Over our Christmas break, our family visited Washington, DC. Believe it or not, I am a native North Carolinian and have never ever been to DC. I think I was looking forward to this trip more than anyone! We left on Wednesday the 26th. Even though it was raining, the trip started out on the right foot as there was a double rainbow off to the side of the highway.
It turned out to be a stressful ride, though. We should have expected heavy traffic, I guess, since it was the day after Christmas, but we had no idea it would be so heavy the entire way there. And with the rain, it just made for a long and stressful ride. But we got there with no problems, and were ready for a great time.
We had planned to be there for 3 full days, Thursday through Saturday, and return home on Sunday. But because of the headache I already blogged about, we had to come home a day early. So we missed out on the Smithsonian. I know, I know, we really have to go back one day and catch those. But the one I really wanted to see, the Museum of American History, was closed for renovation anyway, so maybe we'll wait for that one to reopen before we go back.
Anyway, the two days we were there were really great. We saw quite a bit, and from our history studies in TOG we were able to make a lot of connections.
The first day, we visited Arlington National Cemetery. It was a beautiful, crisp day and perfect for the walking that we did. We saw the immense size of the cemetery, saw the graves of JFK, Jackie Onassis, and their two small children. We visited the mansion of Robert E. Lee, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Seeing the changing of the guard there gave me goosebumps!
That same day, we saw the Lincoln Memorial and walked to the Washington Monument. I was surprised by how moved I was by seeing the Lincoln Memorial. Again, it was because of our studies with Tapestry that I was able to really understand what I was seeing. I was moved to tears reading Lincoln's words that were enscribed on the walls.
The Holocaust museum is located near the Washington Monument, so we ended our day visiting that. We have just moved past the holocaust in our school studies, so we definitely wanted to see that. It really made our studies hit home by seeing in person the artifacts and videos that were on display. It is a powerful experience, and I do recommend your visiting it if you get the chance.
On Friday, we toured the Capitol building. I had no idea that building was so beautiful. I had no idea we had such lovely art work and architecture! It was a real pleasure to tour there, and to see the offices of our congressmen (we saw Nancy Pelosi's office, even. Ha!) and to see the rooms that Lincoln and JQAdams, and on and on, actually occupied. More goosebumps. Again, I'm so grateful for TOG for teaching me so much.
After our tour there, we ate lunch in Chinatown at an Irish pub, and then walked to the Ford theater. We didn't get to go in, as it also is closed for renovation, but we did get to tour the Peterson house across the street, where Lincoln died.
By this time, the kids and I were tired so we returned to the hotel, while Byron traveled the Metro to College Park, to the University of Maryland. We enjoy collecting sweatshirts from colleges from towns we visit, so Byron wanted to go find a shirt. He's more of an adventurer than I am, so I know he enjoyed finding his way up there, finding the school store, and heading back.
That turned out to be the last day there, as we decided to head back home the next morning. I don't think the kids minded so much, as we had had 2 full days. But we all do want to go back.
Here's a slide show of some of our photos: