coast for a good dinner.   I can recommend their Tropical Mahi Mahi.   Once we finished we walked around the block  and back to our hotel.  15,200+ steps.   Whew.  (When at work I walk anywhere from 3000 to 10,000 steps with an average day being around 6000 steps.)

Day 2, a.m.  The National Cathedral

Today we rode a city bus from our hotel to the National Cathedral first walking from our hotel to a stop near Dupont Circle.   When we arrived it was 45 minutes before the next service began so we were able to walk around the interior perimeter and enjoy all the stained glass.   We stayed for the first 10 minutes of the service to hear a visiting choir and then slipped out and had our packed lunch before we met up with Mary, one of the tower ringers.    She gave us a brief tour of the bell tower and a short primer on what we would be hearing.

This experience is one of the highlights of trip.   For an hour we watched and listened as the tower ringers rang their peals and changes.   The views were stunning from every side and it was pure joy to hear the bells ringing.  Once they were finished they let us go up to the bell room with them as they started the process to reset the bells in rest position.    After saying our thanks and good-byes we walk around a bit more.   The Cathedral was heavily damaged in the 2011 earthquake and reconstruction is going slowly.   They have a photo exhibit of the damage and repairs to date.

We take the bus back to Dupont Circle and walk back to our hotel seeing some of Embassy Row.   This little scene enchanted me as we waited for our bus out to the Cathedral so we found it on our way back for a closer look.   It's a small park-like entrance to the Indonesian Embassy.

After the walk back and a short rest we walked back to Tortilla Coast and brought our dinner back to the hotel.

Day 2, p.m. Night Tour of the Memorials and Monuments.

This was the better of the two tours that we took.   Well timed, hotel pick up, excellent guide and driver.   We stopped at:

H Street, Treasury, Layfayette Park, Back of White House

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial as seen from the King Memorial.  This is the closest we get to it.

Korean War Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Vietnam Memorial, my photo of the wall did not come out.  It was pretty dark and a flash would only have reflected.  This is the brothers in arms statue at the entrance to the wall.

World War II Memorial, I was too tired to get off the bus and had a nice rest and quiet moment.

Capitol Building,  it was such a good tour that everyone was tired so the driver and guide adjusted to a good photo op.  I didn't get off the bus for a photo but Sis did.

13,000+ steps today.

Day 3 We explore on our own taking the Metro to

Union Station
Postal Museum

Christopher Columbus Memorial

Capitol Building

Tunnel from Capitol Building Visitor's Center to Library of Congress, Library of Congress

Supreme Court Building

Front of Capitol

Lunch at Native American Museum
Walked to Smithsonian Castle past a couple other museums and the Carousel.

Visit Castle and Haupt Garden behind the Castle

Metro back to hotel

Photo for later: