Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day in DC

To have our day in Washington DC we needed to set the alarm early, 5.30am, so that we could be driven by Jan(which was extremely hospitable of her) to Fredricksburg to catch the commuter train-VRE to Union Station in DC. The ride took 1 1/2 hours and we arrived at 8.45am.
Union Station is glorious. It has 2 large halls that are parallel to each other and the second one consists of three levels, which has shops, restaurants, movie complex and a food hall. We bought tickets on a Hop On Hop Off Tour- Old Town Trolley and had a while to wait for departure so we looked for a place to eat.
We had breakfast at Johnny Rockets (not a patch on the Castle Hill one) and planned our day.

The first stop on our tour was to visit the Seat of Government...The Capitol.. We arrive and were assigned a time for our guided tour and we only had to wait for 15 minutes after the first time slot allocated. They have the tours every 5 minutes to allow time for security to check all bags before entry into the building. The main entry hall is called the Rotunda and it is amazing. I do have movies that I will put together when we get home for anyone interested . Then we saw the Statue room.

There is a law in DC that states ...No statue over 18 feet tall as the statue on to of the Capitol is a Lady called Freedom and no statue to any person is to be greater than Freedom....I like that..

When we left the building we exited the door where the President Incumbent exits to stand in front of the Nation to swear The Oath Of Office to become President.

After the tour of the Capitol we hopped back onto the trolley and did a drive past the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the WWII Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The difference between a Memorial and a Monument is that a Monument is planned while a person is Alive and a Memorial is planned after their death.

Next Stop was a couple of Smithsonian Museums. The Smithsonian has 15 different Museums and the one we chose to see was the Native American One. The whole building is constructed with no corners as the belief in their culture is that Bad Spirits can hide in corners so - no corners no bad spirits..
The photo I have included of the native costume is the one that I liked the best. Not as ornate as some but I love tassels

After the Native American Museum the 2nd last stop was the White House Visitor Centre which for security reasons is no longer situated at the White House. We did some shopping for some white house souvenirs and the we went the the last stop for the day at the DC Welcome Centre where I picked up a few more magnets and a polo shirt for myself. For those of you reading this who may remember a pair of jeans that I had bought on my trip to the States in very much loved Stars and Stripes ones........well I can't find any jeans so far but to compensate it is a polo shirt this time.

After a great day sightseeing we got off the Trolley at Union Station and purchased our tickets to go back to Fredericks burg. We followed the sign to get the correct platform and a really nice man somehow figured out that the train we wanted was the VRE and told us that the sign was misleading and we needed a different track and that he travelled on the VRE also. They had absolutely no seating in the hall above the platform and after standing around for 15 minutes we went to the platform and there are no seats there either. We were happy to see the train 25 minutes later to be able to board and sit finally.

A great day was had by both of us but I do think I have worn Grant out as we are having a slower day this stage it is an unknown as to what may unfold..

Here is a short clip I took in DC. I had tried to upload one in a previous Blog but had had no luck.....enjoy..


Anonymous said...

Gosh,I feel sorry for poor little Grantley.Dragged all over the place, putting up with bloody Septic Tanks, getting sick and then, really tired. Jan, you'll have to get yourself a younger bloke...Grant obviously is not up to the task.
Love the photos, keep up the good feels like I'm their with you. Now there's a thought...imagine me, over there with those bloody Yanks.
Big Hugs

Anonymous said...

Mate if you want to chat up my wife at least ask me first. (:!.

If you came over they you would be a fish out of water. Your sense of humour would totally shock and outrage the natives.

And speeking of not up to the task hows your hip?

Love and kisses.

Gruntly :)

melissa said...

I LOVE this entry! So much information! So much history!

Ooooh - I'd love to go to DC... I do love the theory of the Statues in DC...

Your entry fires the imagination!


And by the way - my sympathies - the long days and the hiking about do lead to exhaustion! Glad you're surviving!

Lots of Love


Lyn said...

Hi there,
Glad to see you are enjoying,
thanks for the updates, great to see where you have been.
Lyn B. (Coreen Ct)