On Wednesday Dean left for Kansas to be with his mom on her 90th birthday. The good news is that he could take the Metro to the airport and I didn't have to drive in DC. I went with him as far as L'Enfant station (main station in the Mall area) and then got off and stood in line for tickets to go up the Washington Monument. I waited an hour and got tickets for myself and the Poutneys. After I waited in line I went back to the Museum of Natural History. Since I was so early I got to see the second floor without a bunch of kids everywhere.
I meet Ron and Bernita at the Monument and we took the long ride up the elevator - 500 ft. There are 8 windows almost at the top which give a panoramic view of DC. The Monument was started in 1848 and completed in 1884. Notice the difference in marble about halfway up.
This is the view towards the Mall and Capitol on the East side of the Monument.
The White House on the North side. My one regret on our visit - we didn't get tickets (30 days advance reservation) to go into the Presidents home. Maybe next time!
The West view - Lincoln's Memorial and the Reflecting Pond (all torn up).
The South view - Jefferson Memorial and in the distance Ronald Reagan Airport where Dean was to catch the plane to Kansas.
After the Monument we went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for a tour. This is another tour that you have to stand in line to get free tickets. This is where the government designs, engraves and prints currency. Like the guide said - the Mint is where they make the small change (coins); we make the big stuff (paper money).
We saw the big presses and were told how they change the currency every few years to keep ahead of the counterfeiters. The 100,00 bill is not in circulation but they have made them.
Our last stop for the day was the National Archives and Records Administration. In the Rotunda of this building is the original Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. They are very hard to read but they are the original documents. Also in this building is the Public Vaults. Stacks and vaults where the records of all three branches of the Federal Government are kept. A lot of information!!
Thursday we went to Mount Vernon (next blog). I am writing this Saturday and Dean comes home today. Hurrah!!