Sunday, May 8, 2011

Washington DC - Museums, Memorials, White House

What a place this is!! We are learning so much in our Capitol city.
The first day was a rainy day so we decided to do some museums. The Smithsonian is not a museum - it is a bunch of huge museums. The first one we visited was the National Air and Space Museum. Of course, they had the first plane - 1903 Wright Flyer. And they had lots and lots of different types of planes, rockets, anything to do with flying.

Our friend in Phoenix, Lynn Farrell, said to be sure and look for her dad - and we found him on this WWII bomber.
The musem was filled with loads of information on aeronautics. It was also filled with kids. We think that a lot of schools were having field days while we were in DC.

I really enjoyed the Pioneers of Flight exhibit. My favorite was Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega and information about her career.

Another favorite was the Spirit of St Louis, hanging from the ceiling along with some of our space vessels such as the Explorer, Apollo, Voyager Spacecraft, Lockheed Starfighter, and Boeing Aircraft.

Our first day was a rainy day. Since then we have had beautiful weather. This is Bernita and Ron Poutney who we are traveling with. They are on the Mall with their backs to the Washington Monument.

Here are Dean and I in our Gortex coats with our backs to the Captiol. The Mall is the big green area in front of the public buildings. There is 2 miles between the Captiol and Lincoln Memorial and this space is either a green park or a reflection pond in front of Lincoln's Memorial.
More about the Reflecting Pond later.

In the afternoon of the first day we went to the Museum of National History, another huge museum filled with tons of stuff and tons of kids! One of the impressive articles on display was the Hope diamond, in the gem and mineral section. With over 40 karats, it is a real beauty! This museum also had halls devoted to Oceans, Mammals, human origins, fossils, insects, and dinosaurs. To see everything in this one museum would take a week.

On Day 2, we went to Arlington National Cemetery. It is beautiful. We saw all these headstones perfectly lined up. President William Taft was the first grave we visited. We also saw Audie Murphy's grave.

The most visited grave is John F. Kennedy. This is his grave, Jackies, and two of their children. Robert's and Edward's graves were close by.

There are many memorials at Arlington. We saw the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial, Women in the Military (Piestuwa's uniform) memorial, USS Maine Memorial, to name just a few.

The most impressive memorial is the Tomb to the Unknown Soldiers. We watched the changing of the guards which goes on every 30 minutes in the summer months 24/7. It was very impressive. Dean and Ron got some great shots (since they were in the dignitaries area) until they were ushered out. It is a beautiful and humbling experience to watch. There was a crowd and it was VERY quiet.

On day 3 we went to see the White House. None of us could go on the inside tour because you have to make reservations 30 days in advance. We never know where we will be in 30 days! But we walked all the way around the home. This is a good picture of the four of us on the North side. Notice the new Tilly hats. Bertina has one also but she loves her baseball hats.

We didn't know which was the front or back. This is from the South side. Michelle's garden is just off to the left. There were some Secert Service men on the roof. I'm sure security has doubled in the last few days.

We visited another Smithsonian museum - National Museum of American History. This is where the Ruby slippers (Wizard of Oz), Archie's chair (All in the Family), Julia Child's kitchen, Apollo Ono's skates and many other American memories are housed. This museum also holds the first flag of our country. And the first ladies gowns. Here I am standing next to Michelle's gown.

Day four was one more museum and a bunch of memorials. We had to stand in line to get tickets to the Holocaust Memorial Museum but it was worth every minute. Ron and Bernita are holding our spots. The tickets are free but you have to have an assigned time to go into the museum.

One of my favorites - the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Reflecting Pool wasn't exactly reflecting on the day we were there. It is being dug up and worked on.

The World War II Memorial.
While we were are this memorial we saw a lot of gentlemen in red jackets with veteran baseball hats. Some of these men were in wheelchairs and some were walking around. Turns out that these men were WWII veterans from Iowa.

There were 99 of them and about 64 guardians. We talked to a few of these veterans and asked them if they knew our friends, Chuck and Jan Moore. We thought everone knew Chuck and Jan but I guess Iowa is a big state.

Next blog, when I have time, will be Ford Theater, Pentagon Memorial, Capitol, Library of Congress.


Chuck and Jan Moore said...

Judy, you are a precious friend! You really made Chuck and I laugh out loud! Thanks for taking us along on your DC tour, we're really enjoying reading about your visit there. Hugs to all 4 of you! J&C

Lynn said...

Nice shot of Dad's plane! Its been so many years since I was in DC, but I remember doing most of what you guys did. A walk down Memory Lane...